History Of Badminton

Badminton History

Badminton is an extremely popular sport worldwide and has a rich history that dates back thousands of years. Keep reading to learn more about the history of badminton, including key dates, when it originated, and where it is most popular.

History of Badminton

Badminton started as a leisure activity in Ancient Greece and was formalized by British officers in India in the mid-19th century. The modern rules of badminton were formalized in 1873, and the first governing body, the Badminton Association of England, was established in 1893. Badminton became popular in England and Asia and was added as an Olympic event in 1992.

Origins of Badminton

Badminton’s origins can be traced back nearly 2,000 years to Ancient Greece, where early versions of the sport were played for leisure and exercise. However, India is officially credited with the creation of badminton, as this is where poona (the version of the sport that most closely resembles modern badminton) was being played in the mid to late 19th century. As the sport became more popular, it expanded to other regions of the world, with England, Canada, Germany, Scotland, and eventually the United States all adopting their own variations of badminton.

Who Invented Badminton?

Historians have proved unable to credit a single individual with the invention of badminton. Instead, it is widely believed that high-ranked military officers stationed in India around 1870 created the game as a way to relax and remain physically fit. Another theory is that badminton did not officially come about until the mid-19th century when members of the British Royal Family sought a new activity that required minimal equipment and little preparation or assembly time.

When Was Modern Badminton Created?

While the principal concept of badminton was likely established nearly 2,000 years ago, the modern version from India came about between 1870 and 1873, with the latter date marking the creation of the first official set of rules for the sport. Modern rule adaptations were made several decades later, in 1893, when the newly formed Badminton Association of England launched the first documented series of formal badminton competitions.

Popularity of Badminton

Badminton became very popular at the end of the 19th century, with the first all-England badminton championships being held in England in 1899. The sport gained further popularity in 1934, as the first world governing body for the sport (the Badminton World Federation) was established to oversee all international competitions.

Badminton began to truly capture the attention of the world in 1972 when it became a trial sport at the Olympic Games. Viewers were at first treated to singles (one-on-one) matches in 1972 before the slate of games was soon expanded to feature singles and doubles matches for both men and women in 1992. It was added as an official sport at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mixed doubles were added to the Olympic Games in 1996.

Below you will find a list of countries in which badminton is most popular. Here is a list of the five nations that devote the most time and resources to badminton:

  1. China
  2. South Korea
  3. Denmark
  4. England
  5. Sweden

Badminton List of Key Dates and Timeline

For a brief overview of the most important events in badminton’s history, be sure to check out the timeline provided below.

  • 1600: Early elements of Badminton are first recorded
  • 1870: Poona (a semi-modern version of badminton) is created in India
  • 1873: First official set of rules is established at Bath Badminton Club
  • 1899: Badminton tournaments are first held
  • 1934: Badminton World Federation is formed
  • 1948: Thomas Cup (yearly international badminton competition) takes place for the very first time
  • 1966: Addition of badminton to the Commonwealth Games (yearly competition between former nations of the British Empire)
  • 1972: Badminton is introduced to the Olympic Games as a demonstration sport
  • 1992: Olympic Committee officially adopts badminton as a mainstay for future Olympic events


What is the history of badminton?

Badminton has a long history starting with roots in Greece and then becoming modernized in India and Britain. The earliest version of the sport was played as a form of leisure in ancient Greece. Some versions lasted for millennia until the game as we know it today was first played in the late 1800s by British soldiers in India. Badminton spread globally from there and is even now an internationally regulated sport.

Who first invented badminton?

Unlike many sports, there was no clear inventor of badminton. It is popularly believed, though, that the modern version of the sport was first played in the late 19th century by British soldiers stationed in India.

What was badminton first called?

Badminton was initially called battledore. Given the name by 19th-century British officers in India, the full title was battledore and shuttlecock. (Battledore was a current term for a racket.) The current name is derived from Badminton House in Gloucestershire, which was owned by the Duke of Beauford, an early English enthusiast of the sport.