Fun Facts

Asheville Badminton Club (ABC)

  • Founded in 1982 by Charles Sproles and the late Dick Gilbert.
  • Originally played at the W.C. Reid Center, but later moved to the Montford Recreation Center in the late 1980s, where it has played ever since.
  • Oldest player at 83 years young is Ed B. Age is just a number, right Ed?

Badminton

  • Is the second most popular sport in the world; soccer is first.
  • Is more demanding than tennis. Although matches are shorter, badminton requires that players travel more distance and spend a much higher percentage of time in actual play.
  • The fastest smash ever recorded was 306 MPH by Tan Boon Hoeng of Malaysia.
  • Olympic debut was in Barcelona, Spain in 1992. Chinese player, Lin Dan, has won two (2) gold medals and is widely regarded as the best singles player in the history of the game.

History of the Game

  • In the 2nd century BC, a game called tī jianzi (play shuttlecock) was played in China, which used shuttlecocks very similar to the ones used in badminton today. The game did not have any rackets, but the idea was to keep the shuttlecock in the air without the use of hands.
  • By the 1st century, eventually the use of paddles (called battledores) was incorporated. It is hard to say where or when the use of battledores developed, but they were widely used throughout China, India, Japan, and Greece by that time.
  • In the 16th century, the game was well known in England as either jeu de volant (flying game) or battledore and shuttlecock.
  • During the 1860s, the game was played by British military officers in British India. They added a net and the game became a competitive sport called “Poona” after the garrison town of Pune. This version of the game was taken back to England by the returning officers, where it quickly grew in popularity.
  • In 1873, the Duke of Beaufort introduced the game to the royal society at his country estate, Badminton House in Gloucestershire, England, and it started to be called “the Badminton game” by his guests.
  • In 1878, the first badminton club in the US, the Badminton Club of New York, was formed and became a weekend meeting place for New York’s society leaders.
  • In the 1930s, Badminton’s popularity in the US boomed as educational institutions, YMCAs, and hundreds of newly formed clubs offered badminton instruction. Also spurring the sport’s popularity was the avid play by several Hollywood personalities, including James Cagney, Bette Davis, Ginger Rogers, and Joan Crawford.
  • In 1934, the International Badminton Federation (now known as the Badminton World Federation – BWF) was established with nine (9) member nations: Canada, Denmark, England, France, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Scotland, and Wales.
  • Today, the BWF has 188 member nations, and is responsible for governing international badminton and for globally developing the sport.