The appeal of games that involve hitting an object back and forth with rackets goes back a long time. Speedminton may be the latest innovation, but it draws from tennis, badminton and racquetball. Here's a brief look at the origins of those sports:
Some say tennis was invented by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. Although there is no archaeological evidence, there are some words — Tinnis, an Egyptian city along the Nile, and "rahat," an Arabic word for palm or hand that may be related to "racket" — that could be a link.
However, many historians trace the game to French monks who began playing a form of handball against monastery walls or over a rope strung across the courtyard in the 11th and 12th centuries.
By the 13th century, nobility had picked up the game and promoted the building of special courts. England's Henry VII is counted among the early proponents of the sport.
The racket as we know it came along in the early 1500s, but early balls were covered in cork. Not until the invention of vulcanized rubber in 1850 did "bouncier" balls come along.
In 1874, equipment and rules similar to the modern game were patented in London by Walter Clopton Wingfield, a British army officer. The first Wimbledon tournament was held in 1877.