Battledore and Shuttlecock
Battledore and shuttlecock or jeu de volant is an early game similar to that of modern badminton.
This game is played by two people, with small rackets, called battledores, made of parchment or rows of gut stretched across wooden frames, and shuttlecocks, made of a base of some light material, like cork, with trimmed feathers fixed round the top.
The object of the players is to bat the shuttlecock from one to the other as many times as possible without allowing it to fall to the ground.
Games with a shuttlecock are believed to have originated in ancient Greece about 2,000 years ago. From there they spread via the Indo-Greek kingdoms to India and then further east to China and Siam.
There are Greek drawings extant representing a game almost identical with battledore and shuttlecock, and it has been popular in India, China, Japan, and Siam for at least 2,000 years. In Europe it has been played by children for centuries. A further development is badminton.
- Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition article on Battledore and Shuttlecock
- Battledore and Shuttlecock, procured from the Online Guide to Traditional Games