Badminton vs. Volleyball (7 Important Differences)

volleyball vs badnminton

Badminton and volleyball are two popular sports that have some common points. That’s why many people tend to enjoy practicing both sports …

… However, there are several differences between them that you should be aware of!

In this article I breakdown the most important differences between both sports.

Differences between Badminton and Volleyball …

1. Court

A volleyball court is longer than a badminton court18 metres as opposed to 13.4 metres.

It is also wider, stretching to 9 metres. Compare this with a badminton court that is 6.1 metres wide for doubles, but reduces to 5.18 m for singles.

The markings on the court are different, especially in badminton, where the service courts are split by a centre line dividing the width of the court, whilst a short service line, set back form the net, defines the service boxes.

A volleyball court’s markings are limited to those around the perimeter, which defines whether a ball is in or out.

2. Shoes

volleyball shoes vs. walking shoes

In badminton, shoes need to offer support to protect the ankles from injury when slipping and sliding around the court.

They also need to be lightweight, with a thin, but hard wearing sole. And, because badminton is an intense, fast moving sport, which generates a lot of heat, shoes should offer ventilation and be made from breathable materials.

Volleyball shoes are unique to the sport. Whilst they share certain characteristics with those used for badminton – they should be lightweight and offer ventilation, in other respects they are completely different.

Helpful Tip: There are some shoes in the market that combine both badminton and volleyball features. For example you can use Those Court Shoes for both sports without any issues.

That is because they are designed for lateral movement with a lot of jumping.  Scientists have calculated that the force of landing can be equivalent to nine times a person’s body weight. A shoe has to be able to absorb this amount of shock repeatedly.

Volleyball shoes are made of foam rubber soles which are soft and pliable and allows for impact and movement on the court, without leaving skid marks on the surface.

And, because a volleyball player spends a lot of their time on their feet, shoes need a strong mid-sole to absorb the impact, whilst allowing for flexibility.

You can learn more about the difference between both shoes!

3. Rules

Both games are played on a court, with a net in the middle.

But, the obvious difference is that badminton players use racquets and a shuttle, whilst volleyball is played with hands and with a ball. But the dimensions of the court and the net, the court markings, and the scoring systems are different, as is the number of players.

There are some required skills that both sports share, although the way they are performed and executed differ considerably …

For example, a passage of play in both sports begins with the serve which must clear the net in the middle of the court.

Then there is the smash in badminton, which can be compared to the spike in volleyball. Similarly, whilst there is no drop shot in volleyball, it is not dissimilar to a dink over the net or over the hands of a blocker in volleyball.

However, even the lob can be an effective shot in badminton, it would not work in volleyball!

Also, the set or dig could not translate to badminton, because only one touch on the side of the net by the receiver is allowed in that sport.

4. Used gear

One critical difference is that badminton uses racquets, which can be very expensive, especially at the top end of the market.

And, of course, the sport uses shuttles as opposed to a ball.

Both sports involve the wearing of shorts. Socks, and some type of jersey, although in the case of volleyball, this may need to be in team colours.

Volleyball may also involve some specialised equipment like knee shorts o protection on the elbows and arms to prevent grazing whilst sliding around the court.

You can learn more about the needed equipement for indoor volleyball!

5. Excitement

It is an entirely subjective judgement which sport is the more exciting, both to watch and to play.  Each sport is fast moving, high scoring, with almost continuous action.

One preference, both from the perspective of the player and the spectator, is whether they prefer an individual or team sport.

A top quality singles in badminton can be a gripping contest, but so can be a volleyball game between two leading teams.

6. Intensity

Both are high action intense sports. There are differences though…

Badminton matches do not last as long, but, because fewer players are involved, the intensity involved is as great.

And, whilst players in badminton get an enforced break with a change of ends, they do not get time-outs like their volleyball equivalents.

7. Scoring mechanism

volleyball and badminton scoring mechanism

In badminton, a match consists of the best of three games, each with 21 points, and a point is scored no matter who served.

If the score gets to 20-all, play continues until one side gains a two point advantage. However, at 29-all, whoever wins the next point takes the set.

The side winning a game serves first in the next game!

Competitive volleyball matches are played to the best of five sets. In the first four sets, it is the first team to the 25 points mark that wins the set, but, in the fifth set, this is reduced to 15 points only.

In 1998 the rules has changed and now either side can score a point after a rally, irrespective of who served.

Can you play volleyball in a badminton court?

is volleyball easy to learn

While volleyball can be played on a badminton court, the reduced dimensions would rob the game of much of its essence.

To begin with a badminton court is designed for one or two a side (in the case of doubles). There is a lack of space to accommodate the six people on each team associated with most forms of volleyball, except that played on a beach.

And the compressed space would make serving very difficult because there would be less area in which to aim, meaning the receiving team would always have the advantage.

It would also make spiking much harder, because the blockers could line up across most of the width of the net.

You can learn more about the surfaces where you can play volleyball!

Is badminton net same height as volleyball?

A badminton net should be 1.55 meters (5 feet 11 inches high at each end, and 1.524 meters (5 feet) high in the middle.

From top to bottom the net should measure 0.76 meters (2 feet 6 inches) with a minimum width of 6.1 meters (26 feet).

Volleyball is less proscriptive with different heights for both men and women, and also for different age groups.

For example, in the case of most men, it is 7 feet 11 5/8 inches or 2.43 meters, but this reduces to 7 feet 9/58 inches or 2.38 meters for those over 55, and further still for those over 70 – 7 feet 6 inches or 2.29 meters.

Meanwhile, in the case of women, the standard height is 7 feet 4 1/8 inches or 2.24 meters, but this drops to 7 feet 2 1/8 inches or 2.19 meters for the over 45s.

At high school level it varies again – for men it is 7 feet 115/8 inches or 2.43 meters, whilst for women it is 7 feet 41/8 inches or 2.24 meters.

And it is different again with beach volleyball, where the measurement for height is taken form the level of the sand, with account again taken of the age of the players.

Can we use badminton net for volleyball?

A badminton net is not suitable for volleyball because it is much lower. This means that the ball will clear the net much more easily, robbing the game off much of its excitement and intensity.

It would become much easier to serve and spike the ball, whilst blockers would scarcely need to leave the ground and could just stand near the net with their arms outstretched.

Of course, if there is nothing else available, then a badminton net is better than nothing, but it is best to use one which Is purpose designed for the sport.

Helpful Tip: There are some nets in the market that are flexible and could be used for both sports regardless of age and gender. This Adaptable Net for example could be used for both volley and badminton.

Which type of hit in badminton is similar to a hit in volleyball?

One type of hit that is common to both sports is the use of the drop shot. A drop shot is when the shuttle or ball is hit and it lands right in front of the net on the opponent’s team.

It can be very effective and work best when it is unexpected!

Opponents will be back on their heels expecting a smash, and instead, they may have to change direction and try to reach the shuttle or ball before it bounces twice.

In volleyball, the spiker can often win a point by just dinking the ball over the outstretched arms of the blockers, allowing it to fall into the vacant space behind them, out of reach of the defenders in the back court.

Final Thoughts …

Volleyball and badminton are 2 sports that are usually compared to each other because of all the similarities we’ve talked about in this article.

However, it is very important to be aware and understand all the differences I’ve mentioned above so you will know the sport that would suit you the most.

Carissa Harmer

Carissa Harmer has over 6 years of volleyball experience between playing the sport at a semi-professional level, following the biggest volleyball teams & leagues out there as well as helping beginners to get started on the right path.

Recent Posts