Who Invented It? From Household Items To Rocket
Big MachinesMusic & SportsFood InventionScience & MathHousehold ItemsOther Inventions

Who Invented Badminton?

Posted In: Music & Sports. Bookmark and Share

Badminton is a very popular game these days. One of the great things about this sport is that it can be played almost anywhere as it doesn’t require much equipment. Of course, if you want to play a formal game, you would need to play in a badminton court but if you just want to play it for fun, you can easily do so in a park, in a vacant parking lot or even in your own backyard.

Battledore and shuttlecockBattledore and shuttlecock was a precursor to modern badminton. Illustration from Youthful Sports by Beulah Folmsbee, 1804.

It’s an old sport

Not many realize it but badminton is actually an old sport. An earlier version was played in ancient Greek in ancient times. Japan also had its own version called the Hanetsuki, which was invented in the 1500′s, and India also had its own variety of the sport called “Poon” that was popular in the town of Poona, which was developed in the 1700′s. Because of the many different early versions of this sport, it is not clear who had actually invented badminton first.

The British adapted from the Indian game

When British Army officials stationed in Poona, India saw the local version of the sport, they immediately took a liking and quickly learned the rules of the game. When they went back to England, they played the game, known then as battledore and shuttlecock, at the country houses, and interest quickly spread. Pretty soon, this game became one of the most popular spectator events among the middle and upper class of English society.

The name of the game

The first official badminton game in England was held in the Badminton House of Gloucestershire, and the name stuck. For several years, the British played badminton under the rules that they learn from the Indian version. It wasn’t until 1887 that the rules were revised by the Bath Badminton Club in order to accommodate English ideas. These rules were formally published for the first time in 1893 and are pretty much the same rules that are being used in modern badminton nowadays.

Giving due credit

These days, when people try to answer the question of who invented badminton, the British Army officials usually get the credit since they did bring the game home to England. But they certainly were not the ones to invent the game, and neither were they the ones who set the new modern rules as we know today. The do deserve credit for introducing the game to western culture because this sport is definitely a great contribution to society.

International Badminton Federation

It didn’t take long before other countries also started showing an interest in the sport. From England, badminton spread to the United States and to other parts of Europe. Subsequently, the International Badminton Federation was formed and international badminton events were held regularly. In the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, badminton became an Olympic sport and had been ever since. Prior to that, badminton had been an exhibition sport in the 1972 and 1988 Olympics.

Thomas Cup and Uber Cup

The most popular badminton tournaments held today are the Thomas Cup, a tournament exclusively for men, and the Uber Cup, its corresponding tournament for women. Both of these events are organized by the Badminton World Federation and are held every two years. The championship titles in both these tournaments are usually claimed by players from Indonesia, Malaysia and China.

Other sport that uses rackets: Tennis.