Have you ever watched a badminton match? If you have you’re probably familiar with its basics. Badminton is a court game that is played with lightweight rackets and a shuttlecock.
Over the centuries Badminton has risen in popularity and is now played as a competitive game. It can also be a great social activity. If you’re on for a game, start by getting familiar with it through these interesting facts about Badminton!
Badminton is a game that has evolved over the years.
In the 18th century, Badminton was played in India and was called Poona.
The British Officers took a liking to the game and took it back with them to England where they renamed it Badminton.
The game was officially played for the first time in the country estate of Badminton in Gloucestershire in England, the seat of the dukes of Beaufort.
The first official Badminton club was established in Bath, United Kingdom, in 1877. It was called ‘The Bath Badminton Club’. It standardized the rules of the game and these were later recognized and published by the Badminton Association of England.
The All England Open Badminton Championship is the world’s oldest badminton tournament and was first organized in 1898. It is popularly referred to as the All England.
Badminton is second only to soccer in its popularity. It is estimated that across the world over 220 million people play the sport.
Also, badminton is the next most viewed sport in the world. During its first Olympics appearance, a staggering 1.1 billion tuned in to watch badminton.
Badminton was accepted as a full medal Olympic sport in 1992 for men’s and women’s singles as well as doubles matches. Before that, it had been introduced as a demonstration sport in 1972 and an exhibition sport in 1988. In 1996, the mixed match was allowed.
The shortest recorded Badminton match in history was only six minutes, which is a very short game! This was in 1996 during the Uber Cup held in Hong Kong.
Austrian players, Mario Langmann and Thomas Paulweber hold the Guinness Record for playing the longest marathon badminton match for 25 hours 25 minutes and 44 seconds.
The longest badminton rally stretched over four and a half minutes and ended after 256 shots.
Initially, the game was played with balls of wool and called ball badminton. This made it possible for players to play even in windy and wet conditions. Eventually, rules of the game were set, as was the use of the shuttlecock.
Now Badminton is played with rackets and a shuttlecock that is traditionally made with sixteen goose feathers.
The shuttlecock used in badminton gets its name from the back and forth motion in the game. This motion is similar to the shuttle of a loom. Since the projectile, with its sixteen feathers resembles a chicken, hence the ‘cock’ in shuttlecock.
The best shuttles are made from a goose’s left-wing only. They are said to be the lightest around 4.4-5.5 grams in weight. Each shuttle is made using 16 shuttles. They do use duck feathers too, but not for the match quality shuttles. They are the lower grade ones.
The shuttlecock used in a game of badminton weighs about five grams and is one of the lightest sports equipment.
The shuttlecock is often referred to as the bird or birdie.
Even though one match of tennis lasts for longer than a badminton match, statistically, one badminton match is more intense than a tennis match.
Unlike tennis in which a doubles game with male and female players is known as mixed doubles, the badminton counterpart is called a mixed match.
Competitive badminton is fast and furious, and the spectators have to focus in order to follow the movements of the shuttlecock.
Over the years racquet guts have been made by synthetic materials, but there was a time when the strings of badminton racquets were made by the lining of a cat’s stomach.
The standard length of the string used to gut a badminton racket is ten meters long.
Modern badminton rackets are made of steel, aluminium, graphite, and boron. They cannot be longer than 68 centimetres and wider than 23 centimetres. The racket should weigh about 85-90 grams, and never more than 100 grams.
When you are shopping for a badminton racket you’ll notice that they’re marked with the letters U and G. While U refers to the racket weight, G describes its length. The rackets are categorized as 1U, 2U, 3U, and 4U. 1U is the heaviest and 4U lightest.
When players are playing a badminton match, their Wilson racquets are not allowed to make contact with the net.
The width of the lines of the badminton court is 40mm. They are painted white or yellow so that players can identify them easily.
The fastest smash recorded to date was at a shocking number of 493km/h. This smash was made by former Malaysian Doubles champion Tan Boon Heong.
During an actual competition, it is Mads Kolding of Denmark who has hit the fastest smash of 426km/h.
Conventionally, badminton competitions are conducted on indoor courts. The movement of the shuttlecock is affected by weather, temperature, and altitude.
An eighteen-foot high aluminum and fiberglass shuttlecock is installed and displayed on the lawn of the art museum in Kansas City. It weighs close to three tons and was made by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje Van Bruggen.
Do you have any interesting or fun facts about badminton that we’ve missed? Share them here in the comments section below!