Featured Image Badminton Vocabulary

Badminton Vocabulary – The Guide to Understanding All Badminton Words

In this post, we are going to explain to you what all the words in badminton mean. After reading this post, you will have all the badminton vocabulary necessary to understand badminton and its uniqueness. If you see any word missing, we would be grateful if you could let us know in the comments below so we can add it to the list.

Do you want to improve your badminton game? Then be sure to sign up for Badminton Famly+ by clicking here. Founded by former World Champion Thomas Laybourn, Badminton Famly+ is the best online training platform for badminton.

A

Apparel

Apparel is the clothing you use to play badminton. This includes your socks, shorts, T-shirt, skirt, etc.

B

Backhand

The backhand is one of the two ways to hit the shuttle. If you are right-handed, the shots that you perform from the left side of the body will be mostly backhand. If you are left-handed, then it would be the shots from your right side of the body. See the image below where this is explained.

Badminton_Basic_Strokes
The four basic strokes of badminton

Balance

Balance is the ability to keep your body in an adequate position while you move around the court. This is an important skill in badminton because you need to move very fast and hit the shuttle in forced positions.

If you want to know more about balance, check our post “Why is balance important in badminton?“.

Base position

Base position is the position from where you should start all movements towards the shuttle. It is roughly located at the center of the area of court you are covering. This would be the whole court if you play singles or half of the court if you play doubles. The exact position depends on the moment of the rally and on your weaknesses and strengths. It is also called the central base position.

If you want to know more about the base position, check our post “What is the central base position in badminton?“.

Birdie

Birdie, also called shuttle or shuttlecock is the projectile with which badminton is played. The base of the shuttle is usually made out of cork and the body can be made out of goose feathers or out of plastic.

If you want to know more about the birdie, check our post “Badminton Shuttle – All you need to know about the badminton projectile“.

BWF

BWF is short for Badminton World Federation. The Badminton World Federation is the world governing body for badminton recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and International Paralympic Committee (IPC). The BWF regulates, promotes, develops and popularises the sport globally and organizes inspiring world events.

You can check their website following this link.

C

Central position

The central position is the position from where you should start all movements towards the shuttle. It is roughly located at the center of the area of court you are covering. This would be the whole court if you play singles or half of the court if you play doubles. The exact position depends on the moment of the rally and on your weaknesses and strengths. It is also called the base position.

If you want to know more about the central position, check our post “What is the central base position in badminton?“.

Challenge

A challenge in badminton, similar to what happens in tennis, occurs when a player does not agree with the decision from the umpire whether a shuttle landed in or out.

In that case, he or she can challenge the decision by requesting the use of the Instant Review System, a sort of the Hawkeye that is so famous in tennis. Each player has two incorrect calls per game of the match.

If you want to know a bit more about this or other badminton rules, you can check our badminton game rules post.

Chasse steps

This is one of the two main schools of thought as far as moving around the court is concerned.

The main difference with the other type of steps is that in the chasse steps you never cross one leg with the other, so the front leg is always more towards the front.

If you want to see how this type of movement is applied to the different corners of the court, you can check our Badminton Footwork Guide.

Clear shot

A clear shot is a shot that is performed from the back of your court to the back of your opponent’s court. It is one of the most basic shots of all and the first one you should learn if you are new to badminton.

If you want to know a bit more about the clear shot, please check our Badminton clear shot post.

Court

The court is the area within which badminton is played. Unlike in other sports, the sizes of the badminton court are very specific and precise.

If you want to know a bit more about the badminton court, check our Badminton court size post.

Badminton court measurements in meters
Badminton court measurements in meters

D

Drill

A drill is an exercise that is performed in order to practice a specific skill or set of skills. Although it comes from the military, it is now a very common way to call an exercise in sports.

If you want to discover some typical badminton drills, you can check our Badminton drills post. In there we explain 19 drills that you can do in order to improve your badminton game.

Drop shot

A drop shot is a shot that is performed from the back of your court to the front of your opponent’s court. It is mostly used in singles but has also its use in doubles.

If you want to find out more about the drop shot, we have created a Badminton drop shot post, where we explain, between other things, the different types of drop shots that exist.

Deceptive shot

A deceptive shot, also called trick shot, is a shot where you make your opponent think that the shot is going to a specific location but you change the direction of the shuttle at the last moment, deceiving him or her.

They are very spectacular shots because of the impression of seeing a player completely missing the direction of the shuttle. But they should be used with caution, especially at the beginner’s level.

ARVE Error: Mode: lazyload not available (ARVE Pro not active?), switching to normal mode
50 Fantastic Badminton DECEPTIONS by Shuttle Flash

Defense shot

A defense shot is a shot you perform after receiving a smash from your opponent. The defense shot has mainly two variations. A lift defense, where you send the shuttle towards the back of the court. And a block defense, where you send the shuttle towards the net of the court.

