Badminton Vs. Table Tennis Games
Badminton and table tennis, also known as pingpong, are considered fun games by many people but are also very competitive racquet Olympic sports. Badminton player Fu Haifeng of China hit the shuttlecock, badminton’s version of a ball, 206 mph in 2005, according to Guinness World Records. China dominates both sports. Badminton and table tennis have other similarities in field of play, equipment and rules, but they also have differences.
Field of Play
Competitive badminton and table tennis are both played indoors. Badminton courts and table tennis tables resemble miniature tennis courts, because they are rectangular, have a net that separates players on each side of the net, and have singles and doubles courts. Badminton courts are 20 feet wide and 44 feet long -- 22 feet on each side of the net. Singles courts are 17 feet wide. Table tennis tables are 30 inches high, 5 feet wide and 9 feet long -- 4 1/2 feet on each side of the net. Tennis courts are 78 feet long by 36 feet wide. Badminton nets are 5 feet high; table tennis nets are 6 inches high.
Badminton players use racquets that resemble tennis racquets, but they weigh 2 to 3 ounces, while tennis racquets weigh 10 to 12 ounces. They swing their racquets at shuttlecocks, which are often called birdies and weigh less than one-fifth of an ounce. Players hit the small piece of leather cork at the bottom of the shuttlecock. The rest of the shuttlecock is shaped like a cone and is composed of nylon or feathers. Table tennis players use wooden racquets, which are often called paddles and include a handle and a rubber-covered oval surface that is used to hit the ball. Table tennis balls weigh less than 1/200th of a pound.
Badminton players win matches when they win two 21-point games. They must win games by at least two points. Points start with serves. Servers must hit the shuttlecock when it’s below their waist on their toss and toward the receiver’s service court, which is diagonally opposite from the server’s service court. Receivers must hit the shuttlecock before it hits the ground if it would land in the service court, but they win the point if it lands elsewhere. After the serve, players must hit the shuttlecock before it bounces and the return must go over the net. The winner of the point serves the next point.
Table Tennis Rules
Table tennis players win matches when they win four 11-point games. They also must win games by at least two points and serve to start each point. Servers must hit the ball so it bounces once on their side of the court and once on their opponent’s side of the court. While badminton players must hit the shuttlecock before it bounces once in play, table tennis players must hit the ball before it bounces twice on their side and then must hit the ball over the net on a fly. Regardless of who wins points, players alternate serving two points each throughout the match.
There are five events at international badminton tournaments -- men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles. Players from China won the gold medal in all of these events at the 2012 Summer Olympics. Similarly, players from China won the gold medal in all four table tennis events at the 2012 Summer Olympics -- men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s team and women’s team. The United States does poorly internationally in badminton and table tennis.
Jay Schwartz has had articles printed by the "Chicago Tribune," "USA Today" and many other publications since 1983. He's covered health, fitness, nutrition, business, real estate, government, features, sports and more. A Lafayette, Pa. college graduate, he's also written for several Fortune 500 corporate publications and produced business newsletters.