Badminton Rules

Badminton, the fastest racket sport, finds its roots in India, dating back to the late 1800s. Since then, badminton has found its place all over the world. Badminton rules have also undergone several changes since then.

The first set of rules was formulated in British India, in the city of Pune, in 1873. The Duke of Beaufort in the same year, introduced it in his estate, Badminton, which replaced the sport’s previous name Poonah (derived from Pune). British officers who returned to England in 1875 started a badminton club in the town of Folkestone. 

The game was initially played with as many as 4 players in a team, but the players quickly realized that a maximum of 2 players in a team worked best. 

The rules that players followed were the ones that had been formulated in Pune. However, in 1987, Bath Badminton Club started revising these rules. The Badminton Association of England (BAE) published the rules in 1893  and launched the first official game in the same year. 

The competitions up till then were men’s doubles, women’s doubles, and mixed doubles. Singles matches were added in 1900 and didn’t make its official appearance until 1904.

Until 1901, the court was shaped like an hourglass. This is believed to have happened because the game was popularly played in Victorian era saloons, where doors on either side open inwards. Once the rectangular shape came in, the measurements were standardized. 

Today, badminton is one of the most popular and accessible (racket) sports in the world. The Badminton World Federation (BWF) governs the rules of the sport. They are also in charge of approving the flooring surfaces that can be used for the court.

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Pratheek Suryadev