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Watch the Birdie



Watch the Birdie
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.25

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    variation, founded, racket, military, propel, social, participate, championship, british, newly, tournament, professional, truly, simple, longer, total
     content words:    Many English, British Army, Bath Badminton Club, United States, Badminton Club, New York, Badminton Health Club, Olympic Games, Judy Devlin Hashman, Open Badminton


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Watch the Birdie
By Jane Runyon
  

1     The English ruled India in the first half of the 1800's. Many English families lived in India because of business or military duty. One of the traditions the English brought back with them from India was playing a simple game. The game was called battledore and shuttlecock. The battledore was a wooden paddle. The shuttlecock was a piece of cork into which feathers had been stuck. Players would hit the shuttlecock back and forth to each other trying to keep it from falling to the ground. The game had originated in Japan, Siam, and other parts of India hundreds of years earlier.
 
2     About 1860, a net was added to the game. Now the shuttlecock was hit over the top of the net by the players. British Army officers began to call this new variation of the game Poona. The Duke of Beaufort became interested in the game in 1873. He invited some of his friends to his country home. While visiting the Duke, his friends were introduced to this gentle sport that both men and women could participate in. When the visitors returned to the city, they told their friends about playing the game at the Duke's home, Badminton. Soon, the sport and the name of the home became the same.
 
3     The first rules written for badminton came from the Bath Badminton Club in 1877. Little has changed in the rules since that time. An All-England championship was held in 1899 in this newly popular sport.

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