Badminton, the Most Underrated Sport


With a swift hit by a racket, the shuttle (aka birdie) is propelled to the other side of the court; the opponent hits the shuttle back across the court into what forms a series of heated exchanges of the object. The goal? To see which player can successfully defend their side of the court by keeping the shuttle in the air and landing it on the opponent’s side of the court. The sport? Badminton.

Badminton was formed from a long history of sports that used the shuttlecock, such as  Battledore. The game was further developed during the British rule over India and gained popularity in the city of Pune. As British soldiers returned to the U.K. after India later gained independence, many of them formed local leagues/clubs within their hometowns, serving as a catalyst for the popularity of Badminton we see today.

Currently, the most officially-recognized international Badminton events are organized through the “Badminton World Federation” (which governs badminton at the Olympics as well).  Some of the most popular badminton tournaments include the BWF World Championships, BWF Thomas Cup, and World Grand Prix Finals. The top-ranked players, according to the Federation (as of March 4th, 2022), are Viktor Axelson (Men’s Singles) and Tai Tzu Ying (Female’s Singles).

Badminton is also a sport at the Summer Olympics, where China, Indonesia, and South Korea dominate the medal count with 47, 21, and 20 medals, respectively. The international community first saw it in the 1972 Summer Olympics as a demonstration event, played for the promotion of Badminton rather than counted for official medals. It was once more played at the Seoul 1998 Olympics as an exhibition event and since 1992 has remained a core part of the Summer Olympics. What makes it unique for many watching the Olympics is the sheer

Despite having a sizable professional presence, most people play Badminton casually. When played casually, you can use whatever equipment you may have, even without a net! Many first-generation immigrants from Asians played the sport this way; in neighboring streets with close friends, often on dirt streets or roads. This style of Badminton has become nostalgic among their generation as playing these sports had become so integrated into their childhood as video games or Tik-Tok with Generation Z.

Now those immigrants who arrived in the U.S. have formed communities and passed the sport on to the next generation. Although the USA Badminton organization is not as prominent as other large American sports federations such as hockey or baseball, it still holds a presence within many regions, one of them being Wake County.  Some establishments within the area include the “Triangle Badminton Club” and “Triangle Badminton and Table Tennis” both located in Morrisville.

But why should you try the sport out? Firstly, it is quite exhilarating to play. The structure allows for rapid hits and a game where you will be on your toes defending your side of the court from your opponent. Even though you may think you need professional equipment and a net to play, do not worry. As mentioned previously, most play without a net and simply pass the birdie across the air. The sport is truly inviting to all.

Badminton is both elegant and thrilling, providing both a sport that balances a competitive nature and ease in playing; it continues to excite players both new and experienced across the world to play daily.