What is the Badminton Ball Called?

Badminton is a sport that is loved and played by millions of people around the world. It is a fast-paced game that requires agility, strength, and quick reflexes. The sport has been around for centuries and has evolved into a game that is enjoyed both recreationally and professionally.

One of the most important elements of the game is the badminton ball, also known as the shuttlecock. The badminton ball is a small, feathered or nylon projectile that is hit back and forth between players using a racket. Without this crucial component, badminton would not be possible.

In this article, we will delve deeper into the world of badminton balls. We will explore the different types of badminton balls, their composition, and what makes a good badminton ball. We will also look at the various names that badminton balls are known by around the world. So, if you’ve ever wondered what the badminton ball is called, or are simply interested in learning more about the sport, then keep reading!

Different Types of Badminton Balls

Badminton balls come in two main types: feather shuttlecocks and nylon shuttlecocks. Each type has its own set of characteristics that make it unique.

Feather Shuttlecocks

Feather shuttlecocks, also known as feathered or natural shuttlecocks, are made from the feathers of a goose or duck. They are the preferred choice of professional players due to their superior flight performance and consistency.

Feather shuttlecocks are more expensive than nylon shuttlecocks due to their premium materials. They are also more delicate and have a shorter lifespan.

Nylon Shuttlecocks

Nylon shuttlecocks, also known as plastic or synthetic shuttlecocks, are made from lightweight plastic materials. They are the most commonly used type of shuttlecock and are often used in recreational play.

Nylon shuttlecocks are more durable than feather shuttlecocks and have a longer lifespan. They are also more affordable, making them a popular choice for beginners and casual players.

Differences Between the Two Types

The main differences between feather and nylon shuttlecocks are their materials, flight performance, and cost. Feather shuttlecocks are made from natural materials and have superior flight performance but are more expensive and delicate. Nylon shuttlecocks are made from synthetic materials, have a shorter lifespan, but are more durable and affordable.

Whether you choose feather or nylon shuttlecocks depends on your level of play, budget, and personal preference. Both types of shuttlecocks are used in professional and recreational play and have their own unique advantages.

Composition of a Badminton Ball

The composition of a badminton ball plays a crucial role in its performance. There are two main types of badminton balls – feather shuttlecocks and nylon shuttlecocks. Let’s take a closer look at the materials used in each type of shuttlecock and how they affect the ball’s performance.

Feather Shuttlecocks’ Materials

Feather shuttlecocks are made from the feathers of ducks or geese. The feathers used are typically from the left wing of the bird, as they are stronger and more durable than the feathers from the right wing. The feathers are carefully selected for their length, shape, and quality before being used in the production of shuttlecocks.

The base of a feather shuttlecock is made from cork, which is then covered with a thin layer of leather. The feathers are then attached to the base using a special adhesive. The combination of cork, leather, and feathers gives feather shuttlecocks a unique flight pattern and a high level of accuracy.

Nylon Shuttlecocks’ Materials

Nylon shuttlecocks, on the other hand, are made from synthetic materials. The base of a nylon shuttlecock is made from a plastic material, which is then covered with a layer of synthetic feathers. The feathers are designed to mimic the flight pattern of a feather shuttlecock, but they are more durable and can withstand more wear and tear.

The materials used in nylon shuttlecocks make them more affordable and easier to produce than feather shuttlecocks. They are also more resistant to changes in temperature and humidity, which can affect the flight of the shuttlecock.

Overall, the materials used in a badminton ball have a significant impact on its performance. While feather shuttlecocks are considered to be of higher quality, nylon shuttlecocks are a more affordable and durable option. Choosing the right type of shuttlecock depends on your playing style, skill level, and personal preferences.

Characteristics of a Good Badminton Ball

When it comes to badminton balls, not all are created equal. There are certain characteristics that make a good badminton ball, and players should take these into consideration when choosing which type of ball to use. Here are some key characteristics to look for:


Durability is an important factor to consider when choosing a badminton ball. Feather shuttlecocks, while providing a more natural feel and flight, are not as durable as nylon shuttlecocks. Nylon shuttlecocks are made of synthetic materials and are designed to last longer, making them a more cost-effective option.

Flight Performance

The flight performance of a badminton ball is crucial to the game. The ball should be able to maintain a consistent flight path, regardless of the player’s skill level or the playing conditions. Feather shuttlecocks are known for their superior flight performance, but nylon shuttlecocks have also come a long way and now offer similar flight characteristics.


Consistency is key in badminton, and the ball is no exception. A good badminton ball should offer consistent flight performance, speed, and trajectory. This ensures that players can develop their skills and technique without having to adjust to different ball characteristics.

Resistance to Wind

Another important characteristic of a good badminton ball is its resistance to wind. Playing outdoors can be challenging, and the wind can have a significant impact on the flight of the ball. Feather shuttlecocks are more susceptible to the wind, while nylon shuttlecocks offer better resistance.

Variations of Badminton Ball Names

Badminton is a sport that is played all over the world, and as such, it has different names for the badminton ball. In some countries, the shuttlecock is referred to as a birdie, while in others, it is called a shuttle or a bird. Here are some of the variations of badminton ball names:

Regional Differences in Terminology

In North America, the shuttlecock is commonly referred to as a birdie, while in the UK, it is called a shuttlecock or shuttle. In India and parts of Asia, it is often referred to as a shuttlecock or simply a shuttle.

Historical Evolution of the Term

The term shuttlecock comes from the Victorian era, where it was popular to play a game called “battledore and shuttlecock,” which was the precursor to modern-day badminton. The shuttlecock was originally made from a cork base with feathers attached to it. Over time, the materials used to make the shuttlecock changed, but the name stuck, eventually becoming the official term for the badminton ball.