According to the Badminton World Federation (BWF), the sport’s origins can be traced back two thousand years in Asia and Europe. In terms of longevity and in its progress as a sport, badminton has definitely come a long way since then. Only included in the Olympic Games since 1992, the sport has finally found the respectability that has eluded it since its discovery. Badminton equipment then was expectedly crude. Today, badminton gear can be bought easily with a wide array of options to choose from.
The English used to play battledore and shuttlecock, which were badminton’s predecessors, in the 17th century. The shuttlecock or “birdie” was made of cork stuffed with feathers. This was simply hit back and forth, using a bat and without a net. The inclusion of a net was introduced in Poona, which is considered the game that most closely resembles badminton. First played in India in the 1800’s, Poona required players to hit the shuttlecock back and forth over a net. The British officers who were there at that time brought the game to England and in 1898, the Open Tournament was held in the country. In 1899, the first All England Championships was organized.
The Badminton World Federation, previously known as the International Badminton Federation was established in 1934. Standardizing the sport’s rules and equipment, the Federation counted among its charter members a number of European countries including England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Holland, Denmark and France, as well as Canada and New Zealand.
As technology progressed, badminton gear likewise did. The BWF, in its Laws of Badminton provides specific guidelines on the appropriate badminton gear to be used. Feathered shuttlecocks should have sixteen feathers attached to it. They should be uniform in length, ranging between 2 1/2 and 2 3/4 inches. The tips of the sixteen feathers should be in a circular shape, measuring 2 1/4 to 2 2/3 inches in diameter. Shuttlecocks made of synthetic materials such as nylon is also allowed.
Badminton rackets should have an even pattern of overlapping strings providing a flat surface with which to hit the shuttlecock. The net should at least be five feet in length.
Considered as one of the top hobbies, badminton players range from young to older people looking for a good way to exercise, have fun and stay active. If you’re interested in reading more about badminton, more information are available at the website.