Badminton was first played as a sport in the late 19th century and now it is having something of a spike in new interest. It’s a historic pastime which is played regularly by millions across the world, in fact, Net News Ledger states that badminton is now the second most popular sport in terms of participation across the planet.
The rapid growth in the sport is no better demonstrated than in India, after their national chief coach, Pullela Gopichand, recently admitted that in the last 15 years in Hyderabad alone they have gone from having 10 good courts in the city to now having over 1,000.
So, let’s take a look as to why that rise is such and how it can be positive for the sport heading into the future.
A firm favourite of Olympic Sport
The Tokyo Olympics was the eighth games where badminton has featured as a competitive sport in the Olympics. It was first introduced into the Olympics as a demonstration sport, then progressed into an exhibition sport in 1998 before making its competitive ‘debut’ in the games held in Barcelona in 1992. Now it’s firmly established as a staple sport in the Olympics and with record numbers of people watching this year’s games online across Europe and in parts of the US, more fans are being exposed to the fast-paced, exciting sport.
Growth in racquet sports
There is a distinct interest in racquet sports across the world right now, whether it’s Padel in England and Europe to Pickleball in Canada and the USA. These sports have had a boom in interest in the pandemic and that isn’t slowing down, players enjoy the social interaction and competition these bring. If you also consider they’re both inexpensive sports, which share similarities to badminton, they are a potential gateway to players moving across to taking up the Olympic sport.
The sport of badminton is regularly included across betting sites now and the numbers of sites on which it features are increasing, too. The sports odds covered by Ladbrokes feature badminton odds alongside those associated with sports we might think of as more “mainstream”. Demand from gamers to place a bet on the sport was highlighted by a survey which was undertaken in the UK ahead of the Tokyo Olympics. It was found that 8% of the people polled were actively seeking to place a wager on badminton at the games.
Excitement in the game itself
At its heart is a game which is simply the fastest, most exhilarating racquet sport in the world. Whilst most games only last around 45 minutes, badminton isn’t just about speed. It has a technical and strategic aspect to its gameplay too, with a recent example being the epic 90-shot rally in the women’s doubles semi-final between Indonesia and Korea at the Tokyo Olympics which was intense to say the least. It had a real ebb and flow and onlookers were gripped. For anyone who has witnessed one of those epic rallies or the point-saving and indeed point-winning diving shots, they simply stick in the memory and serve as inspiration for budding players young and old.