The game of Badminton started from the game called ‘’battledore and shuttlecock’’ in Britain in the 18th century. The name ‘’badminton’’ comes from the daughters of the Duke of Beutfort playing battledore and shuttlecock in the great hall of Badminton house, the seat of the Somerset family in Gloucestershire, in England.
By the mid to late 1870’s indoor clubs were being formed in England, and in no time at all clubs wanted to put their skills against each other. But because there were no shuttlecock manfactureres at that time, the players had to make their own shuttlecocks from the available materials.
Until 1893 there were no rules considering size of court dimensions, numbers of players or scoring.
It is hard to say exactly where the game originates to, but it probably developed in Ancient Greece about 2000 years ago. And apparently it spread to east China, as well as Japan, India and Siam. The game arrived to Britain in the late 16th century, then known as ‘’battledore and shuttlecock’’
There are different theories about how they made the shuttlecocks, and one of them points to that they were using corks and feathers (probably writing feathers).
The game has also been known as ‘’hit and scream’’, and was a upper class social pastime, so not really a sport in the beginning.
The International Badminton Federation (IBF) was born in 1934, with a membership of nine countries ranging from the Netherlands to Canada, and with India, Australia and the United States joining soon after. The Asians were ready and waiting to dominate when the game came back to them. Since 1934, China and Indonesia have won 70 % of all IBF titles even with 131 countries now belonging to the organization.
The game reached the Olympic stage as a demonstration sport at the 1972 Munich Games. It returned as an exhibition sport in Seoul in 1988, then was accepted to full medal status in 1992 at Barcelona. By then, it was too late for great players such as China's Li Lingwei and Han Aiping to compete. During the 1980s, they had won six women's World Cups, six Grand Prix singles titles and 63 championships between them. It was also too late for Denmark's legendary Morten Frost, who won more than 70 major men's titles during the '80s, not to mention other great players of the game such as China's Han Jian, Yang Yang, Zhao Jianhua, Xiong Guobao, Indonesia's Icuk Sugiato, Lim Siew King, Malaysia's Misbun Sidek. Nonetheless, they had shown the way for their compatriots. At the 1996 Atlanta Games, China tied for the medal lead as Asian athletes won 14 of the 15 medals. The only non-Asian was another Dane, Poul-Erik Hoyer-Larsen, who shocked the field with a gold medal in men's singles.
After all these years, badminton probably is not far removed from its ancient predecessors, nor from the game of elite society in the mid-1800s except for the speed of the game. The fastest smash recorded, by Great Britain's Simon Archer, was clocked at 260 kilometres per hour.