All You Need to Know About Para-Badminton

Many sports have been adapted for inclusivity of people of all abilities. Para-badminton is a racquet sport played by men and women of any age with a physical disability, including: spinal injury, multiple sclerosis, spina bifida, cerebral palsy, scoliosis, hip dysplasia, amputations, leg length difference, upper limb amputation or impairment and short stature. The sport has been growing in popularity for some time, making a Paralympic debut in the 2021 Summer Paralympics in Tokyo.

Para-badminton Rules

Like badminton, para-badminton is played on a rectangular court separated by a net. Para-badminton can be played in singles (men/women), doubles (men/women) and mixed doubles. The aim of para-badminton is to send a shuttle, also known as a birdie, from one side of the net to the other using the racquet, preventing the opposing team from touching the shuttle.  

Each time the shuttle touches the ground before the opposing team can get it, your team scores a point. In order to win the game, your team needs to score 21 points. If both teams are at a tie for 20 points, the side that gains a 2-point lead first wins the game. A para-badminton match consists of three games of 21 points. Whichever team wins the best of the three games wins the match.

Para-badminton Classification System

Much like other adaptive sports, para-athletes are divided into different sport classes to ensure fairness in competition. Para-badminton classifies athletes into six sporting classes:

  • Wheelchair 1 (WH1): Wheelchair users with a severe impairment in both lower limbs and trunk function.
  • Wheelchair 2 (WH2): Wheelchair users with a less severe impairment in one or both lower limbs and minimal or no impairment of the trunk.
  • Standing Lower 3 (SL3): Athletes with impairment in one or both lower limbs and poor walking/running balance but can play standing.
  • Standing Lower 4 (SL4): Athletes with less severe impairment in one or both lower limbs and minimal impairment in walking/running balance but can play standing.
  • Standing Upper 5 (SU5): Athletes with upper limb impairment that can play standing.
  • Short Stature 6 (SS6): Athletes with a short stature due to a genetic condition, commonly referred to as “dwarfism”.

Getting Started with Para-badminton

Whether you are looking for a coach or league to play badminton in your community, you can find a local program in your area by visiting teamusa.org. For more information about badminton, visit USABadminton.org.

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