10 badminton facts
Learn 10 things you didn't know about badminton, from the present day to the Olympics.
1. It’s an easy but effective way to stay active
According to our calorie calculator, a 50-year-old weighing 70kg can burn 385 calories during an hour of social badminton. And aside from calorie burning, keeping active gives you more energy, relieves stress and boosts your mood.
2. It can be fast and furious
Badminton is the fastest racket sport, with shuttles clocking up speeds in excess of 200mph. The fastest badminton hit in competition was 332kph (206mph) by Fu Haifeng of China during the 2005 Sudirman Cup.
3. Or slow and steady
With shuttlecocks drifting easily across the court, it’s easy to keep a gentle rally going. Badminton England’s ‘No Strings Badminton’ places you in games with people of your own standard, so the game remains fun and relaxed.
4. It has a long history…
The origins of badminton probably lie in shuttlecock games played more than 2,000 years ago in Greece, China and India, but the British game was born in Gloucestershire in 1873, at Badminton, the country estate of the Duke of Beaufort. The first official badminton club was established in 1877 in Bath.
5. …but only recently became an Olympic sport
Badminton only became an Olympic sport in 1992, at the Barcelona games.
6. There are interesting ways of sourcing equipment
The best shuttlecocks are supposedly made from the left wing of a goose, and some players still use rackets with strings made from the dried stomach lining of cows or cats. We’re not here to judge…
7. It’s social
If you join one of the UK’s more than 2,000 clubs, badminton can be a great social activity. And if you fancy a low-key game, you don’t have to get all your family and friends involved. All you need is one willing partner, so you can play as often as you like.
8. It keeps hearts happy
Its flexible pace makes badminton a great activity for those with heart conditions. Regular play is also great for keeping hearts healthy, conditioning and strengthening the heart muscle, reducing hypertension and limiting the risk of blood vessels clogging.
9. It’s undergone a name change
The game was originally called ‘battledore and shuttlecock’. With Game of Thrones characters being just about the only people now able to pull off that sort of language, we can see why it changed to ‘badminton’.
10. And with so much to recommend it, it’s no surprise that it’s popular
The BBC Sport Academy has hailed badminton the second most popular participation sport in the world, with football coming top.