As a spectator sport, badminton falls behind cricket, football and tennis, but could that soon change? The Indian Badminton League, the IBL, will begin in June in India, with the aim of increasing interest and recruiting new fans.
Organisers hope it will do to badminton what the Indian Premier League (IPL) has done to cricket, by injecting huge money, Bollywood glamour and razzamatazz. Just as the game of cricket was given a shake-up to attract a new generation of viewers who didn't have an affinity or the patience for five-day Test matches, the IBL will be based on a short, city-based tournament format.
It will see six teams (each, like the IPL, affiliated to a big Indian city), compete over 18 days. Each team will consist of 11 players, both men and women. For every fixture a combination of singles, doubles and mixed doubles games will be played. The matches will be hosted in India, but this is designed to have international appeal. Badminton is hugely popular in Asian countries such as China, Malaysia and Indonesia, and the organisers of the Indian league hope some of that success might rub off.
Also, a fact from the story: An early version of badminton was called "poon."
The more you know.