Skip to Content

Badminton: World’s Fastest Sport? Fastest Moving Object in Sports …

If you are into fast sports, then you should consider playing badminton. As you may already know, this game has no ball and instead, has a light birdie made of a cork base and goose features, which means better speed. 

Badminton is the fastest sport when it comes to birdie (shuttlecock) speed. The sport holds the world record with the fastest smash reaching over 300 mph; making the birdie the fastest recorded object in sports.

If you still have doubts, here are some facts.

Speed of the Shuttlecock

According to the Badminton World Federation, Malaysia’s Tan Boon Heong hit a 306.3 mph (493 km/h) smash during one of the speed trials matches in 2013. However, the fastest speed in Guinness World Records is 264.7 mph (426 km/h). Mads Pieler Kolding of Denmark set this world record in January 2017 in Bangalore, India.

Later in September 2017, Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia almost break the record when he smashed a 259 mph (417 km/h) hit while playing in the Japan Open final.

A Fraction of a Second to Return a Serve

Besides this, badminton is also fast when you consider the activity and explosive nature of the sport. Ideally, this sport is built on agility, fast-reaction speed, reflexes, and intense concentration. With badminton, you only have a fraction of a second to hit or return a serve.

In fact, you can complete 50 rallies within a time span of 20 – 30 seconds. This is not to say that similar sports like tennis don’t require this level of concentration and movement, but in most cases, tennis is more focused on endurance aspects whereas badminton is more explosive. 

Game Duration

And there is even more. If you are looking at the time to complete the game, then badminton is faster than most sports. On average, a badminton match takes less than an hour to complete easier matches and about 80 minutes for tough matches.

On the other hand, tennis matches can take as twice as much to finish, of course, considering it is a best of 5 games. The latest tennis matches show that the average time to complete one set is slightly over 40 minutes.   

Badminton vs. Other Sports

Without evidence, everyone will have an opinion on which they think is the fastest sport. Probably, before you landed here, you had given the title to other fast sports such as golf, tennis, or even soccer. Hopefully, the above facts have helped to clear all the doubts.

As if that is not enough, let’s compare badminton’s best speed with those of other equally fast sports. 

1. Golf and Badminton

While most people perceive golf as a lazy man’s game, the ball can travel at insane speeds. Guinness World Records shows that the fastest drive is 217.1 mph (349.38 km/h). This fastest swing came from Ryan Winther of USA, and he achieved it in 2013 during the Orange County National Driving Range in Florida.

Based on what we learned earlier, the fastest golf drive is still lower than badminton’s 264 mph. 

2. Jai-Alai and Badminton

Usually referred to as the most lethal of all sports balls, Jai-Alai (pelota) is almost ¾ the size of a baseball and can move at high speeds. The current World Guinness Record for Jai-Alai is 188 mph (302 km/h). That is why it has been dubbed the world’s fastest-moving ball game. With that said, Jai-Alai speed doesn’t even come close to badminton’s top speed.   

3. Squash and Badminton

Like the previous two, squash is equally fast. Despite being played with a rubber ball, best players can hit it at breathtaking speed. The fasted recorded speed is 176 mph (281 km/h), and it came from Australia’s’ Cameron Pilley. Again, the squash ball still moves slower than a birdie. 

4. Tennis and Badminton

This analysis could not have been complete without pitting badminton and tennis against each other.

The fastest serve of all time was recorded at 163.4 mph (263.4 km/h), and it came from Australia’s Samuel Groth during an ATP challenger competition in Busan, South Korea. Obviously, the record doesn’t come close to badminton’s top recorded speed. 

5. Soccer and Badminton

When two best teams take on each other, they usually put huge amounts of power and agility into the game. You will rarely miss powerful shots from such games.

It was until recently that speeds of shots were recorded. So far, the fastest shot has not surpassed the speed of the fastest birdie. Several sources show the fastest shot was at 131 mph (210 mph), and it came from Ronny Heberson.  

6. Hockey and Badminton

Just like badminton, hockey requires extreme fitness, stamina, and agility. However, the fastest shot still trails badminton’s speed by a wide margin. Its top flick still stands at 114 mph (183 km/h).  

7. Baseball and Badminton

While the game has advanced over the last four decades, the speed at which players throw a baseball has not changed so much. The fastest recorded pitch came from Nolan Ryan who threw the baseball at 108 mph (174 km/). Needless to say, this is much slower than badminton’s top speed. 

8. Table tennis and Badminton

Due to the closer proximity, table tennis players spend less time per hit. Even with that, badminton birdie still travels faster. Top table tennis players can hit the ball at a speed of 60-70 mph (over 100 km/h), which is significantly lower than badminton’s speed. 

Strategies for Succeeding at Badminton

To hit or return a birdie at astonishing speed, you need to excel in several areas. 

Physical and Mental

Excelling in physical, psychological, tactical, and technical traits is vital for dominating a badminton game. Since a game is won in the best of three, sometimes a match can extend more than an hour.

As you know, major badminton games are played at high intensity, so you expect to run as twice as a typical tennis player. As a badminton player, you must possess a high level of agility, speed, flexibility, strength, and incredible athletic ability. 

Most elite players carry out intense training, which includes endurance training. These players usually train their bodies to handle three to four hours of continuous play. Some of the strategies you can adopt to improve your endurance are doing squats exercises, then supplement with pushups, sit-ups, as well as, jogging or running.

You can also mix in activities such as cycling, running on stairs, jump rope and pull-ups. When you fall into a routine, your body will naturally adjust and you will, therefore, require less energy when performing such moves on the court.   

Height Advantage

Height plays an important role in a badminton game. Taller players usually have better chances of smashing hits from steeper angles. However, they also have several weaknesses. First, they have a weaker defense when the shots pass around the throat area. Even with their long arms, tall players will struggle to return such shots.

By contrast, shorter players can easily squat and clear overhead or weaker strokes. So, if you are the shorter player, capitalize on this strength to out-smash your opponent.  

Tactical Skills

The nature of badminton games requires players to be tactically savvy. For this reason, you should have a high level of visual fitness to make good judgments. That is why a majority of elite badminton players have been found to respond well to visual stimuli. If you can leverage this strength together with experience, you will have a better chance to anticipate a stroke outcome. 

Another tactical strategy is to decide beforehand to be offensive or defensive in a game. If you are playing a single game, expect to use your footwork more often, especially after returning a shot.

It is important to read your opponent’s mind through his or her movements at the court. For instance, an opponent standing in front of the court may signify that the opponent is eager to strike. That said, you should be careful not to fall into the psychological trap of your opponent.     

Related Questions

  • What is the easiest way to get started with badminton?

Before you invest in any badminton equipment, try to get the feeling of the game. A nice way to try badminton is to ask a friend who is already familiar with the game to play with you. Borrow a racket and shuttlecock for your practice.

Start with a few simple strokes, and then try using your forehand and backhand. With time, you will hit the shuttle to various distances.   

  • What to consider when buying a badminton racket?

You should be careful when buying a racket. In most cases, players choose a racket based on what their favorite player is using, but this approach is wrong because each person has a unique playing style. So, spend time to test what suits your style and strength level.

  • What are some badminton general health and safety rules?

Badminton is not considered as the most extreme or punishing as other contact sports. However, you should absorb these precautionary measures if you want to avoid common injuries. 

  1. Badminton should be played in an indoor setting. If you are using an outdoor court, please remove potential hazards or obstructions. 
  2. The game may exert some physical strain on your body, so occasionally loosen wayward swing of the racket.
  3. A few warm-ups before the game will help to prepare your body for the competition.