Badminton is that game that entices one in all at least once in their lifetime. You all are aware of this lawn game that is played with rackets and shuttlecock.
The rules are extremely simple and easy, even for kids to understand. The game is about two players across the net, hitting the shuttlecock to and from these rackets' help. But is that all?
Okay! Hold your breath right there! It is not as simple as you must have presumed so far. Yes, the rules are very simple, but with a little twist! You have to keep the shuttlecock up in the air all-time between the opponents. However, it cannot touch the floor within the boundaries of the court even once.
This game not only entertains the players but amuses the people watching those taking vertical leaps to at least three to four feet above the ground with a "smash" and terrific performance. This is not just it! The game is much more than you think! Let us delve deeper!
Fascinating facts about badminton history
Badminton has got more than just a court and the net! Whether you are an ardent sports lover or an average badminton player, you will find a deep interest in this article to enhance your knowledge about Badminton and its historical significance.
We are sure after reading this article, you will be excited to look for your badminton racket and shuttlecock rather than your video games and mobile phones.
Taking a walk through the heritage
The origin of Badminton dates back to more than 2000 years ago when the game was known as "Shuttlecock" and "Battledore" and was played by the people of India, China, and Greece.
- The history of this Olympic sport is very long. The game's name derives from the Badminton House in Gloucestershire, the ancestral home for the Duke of Beaufort. This is where the sport was played around the last century. Gloucestershire is now converted into the base ground for the International Badminton Federation. No wonder the sport had a very humble beginning and has now gained recognition far and wide.
- The International Badminton Federation was formed with nine member countries in 1934. These countries included Wales, Scotland, Ireland, New Zealand, England, Netherlands, France, Denmark, and Canada. It was about four years later that the United States of America also joined the league. However, this was not the end of the member countries. The popularity of the game kept increasing ever since, and membership increased steadily over the next few years, with a wide range of countries joining in after the sport's debut at the Olympic Games in Barcelona. This sport has been enticing one and all since the very beginning.
- The first biggest IBF tournament was called the Thomas Cup, the men's World team championship held in 1948. Since then, Badminton has picked peace, and the number of world events every year has increased to seven. The additional tournaments included the Uber cup, the ladies' team, the Sudirman Cup, the mixed team, the World Championships, the World Juniors, the World Grand Prix Finals, and the Badminton World Cup. So, you can well imagine the rising popularity of the sport into the mainstream field of sports and games.
- The year 1981 was a big turn of events for Badminton, which marked the World Cup invitation and event. It was organized by the International Management Group (IMG). The world cup series had ended in the year 1997 post, which the IIBF had considered and organized exhibition matches featuring the world's top players with the potentials of replacing the world cup.
- The Uber and Thomas cup held in Hong Kong was significantly essential for the sale of commercial and television rights that rose to a multi-million dollar contract. The best part was that it was just not limited to Asia. Even a few hot shots of the European corporate sector had bid for the telecast rights. Television companies and channel producers from all over the world started buying exclusive rights for the 1997 World Championship that was held in Glasgow, Scotland.
- Another turning point in the world's history of Badminton came across in 1994 with its landmark deal of $20 million tripartite contracts for the World Grand Prix Finals' sole sponsorship. Under this deal's terms, the concerned organizations and their telecasting partners, namely, IBF, IMG, STAR TV, and STAR Network, decided to utilize the promotional profits in the development and promote the promotion Badminton. In return, the STAR Syndicate had a gain of exclusive rights overexploiting the television and commercial telecast for the World Grand Prix Finals.
- This brought about Badminton into the houses of common people and spread the word far and wide like wildfire. The-then executive director of IBF, David Shaw, had also asserted that "the deal was good for both main parties." David had always worked towards the growth and development of sports, along with its organization. In an interview, he stated that "we needed a strong partner in television, and the broadcaster had identified badminton as a vehicle that would attract audiences across Asia to its prime sports channel."
- This was just the beginning of the rise of Badminton as a mainstream sport. However, the next phase witnessed a further rise of the international badminton sage, which had taken the USA with a storm. USA was an initial member of the IBF and had an initial stream of massive success. The American team also went on to win the first three events of the Uber cup in 1956. However, their interest in the sport declined with time. The USA's history with Badminton was not quite a grouping one up until late.
USA's Journey of Badminton through Times
Badminton is as of late and quite a light-hearted sport in the household of an average USA citizen. However, it is more predominantly played on the beach or in the backyard as fun and recreation.
