A Brief History of Badminton

Badminton is an interesting sport which is played by either one or two players on each side of the court. The objective of the game is to hit the shuttle so that it lands at the opponent’s side of the court without the opponent returning. The shuttle should go over the net. When the game is played by one player on each side, it is referred to as singles while that of a team of two players is called doubles. However, most people enjoy this game with slight or no idea at all of its history. Below is a brief history of badminton.



The game’s origin is complex and very unclear. However, the general assumption is that badminton originated in ancient Greece and the Far East countries. Whether the game is an improvement of “ti jian zi” or not is still a debate to date. “ti jian zi” is a game which was played by the Chinese people in the 5th century BC. The game’s objective is similar to that of badminton.

India played a vital role in the development of this game. This was through the introduction of another game that was similar to “ti jian zi” called Battle and Shuttlecock that was played in China, India, Japan and Greece. The game used shuttlecock which was hit by a Battledore (paddle). This game was played in the 1860s in Poona India. The description and the objectives of this game are very similar to that of badminton today.

The British government officials who were posted to India during those years took the game to their homes in 1873. It was here where the nets were added and the game henceforth took the form known to date. Duke of Beaufort was the first to introduce the game in England and it soon became a hit and a gained a lot of popularity among the elite in England as a party sport.

Contemporary Badminton


The Bath Badminton Club was established in 1877. The club then developed the first set of rules of the game. The first badminton association was founded in 1893 in England. It was known as the Badminton Association and it worked as a world federation till the year 1934 when the International Badminton Federation was founded by nine countries namely: England, Ireland, Wales, Denmark, Scotland, Holland, New Zealand, Canada, and France. India then joined as an affiliate. The federation’s name has since changed to Badminton World Federation

Badminton first ever tournament to be played was in 1898 in England and the Badminton Association Tournament was played in 1899. The tournament came to be known as “The England Championship”. The Thomas cup which was a men’s championship became the first major International Badminton Federation tournament in 1948. The number of badminton events has from then been rising with Uber Cup, World Cup, World Grand Prix, World Junior Championship, and the Sudirman Cup also introduced.

Commonwealth Games

The Badminton game was first introduced to the Commonwealth Games in 1966 when the games were held in Kingston, Jamaica and has since become a part of Commonwealth Games program. All the disciplines of Badminton are included in the Commonwealth games.

Olympic Games


Badminton was first introduced as a demonstration game to Olympic Games in 1972 in Munich. It however, became an official Olympic sport during the 1992 Olympic Games which took place in Barcelona where the doubles and the singles disciplines were introduced. The mixed doubles discipline was introduced in Atlanta’s Olympic Games in 1996 becoming the only mixed event in all Olympic Games. Having won no medal before, Indonesia benefited from Badminton achieving Olympic status when they won both men and women singles in its first competition in the Olympic in Barcelona.

Final Thoughts


Modern badminton creation is attributed to England. However, Asian countries have dominated the sport in all the major badminton events, including Olympics. The Asian countries have bagged almost all the medals in the Olympic competition with China, Republic of Korea and Indonesia being the dominant countries followed by both Denmark and Great Britain. These nations have produced the most talented world class players consistently. In fact, China has become a force to reckon in both women and men competitions in recent years. Currently, throughout the world, Badminton has become more organized with almost all nations having associations to organize and develop the sport.