Sport and recreation in the United States — страница 12

  • Просмотров 11100
  • Скачиваний 79
  • Размер файла 73

events. [14, ...]. Leisure sports Badminton Badminton is a game played with rackets on a court divided by a net. It is distinguished from other racket sports, all of which use a ball of some size, by two intriguing features: the use of a shuttlecock and the fact that the shuttlecock must not touch the ground during a rally. The flight characteristics of the shuttlecock and the pace created by constant volleying combine to make badminton one of the most exciting sports to play and to watch. Badminton has a long and fascinating history. With roots in China over two thousand years ago, it was purely recreational until a competitive version was developed in India and England in the mid- and late-nineteenth century. Since that time, the game has gained

tremendous popularity in many countries. It is a major sport in most countries of northern Europe and Southeast Asia and is considered virtually the national sport in Indonesia and several other countries. Denmark, England, Sweden, and West Germany lead the European nations in their interest. The game spread in the 1870s to Canada and the United States, where national organizations similar to those of other countries were formed in the 1930s. The International Badminton Federation was formed in 1934 with nine member countries and grew to the more than 85 nations currently affiliated in the 1980s [4, p.1]. In 1878, two New Yorkers—Bayard Clarke and E. Langdon Wilks—returned from overseas trips to India and England, respectively, having been exposed to badminton on their

travels. With a friend, Oakley Rhinelander, they formed the Badminton Club of the City of New York, the oldest badminton club in the world in continuous existence. Badminton was primarily a society game for New York's upper crust until 1915, when intercity competitions with Boston's Badminton Club, formed in 1908, created a serious rivalry that continued through the 1920s. By 1930, the game was spreading across the country and had become a serious, demanding sport for women and men alike. Clubs mushroomed on the Eastern seaboard, in the Midwest, and on the Pacific Coast. The Hollywood movie colony took to the game eagerly, under the encouragement of a touring professional, George "Jess" Willard, who played exhibitions in movie houses across the country to packed houses

and thereby did much to bring the game to the American people. Willard was followed on the national circuit by Ken Davidson, a Scotsman whose badminton comedy routines entertained millions in exhibitions in the 1930's and 1940's, and by Davidson's early partner, Hugh Forgie, a Canadian whose badminton-on-ice shows became world famous in the 1950's and 1960's. These three men combined great badminton talent with superb showmanship to spread the game in the United States and worldwide. Through the leadership of some of Boston's leading players, the American Badminton Asssociation was formed in 1936, and the first national championships were held in 1937 in Chicago. One of the most famous names in world badminton appeared at the 1939 championships held in New York. An 18-year-old

Pasadenan, David G. Freeman, upset the defending champion Walter Kramer in the men's singles final to begin a winning streak that would last his 10-year badminton career. In 1949 he won the U.S. Championship, the All-England Championship, and all his matches in the first Thomas Cup competitions. He then retired to continue his career as neurosurgeon, and he is still considered perhaps the finest player the game has seen. Following World War II, the first national junior championships were held in 1947, and the development of badminton in schools and colleges led to the first national collegiate championships in 1970. The United States men's team made the Thomas Cup final rounds throughout the 1950s, and the women's team held the Ьber Cup from 1957 until 1966; but the rapid

development of the game across the world soon left the United States behind. Badminton continued to grow in the United States but at a much slower pace than during the pre-war years. Golf, tennis, and the major professional sports came to the fore, while the popular misconception of badminton as only a leisurely recreation proved difficult to overcome. With the addition of badminton to the Olympic Games as of 1992, it seems only a matter of time before the game will once again become a sport of great national popularity and recognition. The governing body for badminton in the United States is the United States Badminton Association (USBA). Through its regional and state associations and member clubs, the USBA administers competitive badminton play and promotes the development of