Badminton is a recreational sport played by either two opposing players (singles) or two opposing pairs (doubles), that take positions on opposite halves of a rectangular court divided by a net. Players score points by striking a shuttlecock with their racquet so that it passes over the net and lands in their opponents' half of the court. Each side may only strike the shuttlecock once before it passes over the net. A rally ends once the shuttlecock has struck the floor, or if a fault has been called by either the umpire or service judge or, in their absence, the offending player, at any time during the rally.
The beginnings of badminton can be traced to the mid-1800s in British India, where it was created by British military officers stationed there. Early photographs show Englishmen adding a net to the traditional English game of battledore and shuttlecock. The sport is related to ball badminton, which originated in Tamil Nadu, and is similar to Hanetsuki which originated in Japan. Being particularly popular in the British garrison town Poona (now Pune), the game also came to be known as Poona.