The game of Badminton can be traced back about 2000 years to ancient China and Egypt. The modern version is a descendent of the ancient game of Battledore and Shuttlecock which was a leisurely pastime in which players counted the number of hits and tried to keep the shuttlecock in the air as much as possible.
In the 19th century, a similar game was played in India by British Military officers called "Poona" as the first rules were framed there. Some of these officers, while on leave in England, introduced this game to the Duke of Beaufort in 1873, at his country house, 'Badminton' in Gloucestershire. The Duke popularised the game all over England and the game became known as 'Badminton' all over the world. Formal rules were drawn up when the Badminton Association of England was formed in 1893 and an international body named International Badminton Federation was formed in 1934. The IBF has 131 member countries as on date.
From what was disparagingly called a "pregnant ladies' pastime, Badminton has become the fastest racquet sport and one of the toughest of all individual games in the world. The shuttle travels at speeds close to 200 mph. It became an Olympic discipline at Barcelona 1992 and was incidentally the most watched of all Olympic disciplines thanks to huge viewer-ship in China and India. At a study conducted by sports scientists at the olympic training centre in Colorado Springs in USA, it was found that a top Badminton player required the aerobic capability of an elite 10000m runner and the explosiveness of an elite volleyballer. This means combining two very diverse qualities and it was also observed that the game required training close to 90% of maximum capacity for prolonged periods of time.
Badminton is one game which requires a lot of twisting and turning, running front and back and jumping in a very confined space. This is a very tiring activity indeed. Since the number of overhead strokes and underhand strokes are balanced and intermittent, the heart has to pump blood up and down much more than in the case of other racquet games where the strokes are mostly at the hip level e.g. tennis, squash, table tennis.
However, this game, despite its obvious merits, still remains one which people like to play, yet prefer not to watch, especially on TV. This is partly because of the poor quality of telecast even now. One of the reasons for this is the extreme speed with which the game is played, which in turn makes it very difficult for the TV cameras to follow the shuttle. The change in trajectory of the shuttle, from inches close to the ground to as high as 30 feet in the air in a matter of milliseconds makes the cameraman's job doubly difficult. Absence of time gap between rallies makes replay of interesting points nearly impossible, as replays cut into the live coverage of the ensuing point.
Lack of saleable personalities also affects viewer-ship as the game is dominated by Chinese and Indonesians who barely speak English. This domination by Asians have also prevented the United States of America from entering Badminton in a big way as they do not see it as a potential medal sport. As you know, US entry into any game has a sort of cascade effect on it -bringing in more prize money, sponsorships, players and overall popularity. As such, despite the best efforts of the IBF, a top Badminton player's earning in prize money or sponsorship is still a pittance compared to the earnings of a top tennis player or golfer.
The IBF is seized of the situation and is doing whatever it can to make the game interesting and TV friendly. In an effort to do this, they are progressively bringing in a lot of changes to the game's format: They have permitted coloured clothing for the players with the players' names emblazoned behind. Permitted 90 seconds break between the first and second games to enable coaches to speak to players and also to enable commercial break time of fixed duration. Simplifying the rules by allowing setting only when the scores are tied at 14 all instead of at 13 all and at 14 all.
Affiliated District Associations:
Ashoknagar, Alirajpur, Balaghat, Betul, Bhopal, Chhindwara, Datia, Dewas, Dhar, Gwalior, Hoshangabad, Indore, Jabalpur, Katni, Khandwa, Khargone, Mandla, Mandsaur, Neemach, Raisen, Rajgarh, Ratlam, Rewa, Sagar, Satna, Sehore, Seoni, Shajapur, Shivpuri