Pickleball vs. Badminton: What’s the Difference?

Step onto any sports court and you’ll immediately be met with a whirlwind of energy, competitive spirit, and the tantalizing sound of shuttlecocks and balls soaring through the air. In the world of racquet sports, there are countless options to choose from, but two that often stand out from the crowd are pickleball and badminton. While these games may seem similar at first glance, they hold their own unique charms and challenges. So, whether you find yourself pondering which game to dive into or simply intrigued by the differences between the two, get ready to dive deep into the wonderful world of pickleball and badminton. So, serve up the details and uncover the major differences between these two captivating court-based sports.

What is Badminton?

Badminton is a popular sport that is played all around the world. It involves two or four players using racquets to hit a shuttlecock back and forth over a high net. The objective of the game is to score points by hitting the shuttlecock onto the opponent’s side of the court in such a way that they are unable to return it.

What is Badminton?

The origins of badminton can be traced back to ancient civilizations such as China, Greece, and India. It is believed that a game similar to badminton was played in ancient China over 2000 years ago, using the feet instead of racquets. In the 16th century, this game evolved into “battledore and shuttlecock” or “jeu de volant”, a popular game in Western Europe.

The modern version of badminton is believed to have originated in mid-19th century British India, where it was known as “poona”. It gained popularity among the British military officers stationed there and eventually spread to England where it was played at country houses and estates. In 1873, the Duke of Beaufort hosted a party where the game was introduced to guests as “the Badminton Game”, named after his estate.

Badminton gained international recognition in the late 19th century, with countries like Canada, Denmark, France, and New Zealand forming their own national associations. In 1899, the first international badminton competition was held between England and Ireland, marking the beginning of international badminton tournaments.

In 1934, the International Badminton Federation (now known as Badminton World Federation) was formed with Canada, Denmark, France, Netherlands, England, Ireland, New Zealand and Scotland as its founding members. In 1992, badminton became an official Olympic sport and has been included in every Summer Olympics since then.

Types of Badminton

While singles and doubles are the two main formats of badminton, there are other variations played around the world such as mixed doubles, team competitions, and even wheelchair badminton. The game can be played on various surfaces including indoor courts, outdoor grass or concrete courts, and even on sand.

In singles badminton, two players compete against each other while in doubles, teams of two players compete against each other. Mixed doubles follows the same format as regular doubles but with a male and female player on each team. Team competitions involve multiple players from different countries competing as a team against other countries.

Types of Badminton

Wheelchair badminton is an adapted version of the sport for individuals with physical disabilities and follows similar rules as regular badminton with some additional modifications. This format was introduced in 1995 and has been included in the Paralympic Games since 2004.

Health Benefits of Badminton

Aside from being a fun and exciting sport, badminton also offers numerous health benefits. It is a full-body workout that improves cardiovascular fitness, strengthens muscles, and aids in weight loss. The constant movement and quick reflexes required in badminton can also improve hand-eye coordination, balance, and agility.

Playing badminton regularly can also have a positive impact on mental health. The social aspect of playing with friends or in a team can improve mood and reduce stress levels. The game also involves strategy and problem-solving skills, which can help keep the mind sharp.

Badminton Tournaments

There are various major badminton tournaments held around the world, including the prestigious BWF World Championships and the BWF World Tour Finals. These tournaments feature top-ranked players from different countries competing for the championship title and prize money.

Other popular tournaments include the Thomas Cup and Uber Cup, which are men’s and women’s team competitions respectively, and the Sudirman Cup, a mixed team event. In addition to these international tournaments, there are also numerous national and regional level events held each year.

From its humble beginnings as a backyard game to becoming an official Olympic sport, badminton has evolved into a highly competitive and popular sport enjoyed by millions of people. With continuous advancements in technology and training techniques, the future of badminton looks bright as it continues to gain recognition and attract players from all over the world [1].

What is Pickleball?

Size of Playing Courts

The pickleball court, a highly popular game that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping pong, is slightly smaller in size compared to traditional tennis courts. Measuring 20 feet wide by 44 feet long, it offers players a more compact and agile playing area that adds an extra layer of excitement to the game.

Size of Playing Courts

This reduced court size not only allows for quicker movement and increased engagement, but it also means less distance to cover, enabling players to showcase their agility and strategic skills to the fullest. With its unique blend of fast-paced action and strategic gameplay, pickleball offers an exhilarating experience for players of all ages and skill levels.

Equipment Used in Pickleball

Pickleball requires specialized equipment that differs from other racquet sports. The main piece of equipment used in pickleball is the paddle, which is similar to a tennis racket but smaller in size. It is typically made of lightweight materials such as wood, graphite, or composite materials. Pickleballs are also unique as they are plastic balls with holes, making them capable of slowing down and bouncing less than a traditional tennis ball.

Played Singles and Doubles

Pickleball, a highly versatile game, can be enjoyed in both singles and doubles formats, accommodating players of diverse skill levels. While singles and doubles entail slight variations in rules and strategies, they both revolve around the common objective of outsmarting and outplaying opponents. The game’s flexibility allows players to adapt their techniques and tactics accordingly, adding an extra layer of excitement and challenge to the sport. Whether you prefer the intensity of singles or the collaborative dynamics of doubles, Pickleball offers a thrilling and engaging experience for all participants.

