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Badminton, surprisingly hasn’t actually been around for that long, considering how many years human beings have been on planet earth. However, the origin and history of badminton go beyond that of just badminton. There were games created and played many years ago that have inspired the creation of the badminton we now know and love. Let’s take a look back in the day and answer some of your questions regarding the origin and invention of badminton.

Modern badminton was invented in the late 19th century around 1873. However, one of the predecessors of badminton, Poona, was invented around 1850. Another predecessor of badminton, called Battledore and Shuttlecock, was first played around 1505. Other games that used shuttlecocks were documented to be played up to 2000 years ago.

Where was Badminton and its Predecessors Invented?

Badminton was invented in Gloucestershire, England. While predecessors of badminton did not originate from England, the rules and gameplay of modern badminton was first created and played in England. In fact, the name “badminton” comes from the name of the country estate in Gloucestershire, England – Badminton.

Poona, also known as ball badminton, which is one of the predecessors of badminton, was invented in India. It is still played today, mostly in India, but is not as popular as badminton itself.

Battledore and Shuttlecock, another predecessor of badminton, was invented in Greece. It isn’t really played in the modern day as it is pretty much badminton except you’re trying to keep the shuttlecock in the air as long as possible. That’s a little too easy in the modern day.

Who Invented Badminton?

The Duke of Beaufort is considered the father of badminton. While badminton was not invented by any single person, the Duke of Beaufort was pivotal to revolutionizing badminton as the sport we all know and love today.

Badminton’s predecessors (Poona and Battledore and Shuttlecock) went through many iterations of testing before the Duke of Beaufort was ever able to come up with the idea of badminton. So really, it was a team effort among many people to get to the point of inventing and creating badminton.

Even among badminton, there were many rule changes and additions. The evolution of badminton is very interesting itself and I may write more about it in a future post. In fact, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) is still experimenting with different scoring systems and rules to continually evolve badminton while racket and shuttlecock makers are doing the same thing with their equipment.

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Why was Badminton Invented?

Badminton was invented because Battledore and Shuttlecock was too easy to play. In Battledore and Shuttlecock, players play on a team to keep a shuttlecock in the air for as long as possible. The players would count the number of times that they could hit the shuttlecock before it would fall onto the floor. 

As time went on, players and equipment became better and better, making it easier to keep the shuttlecock in the air. At this point players got bored and wanted something more challenging, which is where badminton came in. Instead of being on the same team, badminton has players play against each other, where the objective was to get the shuttlecock on the ground on your opponent’s court!

This new objective was very intriguing and challenging and badminton soon grew in popularity. As we can see today, badminton is still extremely challenging and has grown to be a worldwide sport that is even in the Olympics and has a series of major tournaments where athletes that train for their whole lives compete. Amazing!

Was Badminton Invented Before Tennis?

Interestingly, badminton and tennis were both invented in 1873. It is unclear which one was actually invented first in this case. However, Jeu de Paume, which is a predecessor of tennis, was invented sometime in the 12th century. This is far before the invention of badminton’s predecessors in 1850 (Poona) and 1505 (Battledore and Shuttlecock).

When was the First Badminton Tournament?

The first unofficial All England badminton championships was held in 1899. The All England is badminton’s oldest tournament and is considered one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world. Before the World Championships were created and before badminton was added to the Olympics in 1972, the winners of the All England were considered the best in the world.

What is the Official Badminton Organization?

The International Badminton Federation (IBF), which is now known as the Badminton World Federation (BWF) is the official badminton organization that keeps track of player rankings, determines the rules of official badminton matches, and organizes tournaments.

When was the Badminton World Federation Created?

The International Badminton Federation was founded on July 5, 1934. The IBF then merged with the World Badminton Federation in 1981 and officially changed their name to the Badminton World Federation on September 24, 2006.


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