The Game of wings and feathers5 min read
People will start thinking what kind of game is this? Wings and feathers! Oh! I see.It’s our very own home game of Badminton. It’s a game which every common people in the world would play and especially during the winters with lights on during the night. This would always help us relax and feel good about our health and for this even the elderly people would take up the sport.
We will see what this sport is all about and what makes it so interesting that every individual want to have a play when he or she sees it.
Badminton is a racquet sport played by either two opposing players (singles) or two opposing pairs (doubles), who take positions on opposite halves of a rectangular court that is divided by a net. Players score points by striking a shuttlecock with their racquet so that it passes over the net and lands in their opponents’ half of the court. A rally ends once the shuttlecock has struck the ground, and the shuttlecock may only be struck once by each side before it passes over the net.
Now calling it the game of wings and feathers is for the basic reason that the shuttlecock with which the game is played with is made of feathers of birds and this shuttlecock flies around the court like a bird when the game is played between two opponents.
The history and origin of badminton dates back to the ancient times, around 500 years before the birth of Christ. There was game called ‘Ti Jian Zi,’ which was played in ancient China. It involved kicking something similar to the modern day shuttlecock, but did not use rackets. By the time of the birth of the Christ, a game called Battledore and Shuttlecock was being played in China, Japan and Greece. The battledore was a simple bat aimed at hitting the shuttlecock back and forth as many times as possible. However, the origin of shuttlecock is unknown.
The game was called “Poona” in India during the 18th century, and British Army officers stationed there took a competitive Indian version back to England in the 1860s, where it was played at country houses as an upper-class amusement. Isaac Spratt, a London toy dealer, published a booklet, “Badminton Battledore – a new game” in 1860, but unfortunately, no copy has survived.
The new sport was definitively launched in 1873 at the Badminton House, Gloucestershire, owned by the Duke of Beaufort. During that time, the game was referred to as “The Game of Badminton,” and the game’s official name became Badminton.
The International Badminton Federation, IBF (now called as Badminton World Federation) was formed in the year 1934 with Canada, Denmark, England, France, the Netherlands, Ireland, New Zealand, Scotland and Wales as its founding members. India joined the federation in 1936. After its inception, the first major IBF tournament was the men’s team championship, the Thomas Cup, in 1949. The first ladies team championship was held in 1956, when the US won the Uber Cup. As more and more tournaments started being organized, badminton became a demonstration sport at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games. The first World Badminton Championships, including singles events were held in 1977. During the next decade, the sport was passionately pursued by Asians, primarily by Chinese women.
Badminton converted into a professional sport and the IBF established the World Grand Prix Circuit, with improved prize money. The sport gained much attention in the 1988 Seoul Olympics and was even given full medal status at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. This way the sport grabbed sponsor money as well as media coverage, attracting the world towards the high action fiesta. Mixed doubles was introduced at the 1996 Atlanta Games. The sport hasn’t looked back since then. Currently, Badminton acquires the acclaim of being the fastest racket sport, which is constantly growing in popularity with time.
While originated in England, international badminton has traditionally been dominated by a few Asian countries, plus Denmark from Europe. China, Indonesia, South Korea and Malaysia are among the nations that have consistently produced world-class players in the past few decades and dominated competitions on the international level, with China being the most dominant in recent years.
Recently Badminton gained a new height with the introduction on the Indian Badminton League which is considered to be the richest tournament in world badminton. The Indian Badminton League has been able to attract the best of players in the world and with the advent on such players the game has now popularity going parallel with those of Football or Cricket.
The matches will be played on home and away basis. There are a total of 6 franchise who have bought players will host a two day leg and the top four franchises will play the semi-finals and the winners will meet in the grand final which holds a 1 million $ prize money. This league will be televised in more than 100 countries across the globe.
History and development of the game makes it interesting but here are some amazing facts that will make people go gaga.
1) Badminton is the world’s fastest racket sport. A shuttlecock can leave the racket at a speed of about 300 km/h
2) China and Indonesia have won 70% of all IBF tournaments till date
3) Badminton shuttlecocks are made from the feathers of the left wing of a goose
4) 16 feathers are used to make a shuttlecock
5) The record for world’s shortest badminton match is only 6 minutes.
– This means that people will have all the time in the world to work, sleep, eat and also play badminton unlike cricket which may consume the whole day( No offence to cricket)
6) A shuttlecock weighs about 4.74 to 5.70 grams. I guess there is very less chance getting injured after being hit by the shuttlecock on the body
7) A badminton player on an average can cover more than 2 km in one match
8) In present-day 150 countries are members of the International Badminton Federation.
If these facts don’t excite people then nothing will. History of the game, pride and expectations at stake that drives players and people to play and watch this beautiful game of wings and feathers.