Essay, Research Paper: Badminton


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Badminton is a court or lawn game played with lightweight rackets and a
shuttlecock, a small, cork hemisphere with 14 to 16 feathers attached and
weighing about 80 grains (0.17-ounce [5 g]). A nylon shuttlecock with the apron
furnished by feathers is also used. The game is named for Badminton, the country
estate of the dukes of Beaufort in Gloucestershire, England, where it was first
played in about 1873. It may have started much earlier in India. In the 1860s
British army officers stationed there reportedly played the game out of doors
and called it poona. Ultimately, badminton derives from an old children's game,
battledore and shuttlecock. The first unofficial All-England badminton
championships for men were held in 1899, and the first badminton tournament for
women was arranged the next year. The International Badminton Federation (IBF),
world governing body of the sport, was formed in 1934. Its headquarters are in
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, Eng. Badminton is also popular in Malaysia,
Indonesia, Japan, and Denmark. A number of regional, national, and zonal
badminton tournaments are held in several countries. The best known of these
matches is the All-England Championships. Other well-known international
tournaments include the Thomas Cup (donated 1939) for men's team competition and
the Uber Cup (donated 1956) for women's team competition. Badminton first
appeared in the Olympic Games as a demonstration sport in 1972 and as an
exhibition sport in 1988. At the 1992 Games it became a full-medal Olympic
sport, with competition for men's and women's singles (one against one) and
doubles (two against two). Mixed doubles was introduced at the 1996 Games.
Badminton is usually played indoors because even light winds affect the course
of the shuttlecock. The rectangular court is 44 feet (13.4 meters) long and 17
feet wide for singles, 20 feet wide for doubles. A net 5 feet high stretches
across the width of the court at its center. A clear space of 4 feet around the
court is needed. Play consists entirely of volleying--hitting the shuttlecock
back and forth across the net without letting it touch the floor or ground
within the boundaries of the court.
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