Photograph of woman playing badminton

Badminton is a contest of supreme skill, agility and precision.

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Badminton is a racquet sport played by either two opposing players (singles) or two opposing pairs (doubles) who score points by striking a shuttlecock so that it passes over the net and lands in their opponents' half of the court.

The shuttlecock (or shuttle) is a feathered projectile, made using the feathers from the left wing of a goose. Shuttlecocks have a much higher top speed than projectiles used in other racquet sports. Badminton is widely regarded as the fastest racquet sport in the world, with shuttles travelling at more than 300km/h. Because shuttlecock flight is affected by wind, competitive Badminton is played indoors.

Badminton is one of the fastest growing participation sports in the country. It is estimated that more than 250,000 adults and children participate in Badminton annually across Scotland.

At high levels of play the sport demands excellent fitness: players require aerobic stamina, agility, explosive strength, speed and precision. It is also a very technical and tactical sport, requiring a high level of skill, coordination and tactical awareness.

Badminton will feature on all 11 days of the Games programme. Six gold medal events will take in men’s and women’s singles and doubles, mixed doubles and a combined mixed team event.

Singles and doubles competitions will consist of a straight knockout draw, while the mixed team match will be contested over a range of preliminary rounds before a finals knockout format reveals the eventual winners.

Governing body

Badminton Scotland is the national governing body for the sport of Badminton in Scotland. It has a wide remit to actively promote and encourage badminton development from grass roots through local leagues and competitions to the highest playing level, including providing services for players and coaches.


Badminton has its origins in ancient civilisations in Europe and Asia. The ancient game known as battledore (meaning bat or paddle) and shuttlecock probably originated more than 2000 years ago.

A contemporary form of badminton - a game called poon, was played in India in the 1800s where a net was introduced and players hit the shuttlecock across the net. British officers in the mid 1800s took this game back to England and it was introduced as a game for the guests of the Duke of Beaufort at his stately home ‘Badminton’ in Gloucestershire, England where it became popular.

Badminton was introduced as a Commonwealth Games programme sport in Kingston Jamaica in 1966 and has been part of every Commonwealth Games programme since then.

Badminton basics - the serve

Badminton players Nathan Robertson and Gail Emms take you through the basics of a good badminton serve. Gail demonstrates two serving styles with practice drills to help you improve. (BBC video)

Badminton - smashing masterclass

Badminton players Nathan Robertson and Gail Emms show how to perform a powerful, accurate smash for success in badminton. (BBC video)


  • Emirates Arena

    Information about the Emirates Arena as a venue for the 2014 Games.

Other websites

  • Badminton Scotland

    Information about the national governing body for the sport of badminton in Scotland. They administer the game, provide services to their members and promote and organise events at every level.