Badminton Life

All England Badminton

The All England Badminton Championships is one of the oldest and most prestigious badminton tournaments in the world.

According to close sources, this championship started after the success of world's first badminton tournament held in Guildford in 1898.

The success story dates as back as April 4, 1899 when the tournament was successfully organized. However, the story of All England Badminton is not smooth, as the tournaments were stopped twice during World War I from 1915 to 1919 and World War II from 1940 to 1946.

There are many reasons why All England Badminton is so famous. To understand it, we need to trace back the history a little further. We know there are different stories when it comes to the origin of the game, but as far as the name "badminton" is concerned England is closely associated with it.

It is said that originally the sport was performed in the great house - Badminton House - in the village Badminton, in Glouschester County. Duke Beaufort owned that house and he was to entertain officers on leave from India. After that it became their favorite pastime.

The first badminton tournament was held in Guildford in 1898 and became a forerunner of badminton tournaments as we know them today. In 1899 the All England Championships started. English players dominated the sport of badminton in the first half of the 20th century but later more nations joined the gang and as a result the competition grew.

In 1940 Sir George Alan Thomas came up with the idea of making a tournament for men - known as Thomas Cup. Due to the outbreak of World War II Thomas Cup was postponed to 1948.

In the beginning years three tournaments were named as the Open English Championships and later changed to All England Badminton Championship. Until 1977 it was considered as the only unofficial World Badminton Championships, but later the International Badminton Federation (IBF) launched its own tournament.

There is hardly any badminton player around the world who hasn't heard about this great championship. Needless to say, it is a dream for every player to participate and win in this championship. It is worth noting here that Yonex has been exclusively sponsoring the tournament ever since 1984.

Let's see the historical venues for the All England Badminton Championships. Ever since its beginning the tournament has outgrown eight venues, but currently it played at the National Indoor Arena, Birmingham. Details of other venues are as follows:

- HQ of the London Scottish Rifles at Buckingham Gate (1899 - 1901)
- Crystal Palace Central Transept (1902)
- London Rifles Brigade's City Headquarters in Bunhill Row (1903 - 1909)
- Horticultural Hall in Vincent Square behind the Army and Navy Stores (1910 - 1939)
- Harringay Arena, North London Stadium (1947 - 1949)
- Empress Hall, Earls Court (1950 - 1956)
- Wembley Arena (1957 - 1993)
- National Indoor Arena, Birmingham (1994 - Present)

This championship is held every year. The 2007 Yonex All England Open Badminton Championships will be the 97th Championships, and will once again be sponsored by the world's No 1 badminton equipment manufacturer, Yonex.

It will be the 24th consecutive year of Yonex sponsorship, making it one of the longest relationships in sports worldwide. The 2007 Championships will be returning to the National Indoor Arena, Birmingham between the 7th and 11th March 2007. Please note that the Qualifying Rounds will be played on the 6th March.

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