History of The Thomas Cup18 April, 2016
All previous activities, although there had been several of even far reaching importance insofar as Badminton is concerned, were put in the shade by the enormous interest created by the first competition for the Thomas Cup.
The Thomas Cup competition provided the highest note throughout the Badminton world last season and it can unreservedly be said that the institution of the International Badminton Championship was a huge success in every way.
Interest was considerable even at the very outset of the competition, which attracted as many as ten countries, all bent on the quest of the Thomas Cup. From the time the draw was made at the 1948 Annual General Meeting of the Federation to the holding of the final tie at Preston, England, at the end of February, the Thomas Cup was the one topic which exceeded all others where Badminton enthusiasts gathered in the many Badminton playing countries throughout the world. And interest was so much greater because none could safely forecast the eventual trophy winners.
As all the world knows, Sir George Thomas' magnificent trophy now reposes in Malaya, and that country's representative were more than worthy winners. Malaya achieved two great victories over the champions of the American and European Zones, and the tie between the eventual winners and the formidable United States team will ever be remembered by all who were fortunate enough to witness those sterling encounters which took place at Glasgow when these nations clashed in the semi-final tie.
lf the Danish team which opposed the winners at Preston a few days later did not extend the Malayans as much as was anticipated; the interest in the final tie was nevertheless undiminished. Perhaps,too, of even greater significance than the results of the several ties was the spirit in which they were played, for nothing but the friendliest of atmospheres pervaded all of them, and it can truthfully be recorded that the bringing together of the representatives of so many countries to do battle with racket and shuttle achieved a significance even greater than only in a Badminton sense.
The first International Championship was fittingly climaxed by the dinner held immediately after the conclusion of the final tie when Sir George Thomas entertained the protagonists in the inter-zone ties and the various officials who had done much to give the competition such a successful inauguration.
Principally due to the International Championship ties, many new contacts were made during the year in the international arena. The All-India team made a lengthy tour of Canada and the United States, and it also played in Europe on its way home. Americans and Malayans played international matches in Europe and took part in several national championship meetings of the countries of the old world. Canada and France, too, took part in international matches for the first time in Badminton history, while other nations extended their programmes by meeting new opponents.
So great has been the international programme in the past twelve months that as many as twenty-five official international matches were staged, and they were held in as many as four of the five continents of the globe.
All these meetings cannot do other than extend interest in the game and improve the general standard everywhere. Players and officials have got to know each other and to understand each other's problems, and these facts will do much for the player of the future everywhere.
Financially speaking, the Thomas Cup competition proved a heavy drain on some of the national associations taking part, and before the next competition is launched in 1951-52, it is probable that one or two alterations will have been adopted by the Council of the Federation in order to alleviate certain difficulties in the unfortunately important financial factor.
The second competition will see the holders standing out; they will be challenged for their supremacy by the team successful in the eliminating bouts, and this challenge tie will take place in Malaya, the present champion nation. The dates of that challenge tie have, of course, not yet been settled, nor for that matter have any of the general details.
A very pleasant ceremony prefaced the Annual General Meeting of 1948-9, when Mr. A. C. J. van Vossen presented to Sir George Thomas, on behalf of the national associations in membership with the Federation a memento as a token of esteem and appreciation. The memento took the form of an Indian ivory casket suitably inscribed, and containing a set of ivory Staunton chess men.
Two important items featured on the agenda of the general meeting, and the first concerned the ever-recurring difficulties with Law 14(h) which has to do with strokes made off the frame of a racket. An attempt to alter the law had been brought up a year earlier, but had not received the necessary majority to enable it to be carried. This year, however, greater support was forthcoming, with the result that the proposal to amend the law was carried by a fair majority.
Henceforth, all strokes made off the frame of the racket will now count as faults and there can be no more clean wood strokes allowed. Several nations which were in favour of the change had already tried it out, but it will, nevertheless, be most interesting to see what will be the general reaction of players of all five continents, for the alteration represents a sweeping change.
A change was also adopted in the rules of the Federation where they refer to finance. General administration costs have risen to an enormous extent within the last decade and the General Meeting agreed to support the Committee's proposal that annual subscriptions payable by affiliated national organisations should be doubled.
The Executive Committee has recently been considering the existent qualifications for international players. These qualifications were originally drawn up long before the Federation was born and with the spread of the game to so many different quarters of the world it has been deemed advisable to bring them more into line with current affairs. It is likely, therefore that a new set will be proposed for adoption at the Annual General Meeting of 1950.
-- IBF Handbook 1949-1950