Para badminton

Badminton is a sport for everyone, it has an inclusive characteristic, and the Badminton World Federation includes both Olympic and Paralympic modes. It is an accessible sport for children, men and women, and for people with physical disabilities.

The aim of Para badminton is to hit a projectile, called shuttlecock, with a light racket that passes over the net and lands inside the opponent's area. The shuttlecock has a cone shape and is made of goose feathers embedded in a round cork base. Its composition makes it very aerodynamic, reaching speeds of up to 320 km/h.

Sports classification

Athletes are classified into sport classes to ensure fairness in competition. In Para badminton there are six sport classes, where athletes compete in different categories depending on the level of impairment. A first distinction is between those who play in wheelchairs and those who standing. Within each of them there are different classifications. We invite you to learn about them:

WH1: Athletes in this class need a wheelchair to play badminton, because the players usually have impairments in the function of the lower limbs and trunk.

WH2: Athletes in this class need a wheelchair to play, as they may have impairments in one or both lower extremities and minimal or no trunk impairment.

SL3: In this class, the athlete must play standing. The player may have an impairment in one or both lower extremities and a balance deficit in walking or running.

SL4: In this class, the athlete must play standing. This has a lesser impairment compared to the SL3 sport class, as the player may have an impairment in one or both lower extremities and a minimal impairment in balance when walking or running.

SU5: In this class, the athlete must play standing. Players in this class have upper extremity impairments, which may or may not include the playing hand.

SH6: These are athletes with short stature due to a genetic condition.


Para badminton is a sport that was born in 2008 when the Badminton World Federation (BWF) included it as a priority at a world level, promoting the formation of athletes, coaches, and classifiers. Up until 2013, the hard work of the Federation allowed the category its acknowledgement with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). In October 2014, the discipline was officially included and competed in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

It is a relatively young competition. Its first championship was held in 1998. Para Badminton debuted in the Parapan American Games program in Lima 2019 and was also a debut sport at a Paralympic level in Tokyo 2020.

Up until now, Brazil leads the Parapan American medal count, with ten medals in total, and four gold.

How is it played?

Para Badminton is a sport that is played in the individual category for women and men, and women’s doubles, men’s doubles, and mixed doubles. It is played under the same Badminton World Federation rules.

This fast and dynamic sport does not have a playing time. Whomever completes the required score, wins by obtaining two sets. Matches are played to 21 points and at 11 points there is a resting timeout of one minute. Between one set and the next there are two minutes of timeout to switch sides.

Points are scored when hitting the shuttle with the racket to pass it over the net, and land it on the opponent’s field.

Within the game objectives we can find:

  • Make the shuttle fall on the opponent’s field.
  • Make the opponent hit the shuttle out of the field’s bounds.
  • Make the opponent hit the shuttle against the net.
  • Hit the opponent’s body with the shuttle.

As you can see, each side can only hit the shuttle once before it passes over the net.

In this Para sport, you must always pay attention, since it is very fast. A match consists of the best of three sets and the first player or couple to hit 21 points wins the set. If the score is even at 20 points, the team that obtains an advantage of two points wins that game.

If the difference is lower than two, the game continues until the difference of two points is achieved. If the score reaches 29, the player or team that hits 30 points first wins.

  • In the field of play for lower classes (WH1, WH2 and SL3), half the court is used. In superior classes (SL4, SU5 and SL6) the field of play is the same as badminton.
  • The service in lower classes must be within the game’s quadrant (service area), without the shuttle falling in the first quadrant. This is considered a null service.
  • The service in superior classes must be crossed, starting from the right quadrant. It must be done over shoulder’s height.


How many km/h do you think a shuttlecock can achieve when hit?

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