The history of badminton part one
Badminton is a fascinating game for the players and spectators. It has wide appeal as an organized and as an informal form of sport. The ranking players engaged in organized competition possess speed, dexterity and endurance. On the other hand, a court can be set up easily in the back yard and members of the family, young and adult, can enjoyably engage in the pursuit of the erratic shuttlecock-at small expense. To the spectator the high-speed action of this volleying only game is intriguing.
The devotees of court games who have played all or most incline to the belief that badminton is the fastest. The game originated in India many centuries ago and was transported to England, whence it spread throughout the world, having its greatest popularity in the English-speaking countries.
In India, it was known as "Poona." It was adopted by English army officers in the 1860's and some equipment was conveyed to England in 1871 or 1872. The army men introduced the game to friends, but the new sport was definitely launched there at a party given in 1873 by the Duke of Beaufort at his country place, "Badminton," in Gloucestershire. At the time, the game had no name, but it was referred to as "the game at Badminton," and, therefore, badminton became its official name.
Until 1887 the sport was played in England under the rules that prevailed in India. They were, from the English viewpoint, somewhat contradictory and confusing. Since a small army of badminton players had been recruited, a group formed itself into the Bath Badminton Club, standardized the rules, made the game applicable to English ideas and the basic regulations, drawn up in 1887, still guide the sport. In 1895, the Badminton Association (of England) was formed to take over the authority of the Bath Club, and the new group made rules which now govern the game throughout the world.
Badminton quickly spread from England to the United States, Canada and Australasia (Australia and New Zealand), and made big strides in Europe. Although it first was played by men, women became enthusiastic about it, and interest now is about equally divided.
The first All-England championships for men were held in 1899 and in 1900 the pioneer tournament for women was arranged. These, however, were regarded as "unofficial" and 1904 marked the beginning of the official All-England matches. The growth of badminton's popularity in the British Isles is evidenced by the fact that in 1910 there were 300 badminton clubs in England, about 500 in 1930, and over 9,000 in the British Isles soon after World War II. In recent years badminton has made even more gigantic strides in popularity, gaining many recruits from tennis players, who seem to regard badminton as something of a post-graduate course.
The first organized badminton club established in the United States is the Badminton Club of the City of New York, which was established in 1878 and has been in existence continuously since that date. This club holds the distinction of being the oldest existing badminton club in the world.