What Is Badminton and Why Is It Getting So Popular?

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Let’s step again for a second in time: You’re in your fourth grade gymnasium class when your PE teacher passes out slender rackets and white, ethereal shuttlecocks, often known as birdies. She introduces the day’s exercise as “badminton,” one thing you’ve maybe solely seen in retro photographs.

You and your classmates attempt to toss the birdie forwards and backwards for half-hour. Then, the bell rings and the gear is tucked away. Maybe the sport fades away in your reminiscence as a nice however fleeting reminiscence. That’s, till you notice it whereas scrolling social media in 2024.

In line with a Pinterest trend report, Gen Z and Millennials are driving reputation for badminton this yr. It’s not simply in regards to the sport, however the general way of life: Searches for “badminton racket” and “badminton outfit” are each up by 80 %, “badminton bag” is up by 105 %, and “badminton sneakers” is up by 50 %. Even the extra particular “enjoying badminton aesthetic” time period, full with preppy skirts and striped socks, has elevated by 45 %.

In the meantime, the badminton and tennis market is forecasted to have a 5.85 % CAGR (compound annual progress fee) via 2031, with a projected market dimension of $18.9 billion by 2031, per market analysis firm Business Research Insights.

Sound acquainted? One other racket sport, the now-famous pickleball, has additionally gone from nearly unknown to ubiquitous lately. This equally accessible racket sport has change into a go-to exercise and continues to be the fastest-growing sport tracked by market analysis firm GWI, based on analyst Chris Beer.

“Shopper tendencies, on the whole, are likely to unfold on one in every of three channels: TV, social media, and word-of-mouth,” Beer says. “If a sport like badminton goes to make inroads, it probably must be featured on a platform that may attain lots of people. More and more, we’re seeing sports activities develop their following via social media, notably TikTok.”

(Badminton influencers like @badmintonjack have already gained thousands and thousands of likes on TikTok.)

Right here’s how badminton reemerged as a trending sport—and what makes it so interesting to gamers right now.

What’s badminton, anyway?

Badminton is a racket sport with two to 4 gamers who hit a birdie throughout a web, per the International Olympic Committee. One aspect scores a degree when the birdie hits the bottom within the opponent’s half of the court docket. The primary aspect to succeed in 21 factors wins the sport (all matches are best-of-three video games).

It might be shocking to some within the West, however badminton is without doubt one of the hottest sports activities worldwide—and is most well-known in Asia.

Nonetheless, it additionally has a strong historical past in the USA. The Badminton Membership of New York, based in 1878, was the primary membership within the nation, based on USA Badminton. The game’s reputation boomed within the Thirties with the assist of YMCAs and academic establishments. Many celebrities like Bette Davis and James Cagney performed.

The game grew over time, however American golf equipment ultimately noticed a slight decline within the Seventies. Nonetheless, when badminton was formally included within the 1992 Olympic Video games in Barcelona, its reputation began to rise as soon as once more.

Much like pickleball, badminton is touted for each its accessibility and well being advantages.

“Repeatedly enjoying badminton might assist ease well being circumstances by releasing feel-good endorphins and different pure mind chemical compounds to boost your sense of well-being,” says Lloyd Green, head of communications for the Badminton World Federation.

Badminton can result in different general well being advantages, resembling enhancements in coronary heart and lung operate, based on an August 2022 assessment within the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. Plus, the advantages have been seen in all kinds of populations, ages, and sexes.

“The typical particular person burns 475 to 525 energy per hour by enjoying a social sport of badminton,” Inexperienced says. “Throughout 20 minutes of badminton, gamers will make no less than 350 adjustments in a course of 90 levels or extra, constructing pace, energy, agility, and suppleness.”

“If a sport like badminton goes to make inroads, it probably must be featured on a platform that may attain lots of people. More and more, we’re seeing sports activities develop their following via social media, notably TikTok.” —Chris Beer, knowledge analyst

How badminton is rising in reputation

Badminton participant Diana Knekna represented Bulgaria within the 1992 Olympic Video games on the age of 19.

“It was my dream, and since then, the world federation began to advertise the game all over the place,” says Knekna, who now lives in Nicosia, Cyprus. “You’ll discover it within the colleges, universities, and on social media and stay on TV. Ten years in the past, somebody would ask what badminton is, however now it’s virtually all over the place right here.”

It’s additionally inexpensive and easy for somebody of any age to be taught the foundations of badminton.

