An early game similar to that of modern badminton. The object of the players is to bat the shuttlecock, using small rackets (battledores), from one to the other as many times as possible without allowing it to fall to the ground.


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A game of battledore and shuttlecock

Battledore and shuttlecock, or jeu de volant, is an early sport related to modern badminton. The game is played by two or more people using small rackets (battledores), made of parchment or rows of gut stretched across wooden frames, and shuttlecocks, made of a base of some light material, such as cork, with trimmed feathers fixed around the top. The object is for players to bat the shuttlecock from one to the other as many times as possible without allowing it to fall to the ground.


William Beechey, Kenneth Dixon playing with a shuttlecock, c. 1790.

Games with a shuttlecock are attested to as early as 2,000 years ago, and have been popular in India, China, Japan, and Siam.[1] Various traditional shuttlecock games have been played by North American indigenous peoples, including the Kwakiutl, Pima, Salish, and Zuni; they are often played with a feathered shuttle made of corn husk or twigs and sometimes a wooden battledore.[2] In Europe, battledore and shuttlecock was played by children for centuries, and ancient drawings appearing to depict the game have been found in Greece.[1] Its most popular modern development is the game of badminton.

See also


  1. ^ a b One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Battledore and Shuttlecock". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 3 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 534.
  2. ^ Tara Prindle, "Cornhusk Shuttlecock Game".

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.