History of Badminton and the Development of the Sport

The history of badminton brings us all the way back to the mid-18th century.

The game of badminton started to become popular in India at a small town called Poona.

When India was still a British Colony badminton was played mostly by the British military officers.

At this point, Badminton was just a game played for fun, and it was known as “battledore and shuttlecock” in British India instead of Badminton.

How the Name Badminton Came About

The bat was initially referred to as “Battledore”. Battledore and shuttlecock was a rather simple outdoor game.

Both players were just required to keep the shuttlecock in the air as long as possible, preventing it from touching the ground.

Battledore and shuttlecock was then brought back to England where it was introduced to the upper class community.

Eventually the game was officially introduced to the guests of the Duke of Beaufort at his house.

Interestingly, the house was called BADMINTON. The English really
loved the game, and you can guess how the sport got its name

Historical Development of Badminton

Quick facts on the development of the sport and history of badminton:

  • Official rules were developed after the game was introduced to the people in England
  • The FIRST open badminton tournament was held at Guildford, England in 1898
  • The FIRST All England Badminton Championships was held the following year.
  • The FIRST official Badminton World Championships was held in 1977.
  • Badminton became an Olympic sport in 1992.
  • The Badminton World Federation (BWF) introduced the Badminton Super Series events in 2007 to further promote the sport.

Snapshot of How Badminton was played in 1960s

The video above brings you the 1964 All England Badminton Championships final.

It was played by 2 Danish players. As you can see, the rallies were
shorter. The players’ movement on the court were less organized. Apart
from that, the strokes were also very different compared to how we hit
the shuttle nowadays.

The style of play in badminton has evolved over the years!

Technology made this possible. Rackets are lighter. Badminton shoes are better. Quality of shuttlecocks have improved.

Badminton trainings are also more intense and some are even supported by sports science.

Badminton Today

Today, badminton is considered as the FASTEST RACKET SPORT.

Badminton is played at a very intense level. Badminton players are much more athletic and agile.

The shuttlecocks are travel faster as compared to the olden days.

The video above shows you a match between the current top 2 badminton singles player in 2009, Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia and Lin Dan of China.

The match shows that players nowadays are more offensive. Their shots are also more precise.

Besides this, players also have the ability to dive and defend smashes.

Deception also became an important element in winning badminton rallies.

Strongest Badminton Nations over the Years

England Produced the Best Player in the History of Badminton

In the early 19th century, Great Britain produced many fine players.
George Thomas was probably the BEST badminton players in the history of

He has won 21 All-England titles over his career. The largest team championships event today, the Thomas Cup Badminton Team Championships was named after George Thomas.

Unfortunately we have yet to see England produce players of that
class. It has been a while since the English had dominated the world of

Denmark’s Dominance and their Role in the History of Badminton

Denmark was the second country to produce top class badminton players.

Since the early 1900s, Denmark was a major threat in the All-England
Open. That was when the All-England Open was the BIGGEST tournament
before 1977.

They continued to dominate, right until today. In fact, Denmark is
known very well for bringing the standard of Badminton to a higher level
in the history of badminton.

Peter Gade for example showed us INSANE deceptive shots. He even produced world class badminton deception in some major competitions.

Asia Nations Dominate

Today, badminton is known to many as an “Asian sport”.

This is because the Asian countries have been the most successful on the international scene.

Take the biggest competition in the history of badminton (the
Olympics) for example. China, Korea, Indonesia, England and Denmark were
the only countries to win the Olympic Games for badminton.

Among the Asian nations, the Chinese have been winning the most
titles in almost every category, including the women’s category. They
were so strong that they claimed TWO clean sweeps in 2010 and 2011. They
took ALL 5 world champions’ title in both years!

Return from History of Badminton to Badminton Articles

Please Like me on Facebook. Thanks!

Tell me what you think!

What do you think about what you just read? Leave me a comment below.