Badminton has been a popular sport played for both leisure and competitive reasons for over two centuries now. But did you know that it was recognized as an Olympic sport only in 1992?
Even though Indians called it ‘poona,’ it was the British that popularized the sport and called it ‘battledore and shuttlecock’ in colonial India. Children played it for fun and tried to keep the shuttlecock in the air for as long as possible. It was then converted into a competitive sport around the 1870s with the introduction of a net and a set of rules.
Carrying the torch
When British officers travelled back home in 1873, they took badminton with them. The Duke of Beaufort was fascinated and formally introduced the sport at his estate Badminton, which is where the sport derives its official name from.
Formalization of the game
No game is official till it has its own set of rules and regulations. The Bath Badminton Club wrote down the first official rules in 1877, followed by another set by the Badminton Association of England in 1893. The rules we follow today are reminiscent of the latter.
Badminton began to spread across the globe, resulting in the foundation of the International Badminton Federation in 1934 with India being the last of the ten countries to join two years later.
Today, badminton is one of the most enjoyable sports with an estimate of 220 million players around the world. Especially on almost every street and corner in India, where children come together at dusk every day. India is also home to some of the biggest names in the game—Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu and Srikanth Kidambi. It is one of the most enjoyable games which can be played either in pairs or singles.