Getting started

Taking your first steps…

Badminton is one of the fastest growing participation sports in the country. It is estimated that between four and five million enthusiasts enjoy badminton in Great Britain, at an age range of between seven and seventy. Badminton exercises no limits through economic status, age, fitness and athletic ability. The sport is enjoyed socially and competitively by both men and women from all walks of life. 

How did badminton originate?

The game developed in British India from the earlier game of battledore and shuttlecock. European play came to be dominated by Denmark but the game has become very popular in Asia, with recent competition dominated by China. Since 1992, badminton has been a Summer Olympic sport with five events: men's singles, women's singles, men's doubles, women's doubles, and mixed doubles. At high levels of play, the sport demands excellent fitness: players require aerobic stamina, agility, strength, speed, and precision. It is also a technical sport, requiring good motor coordination and the development of sophisticated racquet movements.

What is badminton and how do I play? 

Badminton is:

  • A net game
  • Played on a rectangular court
  • A volleying game, with rallies beginning with an underhand serve
  • A game that has five disciplines - singles (Men/Women), doubles (Men/Women/Mixed)

 Singles badminton involves serving diagonally into a long, service box. Rallying then continues on a long court with the border on the first side line.

Doubles badminton involves serving diagonally into a shorter, wider service box than in singles badminton. After the serve, rallying takes place on the whole court area.

For players with a disability, court sizes are adapted according to the category of player under a classification system. For more details of this, take a look at our disability badminton section.

The aim of the game is to score points by:

  • landing the shuttlecock in your opponent’s court;
  • forcing your opponent to hit the shuttlecock out of the court area;
  • forcing your opponent to hit the shuttlecock into the net;
  • striking your opponent’s body with the shuttle.



What do I need to play badminton? 

Every Badminton player needs their own stuff. Hiring a racket and shuttles is a great idea for casual every now-and-then play but if you want to start playing regularly or be part of a team, we recommend you get your own kit. This will allow you to maintain it to your own preferred level and feel more comfortable wearing/using it. Here is a run-down of the things we recommend purchasing from your preferred sports retailer.


There are many different makes of rackets available at a multitude of price points. However, if you are just beginning to play badminton it is not necessary to buy an expensive racket. Pick a racket that suits you and feels balanced when you hold it in your hand. You should pick up a number of rackets to get a feel for them before you purchase one.


Shuttles are available in plastic or feathered versions and in a number of speeds. Plastic shuttles are cheaper and more durable than their feather counterparts and can be an ideal place to start for beginning players. As you progress you’ll want to start playing with feathered shuttles.

Comfortable sport shoes

Almost any sports trainer can be used so long as it has a sole that provides good grip on the court. Some places may not allow shoes with black soles to be used.

Sporting t-shirt & shorts

Anything that is comfortable and does not interfere with your movement when playing should be fine.


Can I join a club and play?

There are many clubs out there, up and down the country. We have an extensive list of clubs for you to look through organised by region. Use our interactive map to find a list of clubs that you can join.
Alternatively, if you can't find a club near you or maybe you feel there is a gap in the 'badminton club market' then why not start your own club!

Most clubs have an 'Annual Membership Fee' and a 'Match Fee'. The fee is determined by the club secretary so please do not hesitate to contact them to find out more.

Are there any benefits to playing badminton?

Badminton is an easy sport to learn and even players completely new to the sport can quickly begin to experience the health benefits of playing. Regardless of whether you play once a week or once a month, you are likely to notice significant changes once you start to get involved. Badminton is a workout that can benefit every aspect of your all-round health. Below are some of the key areas where playing badminton can lead to health benefits.

Muscle Development

Badminton builds and tones muscles in the legs, arms and back. In addition, it develops core strength through the variety of movements involved in each rally leading to all round muscle development. As you continue to play muscle endurance and flexibility will develop leading to longer games and allow a wider variety of shots to be played.

Cardiovascular Fitness

Badminton can be a great fun and competitive alternative to other forms of cardiovascular exercise. In an average game there will be periods of intense physical activity and rest which brings an element of interval training to a badminton based workout. Those who engage in regular exercise, such as playing badminton, tend to have lower levels of cholesterol and a lower risk of cardiac disease.

Psychological Benefits

When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins have been found to reduce stress and anxiety as well as improving mood and sleep. As a sport, badminton is known for possessing therapeutic qualities. For example, Sport In Mind (a UK charity) ran a 10 week block of badminton sessions and within the 1st week 20% of participants had returned to work and education.  This shows the remarkable impact that Badminton participation can have on mental health

Social Health Benefits

Badminton is a very sociable sport where you can meet loads of people and make lifelong friends.  Statistics showed that roughly 28% of badminton player’s friendships had been as a result of meeting new people through playing badminton.  It also helps develop vital skills such as being able to co-operate with others, teamwork and good sportsmanship. Moreover, in conjunction with Scottish Government’s Cashback for Communities scheme, Badminton Scotland has used the sport to address areas such as crime and anti-social behaviour within young people from deprived areas.

Badminton match - Badminton Scotland


What steps do I take if I want to compete?

Step 1 – Buy your kit!

Having your own equipment is important if you want to progress as a badminton player.

Step 2 – Find a club

One of the best ways to learn badminton is through a club. Use our interactive map to find a list of clubs that you can join.

Step 3 – Enter a competition

So... You've got your kit, you're in a club playing, building & practicing your skills. You now want to put them to the test and take on other players outwith your club.

Before you can enter Badminton Scotland hosted competitions, you must be affiliated with Badminton Scotland as an individual or with a club, you can find out more about 'Individual Affiliation' here. There are many other benefits to becoming affiliated with Scotland, including free tickets to the annually held Scottish International Championships.

Badminton Scotland host a range of competitions throughout the country and would love for you to attend one of them. Have a look at our events listing for a list of upcoming competitions and other other events that we're hosting.

Get involved

There are lots of ways to get involved in badminton, from coaching to volunteering.

Find out more

Competitions & events

Find what events, tournaments and competitions are happening in Scotland.

Find out more


Find out more about teaching and coaching Badminton in Scotland.

Find out more