The difference between volleyball and badminton (answered)

Volleyball and badminton are both indoor sports that are played with a net between both teams. It is also both Olympic sports that are broadly televised during this tournament. This is about where the similarities end as there are a lot of differences between both sports. Let’s discuss these more in detail:

1/ Volleyball is a ball sport

Volleyball is played with a ball. Badminton on the other hand is played with a plume. This completely affects how the game is played. It is possible to control the ball and pass it. A plume is much harder to control as it is smaller. In both sports, players can be very accurate as they are able to use their skills to attack very precisely. 

Volleyball can be played outdoors as the wind has only a limited impact on the ball. It is possible to play badminton outdoors but the wind can have a big impact on the plume. Therefore it is harder to organize competitive badminton events than it is to organize a similar type of events for volleyball. Beach volleyball has become very popular over the years. 

The shuttle can fly faster than a ball and this means that badminton players have to move very fast. Their court is smaller to compensate for this though. 

2/ Volleyball is played with a team 

Badminton is generally played individually. In some instances, players work as a team and there are two players per team. Given that badminton is generally played alone, it is not a team sport and the outcome depends on one player. A lot of people enjoy having this type of control over the match. If it is played with two, you are not allowed to pass to each other.

Volleyball is a team sport and you are not going to win if you don’t play together. You have to pass to your team members if you want to score and this can lead to complex strategies. Badminton is more fast-paced as you don’t have to pass and keep attacking all the time. 

This team dynamic can make it quite challenging to play volleyball as you need to learn how to communicate your wants and needs with other players. It can take quite a lot of time to master this aspect of the game. 

3/ The scoring system is different

Badminton is played in at least three sets of 21 points. To win a set,  you need at least 2 points more than the other player This means that the first player that wins three sets, also wins the match. 

In volleyball, women have to win at least 2 sets. Men have to win at least 3 sets. It requires 25 points to win a set (with 15  points for the last set). Volleyball matches therefore often last longer than badminton matches. Given how intense badminton is, it is quite normal that the matches don’t last that long. 

4/ Badminton is played with a racket

In volleyball, you can use your whole body to touch the ball, from your feet to your head. In general, players use their hands as this offers more control. Volleyball players only use their feet or head when it is really necessary and you won’t see it happen too often. Badminton has stricter rules in this respect and you can only use the racket. It is allowed to use the metal part of the racket and also the wires in the racket. Other than that, you are not allowed to touch the plume. For example, you can’t touch the plume with your hands if you want to push it over the net. 

Photo by Josh Duke on Unsplash

5/ difference between volleyball and badminton net

The height of a badminton net is 5’1”. In the middle, the net is less high and only is 5’ high. The width depends on how many people it is played with. If one person plays individually, the net is 17 feet wide. If it is played with two, the net is 20 feet wide. 

The height of a volleyball net is 7 feet, 11 5/8 inches for men and 7 feet, 4 1/8 inches for women. The net has a width of 29.5′.  There is no dip in the middle of the net. What is special about indoor volleyball nets is that they use antennas. These red and white-colored metal pins are used to determine if the ball goes inside or outside the court. It allows the referee to see if the point can be awarded or not. Volleyball nets and courts are a lot bigger as volleyball is played with 6 players per team. Badminton is played individually or with 2 players per team. It would be too hard to play on a bigger court. 

The materials that are being used in the net are similar in both volleyball and badminton: it is often kevlar or rope. They also have a protective band on top of both nets. Some volleyball nets also have this on the underside of the net. Given that volleyball nets are bigger, it needs a stronger structure to keep it up. Airline cables can be used to hold the net in place. Most nets are also adjustable in height as both men and women have to play on the same court. This requires special poles that allow the net to be slid in. These sophisticated poles are not required for badminton as it is not necessary to adjust the height of the net. Badminton poles are generally made out of stainless steel. The thicker volleyball poles can be made out of this material as well but aluminum is used from time to time as well as this material is lighter. 

6/ Volleyball is more popular

Volleyball is in the top 5 sports that are being played worldwide. Badminton is not that popular and is mainly played in Asia. In other parts of the world, it is sometimes played during summer as an outdoor activity but there are fewer competitions. There are big professional volleyball competitions in countries such as Italy, Brazil, Japan, and South Korea. Overall there are 46 million volleyball players in the USA. Worldwide there are more than 800 million people who play volleyball at least once a week according to FIVB. For badminton, this number is far lower. In a lot of countries in Europe and Asia, volleyball can be a career. This is harder to do with badminton.

To conclude, we can state that there are a lot of differences between volleyball and badminton. From how many people there are per team, playing it with or without racket to the net that is being used. For these reasons we can state that there is not that much overlap between these sport except that it is played indoors with a net between the teams.

We have discussed how many sports there are here.