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History of Badminton

Many Americans play baseball, basketball, soccer, or tennis. Many of them watch these sports on TV, and many buy tickets to their games and matches. But the average American has never even heard of competitive badminton, let alone gone to see a match. As a player myself, I can assure you that the common misconception that badminton is merely a backyard sport couldn’t be farther from the truth. Badminton began as a leisurely backyard sport and evolved to competitive sport ranging to Olympic levels.Badminton originated thousands of years ago in India, before many of the other sports were commercialized. It is believed to have evolved from a children’s game known as battledore and shuttlecock, the battledore being a paddle and the shuttlecock a small-feathered cork, now called a “bird” or “birdie.” The objective was simply to keep the bird in the air for as long as possible. Eventually a net was added and the game became a competitive sport called “poona.” In the 1860’s it was adopted by British army officers stationed in India and was brought back to England during the early 1870’s. Played at a lawn party given by the Duke of Beaufort at his famous estate “Badminton,” it was enjoyed immensely. When explaining the game to their Gerrard 2friends, the guests referred to it as “the Badminton game” for the name of his estate and the name stuck.An important part of competitive badminton is the training ground, called a “club.” The first badminton club, the Bath Badminton Club was established in 1877 and developed the first written rules of the game, which have essentially remained unchanged since. In 1893 the Badminton Association of England was founded as the first national governing body and the first All-England championship was held in 1899.The first Badminton Club in America was The Badminton Club of New York, BCNY, was formed in 1...

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