It’s mind-boggling when we think about the number of racket games out there - in total, there are 31, yet we only really ever hear about a couple of them. Badminton is undoubtedly one of the most talked-about racket sports, but how does it compare to others?
In this article, we are going to be looking at the similarities and differences between badminton vs racquetball. The two sports are enjoyed by millions the world over, but for those who don’t regularly take part, there could be some confusion.
What Is Racquetball?
Racquetball can seem incredibly similar to badminton since much of the equipment used in the same - but there are some very clear differences. The main one being that as opposed to using a shuttle as we would in badminton, racquetball players use a hollow rubber ball.
Racquetball is played on a court in much the same way as badminton; only it does not have a net.
The sport was developed in 1950 and became very big in the United States, however, in the late 1970s a British version was invented, and many UK players took an extreme liking to the game.
The original game is thought to have been based on paddleball, which makes use of a paddle-like piece of equipment for hitting the ball. Where racquetball is concerned, however, players use a stringed racket, much like those we see on the badminton court.
There are subtle differences between the US and UK versions of the game, such as the size of the court and a slightly smaller ball. Otherwise, both US and British players would easily pick up the rules of each others’ games.
In racquetball, a series of coloured balls are used. Each one is used for a different purpose - whilst the game is played mostly indoors, there are colours for both indoor and outdoor use as well as speed.
Many people might compare racquetball to squash, and whilst these two sports are incredibly similar in nature, once again, there is a clear difference. This difference lies in the service of the ball - in squash, it does not need to bounce, whereas, in racquetball, it must.
How Are Badminton And Racquetball Similar
The key similarities between badminton and racquetball are the nature of the racket and the fact that both games are played on an indoor court.
Unlike paddleball, the rackets used in racquetball are stringed, which is the same as those that we see badminton players using.
Much like badminton, racquetball requires two or four players. In a badminton match, we would see singles or doubles, and this is the same with racquetball, so it isn’t hard to see how the two could be easily confused by someone who was new to the world of racket sports. What’s more, racquetball matches tend to be played in sets of three with the winner being the player who wins the most rounds.
How Are Badminton And Racquetball Different?
Whilst there are a few similarities between these two sports, the differences are far more significant. A lot of racket sports that were invented after badminton have been loosely based on our fantastic game. But this isn’t the case with racquetball. As we mentioned earlier, this game is a spin-off of paddleball. When the sport was invented, the aim was to create a more fast-paced game. Thanks to the nature and design of the paddleball paddle, the ball flies quite slowly. In contrast, the string racket used in racquetball gives a lot more speed to the ball.
So, since this sport was not based around the rules and play of badminton, there are many notable differences. Primarily, the use of a ball in place of the shuttlecock visibly distinguishes the two games from one another.
In addition to this, racketball does not use a net and rather, the players hit the ball towards a wall. Unlike badminton, where players hit the ball to one another, racquetball players take turns in rallying the ball against the wall. What’s more, in racquetball, players decide on a score before the game starts, whereas badminton has a set score of 21 to reach before being declared the winner of the round.
Which Is More Physically Demanding?
Badminton is an incredibly demanding sport when it comes to physical exertion. Players are required to be agile, flexible and be able to continuously move around the court for the entirety of the game. On average, this is around 45 minutes, so it is easy to see how the sport is something of a workout.
Racquetball is also extremely physically demanding for the players, and in much the same way as badminton, the players need to be continually moving around the court. It is also essential for them to have a reasonable degree of flexibility and be able to maintain activity throughout the gameplay.
It would be wrong to say that either one of these sports was more physically demanding than the other. It is clear that both require players to be fit and healthy to take part.
There is a massive variety of racket sports in the world, and many of them are extremely similar - this can quickly lead to confusion for people who are not overly familiar with them. But it is important that a clear distinction is made between each of these games.
Many racket sports were inspired by badminton, or its close cousin, tennis, but there are some that have been inspired by other games. In the case of racquetball, we can thank paddleball for giving the idea to the inventor.