50 Interesting Facts About Badminton

Last updated on April 19th, 2022

Badminton is a court game that is played with light weight rackets and a shuttlecock. It may also be played on a lawn. The game was officially played for the first time in the country estate of Badminton in Gloucestershire in England, the seat of the dukes of Beaufort.

Games similar to badminton were played across the world in countries such as India and China. In the 1860s the British army officers stationed in India began to play it with rackets. Recreationally, the game was played outdoors in the cooler hours of the summer season. Over the centuries it has risen in popularity and is now a competitive game. Here are 50 interesting facts about Badminton. Hope you like them!

1. The Fastest Racket Sport in the World

Badminton is the fastest racket sport in the world, and shuttles can fly as fast as 320 kilometers per hour. Mads Pieler Kolding of Denmark holds the record for the fastest badminton hit at a competition. His smash was recorded at a speed of 426 kilometers per hour at the 2017 Badminton Premier League match in Bangalore, India.

a white feather badminton shuttlecock. facts about badminton.
A white feather shuttlecock. Looks stunning. Image via shutterstock/DigitalStock

2. The Evolving Shuttlecock

Badminton was originally known as shuttlecock. It is played with rackets and a shuttlecock that is traditionally made with sixteen goose feathers.

3. What is in the Name

The shuttlecock used in badminton gets its name from the back and forth motion in the game. This motion is similar to the shuttle of a loom. Since the projectile, with its sixteen feathers resembles a chicken, hence the ‘cock’ in shuttlecock.

4. Lightweight

The shuttlecock used in a game of badminton weighs about five grams and is one of the lightest sports equipment.

5. Keep Your Eye on the Birdie

The shuttlecock is often referred to as the bird or birdie.

6. A Sport of Many Names

The sport has been referred to by many names including battledore and shuttlecock. It was frequently played by British officers stationed in the Indian garrison town of Poona. Here the sport was aptly called Poona.

7. Balls of Wool to Goose Feathers

Initially the game was played with balls of wool and called ball badminton. This made it possible for players to play even in windy and wet conditions. Eventually, rules of the game were set, as was the use of the shuttlecock.

Badminton court. Interesting facts about Badminton.
Badminton court – top view. Image via shutterstock

8. A Sport at Your Speed

Competitive badminton is fast and furious, and the spectators have to focus in order to follow the movements of the shuttlecock. In contrast, the game can also be played recreationally at an easy pace. ‘No Strings Badminton’ games allow the shuttlecock to naturally drift across the court.

9. The First Official Club

The first official Badminton club was established in Bath, United Kingdom, in 1877. It was called ‘The Bath Badminton Club’. It standardized the rules of the game and these were later recognized and published by the Badminton Association of England.

10. The First Official Game

Even though badminton was played informally for many years, it is believed that the first official game was organized and played at Badminton, in Gloucestershire, UK. It was at the estate of the Duke of Beaufort that the game was officially recognized.

11. Singles and Doubles

Badminton can be played singles and doubles. The singles game is played on the rectangular court that is 44 feet long and 17 feet wide. The width of the court for the doubles game is set at 20 feet.

12. Mixed Match

Unlike tennis in which a doubles game with male and female players is known as a mixed doubles, the badminton counterpart is called a mixed match.

Badminton at the Olympics
Image via shutterstock/kovop58. Interesting facts about badminton.

13. Badminton at Olympics

Badminton was accepted as a full medal Olympic sport in 1992 for men’s and women’s singles as well as doubles matches. Before that it had been introduced as a demonstration sport in 1972 and an exhibition sport in 1988. In 1996, the mixed match was allowed.

14. All Eyes on Badminton

The first Olympic badminton match broadcasted on television was watched by 1.1 billion viewers.

15. The Shortest Badminton Match

The shortest badminton match lasted only six minutes. It was played in 1966 at the Uber Cup in Hong Kong between South Korean Ra Kyung-min and British player Julia Mann.

