Friday, May 21, 2010

A (Very) Brief History of Badminton

The esteemed and highly-respectable sport of Badminton was invented in the mid-18th Century by English soldiers stationed in the India colonies. The inventors basically just added a net to an older British game called (I’m not making this up), “Battlecore and Shuttlecock”. According to early drawings, that game looks quite a mess, but Badminton was a gentlemen’s game from the start.

The sport was officially launched back in England in 1873 when the Duke of Beaufort opened the Badminton House at Gloucestershire, the first badminton club. Over the next 50 years, rules became more and more uniform and rigid. In 1934, the Badminton World Federation was established among Canada, Denmark, England, France, Netherlands, Ireland, New Zealand, Scotland and Wales. This organization now governs international badminton and develops the sport on the global scene.

Some fun facts:
*To determine which side serves first, a shuttlecock is served and wherever the shuttlecock is pointing, that side begins.
*When playing repeated matches between the same players, each individual game is called a “rubber.”
*The most powerful stroke in Badminton is the “smash”, whereby a player hits the shuttlecock in an overhand manner, smashing it to the court just over the net. The world record for the fastest recorded game-time smash belongs to Fu Haifeng of China, whose shuttlecock was clocked at 206 miles per hour.

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