Badminton is a racket (racquet) sport where players hit a shuttlecock over a net to score points. Badminton can be played in either singles (one player per side) or doubles with court sizes adapting for either game style. Points are scored when the shuttlecock lands on the opposing team’s half of the court. Badminton can be played casually outdoors or more formally regulated in indoor courts.

Who invented badminton?

Badminton was originally invented in India around the 1860s as a game called ‘Poona.’ The game was imported and played on country estates back in England when British army officers returned home and further codified the rules of the game for competitive play.

How is badminton different from other racquet sports?

Badminton is unique to other racquet sports in that it is played with a conical shaped shuttlecock rather than a spherical ball.

What is the badminton ball called?


Badminton is played with a shuttlecock (also known as a birdie or bird) instead of a ball. The shuttlecock is an aerodynamic conical projectile that will fly through the air with the cork end first upon hitting it.

Badminton

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Badminton Serve

A Badminton Serve is how the shuttle is put into play. Serves are different in badminton for singles and doubles play. They can be executed so the opponent cannot smash the shuttle, or they can be used to keep the opponent on the move. A Badminton Serve can be performed using two different methods, a high serve and a low serve. A high serve is executed when the player wants the shuttle to land at the back end of the court, and a low serve is used when the player wants the shuttle to land in front of the court, in front of the opponent.

Set of illustrations of female badminton players doing the Badminton Serve in various stances
A Badminton Serve is how the shuttle is put into play. Serves are different in badminton for singles and doubles play. They can be executed so the opponent cannot smash the shuttle, or they can be used to keep the opponent on the move. A Badminton Serve can be performed as a high or low serve.

Set of illustrations of female badminton players doing the Badminton Serve in various stances
Badminton Serve
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Skill Type: Offensive

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Badminton Serve assorted (men, women)

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Badminton Court

Badminton Courts are the rectangular surfaces used for the racket sport of badminton. divided in half by a center badminton net, courts are usually marked for both singles or doubles games with boundary widths varying between the two match types. Badminton courts should be surfaced with safe flooring materials for gameplay, that include wood, synthetic, and rubber flooring options.

Badminton Courts have a length of 44’ (13.4 m), but double courts are 20’ (6.1 m) wide while single courts are reduced to 17’ (5.18 m); shrinking by 1.5’ (.46 m) on both sides. Service courts are split by a center line dividing the width of the court and are set back from the net by a ‘short service line’ of 6.5’ (1.98 m). Doubles games also require a ‘long service line’ that is placed 2.5’ (.76 m) in from the back boundary. Clearances of 2’ (.61 m) should be providing around the entire badminton court.

Plan drawing of a Badminton Court with dimensions labeled for singles and doubles games
Badminton Courts are the rectangular surfaces used for the racket sport of badminton. divided in half by a center badminton net, courts are usually marked for both singles or doubles games with boundary widths varying between the two match types.

Badminton Courts have a length of 44’ (13.4 m), but double courts are 20’ (6.1 m) wide while single courts are reduced to 17’ (5.18 m); shrinking by 1.5’ (.46 m) on both sides. Service courts are split by a center line dividing the width of the court and are set back from the net by a ‘short service line’ of 6.5’ (1.98 m). Doubles games also require a ‘long service line’ that is placed 2.5’ (.76 m) in from the back boundary. Clearances of 2’ (.61 m) should be providing around the entire badminton court.

Plan drawing of a Badminton Court with dimensions labeled for singles and doubles games
Badminton Court
Height:
Width:
17’-20' | 5.18-6.1 m
Length:
44’ | 13.41 m
Depth:
Weight:
Area:
880 ft2 | 81.75 m2

Width (Full/Doubles): 20’ | 6.1 m
Width (Singles): 17’ | 5.18 m
Clearance: 2’ | .61 m around full perimeter
Material: Wood, synthetic, or rubberized surface

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Badminton Court plan

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Tai Tzu-Ying
Group of scaled height illustrations of various badminton players compared to Tai Tzu-Ying

Tai Tzu-Ying, born June 20, 1994, is a Taiwanese professional badminton player. She earned the world No. 1 title in the women’s singles on December 2016 at age 22, and with 148 weeks, she currently holds the records for most weeks ranked at the top in BWF history. Tai Tzu-Ying won back-to-back Asian Championship titles, the year end tournament Superseries Finals, and the oldest tournament All England Open. She was the women’s singles gold medalist in the 2018 Asian Games and the 2017 Summer Universiade. Her playing style is characterized as unpredictable and spontaneous, and as an adventurous player, she can seemingly hit the shuttle from anywhere with a great range of shots and angles.

