Badminton is played with a shuttlecock and rackets, on a smaller court, usually indoors. Tennis is played using a ball and rackets, on a larger court, often outdoors.

TL;DR Badminton Vs. Tennis

Badminton and tennis are racket sports played on rectangular courts with nets. Badminton uses a shuttlecock, while tennis uses a ball. The scoring systems, court sizes, equipment, and strokes differ between the two sports.

What is Badminton?

picture of a player playing badminton

Badminton is a game that originated in British India during the 19th century. It involves two players or pairs who face off on opposite sides of a rectangular court divided by a net.

The objective is to hit a feathered shuttlecock over the net and make it land within the boundaries of your opponent’s side.

What is Tennis?

picture of a player playing tennis

Tennis is a popular racket sport played on a rectangular court with a net in the middle. Players use rackets to hit a felt-covered ball over the net, aiming to land it in the opponent’s court in a way that they cannot return it.

The objective is to score points by winning rallies and games. The game can be played between two players (singles) or four players (doubles).

Badminton Vs. Tennis – Key differences

EquipmentShuttlecock and racketsTennis ball and rackets
Court SizeSmaller court, often indoorsLarger court, often outdoors
Net HeightLower netHigher net
ScoringRally point scoring systemGame, set, and match scoring system
ServeUnderhand serveOverhand serve
Game StyleLighter and quicker gameplaySlower-paced with longer rallies
ShotsUses wrist actions for shotsUtilizes various shots and volleys
Court LinesDifferent boundary lines layoutDifferent boundary lines layout
Points21 points to win a game in singles 30 points to win a game in doubles15, 30, 40, and game points in singles 0, 15, 30, 40, and game points in doubles

Badminton Vs. Tennis – The scoring system

Badminton Scoring System

  • In badminton, the scoring system follows the rally point system.
  • A point is scored in every rally, regardless of which player serves.
  • Each game is played to 21 points, and the player/team that reaches 21 points first and has a lead of at least 2 points wins the game.
  • If the score reaches 20-20, the game continues until one player/team gains a 2-point lead (e.g., 22-20).
  • In doubles, each player serves consecutively, and the serving side rotates after scoring a point.

Tennis Scoring System

  • Tennis uses a unique scoring system with points, games, sets, and matches.
  • Points are scored as follows: 0, 15, 30, 40. The first player to win four points wins the game.
  • However, if both players reach 40 points, it’s called “deuce.” From deuce, a player must win two consecutive points to win the game.
  • A set is a collection of games, and the player/team that wins six games first with a lead of at least two games wins the set.
  • If the score reaches 6-6 in a set, a tiebreaker is played to determine the winner of the set.
  • The first player/team to win seven points in the tiebreaker, with a lead of at least two points, wins the set.
  • Matches are usually best of three sets for women and best of five sets for men in major tournaments. The player/team that wins the required number of sets wins the match.

Badminton uses the rally point system with games played to 21 points, while tennis has a unique points, games, sets, and matches system, where points progress from 0 to 15 to 30 to 40.

Games in tennis are won by a player/team reaching four points with a lead or two consecutive points in case of a deuce. Sets are a collection of games, and matches are decided by the “best-of” format.

Badminton Vs. Tennis – The playing field

Badminton Playing Field

  • Badminton is played on a rectangular court, divided into two halves by a net.
  • The court size is 13.4 meters (44 feet) in length for singles matches and 6.1 meters (20 feet) in width for both singles and doubles matches.
  • The net is positioned at the center, and its height is set at 1.55 meters (5 feet 1 inch) at the edges and 1.524 meters (5 feet) at the center.
  • The court also has specific boundary lines for singles and doubles matches, defining the in and out areas.

Tennis Playing Field

  • Tennis is also played on a rectangular court with a net in the middle.
  • The court size is larger compared to badminton, with a length of 23.77 meters (78 feet) for both singles and doubles matches and a width of 8.23 meters (27 feet) for doubles matches or 10.97 meters (36 feet) for singles matches.
  • The net is positioned at the center, and its height is set at 0.914 meters (3 feet) at the center.
  • Tennis courts have specific boundary lines that define the in and out areas for singles and doubles matches.

