Badminton is a fascinating game, in which the players use rackets to hit the shuttlecock over a net. This sport has two forms, including the singles and the doubles. The singles involves two contrasting players with one participant per flank while the doubles involves four players with two players per each side (BWF, n. d.). Badminton is more or less the same as tennis; however, the tennis players hit the tennis ball while the badminton players hit a shuttlecock to their opponents. The British have industrialized badminton, naming the World's Men and Women team as Thomas Cup and Uber Cup respectively. Badminton was first registered as an Olympic game in 1992. The sport is governed by the Badminton World Federation (BWF, n. d.).
Badminton is frequently played as a casual game, but it is also a professional sport often played in competitions. Formal badminton is an indoor game played on a quadrilateral court. The quadrilateral court measures 6.1/20 feet by 13.4/44 feet while the net is 0.8m/2.5 feet deep with a height of 1.52m/5 feet (BWF, n. d.). In this game, points are earned by hitting the shuttlecock with the racket and landing it on the opponents' side of the court. In other words, the shuttlecock must be hit from one side of the net to the other and fall within the boundary so that the competitor can smash it back over the net. The game ends when the shuttlecock touches the ground, or if the referee or the service evaluator has noted a fault. The purpose of the current paper is to describe badminton in Indonesia and trace its history, identify the awards scooped by the Indonesian badminton players, and find out why Indonesians love playing badminton.
Badminton in Indonesia
In Indonesia, badminton is the second utmost favorite game after soccer; nonetheless, it is the most successful sport. The players have always taken home gold medals (except in 2012) in all Olympic Games since its introduction to the Olympics in 1992 (“Badminton in Indonesia”, n.d.). Indonesia is a badminton idol, often superseding other top badminton Asian states such as Malaysia and China (Brown, 2006). The Indonesian badminton success originated from the promise the players made when they were beaten in 2012 and did not win even a single gold medal (“Badminton in Indonesia”, n.d.). The players promised and swore to come home with at least one gold medal from all Olympics and Asian Games.
The Indonesian badminton team comprises of five classes, i.e. men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s doubles, and mixed doubles (Brown, 2006). The governing body of Indonesian badminton, the Indonesian Badminton Federation (PBSI, 2012) is responsible for an incredible success of Indonesian badminton (“Badminton in Indonesia”, n.d.). Mr. Dick Sudirman founded PBSI with headquarters in Jakarta, Indonesia. PBSI was established on May 5, 1951, in Bandung, and joined the Badminton Asia Confederation in 1959 and later the Badminton World Federation (BWF). Gita Wirjawan, who is the present Minister of Trade in Indonesia, currently heads PBSI. According to the BWF’s 2006 ranks, Indonesian badminton was rated third globally (Brown, 2006). PBSI also manages the Indonesia National Badminton Team.
Most of the Indonesian badminton players are from the Indonesian localities; hence, they are not as famous as their Chinese counterparts are (“Badminton in Indonesia”, n.d.). For this reason, the Indonesian Badminton Federation has taken the initiative to organize voluminous national sporting events in badminton such as National Sports Championships. Their primary aim is to expose their local players to become the world level professionals, and, thus, earn more badminton credits for the country (Brown, 2004). Both the government and private sector institutions help to boost the badminton success by sponsoring the badminton players (Brown, 2006). The Indonesian government has made a step forward to set up badminton training centers that are known as PELATNAS (National Training Centers) (“Badminton in Indonesia”, n.d.). These training facilities nurture the talents of the children who show promise in excelling in the game. From the private sector, Djraum Cigarettes Factory is among the corporations that sponsor children who excel in badminton. Djraum Badminton Association works together with the Ministry of Education and Culture (MOEC), ensuring that the students have a different schedule from their counterparts to train well (“Badminton in Indonesia”, n.d.).
Once a prospective badminton player is spotted, he/she is placed in a Jati Sports Building, which is a training center for the Djraum Badminton Association’s players in the singles (“Badminton in Indonesia”, n.d.). The training of the duets’ players is conducted in a different center in Jakarta. The Djraum scholarship program has supported several brilliant young players, such as Alan Budi Kusuma, Liliyiana, Tontowi Ahmad, Liem Swie King, and Ardy B. Wiranata; these players won the All England Championship in 2014 and such Indonesians treasure as the Thomas, the Surdiman, and Uber Cups. The badminton stars who always bring trophies home are respected and are given several pieces of jewelry. The popular Indonesian badminton legends are Susi Susanti, Icuk Surgiarto, Liem Swie King, and Rudi Hartono (“Badminton in Indonesia”, n.d.). Taufik Hidayat is the next badminton champion as he is showing his impressive attacking tactics. Indonesians also participate in tournaments such as the Indonesia Open (an open tournament held one a year that attracts the world’s best players), Indonesian Masters, Indonesia International Challenge, and the Indonesian League (Brown, 2006).
