Badminton Vs. Tennis: Similarities and Differences

How to Play Badminton

Badminton and tennis are two of the most popular games across the world. They do have certain similarities; however, they are different on a variety of fronts.


One of the most similar elements between badminton and tennis is the rackets and nets. While they might look similar, there are key differences in size, material, and build. Firstly, the tennis racket is bigger in size and heavier than the badminton racket. They might be similar in length; however, the hitting surface of a tennis racket (12.5 inches) is bigger than that of a badminton racket (9 inches). A tennis racket is around 250-350 grams while a badminton racket is around 100 grams. Even the thickness, pattern, and tension of strings in the two rackets are vastly different.

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The look and feel of the courts is another striking similarity between tennis and badminton. The shape and lines are similar; however, they differ significantly in their respective sizes. A tennis court is 23 x 10 metres, while a badminton court is 13 x 6 metres in size.

Ball vs Shuttlecock

Tennis uses bouncy balls while badminton uses shuttlecocks or birdies. They are entirely different in shape, size, and weight. While a tennis ball is bouncy and flexible in nature, a shuttlecock is more aerodynamic in the air. A tennis ball has a diameter of 2.575”-2.7” with a circumference of 8.09”-8.48”. It weighs 56-59.4 grams. On the other hand, a shuttlecock is a conical projectile made of 16 feathers attached to a hemispherical cork at one end. Each feather is 62 -70 mm in length. The larger diameter of the circle that the feathers make is 2.3 to 2.7 in while the other end where they embed into the cork is 25 to 28 mm in diameter.

Scoring System

Both tennis and badminton use a set format for scoring. The player who wins two sets in a three-set game or three sets in a five-set game wins the match. However, their scoring pattern is entirely different. Each set-in badminton is 21 points and the player who reaches 21 points first with a gap of two points wins the set. A tennis set is of 6 games and the player who wins 6 games with a difference of two games wins the set. The calculation of points in tennis is slightly more complex. Each game in tennis is composed of points o, 15, 30, and 40 to win each game.

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Tennis has been traditionally the most popular game globally with players such as Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal, and Novak Djokovic achieving a cult following from fans the world over. Badminton on the other hand has largely been limited to Asian countries in terms of widespread popularity. The status however has seen an upsurge for badminton in recent years. Exploits of popular figures such as Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu have exponentially enhanced the popularity of badminton especially in the Indian subcontinent. However, in terms of followership, the ATP tennis circuit comprising popular grand slams such as Wimbledon, French Open, US Open and Australian Open far outpace similar badminton tournaments in terms of viewership and mass following.


Tennis being a larger-sized court with heavier rackets and balls as compared to badminton rackets and shuttlecock seems like a tougher deal. However, both games have their levels of difficulty.

In badminton, the players exploit the intricacies of the court without allowing the shuttlecock to fall. In tennis, the ball is allowed to bounce once, but the angles and power-heavy games make it equally tough for players to retrieve and stay in the game. Both games are extremely intricate and tough in their own right.

On the face of it, tennis is more power-oriented while badminton is more about flexibility and agility. However, with the evolving formats of the two games, they both equally involve the usage of power and agility.

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In terms of requirements to engage in each game, badminton can turn out to be cheaper and easier as compared to tennis. The cost of a badminton racket and shuttlecock is much cheaper than the cost of purchasing a tennis racket and balls. Even the court requirements are much more lenient in badminton as practically it can be played anywhere with just two rackets and a shuttlecock.

On the other hand, tennis requires a proper level of court. Given the size and availability of courts, size of rackets and balls, as compared to those for badminton, for small children badminton is an easier game to pick up as compared to tennis. Smaller kids may not find the effort required in lifting a badminton racket and hitting a shuttle that taxing as compared to lifting a tennis racket and hitting a tennis ball.

Tennis and badminton gears suitable for smaller children are easily available these days which makes it easier for children to try out any of these two wonderfully fun and engaging games.

At EuroSchool we offer various sports programs, including badminton and tennis, as part of our physical education or extracurricular activities.

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