“For first-time gamers, it’s very low cost and the racket can be very mild,” Knekna says. “It’s straightforward for anybody to be taught. Plus, you may play it wherever.”

Though badminton is the quickest sport on the planet (the birdies can transfer as much as 306 miles per hour on the skilled degree, per the Canadian Olympic Committee), adjustments have been made prior to now few many years to make it much more interesting to viewers.

For example, courtside microphones have been added to select up the sound of the birdie being struck and the scoring system modified in 2006 to align with different sports activities like tennis and volleyball.

“Earlier than, you’ll solely win a degree when you served, however now it’s whether or not you serve or obtain the serve,” Knekna says. “This made it extra fascinating and quicker.”

Because the 1992 Olympics, many initiatives have been launched to develop the sport worldwide.

“The Badminton World Federation invests considerably yearly to assist growth tasks and actions at world, regional, and native ranges,” Inexperienced says. “It has delivered a complicated suite of instructional assets to assist the supply of structured growth applications, tasks, and actions for our members.”

This emphasis on instructing the proper fundamentals of badminton and increasing its viewers has seen ripple results around the globe.

“It not solely will increase participation, but additionally ensures that people are taught by professionals, equipping them with the abilities to subsequently train others of all ages,” says Knekna, who has given greater than 200 displays on badminton in colleges and universities. “Additionally they manage occasions in well-known areas worldwide, the place giant audiences can witness and have interaction within the sport firsthand. These occasions are sometimes live-streamed.”

The present efforts to advertise badminton are additionally in preparation for the 2028 Olympic Video games in Los Angeles.

“This offers an amazing alternative to advertise the game, not simply within the Los Angeles space, however past,” says Steve Kearney, director of USA Para-Badminton. “Badminton golf equipment have a stronghold in California, however now Texas can be blowing up with golf equipment—as are Florida, New York, Chicago, and Oregon. It’s all around the nation.”

Nonetheless, Kearney acknowledges that badminton is gaining traction in the USA in a while in comparison with Asia and Europe. One cause could also be that governments in international locations like Indonesia assist sports activities like badminton, whereas this isn’t the case for many sports activities in the USA. Most badminton athletes are self-funded within the states.

“Plus, an Olympic medal causes the game to blow up,” Kearney says. “India has exploded for badminton, as an illustration, as a result of they received a silver medal within the Olympics.”

The USA has not but received an Olympic medal for badminton.

“When somebody who has by no means tried badminton says it’s boring, I inform them, let’s play collectively for 2 minutes—no extra. From that first second, you see them get excited in the course of the rally and so they begin smiling. What else do we want?” —Diana Knekna, Olympic badminton participant

What the way forward for badminton seems to be like

Present championships in the USA—coupled with social media tendencies like “enjoying badminton aesthetic”—are anticipated to proceed driving the recognition of the game.

“We definitely know there’s curiosity in North America, notably pushed by the Asian communities there, with fairly subtle badminton infrastructure in some areas,” Inexperienced says.

Final yr, the BWF World Junior Championships 2023 had been held in Spokane, Washington. Francesca Corbett and Allison Lee achieved historical past as they turned the primary gamers from the USA to medal on the World Juniors in ladies’s doubles. Wins like these are key stepping stones for badminton applications main as much as the 2028 Los Angeles Olympic Video games and past.

“I see growing progress, membership, and playtime for badminton,” Kearney says. “With the Olympics, there would be the alternative to reveal it to an increasing number of individuals. There’s all the time been the notion of badminton as one thing you play within the yard with a beer in a single hand and hitting a shuttle with the opposite, however we all know it’s completely different than that.”

For the on a regular basis participant, badminton might provide a simple method to combine up your health routine and add slightly pleasure to your day.

“When somebody who has by no means tried badminton says it’s boring, I inform them, let’s play collectively for 2 minutes—no extra,” Knekna says. “From that first second, you see them get excited in the course of the rally and so they begin smiling. What else do we want?”

For those who’re excited by enjoying badminton, you may find out about golf equipment in your space by writing to info@usabadminton.org.


Nicely+Good articles reference scientific, dependable, latest, strong research to again up the knowledge we share. You may belief us alongside your wellness journey.

  1. Cabello-Manrique D, Lorente JA, Padial-Ruz R, Puga-González E. Play Badminton Perpetually: A Systematic Overview of Well being Advantages. Int J Environ Res Public Well being. 2022 Jul 26;19(15):9077. doi: 10.3390/ijerph19159077. PMID: 35897446; PMCID: PMC9330062.




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