15 Weird But True Badminton Facts

Published May 10, 2021

We tend to get a little serious here at BadmintonJustin.  It’s important to us to keep you motivated to be your best self on the court.  Striving as a professional athlete sometimes makes a person a bit intense. 

But every once in a while, we like to take a step back and enjoy some of the weird – and crazy – about our favorite pastime.  Weird but true facts about badminton:

This is a photo of a white goose.  Badminton shuttlecocks are made with the feathers of a goose's left wing.

Image Credit: Pixabay on Pexels

1. Shuttlecock feathers come from the left wing of a goose.

What’s wrong with the right wing?  This feels like wingism.  ‘Wing discrimination’ if you will.  But the truth is, the preference for the left wing of the goose has more to do with aerodynamics than anything else.  It’s believed that in order to get a steady clockwise rotation, proper feathers must be used. The curvature of the feathers in a left wing is ideal for a clockwise rotation.  

2. Playing Badminton With Cat Guts – Wait, what?

While most badminton rackets are ‘gutted’ (restrung) with synthetic strings today, badminton rackets in times past were strung with the dried guts of animals like cats and cows.  Some players still prefer to use natural gut strings.  Fun fact:  It takes the intestines of two cows to make enough string for one badminton racket.  How many cats does that equal?

A speeding clock has blurred minutes as it races through time.

Djim Loic on Unsplash

3. The Longest Badminton Match Ever

Mario Langmann and Thomas Paulweber, both of Austria, secured the title of the ‘longest’ badminton match ever played in the singles category.  Their match stretched an exhaustive 25 hours, 25 minutes and 44 seconds and is officially recognized by the Guinness World Record Association as the longest badminton match ever played.  Their match was set up in an effort to add a twist to the celebration of their badminton club’s 20th anniversary.  This obviously wasn’t the type of match recognized by BWF, but it’s still a pretty impressive feat!

4. The Shortest Badminton Match Ever

The shortest badminton match on record was over happened in May of 1996 at the Uber cup when Ra Kyung-min of South Korea beat Julia Mann of United Kingdom in a competitive badminton match. Points rounded out at 11-2, and 11-1 to seal the deal on that mini-match! 

18 foot 5500 pound badminton shuttlecocks dot the lawn of a museum in Kanas City, Missouri.

Image by David Mark from Pixabay

5. World’s Largest Shuttlecock

From the left wing of a giant goose – just kidding.  The world’s largest shuttlecock is actually a work of art on the lawn of the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri. Four separate 18-foot birdies dot the lawn outside the museum. The Jolly-Green-Giant sized shuttles were designed by European husband and wife artists Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen.  Each shuttlecock weighs 5500 pounds.

6. Racketless Badminton: Feet Required!

Jianzi is a traditionally Chinese game that is thought to precede badminton.  While it’s primary piece of equipment resembles a badminton shuttlecock, there are no rackets in this game, and  but requires the use of ones feet to keep the shuttle from reaching the floor.  While Jianzi can be a multiplayer game, with a circle kick or a duel kick, many enthusiasts choose to keep the feathered jianzi in the air by themselves.  Playing on your own is great practice!  It resembles the American “Hacky Sack” games, but with a feathered shuttle.  Check out a man still rocking out his Jianzi skills at 70 years old!

A badminton court has at least eight people on it.

Image by Vlad Vasnetsov from Pixabay

7. A Crowded Rally – Not for the Claustrophobic!

Talk about stepping on toes – The recognized world record for the most participants in a badminton rally was achieved by the Meath Badminton Club in Ireland.  A shocking 123 participants set this record in a fundraising effort for a charitable cause known a “Friends of Frank”.  The record was set in November of 2014 and still holds true today, despite attempts made to break this incredible badminton record.

8. What’s in a Name?  How Badminton Got Its Moniker.

“Who were you named after?” is a common enough question.  “I was named after a house.” is an unusual answer, but if badminton could talk, that’s what it would say.  The game of badminton was introduced in Gloucestershire, England by the Duke of Beauford.  In 1873, he returned home from military efforts in India and brought back with him a game then referred to as “Poona”. Poona was a version of battledore and shuttlecock, and was re-dubbed “badminton” after being introduced to guests and visitors at House Badminton, home of the Duke.  

