Beyond Football: History of Badminton, and Badminton in University of Ibadan


Efe Ikhenaode

Badminton originated from ancient civilizations in Asia. It is believed to have been played as a recreational activity in ancient China, Greece, and India. The exact origin of badminton is a bit unclear, as there are different theories regarding its beginning. Regardless, badminton has evolved into a globally recognized sport with its own set of rules and international competitions.

Badminton is a sport played using racquets to hit a shuttlecock across a net. To play badminton, you need a racket, Shuttlecock and a badminton court or a makeshift.

Basic steps of playing badminton are serving, rally, scoring, doubles play and special shots. The game of Badminton starts with a serve in which each player stands behind the baseline to hit the shuttlecock diagonally across the net to the opponent’s side. The serve is performed underhand with the racket head below the waist level.

After the serve, players go back and forth, hitting the shuttlecock over the net. The primary goal is to hit it in a way that makes it difficult for the opponent to return it. The shuttlecock must always go over the net and land within the boundaries of the court for it to be considered in play. Points are awarded when one player fails to return the shuttlecock within the boundaries, hits it into the net, or hits it out of bounds. In standard badminton, you earn a point whenever you win a rally.

Moreso, the first player or team to reach 21 points with a minimum lead of two points wins that particular game. Matches are usually the best of three games. Also Badminton can be played in singles (one player on each side) or doubles (two players on each side). In doubles play, teams take turns serving, and players must alternate hitting the shuttlecock.

As one becomes more proficient in the game, one can incorporate various shots into the gameplay, such as smashes (hard-hitting shots), drop shots (soft shots that barely touch the net), clears (shots that go deep into the opponent’s court), and more. These shots add variety and strategy to play.

The sport has a rich history and continues to be enjoyed by millions of people around the world. Badminton holds the record as the fastest racket sport in the world, with shuttlecocks reaching speeds of over 322 kilometers per hour. Playing badminton offers various health benefits like improved cardiovascular fitness, muscle tone, agility, and coordination. It is also a great way to reduce stress and enhance mental well-being.
Badminton requires agility, quick reflexes, and good hand-eye coordination. Practicing Badminton regularly gradually improves one’s skills.

Badminton is also a recognised sport in the University of Ibadan. It began more than ten years ago and the University even has a school team that comprises students who play Badminton.

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