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Badminton vs Ping Pong

Looking at the two racket sports of badminton and ping pong, it is evident that there are clear differences. The two games are vastly different simply by appearance, but are there any ways in which the two are alike?

In this article, we are going to focus on badminton vs ping pong and find out just how different the two games are.

Badminton vs Ping Pong

A Little Bit About Ping Pong

The game of ping pong, which is officially called table tennis is often thought of as being a social sport that is played between families - badminton has a similar reputation, and this is where the similarities begin.

Whilst this may be a common perception, ping pong players will tell a much different story. This is a game that requires deep focus, excellent agility and intense speed - it certainly isn’t just something for a weekend break to the seaside!

Ping pong was invented in the UK in the late 1800s by the Victorians and has grown so rapidly in its popularity that it is played by more than 300 million people. That is staggering when we consider the global population.

The game took its inspiration from lawn tennis, and people would revert to this when they wanted to continue the game inside during winter.

How Are Ping Pong And Badminton Different?

In terms of how the two games appear side by side, it is evident that there are some vast differences in the equipment that is used.

Primarily, you will notice that badminton is played with a much larger racket that is made from lightweight metal and features strings. In contrast, a table tennis racket is more of a paddle design and is made from wood. The paddle is also covered in a layer of rubber on either both or a single side - this depends on the grip of the player.

The racket that is used by badminton players is far lighter than a table tennis paddle. If you have been used to playing one sport and attempted to take up the other, you will find the racket or paddle to be the most challenging transition.

Furthermore, badminton is played on a much larger court and features a net running across the width of this court. Players hit a shuttlecock back and forth in a rally across the net.

However, where ping pong is concerned, the smaller court does feature a net, but this is placed on a table - hence the name ‘table tennis.’

How Are Badminton And Ping Pong Similar?

Potentially the most obvious similarities between the two sports are that they use similar equipment and are both played on an indoor court. But where equipment is concerned, as we have discovered, this is where the similarities end.

However, in terms of gameplay, you might be surprised to learn that ping pong and badminton are relatively similar. The scoring systems are astonishingly close, unlike other racket sports which, when compared to badminton, are hugely different!

In badminton, players must reach a score of 21 to be declared the winner of that game - the best of three games determines the overall winner. However, the score can continue up to 29 due to intricacies in the rules.

In short, these intricacies refer to the two-point lead. If a player reaches 21, but their opponent is at 20, they cannot win until they are at least two points ahead. This continues until the winner reaches 29 points. Then, regardless of their opponent’s score, they win the round.

In table tennis, players must also aim to score 21 in any given round in order to be declared the winner. However, unlike badminton, the scoring varies slightly since there is an absence of the two-point lead, and therefore, the play does not continue once a player reaches 21.

Which Is More Physically Demanding - Badminton Or Ping Pong?

One could be forgiven for thinking that ping pong required no physical exertion at all, especially when we think of it as a hobby game that is often played by children and at family events. However, the opposite is quite true.

It is no secret that badminton players must be incredibly fit and healthy if they want to excel in their game. They need to be able to keep moving around the court for the entire game, they must be flexible and agile, and they must have good muscle endurance and strength.

There are those who believe that badminton is also something of a hobby sport, but when you play at a pro-level, you will notice how physically-exhausting this game can be. So much so, in fact, that players are advised not to play every day unless they are in training for a tournament.

On the flip side, ping pong, whilst not quite as physically demanding as badminton, does require a certain degree of stamina and agility.

The reason that this game isn’t quite as difficult physically speaking is that players must stand at the table, rather than moving around the entire court as a badminton player would. However, they must remain focussed and have excellent reaction times thanks to the speed of the ball.

So when we think that table tennis is ‘easy’, we would be thinking incorrectly.


Badminton and ping pong are both racket sports - although, if you wanted to be technical, ping pong is played with a paddle rather than a racket.

There are some similarities, but for the most part, they are two widely different games. Whilst some of the equipment is similar, and the scoring systems are very close in nature, the finer details of each game are vastly different.

What’s more, the physical needs of the players for each game vary greatly with badminton requiring more physical strength and stamina and table tennis being more about focus and spot on with your reaction times.

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