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Why Is Badminton Not Popular?

The close cousin of badminton, tennis, is hugely popular around the world, yet the shuttlecock sport doesn’t seem to have such a big impression on the masses – but why is this?

One would think that as an enjoyable, active and competitive sport, badminton would be far more well-loved than it is. In this article, we will be looking at the answer to the question ‘why is badminton not popular?’ Maybe this will shift your opinion on the sport.

Why Is Badminton Not Popular?

Where Is Badminton Most Popular?

Badminton does have a small niche in most countries; however, there are a lot of places where this sport doesn’t have much demand at all.

In the far east, badminton is extremely popular - places such as Korea, China and Indonesia have many expert players and the population love nothing more than to spectate.

Additionally, there is a significant love for the sport in places such as Britain and Denmark, with Europe being one of the continents that badminton is most played in.

How Popular Is Badminton In The World?

Since badminton isn’t one of the most talked-about sports, it may come as a surprise that on a global scale, it is actually within the top ten most-played.

It is thought that there are more than 200 million players across the world - so whilst it isn’t anywhere near as popular as football, tennis or boxing, for example, it does have a decent following.

How Popular Is Badminton In The World?

What Are The Disadvantages Of Playing Badminton?

Being a badminton fanatic can be difficult, due to the lesser popularity of the sport, players can find it more challenging to get into the spotlight. What’s more, these players will notice that there isn’t as much enthusiasm for their career from family and friends.

Unfortunately, there are many disadvantages to playing badminton, and these are vastly related to its unpopularity.

One of the first things that put badminton below where it should be in sports lovers’ minds is that there simply isn’t enough attention being placed on the sport.

Consider tennis, many worldwide superstars have made a name for themselves by being handy with a racquet - but these same people would perhaps have just as much success with badminton if it were as popular.

Huge tennis tournaments bring fans together on a global scale - Wimbledon, the US Open and the French Open, to name a few.

But how often have you heard of a world badminton tournament? Of course, there are the world championships, but they don’t get anywhere near as much coverage as their tennis counterparts. Perhaps if more focus were placed on the sport, more people would come to love it.

However, a lack of interest isn’t the only reason that badminton isn’t in demand - let’s take a look at some of the other things that make this a lesser-loved sport.

People See Badminton As A Hobby Sport

Many sports are perceived as being something one could make a career out of - football, rugby, tennis and even swimming. But how frequently do you hear someone tell you that they want to make a living from playing badminton? Rarely, if ever.

What you may hear, however, are families talking about their new badminton equipment for playing back yard competitions at the weekend or in the park. Far too many people believe badminton to be nothing more than a hobby.

It may come as a surprise that up until the 1970s, badminton has a far more outstanding reputation in the world of professional sports. Still, as soon as it became a weekend activity for families, it soon lost its credibility as a game of skill and endurance.

It Depends On Where You Are In The World

Football or soccer is enormous in the United Kingdom, yet go across the pond to the USA and the game is barely given a second thought. This is mostly down to the country’s success in the sport.

Your location will have a significant impact on the popularity of any sport - just look at the French and Petanque, something the rest of the world seemingly doesn’t understand, but those Frenchies can’t get enough of.

The same can be said for badminton. In some Asian countries, badminton is hugely popular, yet in the USA, there simply isn’t a call for it. The reason for this is mostly because there aren’t any major players from this area, and if your country isn’t winning, you’re likely to lose interest. 

Why Is Badminton Not Popular?

There Isn’t Much Media Attention.

For a sport to gain momentum and become prevalent, it needs to be shown to the majority of the population. During the huge world tournaments of other sports, it is difficult to get away from footage of the games, whereas badminton does not benefit from this exposure.

It is almost a certainty that if the media put more focus on the big badminton tournaments, and played it to the public as the next big thing, the game would soar to new heights of popularity.

Just look at how quickly songs and dances become popular once they gain momentum on platforms like TikTok - the same can be said for anything, on any type of media.

Tennis Has Taken Over

There are an astonishing 31 racquet sports yet when asked to think of these, most people will only think of tennis, and badminton as a second thought. If they really push themselves, they might pull squash out of the recesses of their mind.

But how can badminton compete with a sport like Tennis, which is so similar in many ways and has taken over the world? It would be extremely difficult, impossible even, for badminton to gain the kind of love and attention that it’s ball-based cousin is receiving.

People See Badminton As Being A Sport For The Weak

When you think of badminton, there’s little doubt that you imagine nimble ladies, lighting flicking a shuttlecock back and forth, with minimal effort. But this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Much like the ‘tougher’ racquet sports, badminton is a game that requires an incredible amount of strength and stamina - not to mention the skill that goes into learning the intricacies of the game.

This reputation of being weak appears to deter people from watching or playing the sport. Still, if this could be shaken, more people would likely appreciate the athleticism of the players.


Up until around 50 years ago, badminton was considered an exciting and valid sport, but once the image of families enjoying a game in the park took over, the sport lost a lot of its street cred. This is a shame since badminton is a sport that requires a lot of skill and strength.

Furthermore, there is a common misconception that this is an activity that is geared toward the weak, which again, could not be more untrue.

But with limited media coverage and not a lot of interest from countries where there aren’t many pro players, it is difficult for badminton ever to be as popular as tennis, which seems to have taken the lead in the world of racquet sports.

Perhaps if more attention was brought to the sport, we could get it back to the popularity it saw in its heyday.

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