Drive shot

A drive shot is a shot that is performed from the middle of your court to the middle of your opponent’s court. It is a shot mostly used in doubles.

If you want to know a bit more about this shot, you can check our badminton drive post, where we explain the different types of drives and how to perform them.

Doubles

This is one of the modalities of badminton, where two players of the same gender play together against two players from that same gender. The two modalities are Men’s Doubles and Women’s Doubles.

E

Equipment

Equipment in badminton are the tools that you use that are necessary or helpful in order to play the sport. The most important badminton equipment is the rackets, the shuttle, the net, the poles, and the shoes.

If you would like to know a bit more about badminton equipment, we have created a post about badminton equipment & gear, where we explain all the different badminton equipment and how important it is.

F

Fault

A fault in badminton is a violation of the badminton rules.

If you want to make sure you do not commit any faults, you can check our badminton game rules post.

Feather

Feathers in badminton are used in the feathered shuttles, which are the shuttles used in badminton competitions.

Footwork

Footwork in badminton is used to describe the way you have to move around the court. This is very specific to the sport and is one of the most difficult things to master.

If you want to know a bit more about this important part of badminton, you can check our Badminton Footwork Guide.

Forehand

The forehand is one of the two ways to hit the shuttle. If you are right-handed, the shots that you perform from the right side of the body will be forehand. If you are left-handed, then it would be the shots from your left side of the body. See the image below where this is explained.

Badminton_Basic_Strokes
The four basic strokes of badminton

G

Game

A game in badminton is not a full match as it might sometimes be understood. The correct definition of the game under the current scoring system is the accumulation of 21 points by a player. The first player to win two games wins the match.

Grip

The grip in badminton has two definitions.

The first definition is the technique for holding the racket with your hand. There are different types of grip that are used for different types of shots. The biggest distinction is forehand grip (for forehand shots) and backhand grip (for backhand shots).

The second definition for grip is the product that is used around the handle of the racket in order to be able to hold the racket comfortably and securely.

For both of these definitions, we have created a badminton grip guide.

H

Hand signals

Hand signals are the signals that are performed with the hands while playing a badminton match. These are usually performed by the different badminton officials.

We also have a post for this. You can check our badminton hand signals post to know all the different hand signals in badminton.

Head (racket)

The head of the racket is the area with which you hit the shuttle. It is formed by a solid perimeter and an area in the center where the strings are located, and which is used to hit the shuttle. See the picture below for a visual description.

Racket_measurements
Racket measurements using the metric system

Handle (racket)

The handle of the racket is the area from which you hold the racket. It is covered with a grip in order to add comfort and reduce slipperiness. Check the image above for a visual description.

I

J

Jump smash shot

The jump smash shot is the most spectacular shot in badminton, but also one of the most difficult ones to perform. This is because you have to jump and hit the shuttle while on the air. So you have to not only hit the shuttle with strength but also time your jump so you are hitting the shuttle at the right moment.

If you want to know a bit more about this, you can check our badminton jump smash post.

K

Kit bag

The kit bag is the bag that is used to bring your equipment and gear around. This way, you can bring your racket, shoes, and clothes all in one bag that is designed especially for badminton.

If you want to know what to look for when buying a kit bag, you can check our badminton kit bag guide.

L

Line

The lines in badminton are the boundaries that limit certain areas of the court or the court as a whole. These lines need to be of a contrasting color with the court in order to make it easy to distinguish them.

Line judge

The line judge is in charge of checking whether a shuttle has landed in or out in the specific line or lines he is in charge of.

If you want to know more about a line judge, you can check our badminton officials’ post, where their role and training are explained.

M

Mat

A badminton mat is a surface where badminton is played at the professional level. It is specially designed to have a lot of traction while at the same time having a good bounce absorption so the movements are not so hard on the body.

If you would like to learn a bit more about badminton mats, you can have a look at our badminton mats post. In it, we explain its composition, characteristics and how to mount it.

Match

A badminton match is the core of badminton. Is where players come against each other and try to win. A match in competition is won by the first player to win 2 games.

If you want to know a bit more about the badminton match, including how to start one and how to keep count, you can check our badminton match post.

Mixed doubles

Mixed doubles are a modality of badminton where a man and a woman player in a team against another man and another woman.

Badminton is one of the few sports where this modality is common and has high visibility and importance.

N

Net

The net in badminton is the divider between the two different sides of the court.

Net shot

The net shot is a shot that goes from the front of your court to the front of your opponent’s court. It is usually a shot that needs to pass very close to the net. Otherwise, there is a high risk that your opponent will be able to attack it and finish the point.