An old caste-style wall with ivy growing on it.

Image by Albrecht Fietz from Pixabay

9. Two-thousand years of Shuttling?

The game of badminton has a far reaching history that historians propose dates back to ancient greek or even egyptian times.  We know that the game is certainly 2000+ years old based on books and artwork depicting the game in various forms.  Take a peek at the following painting by William Beechy dated sometime around 1790, showing a young Kenneth Dixon playing badminton with a shuttlecock and racket.

10. Beavers Can Play Badminton

National Geographic Kids bring us one of the weird (but true) badminton facts floating around the internet.   Beavers can, in fact, play badminton. Ok, so maybe they’re animated – but it counts! NatGeo Kids came up with a simple, online action game for kids allowing them to use a beaver tail to whack a shuttlecock across the net to their opponent.  We dare you to play a round or two of this tail shuttling beaver business.  You’ll be hooked before you know it – no racket required!

A paintbrush spreads blue paint across a bare white medium.

Photo by Lorena Martínez from Pexels

11. The Elite Badminton Art Industry

There is an entire sector of the art industry devoted to badminton fans, enthusiasts, and players.  Weird but true – and also beautiful!  Art pieces ranging from paintings and sculptures to enamel jewelry dot the market – all displaying various equipment and scenes of badminton fun.  Check out some of our favorite pieces below:

  • Andrew Macara’s Badminton Coonoor India painting is sold as framed prints from multiple outlets.  Macara is an English born artist who depicts paintings of landscapes and joyful life moments across the globe.
  • We’ve already told you about the unique sculptures of 18 foot shuttlecocks on the lawn of the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City – but did you know you can have those right on your livingroom wall?  Weird but true!  Prints of photographs of the shuttlecock lawn ornaments are available on Amazon.
  • From Resin-made badminton players to Nuts and Bolts badminton rallies, the sculpting world is ripe with shuttlers!
  • Enamel badminton pins for the win with a play on the word birdie are beautifully handcrafted.

12. The Bad Boys of Badminton

Possibly taking the cake on weird but true badminton facts:  New Zealand’s National badminton team earned quite a reputation for themselves after a marketing stunt they attempted in 2004 by trying to officially nickname their team “The Black Cocks”.  While the stunt earned them some sponsorship offers from condom companies, the name was eventually discarded after the IBF, now the BWF, expressed their displeasure at the tongue-in-cheek nickname.

The words scam alert are written chalk style in white on a black background.

Photo by Anna Tarazevich from Pexels

13. The Back Alley Counterfeit Racket Racket

Like diamonds and Luis Vuitton bags, there is also a counterfeit Yonex industry.  Yonex badminton equipment has long been at the top of the game – the creme de la creme if you will – which makes it an easy target for vandals.  A careful buyer can spot a fake if they educate themselves!  Here’s a great guide to spotting a counterfeit Yonex racket created by Badminton Bay.

14. Olympic Patience – Shuttlers Waited for Their Recognition

Though badminton is officially a full medal Olympic event, it took years for the sport to make it’s official debut. It did make an appearance as a “demonstration” sport in 1972, but Badminton was not an official Olympic staple until 1992.  Players from 69 different nations have participated in the Olympic badminton competition, and 19 of those nations have competed every time.  

A stop watch shows 60 seconds.

Image by Sadia from Pixabay

15. The Most Incredible Rally of All Time – Minute to Win It

Ok that title is debatable.  International competitions have turned out some nail biting rallies full of suspense and excitement – but the record for the “most hits” in a one minute rally is recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records.  This world record is one of the great things to come out of 2020, and was set in August by pro badminton players Greg Mairs and Jenny Moore, both of the UK.  They smashed the previous record by 38 hits.  So just how many consecutive hits did they accomplish?  The answer is 161.  Check out this weird but true badminton fact here! 

Know Another Weird but True Fact about Badminton?

Do you know any weird but true badminton facts that weren’t mentioned in our list?  Comment below and let us know what we missed!  When it comes to learning new and interesting things about badminton, we’re always ready to listen here at BadmintonJustin.  If you’re ready to learn a thing or two about the sport, head on over to our Youtube channel for some tips and tutorials about how to up your game on the court!

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