How It Works:

The modern roots of badminton can be traced to 19th century India where a game called Poona was played, which involved players hitting a shuttlecock across a net. British officers brought this particular game back to England and it was introduced to guests of the Duke of Beaufort at his stately home in Gloucestershire, known as Badminton House, around 1873.

The first set of written rules was devised by the newly formed Bath Badminton Club in 1877. The Badminton Federation of England, founded in 1893, would be the guardian of the laws of the game until the International Badminton Federation was founded in 1934. The first major global tournament was the Thomas Cup, the men’s team world championship in 1948-49. A women’s team world championship, the Uber Cup, followed in 1956-57. World championships for individual events were first contested in 1977.

Hermitage, Robbyn | Cloutier, Milaine

Badminton first appeared on the Olympic program as a demonstration sport at Munich 1972.  It was also an exhibition sport during the 1988 Games in Seoul. Badminton was officially included as a full medal sport for the first time at Barcelona 1992, with singles and doubles events for men and women. The mixed doubles event was added to the program at Atlanta 1996. Badminton was first included at the Pan American Games in 1995.

Each badminton match is a best-of-three games, with each game played to 21 points. Badminton uses “rally point scoring”, meaning that if the serving side wins a rally, that side scores a point and serves again. If the receiving side wins a rally, that side scores a point and becomes the new serving side. If the score reaches 20-all, the side that gains a two point lead first wins that game. If the score reaches 29-all, the winner of the next point wins that game.