Thomas Cup History

12 February, 2015

The Thomas Cup, or the Men’s World Team Badminton Championships, is the oldest of badminton’s world championship competitions. The Thomas Cup began as a triennial event that involved teams facing off in ties of five singles and four doubles matches. From 1984, it changed to a biennial event and ties were shortened to three singles and two doubles matches.

The Thomas Cup was named after George Thomas, the first president of the IBF (now the BWF) and the inaugural event began with preliminary qualifying events in late 1948 and an Inter-Zone final round in 1949. In 1984, the two stages were both played in the same calendar year and the event was combined with the Uber Cup competition for women’s world team champion. In 2014, the qualifying events were replaced by a system of selecting teams based on the BWF world team rankings but following the 2014 Thomas Cup Finals, the continental qualifying tournament system was reinstated.

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