16. The Badminton Guinness Record

Austrian players, Mario Langmann and Thomas Paulweber, hold the Guinness Record for playing the longest marathon badminton match for 25 hours 25 minutes and 44 seconds.

17. The World’s Longest International Badminton Match

The world’s longest international badminton match was played at the Badminton Asian Championships. The women’s doubles semi final was played for two hours and forty one minutes between Japan’s Kurumi Yanao and Naoko Fukuman and Indonesian players Greysia Polii and Nitya Krishinda Maheshwari.

18. A Rally to Beat All Rallies

The longest badminton rally stretched over four and a half minutes, and ended after 256 shots.

19. Badminton with the Feet

It is believed that badminton is based on similar games played in India and China. The Chinese game Ti Zian Ji is badminton played with the feet instead of rackets.

The world's largest shuttlecock. Badminton fact file.
The world’s largest shuttlecock. Interesting facts about Badminton. Image credit – The Nelson-Atkins museum of arts.

20. The World’s Largest Shuttlecock

An eighteen foot high aluminum and fiberglass shuttlecock is installed and displayed on the lawn of the art museum in Kansas City. It weighs close to three tons and was made by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje Van Bruggen.

21. Second Most Popular Game

Badminton is second only to soccer in its popularity. It is estimated that across the world over 220 million people play the sport.

22. The Best Feathers for a Shuttlecock

It is maintained that the best feathers for a shuttlecock are sourced from the left wing of a goose. Aerodynamic experts say that a shuttle cock made with 16 feathers from the left wing spins clockwise when it is smashed.

23. The Right Wing is Wrong

Shuttlecocks made with the feathers from the right wing of a goose spins in a counter clock wise direction when it is smashed. This throws the players’ game off and the shuttlecock is likely to be thrown away. A mix of feathers from the right and left wings make the shuttlecocks movements unpredictable.

Stringing a badminton racket. 50 interesting facts about Badminton.
Stringing a badminton racket with a machine. Image via shutterstock/aSuruwataRi

24. The Gutting String

The standard length of the string used to gut a badminton racket is ten meters long.

25. Badminton Rackets

Modern badminton rackets are made of steel, aluminum, graphite and boron. They cannot be longer than 68 centimeters and wider than 23 centimeters. The racket should weigh about 85-90 grams, and never more than 100 grams.

26. U and G in Badminton

When you are shopping for a badminton racket you will notice that they are marked with the alphabets U and G. While U refers the racket weight, G describes its length. The rackets are categorized as 1U, 2U, 3U and 4U. 1U is the heaviest and 4U lightest.

27. The Lines of the Badminton Court

The width of the lines of the badminton court is 40 mm. They are painted white or yellow so that players can identify them easily.

28. The Fastest Recorded Object in Sports

The shuttlecock may be small and light, but it can move very fast. In 2013, a racket technology test recorded the movement of a shuttlecock at a speed of 493 kilometers per hour. The record was set by the Malaysian player Tan Boon Heong.

29. The World’s Oldest Badminton Tournament

The All England Open Badminton Championship is the world’s oldest badminton tournament, and was first organized in 1898. It is popularly referred to as the All England.

badminton, a boy and girl playing in a park.
Illustrative image of a girl and boy playing badminton with shuttle on court in summer park. Image via shutterstock/Iconic Bestiary

30. A National Game

Badminton is the national game of Indonesia.

31. The Climatic Conditions Matter

Conventionally, badminton competitions are conducted on indoor courts. The movement of the shuttlecock is affected by weather, temperature and altitude. When it is cold, the shuttle moves slowly, and when it is hot, it flies faster. In an air conditioned setting the shuttle is faster, and in high altitude it becomes slower.

32. Tipping the Feathers

To change the speed of a shuttle players tip the feathers. When the feathers are tipped inward the shuttle speeds up. In contrast, to slow the shuttle the feathers should be tipped outward.

33. A Journey of Miles

In an average international badminton match the shuttle is hit more than 400 times. Often as many as ten shuttlecocks are used. If one were to follow the length they travel during a single match, it would amount to several miles.

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