What was the fastest growing racket sport around the world and in the world of international sports, as seen by the Americans who once promoted it fiercely, the interest weaned away which time and people sidelined the game to a great extent from the mainstream arena?
However, it was anticipated that they would be back in form once again.
- The breathtaking break of monotony came through with the Atlanta Olympics that not only acted as a medium to raise the awareness and profile of the sports in the USA but also brought in a tremendous impact on its popularity streak. The event became a massive success and was a complete sell-out.
- It also went ahead to become one of the must-see sports which has compliments from all arenas, including ex-President Jimmy Carter, Chelsea Clinton, Paul Newman, and Princess Anne, who were among the top-rated celebrities who witnessed the sports live in the stadium. The event also received tremendous publicity from all aspects of media. And David Broder of the Washington Post also reported that he was "seeing one of my life's supreme athletic spectacles."
- The landmark movement of the USA badminton history number was achieved in the year 1996. With the beginning of the Atlanta Olympic Games that started garnering interest, the USA's average sports indulgent also turned their heads to the conceptual tournaments that followed suits. Around December 1995, the IBF introduced a series of conceptual tournaments in California, known as the Hong Ta Shan Cup, the men's invitation tournament with the best players worldwide and great prize money.
- The organization also planned to add a women's event with an enhanced cash price to raise awareness amongst people's minds. The Hong Ta Shan Group was also instrumental in sponsoring the US Open with an increased cash prize of $200,000, thereby making the event enlist itself as one of the most valuable World Grand Prix events in the history of the series and giving it a six-star status.
- The change and inclusion of Badminton are still on the rise since the days of its debut at the Olympic Games. The people's interest has boosted dramatically on an international level, thereby increasing its mainstream popularity and fame once again.
- The sports coverage has dramatically increased with the agreement of Star TV, popularizing its telecast immensely. This step of the Star network has encouraged television companies and sponsors worldwide to invest in the sports and give them access to the Asian economies, a fair and square deal for all.
With every passing day, the game attracts spectators increasingly towards an exciting admixture of fitness, reaction, touch, tactics, and the angles that practically exhaust even a squash champion.
Let us now delve into a few fun facts of the badminton history.
The roots of Badminton belong to ancient China
The game's roots date back to more than 2000 years ago when it was popularized with the name of battledore and shuttlecock. The game has traveled a long since then and made its way through time into the household aims of Europe and the USA along with other Asian nations.
The second most populous sports around the world
There is no surprise that football is the most popular sport around the world at the moment. However, the shocking element comes in when Badminton is positioned right next to it. The history of Badminton is amazing, and people tend to miss out a lot from it.
Today almost 220 million people worldwide play the game in America, Asia, Africa, and Europe. However, the importance of Badminton has been prolific in Asian countries.
The Olympics could be taken as a tool to measure the popularity of the spots where Badminton has made a mark for itself through history pages. With an introduction in the Olympics in the year 1992 and around 1.1 billion people tuning into their TV channels to watch the game, Badminton never looked back.
Feathers used from the left wing of a goose
Badminton revolves completely around a high-drag projectile, also known as the shuttlecock. It is the position of this little further object around the rectangular court that decides the game's fate.
It is quite understandable that you need to know about the history of this little yet essential element. Shuttlecocks are made of the left-wing of geese, which gives them their incredible speed.
Before you ask whether anything is wrong with the right wings, here is the explanation! The wings of geese hold the physics of the sport. They are 16 in number and spin clockwise only if the feathers are from the left-wing.
However, if you use the right wings for making your shuttlecock, it rotates counterclockwise, thereby destroying the game and the players completely.
Tougher than tennis
The history of Badminton proves that the game is more difficult than tennis. Who would have ever thought that you have to burn some serious calories to get closer to the game?
Otherwise, you can grab your favorite soda and snacks and be a spectator of the game. A badminton player has to run an average distance of 3.7 miles a day to mark his preparation for a single game for the record.
However, an average tennis player only needs to run a distance of 1.8 miles, which is less than half the distance that a badminton player traverses. This indicates that stamina plays an essential role to sustain in the game!
So, all we can say is hats off to the fastest racquet sports in the world that requires nothing but over the top level of energy and quick reflexes.
It is a delightful sport with an even more incredible history. So, what are you waiting for? Grab your rackets right now and cool your friends to the court! Don't stop playing until your energy is drained, and you give a smashing performance!