Tai Tzu-Ying has a height of 5’4” (1.63 m).

Series of elevation drawings of Tai Tzu-Ying in badminton positions measured with overall height
Tai Tzu-Ying, born June 20, 1994, is a Taiwanese professional badminton player. She earned the world No. 1 title in the women’s singles on December 2016 at age 22, and with 148 weeks, she currently holds the records for most weeks ranked at the top in BWF history.

Tai Tzu-Ying has a height of 5’4” (1.63 m).

Series of elevation drawings of Tai Tzu-Ying in badminton positions measured with overall height
Tai Tzu-Ying
Height:
5’4” | 1.63 m
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Area:

Nationality: Taiwan
Years Active: 2009—

Birthday
June 20, 1994

Drawings include:
Tai Tzu-Ying standing, swinging, jumping

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Badminton Shuttlecock
Size comparison diagram relating the size of a Badminton Shuttlecock to a Squash Ball and Tennis Ball

A Badminton Shuttlecock, also called a bird or a birdie, is a high-drag projectile used in the sport of Badminton. The open conical shape is formed by feathers, or a synthetic alternative, and embedded into a rounded cork or rubber base. Synthetic Shuttlecocks are referred to as plastics, and feathered Shuttlecocks are called feathers. There are 16 or so overlapping feathers, and it is preferable to use feathers from right or left wings, and to not mix feathers from different wings. This shape makes the Shuttlecock aerodynamically stable, and regardless of the initial orientation, the Shuttlecock will turn to fly cork first.

Badminton Shuttlecocks have a head diameter of .98”-1.1” (25-28 mm) and increase to an overall feather diameter between 2.28”-2.68” (58-68 mm). The overall length of a shuttlecock varies from 3.35”-3.75” (85-95 mm) and is dependent on the lengths of the feathers and the height of the head. The mass of a Badminton Shuttlecock is between .167-.194 oz (4.75-5.5 g).

Dimensioned drawing of a Badminton Shuttlecock with measurements for overall length, diameters, and circumference
A Badminton Shuttlecock, also called a bird or a birdie, is a high-drag projectile used in the sport of Badminton. The open conical shape is formed by feathers, or a synthetic alternative, and embedded into a rounded cork or rubber base. This shape makes the Shuttlecock aerodynamically stable.

Badminton Shuttlecocks have a head diameter of .98”-1.1” (25-28 mm) and increase to an overall feather diameter between 2.28”-2.68” (58-68 mm). The overall length of a shuttlecock varies from 3.35”-3.75” (85-95 mm) and is dependent on the lengths of the feathers and the height of the head. The mass of a Badminton Shuttlecock is between .167-.194 oz (4.75-5.5 g).

Dimensioned drawing of a Badminton Shuttlecock with measurements for overall length, diameters, and circumference
Badminton Shuttlecock
Height:
Width:
2.28”-2.68” | 58-68 mm
Length:
Depth:
Weight:
.167-.194 oz | 4.75-5.5 g
Area:

Head Diameter: .98”-1.1” | 25-28 mm
Feather Diameter: 2.28”-2.68” | 58-68 mm
Head Height: .9”-.98” | 23-25 mm
Feather Length: 2.44”-2.76” | 62-70 mm
Head Circumference: 3.09”-3.46” | 78.5-88 mm
Feather Circumference: 7.17”-8.4” | 182.2-213.6 mm

Materials: Goose or duck feathers (traditional) or plastic skirt; cork or rubber head

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Drawings include:
Badminton Shuttlecock elevations (assorted), top

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Badminton Backhand

A Badminton Backhand stroke is when the player hits the shuttle with their backhand area when the shuttle is in mid-air above the head. The swinging pattern is very different from tennis or squash. It is a very difficult skill to master, and many badminton players find it difficult to execute strong backhands. It is a defensive shot that is played when the player is not in a position to play a forehand shot. The purpose of the shot is to get the shuttle over the opponent’s head and force them as close to the rear court.

Collection of drawings of male badminton players performing the Badminton Backhand
A Badminton Backhand stroke is when the player hits the shuttle with their backhand area when the shuttle is in mid-air above the head. The swinging pattern is very different from tennis or squash. It is a very difficult skill to master, and many badminton players find it difficult to execute.

Collection of drawings of male badminton players performing the Badminton Backhand
Badminton Backhand
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Area:

Skill Type: Defensive

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Drawings include:
Badminton Backhand assorted (men, women)

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