The National Sport of Indonesia is Badminton.
Badminton in Indonesia is deeply ingrained, with a passion for the sport transcending generations and social backgrounds.
To learn more about sports culture in Indonesia, read our article about the most popular sports in Indonesia.
Table of Contents
#1 History of Badminton
- Early 20th century: Badminton was introduced to Indonesia by Dutch colonialists, who brought the sport from Europe.
- 1923: Formation of the PB Djakarta badminton club, which later became known as Persatuan Bulutangkis Seluruh Indonesia (PBSI) – the Indonesian Badminton Association.
- 1935: Indonesia hosted its first major badminton tournament, the Maros Badminton Tournament, in South Sulawesi.
- 1950: Indonesia became a founding member of the International Badminton Federation (now known as the Badminton World Federation).
- 1960: The first Thomas Cup (men’s team badminton world championship) was won by the Indonesian team, solidifying the country’s prowess in the sport.
- 1972: Badminton was included in the Olympic Games as a demonstration sport, with full competitive status granted in the 1992 Olympic Games.
- 1992-present: Indonesian players have consistently excelled in international badminton competitions, achieving numerous medals in the Olympic Games, World Championships, and All-England Open.
#2 Culture and Traditions
Badminton holds a significant place in Indonesia’s cultural identity, with the sport enjoyed by people of all ages and backgrounds. Competitive badminton matches often turn into lively community events, marked by enthusiastic cheering and support for local players.
Apart from official tournaments, casual badminton games play a role in various traditional Indonesian festivities. The sport is often a key recreational attraction in village celebrations, cultural events, and religious gatherings.
Badminton is also embedded in Indonesia’s educational system, with schools and universities including the sport in their physical education curricula and hosting inter-school and inter-university badminton competitions.
#3 How it Works: Rules, Gameplay and Equipment
📕 Rules & Gameplay
- Objective: Players try to score points by striking the shuttlecock with their racket, aiming for it to land within the opponent’s half of the court.
- Players: Badminton can be played as singles or doubles, with one or two players per team.
- Scoring: A point is awarded to the player or team that wins the rally, with the game played to 21 points. The winner must lead by at least two points, otherwise, the game continues until one player has a two-point lead or reaches 30 points.
- Serving: The server must hit the shuttlecock below waist height and in an upward direction.
- Faults: A fault occurs when a player hits the shuttlecock outside the court boundaries, into the net, or commits a service fault.
⚙️ Equipment & Gear
- Racket: Lightweight racket made of materials like aluminum, carbon fiber, or titanium.
- Shuttlecock: Feathered or synthetic projectile with a conical shape, consisting of 16 feathers or synthetic skirt attached to a cork base.
- Court: A rectangular court measuring 20 x 44 ft for doubles and 17 x 44 ft for singles, divided into two halves by a 5 ft 1 in tall net.
- Shoes: Specialized badminton shoes with non-marking soles, providing traction and support during gameplay.
- Apparel: Comfortable, lightweight athletic clothing that allows for free movement during play.
#4 Modern Development of Badminton
In contemporary times, badminton’s popularity has continued to grow in Indonesia, with the country regularly producing top-tier players and dominating international competitions. The professionalization of the sport has resulted in prominent domestic leagues such as the Indonesian Superliga Badminton (ISL) and various regional tournaments, further developing grassroots talent.
Technological advancements have had an impact on badminton, from the development of improved rackets and shuttlecocks to the adoption of modern training methods and techniques. Additionally, facilities dedicated to badminton, such as training centers and specialized gyms, have proliferated across the country to cater to the sport’s enthusiasts.
Furthermore, the sport’s sustainability is supported by corporations and the government investing in badminton’s infrastructure and talent development. Recent decades have also witnessed a rise in the popularity of women’s badminton as Indonesian sportswomen establish a strong presence in the global badminton scene.
#5 Badminton and the Olympics
Badminton made its Olympic debut as a demonstration sport in the 1972 Munich Games, before being officially included in the 1992 Barcelona Games. Since then, the sport has been a permanent fixture in the Olympic program, showcasing its popularity and competitive spirit on a global platform. Indonesia has had a strong presence in Olympic badminton, claiming numerous medals across the years in men’s and women’s singles, as well as doubles events.
The Olympic Games have played a crucial role in elevating badminton’s international recognition and prestige. Participation in the Olympics has helped to grow the sport’s fan base and inspire new generations of players, not only in Indonesia but also around the world.
#6 Famous Athletes and Achievements
- Rudy Hartono: Iconic Indonesian badminton player who dominated men’s singles in the 1960s and 1970s, winning a record eight All-England Open championships and a gold medal at the 1972 Munich Olympics (demonstration event).
- Susy Susanti: Regarded as one of the greatest women’s singles players of all time, she won a gold medal at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and four World Championships.
- Rexy Mainaky and Ricky Subagja: Renowned Indonesian men’s doubles pair, winning Olympic gold in 1996 Atlanta Games, and numerous other international titles, solidifying their place in badminton history.
- Taufik Hidayat: Another storied Indonesian badminton player who won a gold medal in men’s singles at the 2004 Athens Olympics, firmly establishing his legacy in the sport.
- Liliyana Natsir and Tontowi Ahmad: Mixed doubles pair that secured gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics, highlighting Indonesia’s continued prowess in the sport.
#7 Where to watch Badminton
- Indonesian television channels: Local broadcasters such as Trans7, TVRI, and SCTV often air live coverage of major badminton tournaments, particularly if Indonesian players are participating.
- Streaming services: Online platforms like Vidio and K-Vision may also provide live streaming options for domestic and international badminton events.
- Live in Indonesia: To catch badminton matches in person, consider attending the Indonesia Open, a prestigious annual tournament held at the Istora Gelora Bung Karno in Jakarta, or explore local and regional competitions at venues like SUGBK Arena and GOR Soemantri Brojonegoro.