Net lift shot

The net lift shot is a shot that goes from the front of your court to the back of your opponent’s court. It is a defensive shot that is usually used when no better alternative is available.

Net kill shot

The net kill shot is an offensive shot that can be performed when your opponent performs a shot close to the net where the shuttle goes high above the net, giving you time to attack it.

Net brush shot

Also called net kill swipe shot, the idea behind this shot is to use a swiping or brushing motion in order to hit the shuttle. This is done when the shuttle is very close to the net and doing a normal net kill shot would mean hitting the net and committing a fault.

ARVE Error: Mode: lazyload not available (ARVE Pro not active?), switching to normal mode
Badminton Famly has an excellent video explaining how to perform this shot

O

Official

Badminton officials are the judges in charge of a tournament and make sure that the tournament, including all the matches, are performed in line with the rules and regulations.

If you would like to know the different types of officials there are in badminton and their functions, be sure to check our badminton officials’ post.

Overgrip

The overgrip is the grip that is placed on top of the handle in order to improve comfort and stability. This overgrip can be placed on top of the grip that comes with the racket (called undergrip) or the undergrip can be removed and the overgrip placed directly on top of the wooden handle.

If you want to know more about the overgrip, including which type of overgrip is most recommended, check our badminton grip guide.

P

Pressure movement

Pressure movement is one of the badminton tactics that can be used in singles. The idea behind this tactic is to move your opponent around the court until you find a spot where you can attack.

If you want to know a bit more about this tactic, please check our post “What is badminton movement pressure and how to turn it to your advantage?“.

Post or pole

The posts or poles are the equipment that is used in order to hold the net in the exact position.

PU (polyurethane) overgrip

This is the type of overgrip that is recommended for beginners and intermediate players. It provides a bit less traction than the towel grip, but it is much more durable and easier to maintain.

Q

R

Rally

A rally is the succession of shots that goes from the service until the point is finished. Each rally gives a point to one of the players or teams.

Referee

The referee is the most important official in a badminton tournament.

He or she is in charge of the competition and needs to ensure that the tournament is conducted following the Laws of Badminton, the regulations of the Badminton World Federation and/or any other regulations that might be relevant in that specific competition.

In addition to that, the referee has the last word if there is an argument between the umpire (in charge of the matches) and a player or team.

If you would like to learn a bit more about their role or training, please check our badminton officials’ post.

Racket

The racket is the tool with which you hit the shuttle. Rackets are one of the most important equipments you need to have if you want to play badminton.

Ready position

The ready position, also called the waiting position, is the position you are in just before performing a split-step.

This can help you reach the shuttle faster and in a better position.

If you want to know more about the ready position, you can check our post “What is the ready position in badminton?

Running steps

This is one of the two main schools of thought as far as moving around the court is concerned.

The main difference with the other type of steps is that in the running steps you cross one leg with the other, so the front leg is not always in the front.

If you want to see how this type of movement is applied in the different corners of the court, you can check our Badminton Footwork Guide.

S

Score

The score in badminton is the way to count the points and to decide which player wins the match. The current score is a match where the first player to win two games wins. For each game, the first player to reach 21 points win.

If you would like to know a bit more about how to score, you can check our badminton rules post or our badminton match post.

Service

The service is the first shot in all badminton rallies. The service needs to be performed in a very specific fashion and does not have as much freedom as all the other shots. If you want to know a bit more about the badminton service, you can check our badminton service post.

Low service

In this type of service, you serve to the front service line.

High service

In this type of service, you serve to the back service line.

Service judge

The service judge is responsible for making a ‘service fault’ call and to provide shuttles to the players. Due to the way badminton is played, the service is one of the most important and perfected shots of the player and, especially when playing doubles, players will bring the service to the limit of the legality in order to gain as much advantage as possible.

If you want to learn a bit more about the service judge’s responsibilities or training, you can check our badminton officials’ post.

Shaft (racket)

The shaft is the part of the racket that connects the handle and the head. It tends to be very flexible in order to help with the power of the shots. You can see a visual description of the shaft below.

Racket_measurements - Imperial units
Racket measurements using the imperial system

Shuttle or shuttlecock

The shuttle or shuttlecock, also named birdie, is what makes badminton different from all the other racket sports. This is because usually racket sports are played with a ball, but badminton has a very different projectile that gives a completely different energy to the game.

If you want to know more about the shuttle, check our post “Badminton Shuttle – All you need to know about the badminton projectile“.

Feathered shuttle

This shuttle is built using feathers from a goose. It is the type of shuttle currently used in professional settings.