History of Badminton in Indonesia
The badminton sport has its roots in the early civilizations of Europe and Asia (BWF, n. d.). The ancient game was referred to as battledore and shuttlecock. In 1600, the battledore and shuttlecock game, in which the players strike the shuttlecock back and forth without letting it fall on the ground, was played in England and other European countries. In the 1800s, a modern form of badminton called "poon," was played in India where a net was introduced and the players hit the shuttlecock over the net (BWF, n. d.). Later in the 1800s, the British officers took the game back to England and it became a game for the guests of the Duke of Beaufort at his state house. After that, badminton became very popular in England where in 1898, the first open tournament, All-England Championships, was held in Guildford. In 1930s, Denmark, Canada, and the United States became enthusiastic supporters of the game.
In 1934, the International Badminton Federation (IBF) was formed. The IBF founding members were England, Ireland, Denmark, Scotland, Wales, France, Canada, India, New Zealand, and Holland (“Badminton in Indonesia”, n.d.). In 1947, Indonesia joined the IBF. A year later, the first major IBF tournament, the Thomas Cup was held. After that, the number of badminton events increased with the addition of the Uber Cup, World Championships, the World Grand Prix Finals, Surdiman Cup, and World Junior Championships. In 1949, the Thomas Cup was named as the men’s world team competition (Brown, 2006). The Thomas Cup was baptized after Sir George Thomas (the first president of IBF), a British lawn tennis champion who swapped to badminton and won 90 tournament awards in 24 years (BWF, n. d.). In 1956, the Uber Cup race was created for women. The Uber Cup was titled in the honor of England’s Betty Uber (one of the badminton's finest duos players). In 1992, badminton’s Olympic standing was formally approved in the 1992 Barcelona Games.
In Indonesia, the badminton game was established for the first time on January 27, 1947, under Persatuan Olahgra Republik Indonesia (PORI) ("Badminton in Indonesia," n.d.). On May 5, 1951, PORI changed to Persatuan Bulutangkis Seluruh Indonesia (PBSI) also known as the Indonesian Badminton Federation (“Badminton in Indonesia”, n.d.). The Indonesian team first participated in the Thomas Cup in 1958 and had never been absent since. In 1980, the Badminton Association of Indonesia held the second edition of the great world championships tourney and the sixth edition in 1989 in Jakarta (BWF, n. d.). Twenty-six years later, Indonesia participated in the 22nd version of the competition, which was held from August 10th-16th, 2015 (“Badminton in Indonesia”, n.d.). The competition was held in Istora-Gelora Bung Karno Senayan, a multiuse stadium in Jakarta with 9,000 seats. In 1988, the IBF ratified the PBSI to carry out a mixed world team tournament. In 1989, the Surdiman Cup (a global cup for the mixed doubles) was brought into the Indonesian badminton as an approach of revitalizing the badminton contests. In 1992, the Indonesians partook in the badminton Olympic event where they secured two gold medals (BWF, n. d.).
Badminton Awards in Indonesia
The badminton joined the Olympics in 1992 and Indonesians have won gold medals perpetually except in 2012 ( BWF, n. d.). In 1992, Alan Budikusuma won the gold medal in the men's singles, and Susi Susanti won the women's singles (“Badminton in Indonesia”, n.d.). In 1996, Ricky Subagja and Rexy Mainaky received the gold medal in the men’s doubles (Broto & Suhandinata, 2011). In 2000, Candra Wijaya and Tony Gunawan earned the gold medal in men’s duos. Taufik Hidayat acquired the gold medal in the men's singles in 2004 while, in 2008, Markis Kido and Hendra Sietawan collected the gold medal in the men’s duets (“Badminton in Indonesia”, n.d.). Indonesia has won numerous badminton awards such as the World Championship, Thomas and Uber Cup, and All-England Championships (Broto & Suhandinata, 2011). Furthermore, Indonesian badminton has excelled in major sporting activities such as the SEA Games, Asian Games, and the Olympics. From the southern Asian Games, Indonesia earned 103 gold laurels. Indonesia obtained 91 awards from the Asian Games consisting of 25 silver, 26 gold, and 40 bronze medals (“Badminton in Indonesia”, n.d.). Rudi Hartono won the England Cup eight times in a row, as well as the Thomas Cup in 1980. During the 2008 summer Olympics, the Indonesians won a gold medal in the men's doubles, a silver medal in the mixed duos, and a bronze medal in the women's singles. Indonesia aggregately earned 18 Olympic medals with six bronze, six gold, and six silver medals (“Badminton in Indonesia”, n.d.).
