Racket game similar to lawn tennis but played on a smaller court and with a shuttlecock (a half sphere of cork or plastic with a feather or nylon skirt) instead of a ball. The object of the game is to prevent the opponent from being able to return the shuttlecock.
Badminton is played by two or four players. The court measures 6.1 m/20 ft by 13.4 m/44 ft. A net, 0.8 m/2.5 ft deep, is stretched across the middle of the court and at a height of 1.52 m/5 ft above the ground to the top of the net. The shuttlecock must be volleyed. Only the server can win points.
The sport is named after Badminton House, the seat of the Duke of Beaufort, where the game was played in the 19th century. The sport's governing body is the International Badminton Federation, founded in 1934. The major tournaments are held on indoor courts; they include the Thomas Cup, an international team championship for men, first held in 1949; the Uber Cup, a women's international team competition, first held in 1957; and the Sudirman Cup, a mixed international team event, first held in 1989. World championships have existed since 1977 in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles, and are held every year, except in years when there is a Summer Olympics. Badminton became an official Olympic sport in 1992.
The invention of a cheap and durable synthetic shuttlecock in 1952 gave the game a wider appeal, though synthetic shuttlecocks are not accepted in top-level badminton games.
In Britain there are an estimated 4 million badminton players. World championships have existed since 1977 in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles and are now held every two years.
Badminton Association of England
Badminton Information Site
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[19 century] The game of ‘battledore and shuttlecock’ has been around for some time (it appears to go back to the 16th century; the word ...
An indoor court game for two or four players, played with rackets and a shuttlecock of nylon or cork and feathers. It originated in about...