Non-feathered shuttle

This shuttle is built using plastic and it imitates the shape of a feathered shuttle. The non-feathered shuttles are cheaper and much more durable than the feathered shuttles, but so far technology has not managed to make them as accurate as the feathered ones.

Shot

The badminton shot is the action of hitting the shuttle and sending it to your opponent. There are a lot of different types of shots, both offensive and defensive.

If you would like to learn a bit more about all the different types of shots, be sure to have a look at our badminton shots list.

Singles

Singles are the modality where one player plays against another. In official tournaments, genders are divided so men play against men and women play against women.

String (racket)

The string is the part of the area with which you hit the shuttle. The string can have different tensions and be made of synthetic or natural materials. Check the image below for a visual representation of what the string is.

Racket_measurements - Imperial units
Racket measurements using the imperial system

Stroke

A stroke is a more general division of shots, mostly divided into the area around the body where you hit the shuttle. In the image below you can see the four different types of strokes that can be found in badminton.

Badminton_Basic_Strokes
The four basic strokes of badminton

Split-step

The split-step is the movement that is performed just before your opponent hits the shuttle and its function is to get yourself ready to react to the shot as fast as possible. This is done by lowering the center of gravity and widening your stance.

If you want to learn more about the split-step, you can find some information inside our Badminton Footwork Guide.

Smash shot

The smash shot is the most offensive shot in badminton that is performed from the back of the court. With a smash shot, you send the shuttle from the back of your court to the center of your opponent’s court, but with a downwards trajectory and, usually, with as much power as you can. It is a shot that is used both in singles and doubles.

Strategy

Strategy in badminton consists of different actions you can take during a match in order to maximize your chances of winning, mostly by leveraging your strengths and your opponent’s weaknesses and by reducing your weaknesses and your opponent’s strengths.

If you want to learn a few strategies you can use in order to improve your chances of winning, you will like to read our badminton tactics post.

Strap (kit bag)

The strap in a kit bag is the part of the kit bag that allows you to carry the kit bag around your shoulder(s).

Kit bags can have either one or two straps. If you would like to know which one is recommended for you, then have a look at our badminton kit bag post.

Shadow drill

Shadow drill is a drill that is used in order to improve your footwork. In it, you basically move around the court with the proper footwork. Usually, the best way to do this is by having another person dictate where you have to go, so you can practice also your reaction.

ARVE Error: Mode: lazyload not available (ARVE Pro not active?), switching to normal mode
TVLessonDotCom explains in 2 minutes how to do the shadow drill.

T

Trick shot

A trick shot, also called deceptive shot, is a shot where you make your opponent think that the shot is going to a specific location but you change the direction of the shuttle at the last moment, tricking him or her.

They are very spectacular shots because of the impression of seeing a player completely missing the direction of the shuttle. But they should be used with caution, especially at the beginner’s level.

Throat (racket)

The throat of the racket is the piece connecting the shaft and the head of the racket. In a lot of modern rackets, the throat has been omitted and the head and shaft are one piece.

You can see a picture below with the location of the throat in the racket indicated.

Racket_measurements
Racket measurements using the metric system

Towel overgrip

The towel overgrip is the type of grip that is used by professionals. It requires more maintenance and it has a lower life span compared to the PU overgrip, but it gives more traction and more comfort when playing (if maintained properly).

Tactic

A tactic in badminton consists of different actions you can take during a match in order to maximize your chances of winning, mostly by leveraging your strengths and your opponent’s weaknesses and by reducing your weaknesses and your opponent’s strengths.

If you want to learn a few tactics you can use in order to improve your chances of winning, you will like to read our badminton tactics post.

U

Umpire

The umpire is the official that is in charge of the specific matches during a tournament.

The duty of the umpire is to make sure that the specific match is conducted following the Laws of Badminton, the regulations of the Badminton World Federation and/or any other regulations that might be relevant in that specific competition.

If you want to learn a bit more about the umpire’s responsibilities or training, you can check our badminton officials’ post.

Undergrip

The undergrip is the product that is installed on top of the wooden handle and that is used to hold the racket. Even though as a beginner you can use the undergrip as your support for holding the racket, if you go up to intermediate play it is recommended to use an additional grip that can be changed (called overgrip) in order to be able to hold your racket better.

V

W

Waiting position

The waiting position, also called ready position, is the position you are in just before performing a split-step.

This can help you reach the shuttle faster and in a better position.

If you want to know more about the waiting position, you can check our post “What is the ready position in badminton?

X

Y

Z

Final words

And with this, we have arrived at the end of this post. If you are missing any word that you think is important, please let us know so we can add it.

License for featured image

This file is licensed under the Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

Attribution:  Caleb RoenigkFlickr

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *