The History of Badminton

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Badminton is one of the oldest sports in the world. It has a long history that started from one country and spread to another and then to the whole world. It also has a social history as it was an upper class activity before it became a competitive sport.

Battledore and shuttlecock is the first name of the game and it was first seen in ancient Greece more than 2000 years ago. That’s a long time ago. In 1870 Duke of Beaufort showed an increased interest at the game that now took the name badminton. Long ago in the UK, children still used to play the game battledore and shuttlecock. They took a battledore, which was something like a paddle and tried to keep the shuttlecock in the air by throwing it to each other without letting it fall. The shuttlecock of that time shows many similarities with now as it was a piece of cork with added feathers. The cork was used because it was light and the feathers helped it move rapidly. This version of the game was first seen in medieval times in British India and then moved to the UK and then back again to India were it was very popular.
In 1893 the first set of rules were published in Great Britain and were all based on the English culture. They were minor adjustments of how the game should be played that were closer to Britain and a little different than the Indian version played so far. However, printing the rules also made the game official and the first badminton competition was held in 1899 and was the famous All England Open Championships. A few years later, countries of Europe were added to the federation of the game and India was also an affiliate member.

In the United States the history started in 1878 when the first badminton club was founded in New York. As the sport had many famous stars that preferred it, it soon became very popular to others as well. In 1936 the first set of rules and regulations for the US version of the game was established again giving it a character closer to the culture of the players. In 1937 the first official competition was held and famous player David Freeman from the states started his career, a player who later won the All England World Championships. Between 1949 and 1967 the US won twenty three world championships that showed the popularity of the game and the fact that there were some dedicated players there.

The game of badminton has definite origins in England and England and the US dominated the sport for the first several years of existence. However, the last decades many Asian countries as well as Denmark have embraced the sport and revealed many athletes that are talented and won gold medals in championships. Malaysia, South Korea and China have all achieved to be in the first places and win gold championships. Many famous players of our times also come from these countries.

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