The Indonesian men’s squad contested in the Thomas Cup 23 times and won 13 gold medals and has continuously made it to the inter-zone tournaments (“Badminton in Indonesia”, n.d.). The Indonesian mixed duos won the Sudirman Cup once in 1989. The men’s teams have partaken in the conclusive ultimate draw on 18 instances. On the contrary, the Indonesian women’s team has participated in the Uber Cup 20 times and won three times the title and three gold medals. The women’s crew has also competed in the influential crucial draw on ten events. After the 2013 finals, Indonesia had in overall 67 medals, 20 of which were gold, 17 were silver, and 30 were bronze medals (“Badminton in Indonesia”, n.d.). Indonesia was the second in the BWF’s medal rankings after China that had 161 medals with 58 gold, 40 silver, and 63 bronze medals. Following the 2014 championships, Indonesia acquired 39 gold medals and was declared the winner for that year. On July 2, 2015, Indonesia was ranked fourth with 11,150 points after Korea’s 11,800 points preceded by Japan’s 14,600 points with China leading with 16,200 points (“Badminton in Indonesia”, n.d.).
Why Indonesians Love to Play Badminton
Indonesia is one of the top countries that excelled in badminton. Badminton is the second big sport in Indonesia after soccer (Broto & Suhandinata, 2011). Most Indonesians have a keen interest in playing badminton; hence, many Indonesians have developed a great love for the game. Firstly, Indonesians loved to play the game since it was the best performing game globally that brought national comradeship and pride to the country throughout all years since it was introduced. The players have not failed to bring home gold, bronze and silver medals (Brown, 2006).
Secondly, the Indonesian government supports the talented young players. The government invests in young players to become the world level professionals (Broto & Suhandinata, 2011). The government has even constructed training centers to ensure that the players have all the facilities that they need to train extensively to win in any upcoming competitions.
Thirdly, the badminton players get sponsorships from various private sector organizations, for instance, the Djraum Cigarettes Factory that constructed a training facility for the participants and even set up an association for the players (Brown, 2004). Other corporations, such as Adidas, sponsor the young badminton players by supplying them with all the necessary attires needed for training.
Fourthly, Indonesians love playing the game because it is easier to play than tennis (Brown, 2004). Badminton equipment is also readily available at affordable prices in any sports shop for everyone interested in the game. Badminton does not require many tools, only rackets, shuttlecocks, a court and a net (Brown, 2004).
Fifthly, the game pays well to the world-class level players. Apart from winning the medals, Indonesian badminton can be pursued as a career as it pays its best players (Broto & Suhandinata, 2011). The Indonesians’ best players such as, Susi Susanti, Rudi Hartono, etc. earn a lot of money from the game. Moreover, these players receive other benefits such as free training, meals, uniforms, etc.
Badminton is a game that was developed by the British. Players use rackets to hit the shuttlecock over a net. Badminton is played in singles and doubles. The singles involves two opposing players with one participant per side while the duos involve four players having two players on one side. Badminton game was established for the first time on January 27, 1947, in Indonesia under Persatuan Olahgra Republik Indonesia (PORI). In Indonesia, badminton is the second utmost favorite game after soccer. It is the most successful sport as the players have always won gold medals (except in 2012) in all Olympic games from the time when the game was first introduced in 1992. Indonesia is among the badminton superstars, often superseding other top badminton Asian states such as Malaysia and China. The Indonesian Badminton Federation or Persatuan Bulutangkis Seluruh Indonesia (PBSI) governs Indonesian badminton. Indonesians have won many gold medals and other awards from the Olympic Games, Asian Games, World Championships tournaments, etc. Indonesians love to play badminton as it brings the country together, players bring home many awards, the game also pays its players well, and it is fully supported by the government.