The origins of badminton can be traced to a game called "ti jian zi" which has been played in China since the 5th century B.C. It has similar rules to badminton and was played under the title of "Poona" in India during the mid-19th century. Poona can be considered as a forerunner of badminton in many ways and it was introduced to Britain by British army officers in 1860. The sport was named after Badminton House which was the name of the mansion where the daughters of the Duke of Beaufort played it for the first time in Britain. It was John Loraine Baldwin (1809 - 1896) who first standardized the rules for badminton in 1868.
Badminton is a game similar in some ways to tennis. It is played with a racquet and a shuttlecock, traditionally made from goose feathers. It requires not only technique but also tactics and coordination. Players score points by striking a shuttlecock with their racquet over the net, landing it in their opponent's half of the court. The receiving player tries to return the ‘ball’ to his or her opponent's half. Badminton is usually played indoors so that the shuttlecock is not affected by the weather. The full length of the court is 13.4 meters. The full width of the court is 6.1 meters in doubles and 5.18 meters in singles. In singles, the service line is longer than in doubles and it is extended to the back boundary line. The court is divided into two equal halves by a net. The net is made of fine cord of dark color and even thickness with a mesh of not less than 15 mm and not more than 20 mm. A toss is conducted before the game and the winner chooses whether or not to serve first and which end of the court he/she wants to start in.