Badminton made its debut on the Commonwealth Games program in Kingston, Jamaica in 1966. It was the first racquet sport to be included in the Games and has grown in world popularity and continued as a program sport at every Games since.
Tracy Hallam of England won silver on home soil at Manchester 2002, but hopes to go one better in Melbourne.
Malaysia, England, Singapore and Scotland are the dominant Commonwealth countries while host nation Australia has won only two of the 59 gold medals awarded.
There are generally six gold medals awarded at the Games: Men's Singles, Ladies' Singles, Men's Doubles, Ladies' Doubles, Mixed Doubles and Mixed Team.
In Previous Games
At the 2002 Manchester Games the Mixed Team event was won by England, with Singapore taking the silver medal. In the individual events, Malaysia won three gold medals - in Men's Singles, Men's Doubles and Ladies' Doubles - while England took the Mixed Doubles and Singapore the Ladies' Singles gold.
Overall, Malaysia finished with 9 medals (3 of each colour), England 7 (2 gold, 1 silver, 4 bronze), New Zealand 3 (2 silver, 2 bronze), Singapore 2 (1 gold, 1 silver) and India, Scotland and Wales claimed one bronze medal apiece.
At Melbourne 2006
The Badminton competition will be one of the largest events on the International Badminton Federation (IBF) calendar. To cater for the high volume of matches required to stage the competition, a purpose-built temporary venue will be constructed within the Melbourne Exhibition Centre (EXC).
Badminton will be featured on all 11 competition days of the Games. As before, a total of six gold medals will be contested. The Mixed Team event will run from March 16 with the medal matches on March 20. Teams will initially be grouped in pools of four or five teams. After the round robin section, the respective group winners will move on to the medal rounds.
Competition in individual events of singles, doubles and mixed doubles begins on March 21, with the gold medal playoffs in each of the five disciplines set for the morning of the final day of Games competition, March 26. Individual events are on a knockout basis and the draw includes seeding of the top players based on their world rankings.
Unlike recent Games, at which bronze medals were awarded to both losing semi-finalists, playoffs for third will occur in Melbourne 2006, on the eve of the major medal matches.
In December 2005 the International Badminton Federation (IBF) Council approved the decision to experiment with the 3x21 rally point scoring system. This will apply to all IBF sanctioned events carrying world ranking points, with effect from February 1, 2006.
The new scoring system will be used for the Games in Melbourne.