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Self-Improvement & Hobbies

‘Faster, Higher, Stronger’ - Badminton

You know how to play a mean badminton game; now, get a better grip on its history and origins
CATS Classified In The Straits Times - August 5, 2010
By: Goh Mei Yi
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‘Faster, Higher, Stronger’ - Badminton

With the inaugural Youth Olympic Games from the 14th to 26th August, it’s a good opportunity to learn about the history of some of the 26 sports that will be played at this international sporting meet.

Badminton is said to have been created by British military officers stationed in India in the mid 18th century. The game was called Poona and was actually an adult version of an old English children’s game known as battledore and shuttlecock. Retired officers then took the game was back to England.

In 1873, it was played at a lawn party of the Duke of Beaufort at his country place, Badminton House in Gloucestershire. It gained popularity among British society's elite, and the new party sport became known as “the Badminton game” .

After being a demonstration sport in the Munich Olympics in 1972, badminton became an Olympic sport in Barcelona in 1992.

To play badminton, two opposing single or two pairs of players stand on opposite halves of a rectangular court divided by a net. Players score points by using a racquet to hit a shuttlecock over the net. The aim is for the shuttlecock to land in the opponent’s half of the court. Each side may only strike the shuttlecock once before it passes over the net and a rally ends once the shuttlecock lands on the ground.

Badminton racquets are made from lightweight materials ranging from aluminium to graphite and titanium. The shuttlecock is a feathered projectile with an open conical shape that can be made from natural, synthetic or a combination of both materials. Tournament-grade ones are usually made with goose or duck feathers. Serious players prefer to wear proper badminton shoes that have a very thin sole that offers a lower centre of gravity.

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