A form of badminton was played in ancient Greece and Egypt. But it wasn’t called badminton then. In India, the game was called poona. Elsewhere it was called either battledore or shuttlecock. British Army officers stationed in India in the 1860s took the game back to England. In 1873, it was played at a party given by the Duke of Beaufort at his Gloucestershire estate, which was called Badminton. So it came to be called “the Badminton game.”
Badminton is played in singles games, male or female, but is also played as a doubles and mixed doubles game. The game is played to 15 points, except ladies singles which is played to 11 points. It is the third-most popular participant sport in the world (after fishing and soccer). It became an Olympic sport in 1992.
An ordinary badminton shuttle (also called a shuttlecock or bird) contains 14 to 16 feathers from geese, ducks, and even chickens in some parts of the world but also could be made of plastic. The shuttle is about 6,4cm (2-and-a-half inches) tall and weighs 73-85 grains (4.74-5.50 grams). It is one of the fastest objects in sport, easily traveling at 180 km/h (112 mph). It has been clocked at an amazing 289 km/h (180 mph), making it on average second fastest only to Jai-Alai, a sport that originated in the Basque country. In 1979, Guinness World Records recorded José Ramón Areitio throwing the Jai-Alai pelota at 302,5 km/h (188 mph).
Ball speed comparisons:
Racquetball 307 km/h (191 mph) by Egan Inoue
Jai-Alai 302,5 km/h (188 mph)
Badminton 289 km/h (180 mph)
Tennis 249 km/h (155 mph) by Andy Roddick
Squash 241 km/h (149.75 mph)
Tennis 228 km/h (141.7 mph)
Table tennis 178 km/h (110 mph)