Who invented Badminton and where was it Originated?

By: Esme
Date: 27 May, 2018
Image Courtesy: pixabay

Badminton is the second most popular sport in the world. Ever wondered when was it first played? Or how did it evolve? Yes? Read on to know the History of Badminton!


A lot of other games using shuttlecocks have started way before Badminton did. In fact, a game almost similar to Badminton was played in Greece before 18th century.

India experienced a similar game played with rackets and shuttle cocks in 18th century and named it “Poona”. History says that badminton has been played all across Europe from 18th century but was the name was different. They called it battledore and shuttlecock. Battledore was another name for the racket.

Though nothing has been written about the reason, but the name badminton is derived from Duke of Beaufort's Badminton House in Gloucestershire. An 1863 article in The Cornhill Magazine describes badminton as "battledore and shuttlecock” played with sides, across a string suspended some five feet from the ground.

The game gained its popularity mostly in the 1870’s in Britain and due to which it also got popular amongst all the Common Wealth nations. Initially, it was played with a wool ball instead of a shuttlecock and was called ball badminton. Ball badminton was preferred in windy or wet weather.

Coming to India, as mentioned earlier it was known as Poona or Poonah after the garrison town of Pune where it was particularly popular. By 1875, officers returning home had started a badminton club in Folkestone. Initially, the sport was played with sides ranging from 1 to 4 players, but it was quickly established that games between two or four competitors worked the best. The shuttlecocks were coated with India rubber and, in outdoor play, sometimes weighted with lead. Although the depth of the net was of no consequence, it was preferred that it should reach the ground.

Later with time, the game evolved and now is settled with 21 points in 3 sets, usually played with a single player on each side or with 2 players on each side.The International Badminton Federation was formed in 1934 with England, Scotland, Wales, Canada, Denmark, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, and New Zealand as the founder nations which is now known as the Badminton World Federation. The BWF now governs and monitors international badminton.


Although initiated in England, badminton has traditionally been dominated in Europe by Denmark. Talking about the sport Worldwide, Asian nations have become dominant in international competition. And have majorly contributed to the sport in terms of both participation and number of players.

China, Denmark, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and South Korea are the nations which have consistently produced world-class players in the past few decades, with China being the greatest force in men's and women's competition recently.


Though badminton is a minority sport in the US, it is widely played in Britain, Denmark, Sweden, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Korea and several other countries. Britain alone has 4 million players, about 8% of the population. In the eastern countries, it is the most popular spectator sport.

And today, badminton stands among top 10 in the most popular sports of the world and bags second position as the most popular sport in the world.

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