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History of Badminton

The beginning of badminton can be traced back to British India, mid-1800s. Early photographs show Englishmen adding a net to the traditional English game of battledore and shuttlecock. The sport is connected to ball badminton, a sport that is native to India which is originated in Tamil Nadu. Ball badminton is a racquet game which is played with a yellow ball made of wool, on a court of fixed dimensions (12 X 24 m) divided by a net. The game was played as early as 1856 by the royal family in Tanjore. Badminton is also similar to Hanetsuki which originated in Japan. Contrasting badminton, Hanetsuki is played without a net and played with a rectangular wooden paddle called a hagoita and a brightly colored shuttlecock. Being particularly popular in the British garrison town Poona in Maharashtra (now Pune), the game also came to be known as Poona at a point of time. This game was taken by retired officers back to England where it was developed and rules were set out. Although it appears clear that Badminton House, Gloucestershire, owned by the Duke of Beaufort, has given its name to the sport, it is till date unclear when and why the name Badminton was taken up. As early as 1860, Isaac Spratt- a London toy dealer published a booklet, Badminton Battledore – a new game, but unfortunately no copy has survived. His early use has cast doubt on the origin through expatriates in India, however it is known that it was popular there in the 1870s and that the first rules were drawn up in Poona in 1873. Another source cites that it was in 1877 at Karachi in (British) India, where the first attempt was made to form a set of rules. In 1875, veterans returning from India started a club in Folkestone. Until 1887, the sport was played in England under the rules that prevailed in British India. The Bath Badminton Club regularised the rules and made the game applicable to English ideas. J.H.E. Hart drew up revised basic regulations in 1887 and, with Bagnel Wild, all over again in 1890. In 1893, the Badminton Association of England published the first set of rules according to these laws which are similar to today's laws and rules & regulations, and officially launched badminton in a house called "Dunbar" at 6 Waverley Grove, Portsmouth, England on 13 September, 1983. They also started the All England Open Badminton Championships, the first badminton competition in the world, in 1899.