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The Basics

The beginner's guide to Badminton

What is Badminton?

Young Players

Badminton is a fast, dynamic Olympic sport played on an indoor court using rackets and shuttlecocks (feather or synthetic). It is played as singles, doubles and mixed doubles and caters for all ages and ability levels from beginner through to world class performance.

Over 500,000 people play badminton once a week in England with many more enjoying a game throughout the year. Whatever your reason for playing, be it fitness, health, to compete or just for fun, it’s so easy to book a court and get playing at your local leisure centre. See all the different ways you can play more often.

What equipment do I need?

For a beginner, badminton is a relatively low cost sport to start playing:

Shorts, a T-shirt or sports shirt, and a warm top are all you need. If you have a tracksuit then that is also useful but not absolutely necessary.

Sports socks and comfortable badminton shoes or trainers with a good sole to obtain a grip on the floor are important. Black soles to the shoes are not allowed.

These are made of various lightweight materials. They come in many different makes and prices but if you are just starting the game you do not need to buy the most expensive racket. However, steer clear of really cheap rackets (under £10). Buy a racket that suits you.

Shuttle on court - generic badmintonThe key elements are that the racket feels appropriately balanced for you, has the correct level of flexibility and is strong enough for the string tension that you require.

Try to go to a specialist racket shop and ask about their different characteristics. Pick up as many as possible to see if they feel right and ask if you can borrow a demonstration model. You could also borrow your friends’ rackets to see how they perform.

These are plastic or feathered. If you are just starting, plastic shuttles are ideal and cheaper. They come in three speeds - fast, medium and slow. Buy medium speed to start with until you know more about the game. At the highest levels of the game the shuttle can be hit to speeds in excess of 150 miles per hour and may be changed after single points!

Where can I play?

There are around 24,000 badminton courts in England. Click here to find your local clubs. Click here to find all the different ways to play. 

What are the rules of badminton?

Please click here to visit the Laws of Badminton enforced by the Badminton World Federation (BWF). 

Watch our masterclass videos below for some playing hints and tips.