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Badminton is an indoor version of lawn tennis, in that it is played over a net, either 'singles' or 'doubles', with a similar, but lighter and narrower, racket, and a shuttlecock replacing the ball.
The shuttlecock consists of goose feathers about 6.35 cm long fixed into a half-sphere of cork about 2.54 cm in diameter, the rounded end being leather covered.
The doubles court is 13.4 m long and 6.09 m wide, with a net across the middle hanging exactly 1.5 m above the floor at the centre. Singles is played on a. restricted area of the doubles court, the width of the court being reduced to 5.18 m.
The shuttlecock is served diagonally, and remains in play as long as it is kept within the court and off the ground. All shots are volleys. Scoring goes up in single points, and only the serving side can score. A server winning a rally advances his score by one point; if he loses a rally the score remains the same but the service changes. A game consists of 15 points, and 3 games make a set.
Badminton is thought to have originated in India as 'Poona'. It was brought to England in 1873 when it took its present name through association with Badminton Hall, the seat of the Duke of Beaufort, in Avon.
The English Badminton Association was formed in 1893. After World War I its popularity began to spread. The International Badminton Federation was formed in 1934; and the International Championships (Thomas Cup) were started in 1948. Malaysia and Indonesia have both been International Champions four times.