Badminton vs Pickleball: Which One Should You Play?

Are you looking for a fun and challenging sport to try out? Look no further than badminton and pickleball! While both are racket sports that involve hitting a ball over a net, they have unique differences that make them suitable for different types of players. In this article, we’ll explore the similarities and differences between badminton and pickleball, so you can decide which one is right for you.

Badminton is a fast-paced sport that originated in India and has been played for centuries. It involves hitting a lightweight shuttlecock (also known as a birdie) over a 5-foot tall net using a racket. The objective of the game is to make it difficult for your opponent to return the shuttlecock, resulting in a point for you.

Pickleball, on the other hand, is a relatively new sport that was invented in the 1960s in the United States. It involves hitting a small plastic ball over a 3-foot tall net using a paddle. The objective of the game is to make it difficult for your opponent to return the ball, resulting in a point for you.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the history, equipment, gameplay, and benefits of both sports. By the end, you’ll have a better understanding of which sport is right for you. So let’s get started!

History and Origins

Brief History of Badminton

Badminton has a long and rich history that can be traced back to ancient India. It was originally played by Indian military officers as a form of entertainment, before being adopted by British officers who brought the game back to England in the mid-19th century. From there, it quickly spread throughout the British Empire and became a popular sport around the world.

In 1934, the International Badminton Federation (now known as the Badminton World Federation) was established to govern the sport. Today, badminton is played at both the amateur and professional levels, with major tournaments like the Olympics, World Championships, and Thomas Cup attracting top players from around the globe.

Brief History of Pickleball

Pickleball, by contrast, is a relatively new sport that was invented in the United States in 1965. It was created by Joel Pritchard, a congressman from Washington state, and his friend Bill Bell. The two men were looking for a new game to play with their families, and they came up with the idea of combining elements of badminton, table tennis, and tennis.

The game was originally played using a perforated plastic ball and wooden paddles, but it has evolved over the years to include a variety of different equipment. Today, pickleball is played by people of all ages and skill levels, and it is one of the fastest-growing sports in the United States.

Comparison of Their Origins

While badminton and pickleball are both racket sports that involve hitting a ball over a net, their origins and histories are quite different. Badminton has been played for centuries and has a rich cultural history, while pickleball is a relatively new sport that was invented by two friends looking for a fun way to spend time with their families. Despite their differences, both sports have become popular around the world and offer unique challenges and benefits to players of all skill levels.

Equipment and Court

Equipment Needed for Badminton and Pickleball

To play badminton, you’ll need a shuttlecock and a racket. Shuttlecocks come in two varieties: feather and synthetic. Feather shuttlecocks are made from goose or duck feathers and are used in professional play. Synthetic shuttlecocks are made from plastic and are better for beginners or casual play. Badminton rackets are lightweight and have a long, thin handle with a large, oval-shaped head.

To play pickleball, you’ll need a paddle and a ball. Pickleball paddles are smaller than tennis rackets but larger than ping pong paddles. They are made of wood, graphite, or composite materials. Pickleball balls are similar to Wiffle balls and are made of plastic with holes in them.

Court Dimensions and Features

The court dimensions for badminton and pickleball are different. A badminton court is 44 feet long and 20 feet wide for singles, and 44 feet long and 24 feet wide for doubles. The net is 5 feet tall in the center and slopes to 5’1″ at the posts. The court is divided into two halves by a centerline, and each half is further divided into a service court and a backcourt.

In contrast, a pickleball court is 44 feet long and 20 feet wide for doubles play, and 44 feet long and 17 feet wide for singles play. The net is 36 inches high at the sidelines and 34 inches high in the center. There is a non-volley zone (also known as the kitchen) that extends 7 feet from the net on either side, where players are not allowed to hit the ball in the air.

Both sports can be played indoors or outdoors, but badminton is more commonly played indoors while pickleball is played both indoors and outdoors. The surface of the court can be a variety of materials, such as wood, concrete, or asphalt.

Gameplay and Rules

Badminton

Badminton is played either in singles or doubles, with each player or team positioned on opposite sides of the court. The server begins by serving the shuttlecock diagonally to the receiver, and the receiver must hit the shuttlecock back over the net before it touches the ground. The game continues until one player or team reaches 21 points, and they must win by a margin of two points. If the score is tied at 20-20, the game continues until one player or team leads by two points.

In doubles, the players on the same team take turns serving the shuttlecock, and the opposing team must return the shuttlecock to the team that served it. If the serving team wins a point, the same player serves again. If the receiving team wins a point, the receiving team becomes the serving team.

Pickleball

Pickleball is played in singles or doubles, with each player or team positioned on opposite sides of the court. The game begins with a serve, and the server must hit the ball underhanded to the receiver on the other side of the net. The receiver then hits the ball back over the net, and the game continues until one player or team reaches 11 points. The winning player or team must win by a margin of two points.

In doubles, the players on the same team take turns serving the ball, and the opposing team must return the ball to the team that served it. If the serving team wins a point, the same player serves again. If the receiving team wins a point, the receiving team becomes the serving team.

Comparison of the Rules

While both badminton and pickleball involve hitting a ball over a net, they have different rules that make them unique. Badminton has a larger court and uses a shuttlecock, while pickleball has a smaller court and uses a plastic ball. Badminton also has a higher scoring system and requires players to win by a margin of two points, while pickleball has a lower scoring system and requires players to win by a margin of one point. Overall, both sports provide a fun and challenging experience for players of all skill levels.