Players must be physical Fit

Despite its smaller court size, pickleball is a physically demanding sport that requires players to be in good physical shape. The quick movements, bursts of energy, and hand-eye coordination required for the game can provide an intense full-body workout. Players need to be agile and responsive, constantly adjusting their position on the court and anticipating their opponent’s moves.

The combination of aerobic and anaerobic exercise in pickleball helps improve cardiovascular health, muscular endurance, and overall fitness.
Additionally, the social aspect of the game, with its friendly competition and teamwork, adds to the enjoyment and motivation to stay active [2].

Comparison of Badminton and Pickleball

Badminton and pickleball are two popular racket sports that have been gaining in popularity over the years. Both involve the use of a racquet to hit a small ball, and both require agility, coordination and strategy. However, there are some key differences between these two sports that set them apart. In this article, we will compare badminton and pickleball in terms of equipment, rules, and gameplay.

Comparison of Badminton and Pickleball

One of the main differences between badminton and pickleball is the equipment used. In badminton, players use a lightweight racquet made of carbon fiber or aluminum. The shuttlecock, which is hit back and forth over the net, is also significantly lighter than a regular ball and has feathers attached to its tip. On the other hand, pickleball players use a paddle made of either wood or composite materials such as graphite or fiberglass. The ball used in pickleball is similar to a wiffleball, with holes allowing for slower gameplay.

In terms of rules, both badminton and pickleball have specific regulations that must be followed during gameplay. In badminton, the game is played on a rectangular court divided by a net. Players must hit the shuttlecock over the net and into their opponent’s half of the court without it hitting the ground. In pickleball, players also play on a rectangular court with a net in the middle, but they can only score points when serving. Additionally, unlike badminton where players can hit the shuttlecock anywhere in their opponent’s court, pickleball players must let the ball bounce once on each side before they can volley it.

The gameplay of badminton and pickleball also differs greatly. Badminton is known for its quick movements, fast-paced rallies, and powerful shots. The lightweight equipment and aerodynamics of the shuttlecock contribute to this style of play. On the other hand, pickleball is often compared to a hybrid of tennis and ping pong. The slower-paced game allows for longer rallies and more strategic shots, as players must maneuver around their opponent’s court and avoid hitting the ball out of bounds.

In terms of physical demands, both badminton and pickleball require players to be in good shape and have strong reflexes. However, due to the aerodynamics of the shuttlecock, badminton is considered more physically demanding as players must constantly be on their feet and ready to move in any direction to return shots. Pickleball, while still requiring agility and coordination, allows for breaks between shots as the ball moves at a slower pace [3].

Badminton Court vs Pickleball Court

Badminton Court

A badminton court is rectangular in shape, measuring 20 feet in width and 44 feet in length for singles matches, and 20 feet in width and 60 feet in length for doubles matches.

The court is divided into two equal halves by a net, which is suspended over the center of the court at a height of 5 feet and diagonally across the court from one side to the other.

The lines on a badminton court are used to determine whether a shot lands within the boundaries or not. These lines include the baseline, the long service line and the short service line.

The baseline marks the end of the court and is located at both ends of the court. The long service line is marked 2 feet, 6 inches from each sideline and denotes where a serve must land during a doubles match. The short service line is marked 6 feet, 6 inches from each sideline and denotes where a serve must land during a singles match.

Pickleball Court

A pickleball court is also rectangular in shape, measuring 20 feet in width and 44 feet in length. However, unlike a badminton court, the pickleball court is divided into thirds by two parallel lines that run across the width of the court. These lines are known as the non-volley line or the kitchen line and are located 7 feet from either side of the net.

The non-volley line in pickleball is a key element in gameplay, as it restricts players from hitting a shot while standing inside the designated area. This promotes players to move around the court and engage in longer rallies.


In the sport of badminton, the net used is carefully constructed with fine cord or nylon, ensuring a mesh size of approximately 3 centimeters. This specific design allows for optimal performance and prevents the shuttlecock from passing through easily. The top of the net is securely fastened to two vertical poles, each towering at a height of 5 feet, strategically positioned just slightly beyond the court boundaries. This placement not only ensures that the net remains taut during intense gameplay but also enables players to make accurate shots without any obstruction.


Pickleball, on the other hand, shares some similarities with tennis, including the nets used in the game. These nets, measuring 36 inches in height at the posts and 34 inches in height at the center, provide the perfect balance between visibility and functionality. The nets are affixed to two sturdy poles that are positioned directly on the sidelines, resulting in a seamless transition between the playing surface and the net. This thoughtful placement allows players to fully engage in the game, without any concerns about unnecessary disruptions or hindrances.


What is pickleball and badminton?

Pickleball and badminton are both popular racket sports that originated in the United States and England, respectively. Both sports are played with a lightweight racket and a small ball or shuttlecock. However, there are some key differences between the two.

