Badminton

At the London 2012 Games, Badminton will feature men’s, women’s, doubles and mixed doubles events.

The best shuttlecocks are said to be made from the feathers of a goose’s left wing.
China has won a total of 30 Olympic Badminton medals since 1992. Denmark is the most successful European country.
Tian Zian Ji (or ‘Shuttlekick’) was a version of Badminton played with the feet in 5th century China.
The world’s largest shuttlecock can be found at the Kansas City Museum. It is 48 times the size of those used at the Olympic Games.
An estimated 1.1 billion people watched the first Olympic Badminton tournament on TV.
A shuttlecock can travel at speeds of 200 miles per hour.

Key facts

Dates: Saturday 28 July – Sunday 5 August
Gold medals up for grabs: 5
Athletes: 172 (86 men, 86 women)

Badminton: a history of the sport

Badminton grew out of a game called ‘Poona’, which was popular in India in the 19th century.

Its modern rules were created by an Englishman, John Loraine Baldwin, who named the new sport after Badminton House, where he – and many other visitors – had enjoyed playing a game involving ‘battledores’, shuttlecocks and a net in the Great Hall.

Badminton quickly caught on in the UK in the late 19th century. Today it is among the world’s most popular sports, both in terms of participation and spectator numbers.

For more information on the history of the sport, visit the IOC website.

Badminton at the Games

Badminton first appeared at the Games as a demonstration event at Munich 1972. It became a full medal sport 20 years later, at the Barcelona 1992 Games. However, it was not until Atlanta 1996 that the Mixed Doubles event was added to the Olympic Badminton programme.

Badminton is still most popular in its traditional heartlands of Europe and Asia. Indonesia, Korea and China are the dominant forces in the sport.

How to play – and win

Badminton is played on a court 13.4 metres (44 feet) long and 6.1m (20ft) wide, divided in half by a net approximately 1.5m (5ft) high.

The object of the game is to hit the shuttlecock over the net and either land it in your opponent’s half of the court, or have them hit it into the net or out of the court.

A match is the best of three games, played to 21 points.

Jargon buster

  • Kill: An un-returnable shot, hit straight down into the opponent’s court.
  • Drive: A fast, low shot that crosses the net at a horizontal angle.
  • Smash: A hard overhead shot, hit straight down into the opponent’s court.
  • Lift: A shot played from beneath the height of the net, normally played high to the back of the court.
  • Slice: Normally an overhead shot which hits across the feathers of the shuttle, to bring the shuttle down at a steeper angle and to add deception.

Get involved

In the UK, there are four National Governing Bodies (NGBs) that look after badminton clubs, leagues, coaches and events across the home nations, as well as the development of the game at the grassroots. 

~ by superbowlnyc on January 30, 2011.

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