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Where did the name ‘badminton’ come from?

Where did the name ‘badminton’ come from?

Where did the name ‘badminton’ come from?

The name badminton initially was called poona, which stemmed from the city of Pune in India. Dating back to the 18th century, poona is the descendant of a children’s game called battledore and shuttlecock, where the roots of the game have been reported to go back to ancient China and other Asian countries.


The game involved 2 people who used small rackets called battledores which were made of parchment or plastic, or rows of nylon that were stretched across wooden frames. The shuttlecocks were made of cork as the base material and had trimmed feathers around the top. For at least 2,000 years, many countries around the world have had similar drawings to represent the game battledore and shuttlecock allowing further development to the game throughout history. Between 1860-1870, British army officers who were stationed in India, played poona and brought it back to Europe.

Then in 1870, the duke of Beaufort introduced the sport in a large country house called ‘Badminton House’ in Gloucestershire, England, which had been ruined in the English Civil War.

[Badminton House in England]

In the year 1890, military personnel introduced badminton to Vancouver. In 1887, the Bath Badminton Club developed the first written rules of badminton and the New York Badminton Club became the world’s first badminton organization the following year. 14 affiliated clubs in 1983 formed the Badminton Association and together they standardised measurements for the court and set rules for badminton.

Badminton in Canada was founded in 1921 and became 1 of 9 founding members of the International Badminton Federation (IBF) which consisted of the following countries: Canada, Denmark, England, France, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Scotland, and Wales in 1934. In 2006, IBF decided to change their name to Badminton World Federation (BWF).


Tournaments with Historical Significance:

Thomas Cup

In 1948, the first major International Badminton Federation tournament was held. The cup was donated in 1939 by Sir George Thomas for a series of men’s international team competitions to be managed by the IBF, of which Thomas was then president. The Thomas Cup tournament is now played by 16 national men’s and women’s badminton teams and is held every 2 years.  

[Thomas Cup on the left; Uber Cup on the right]

Uber Cup

Sometimes called the World Team Championships for Women, the Uber Cup was a major international badminton competition that was played by women’s national badminton teams. It is named after a former British women’s badminton player, Betty Uber, who had the idea of hosting a women’s event similar to men in 1950. First held in 1956-1957 at three year intervals, the Uber Cup was contested and is changed to be held every 2 years. Now, merged with the Thomas Cup, the 20 inch high trophy has a female player standing on top of a shuttlecock on a rotating globe.


Sudirman Cup

The honour that the Sudirman Cup originated from started by one of the founders, Dick Surdirman, who was the president for 22 years of the Badminton Association of Indonesia or also known as PBSI. In 1978, a group from the IBF called the Badminton World Federation was formed and 2 circuits ran in parallel. Before Surdirman’s passing, he proposed friendly matches between players of the 2 federations which was later granted to complete Sudirman’s wish. Thus, a competition in his name was brought up for discussion at the IBF Council meeting in 1986 and was convinced of the possibility of holding a World Mixed Team Championships. The Sudirman Cup, plated with solid 22-carat gold and silver, brings together elements of badminton and cultural heritage of Indonesia.


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Blog Post by: Nik Cruz | IG: nikolo_yumo

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