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Is Badminton an Indoor or Outdoor Sport? (BWF, AirBadminton, …)

Since all competitive level badminton matches are played at indoor courts, badminton should be considered an indoor sport. Nonetheless, badminton can be played outdoors for recreational purposes. Playing badminton in the garden or on the beaches is very popular.

Professional badminton is always played on indoor courts. However, recreational badminton can be played in both indoor or outdoor areas.

Badminton is played with a shuttlecock whose weight is extremely light; between 4.5 and 5.5 grams. It is made of light feathers, and its design is such that when hit by the racquet, it flies into the air with a spin or high speed.

If we play badminton outdoors, the speed and direction of the shuttlecock cannot remain unaffected by the outside wind. This would affect the players’ natural game.

Professional Badminton

While it is a fact that a lot of people like to play badminton outdoors, professional matches have to be played at the indoor courts so that the players can play their matches in a neutral wind condition. This ensures that the playing conditions for all the participating players are the same.

At the highest level of the game where the competitiveness is exceptionally high, even a seemingly inconsequential-looking mild breeze can make a huge difference. Not only we’ll it be difficult for players to perform at their best, but also could potentially alter the course of the game. At a competitive level, such a thing cannot be allowed. That’s why professional badminton is always played indoors where no wind could interfere with the match.

Why Indoors?

Inge Schepers / Shutterstock

Compared to other similar games played with racquets, a shuttlecock gains much greater top speed during the game. Due to rigorous training and practice, professional players develop great control over their shots and shuttlecock. And, if they were to play outdoors, they would not be able to execute their shots with the same degree of predictability that they are able to perform at indoor courts.


The reason for this is simply that the outside environment is never constant, especially the wind, which changes its speed and direction virtually every moment. Even a very low wind speed that we may not notice at all will affect the course of the shuttlecock, its direction, its spin, and its top speed.

This makes it impossible for the players to correctly judge where and how the shuttlecock is going to land on their side, making it even more difficult for them to respond to such shots. In such a situation, when even highly skilled players are not able to judge the shuttlecock’s speed and direction correctly, it will be impossible to conduct a match that can test the skills and stamina of individual players in a reliable and fair scenario.

Wind Speed Zero

But when we allow badminton matches to be played at indoor courts, the condition is just perfect for a truly competitive and high-level contest to take place. The wind speed is zero, and the players can assume that nothing is going to impact the course and direction of the shuttlecock.

Playing Badminton Outdoors

Yes, badminton can be played outdoors as well, and it can be an extremely enjoyable experience. In fact, more people like to play the game outdoors than on indoor courts.

Playing the game outdoors allows you to play it just anywhere and whenever you feel like it or whenever you have enough time. So it can be played in the yard, garden, or on the beach. It can be a great casual recreational activity that also offers a great deal of physical exercise to your body.

In fact, more people play badminton as an all-around exercise than for playing the game at a competitive level. Playing badminton for even half an hour can be a good workout for your arms, legs, and shoulders. It can be a good warm-up exercise before starting any other game at a competitive-level match.

Badminton on the Beach.

Badminton as an outdoor activity is more popular on the beaches where tourists and picnickers keep the nothingness of the holiday at bay by engaging in a friendly badminton game with their family and friends.

But beaches can be windier than the yard or the garden. So how do people play badminton on the beaches? Actually, for those who play the game as a casual recreational activity, the wind factor is not something to curse about, but it adds to the fun. It can make even a stronger player lose to someone who may not have had any time with a racquet and shuttlecock before turning pro at beach badminton.

Reduced Wind Conditions.

Since wind is the main factor that makes badminton an indoor game, a badminton court can be set up in an outdoor area where wind activity is extremely low. This would allow you to play the game in natural light. If the sunlight is too glaring, you should wear sunglasses.

Can a Heavier-Weight Shuttlecock Solve the Problem?

Some argue that the main thing that stops badminton from being an outdoor professional sport is the lightweight of the shuttlecock that can easily lose its path due to the wind if played outdoors. This problem can be solved by increasing the weight of the shuttlecock.


This beautiful thing flies in the air between masterful strokes of great players and drops at the other end of the court in such myriad fanciful ways that tackling it requires another champion in the other half of the court. That’s the game of badminton.

The shuttlecock should not be allowed to be disturbed even by a mild wind. It weights extremely light between 4.75 gm and 5.75 gm. Not much has changed in its design and construction since its initial days, though the quality and durability have improved a great deal.

AirBadminton (the AirShuttle)

The International Badminton Federation, formed in 1934, now known as Badminton World Federation (BWF) is the international organization that frames rules and guidelines for professional badminton. In 2019, the BWF, in conjunction with HSBC, introduced AirBadminton.

AirBadminton is pretty much badminton outdoors. It uses a special shuttlecock, know as the AirShuttle. This new shuttlecock is more durable, stable, and wind-resistant than a regular shuttlecock. Therefore, is meant to be used outdoor and on any kind of surface (grass, sand, streets, etc.).

The BWF designed the AirShuttle so that it can be used outdoor, especially in windy conditions. This allows AirBadminton to retained most aspects of regular badminton.

If you are interested in finding more about AirBadminton, we suggest you check the video below. It looks awesome.

Video Source: BMF TV / YouTube

So, Indoor or Outdoor?

Getting back to the question if badminton is an indoor or outdoor sport, we can say that badminton is essentially an indoor sport that can have a great recreational value when played outdoors.

Playing badminton indoors is about competitiveness and excellence while playing it outdoors is part of popular culture. Badminton, as an indoor sport, is intense and involves honing the skills with training and practice. Badminton as an outdoor game offers a good workout and can help you get your regular doses of physical exercise.

Last word

No doubt, badminton is a very popular game. But it’s popular as an outdoor sport/game while the professional and competitive matches are held at indoor courts where there is little wind activity.

Related Questions

Can We Play Badminton on the Beach?

  • Yes, you can play badminton on the beach as a casual and recreational sport. You can also organize informal short tournaments among the beachgoers. It can be quite fun as well as a good fitness workout on a lazy day next to the sea.

Can Badminton be Played at Night?

  • Yes, all professional and competitive level badminton matches are played at indoor courts, where there is adequate lighting for the game to continue without any problem. However, playing badminton outdoors at the night may require you to make arrangements for extra lighting.