History of Badminton: Where Did the Modern Sport Come From?

Badminton has become a popular sport worldwide, with millions of people playing it on a regular basis. But where did this beloved game come from? Let’s take a look at the history of badminton and how it evolved into the modern sport we know and love today.

Ancient Origins

The roots of badminton can be traced back to ancient Greece, where a game called “battledore” was popular. Battledore was similar to badminton but was played with a single paddle and a shuttlecock made of feathers. The objective was to keep the shuttlecock in the air without it touching the ground.

Ancient India

The sport of badminton likely originated in India, as a game called “poona” or “poonai” was popular in the 16th century. This game was similar to battledore in that it was played with a single paddle and shuttlecock. The game was believed to have been played by Buddhist monks and was used as a way to practice their hand-eye coordination.

The Birth of Modern Badminton

The modern version of badminton was invented in 1873 by the Duke of Beaufort, who was an English nobleman and sportsman. He created the game at his estate in Gloucestershire, England. The game was based on battledore and poona but was played with two players and two rackets. The shuttlecock was made of feathers and cork and the game was played on a court that was divided into two halves.

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The Rules of Badminton

The rules of badminton were developed by the Badminton Association in 1893. The rules were designed to create a game that was much faster than the original version. The court was reduced in size and the rackets were made lighter and smaller. The rules also limited the number of serves and shots that could be made in one rally.

Growth of Badminton

Badminton quickly grew in popularity in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The game was adopted by the British Army and played in India and other parts of Asia. By 1934, the International Badminton Federation (IBF) was formed, and the first World Badminton Championships were held in 1977.

Badminton Today

Today, badminton is a popular sport in many countries around the world. It is particularly popular in countries such as China, Indonesia, Malaysia, and India. It is also an Olympic sport, with the first Olympic badminton tournament being held in 1992.


Badminton is a beloved sport around the world today, and its history can be traced back to ancient Greece and India. The modern version of the game was invented in 1873 by the Duke of Beaufort and the rules were developed by the Badminton Association in 1893. Since then, the sport has grown in popularity and is now an Olympic sport.