Pickleball is played on a smaller court, typically about one-third the size of a tennis court. It can be played with either two or four players and uses a plastic ball with holes, similar to a wiffle ball. Players use paddles made of wood or composite materials to hit the ball over the net.

On the other hand, badminton is played on a larger court, about the same size as a tennis court. It is always played with two players and uses a shuttlecock made of feathers or synthetic materials. Players use rackets made of lightweight materials such as carbon fiber to hit the shuttlecock over the net.

What makes pickleball different from other racket sports?

Pickleball has some unique characteristics that set it apart from other racket sports. These include the use of a smaller court, the type of ball used, and the ability to play with either two or four players. Additionally, pickleball combines elements from other sports such as tennis, badminton, and ping pong, making it a versatile and dynamic game.

One of the most significant differences between pickleball and other racket sports is the speed of the game. Due to the smaller court size, rallies in pickleball tend to be shorter and faster-paced, making it a great option for players looking for a high-energy sport.

What makes pickleball different from other racket sports?

Another key difference is the type of ball used in pickleball. The plastic ball with holes is designed to slow down as it travels through the air, making it easier to control and providing players with more time to react. This makes pickleball a great option for players of all ages and skill levels.

What are the health benefits of playing pickleball?

Like any physical activity, playing pickleball has numerous health benefits. It can be a great form of cardiovascular exercise, helping to improve heart health and overall endurance. The fast-paced nature of the game also provides a full-body workout, helping to strengthen muscles and improve hand-eye coordination.

Pickleball is also a low-impact sport, making it ideal for individuals looking for a lower intensity activity or those recovering from an injury. It can help improve joint mobility and flexibility without putting too much strain on the body. Plus, the social aspect of pickleball can also have positive effects on mental health and overall well-being.

Overall, pickleball is a fun and exciting sport that offers numerous physical and mental health benefits. Whether you’re looking for a new form of exercise or simply want to try something new, pickleball is a great option for all ages and skill levels.

What is the difference between pickleball scoring versus badminton scoring?

Pickleball and badminton have different scoring systems, which can be confusing for those new to the sports. In pickleball, games are typically played to 11 points and a team must win by two points. Points can only be scored by the serving team, and each player on the team takes turns serving until they lose a point.

On the other hand, badminton games are usually played to 21 points, with a team needing to win by two points. Both teams can score points regardless of who is serving, and players take turns serving after every point is scored.

Another major difference in scoring is that pickleball allows for a “side-out” when the receiving team wins a point, allowing them to serve and potentially score a point of their own. In badminton, there are no side-outs, and the serving team continues to serve until they lose a point.

Understanding the scoring systems in these sports is important for players to know before heading onto the court. While both use similar concepts of winning by two points, knowing the key differences can help players excel in each sport.  Overall, pickleball and badminton are both unique and enjoyable racket sports that offer something for everyone. Whether you prefer the fast-paced action of pickleball or the strategic gameplay of badminton, both sports provide a great opportunity to stay active, improve your skills, and have fun with friends and family.

Are badminton and pickleball courts the same?

No, badminton and pickleball courts are not the same. As mentioned earlier, pickleball is typically played on a smaller court that is about one-third the size of a tennis court. The dimensions of a pickleball court are 20 feet wide by 44 feet long.

On the other hand, badminton courts are larger and measure approximately 17 feet wide by 44 feet long.

Badminton courts also have different markings, including a short service line and a tall net that is placed at the center of the court.

Knowing the differences in court size and markings is important for players to understand before playing either sport. However, both pickleball and badminton can be played on a variety of surfaces, including indoor and outdoor courts, allowing for flexibility and accessibility for players.

Is pickleball a good option for beginners?

Yes, pickleball is an excellent option for beginners. The game can be easily learned and played by people of all ages and skill levels. With its smaller court size, slower ball speed, and simplistic rules, pickleball is a perfect sport for those new to racket sports.

Additionally, playing with two or four players allows for teamwork and social interaction, making it a great option for beginners who may feel intimidated or overwhelmed by other sports. Plus, the low-impact nature of pickleball is ideal for those looking to start a new form of exercise without putting too much strain on their bodies.

Whether you’re looking to improve your physical health or simply want to try something new and fun, pickleball is a great option for beginners. So grab a paddle and get ready to have a blast on the pickleball court!  Overall, pickleball is a unique and dynamic sport that offers numerous benefits for both physical and mental well-being.

Useful Video: Coming from Badminton to Pickleball with Hendry Winarto

Conclusion Paragraph

Overall, Pickleball and Badminton are two very similar racket sports that have gained popularity in recent years. While both are relatively easy to pick up, they require different skill sets and strategies. Whether you prefer the fast-paced action of Pickleball or the finesse and agility required in Badminton, both sports offer a great workout and plenty of opportunities for fun and competition. With its growing community and accessibility for players of all ages and skill levels, it’s no wonder that Pickleball and Badminton are becoming increasingly popular around the world.


  1. https://www.wayfair.com/sca/ideas-and-advice/outdoor/what-is-badminton-T21388
  2. https://acepickleball.com/blogs/post/what-is-pickleball?gclid
  3. https://badmintonbites.com/badminton-vs-pickleball-whats-the-difference/