Badminton and tennis both use rectangular courts with nets, but badminton has a smaller court compared to tennis.

The dimensions and boundary lines are distinct for each sport, accommodating the different gameplay styles and requirements of each game.

Badminton Vs. Tennis – The equipment

Badminton Equipment

  • Racket: Players use badminton rackets, which are lightweight and have a smaller head compared to tennis rackets. The frame is usually made of graphite or other lightweight materials.
  • Shuttlecock: Badminton is played with a shuttlecock, also known as a birdie, which has a feathered or plastic skirt attached to a cork or rubber base.
  • Court Shoes: Players wear court shoes with non-marking soles to provide grip and support on the badminton court.
  • Attire: Players typically wear comfortable sports clothing suitable for movement, such as T-shirts, shorts, or skirts.

Tennis Equipment


  • Racket: Tennis players use tennis rackets, which have a larger head and are heavier than badminton rackets. They are also made of materials like graphite or carbon fiber.
  • Tennis Ball: Tennis is played with a felt-covered rubber ball that comes in different types for various court surfaces (e.g., clay, grass, hardcourt).
  • Court Shoes: Tennis players wear specialized tennis shoes with durable outsoles to withstand the rigors of the court surface.
  • Attire: Tennis players usually wear comfortable and breathable sports clothing, such as T-shirts, shorts, skirts, or dresses. In professional matches, players often wear specific tennis attire.

Both sports require rackets and specific footwear, the main differences lie in the design and size of the rackets, as well as the type of ball used.

Badminton rackets are lighter and have a smaller head, suitable for hitting shuttlecocks, while tennis rackets are heavier and have a larger head, designed for hitting tennis balls.

Badminton Vs. Tennis – The player’s attire

Badminton Player’s Attire

  • Badminton players typically wear comfortable and lightweight sports clothing, designed to allow freedom of movement and agility on the court.
  • Men often wear athletic shorts and a T-shirt or a sports polo shirt.
  • Women commonly wear sports skirts or shorts paired with a T-shirt or sports top.
  • Proper court shoes with non-marking soles are essential to provide grip and stability during quick movements.

Tennis Player’s Attire

  • Tennis players also wear comfortable and functional sports clothing, specifically designed for the demands of the game.
  • Men usually wear athletic shorts and a polo shirt or a sports T-shirt.
  • Women often wear tennis skirts or dresses along with a sports top.
  • Tennis players may opt for specialized tennis shoes with durable outsoles, suitable for different court surfaces.

In both badminton and tennis, the player’s attire prioritizes comfort, breathability, and the ability to move freely on the court.

While there might be some variation in style and design, the primary focus is on ensuring the players’ ease of movement and performance during the game.

Badminton Vs. Tennis – The Different strokes in each game

Badminton Strokes

  • Clear: A high, deep shot that travels to the back of the opponent’s court, used to create distance and gain time.
  • Drop Shot: A gentle shot that barely clears the net and falls close to the net on the opponent’s side, used to surprise the opponent.
  • Smash: A powerful overhead shot, executed with a fast, downward motion, aimed to win points aggressively.
  • Drive: A flat and fast shot that travels parallel to the net, used to keep the opponent on the defensive.
  • Drop Smash: A combination of a drop shot and smash, used to catch the opponent off guard by disguising the shot’s intention.

Tennis Strokes

  • Forehand: A shot hit on the dominant side of the body with the palm facing forward, commonly used for power and control.
  • Backhand: A shot hit on the non-dominant side of the body, with the back of the hand facing forward, often executed with one or two hands on the racket.
  • Serve: The shot used to start each point, where the ball is thrown into the air and struck over the net into the opponent’s service box.
  • Volley: A shot where the ball is hit before it bounces, typically executed close to the net, used to cut off angles and put pressure on the opponent.
  • Lob: A high, arcing shot that travels over the opponent’s head, used to push the opponent away from the net and create opportunities.

Image Credits

Featured Image ByShep McAllister on Unsplash

Image 1 ByMoises Alex on Unsplash

Image 2 ByMuktasim Azlan on Unsplash

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