Hospital workers in Beijing play a causal game of badminton during their lunch hour. Photo by Berkshire Publishing staff.
Badminton, like many other racket sports, has a long history. In the fifth century BCE, Chinese started to play a ball game called ti jian, 踢毽 which can be translated as “shuttle kick.” As the name suggests, the object of the game was for players to keep a shuttle from hitting the ground without using their hands. Regardless of whether ti jian had anything to do with badminton, it was the first sport to use a shuttle.