Safety Guide for Badminton
While not known as a contact sport, badminton can still produce its share of injuries. It’s worth noting
the following for the safety of the club and protecting yourself from potential injuries on the court.
All badminton players should warm-up before competing with some stretching and light cardio activity,
like running in place. Stretching limits the risk of potential muscle pulls and strains. It also gets the
ankles, knees and other joints prepared for strenuous activity.
The badminton playing court should be free from any obstructions and potential hazards such as
standing water, random debris, and onlookers, especially children wandering on the court when play has
commenced. There should also be ample room around the court’s outside boundary to permit
freedom of movement.
Wearing the proper footwear will help prevent ankle and knee injuries. Shoes should have excellent
support and provide adequate shock absorption. While playing badminton you need to be able to
change direction quickly and lunge and stretch to play low shots. To be able to do this you need
shoes that will slide on the surface. If you wear trainers or basketball shoes on the court, you might
eventually do some damage to your knees or ankles.
Knowing the proper way to play shots will limit the chances of suffering wrist, elbow, and shoulder
injuries. Holding the racket too tightly while playing may result in elbow inflammation, which is more
commonly known as tennis elbow. Using rackets that are too light or too heavy may also contribute to
Eye Injuries – Although the numbers of eye injuries in badminton are not as high as in other racquet
sports like squash, they do tend to be more serious. Around 70 percent of all eye injuries take place
during doubles matches. The person most at risk is the player who is nearest the net when their
partner is serving. They either get hit with the shuttlecock straight in the eye by the opponent returning
the serve or take a blow from their partner’s racquet while trying to retrieve a shot. The shuttlecock
may look harmless but during a game, it can travel at speeds in the range of 130mph – 210mph and
because of its shape can fit directly into the orbit of the eye and cause serious eye injury.
Players may also opt for goggles if eye injuries are a concern (they look like lab glasses but way
cooler!), although two good ways to avoid eye injuries are to always keep the racket up for protection
and to never turn to watch a teammate’s swing. If you are taking the front position, do not turn
around to see what shot your partner is going to hit. It is better to get a shuttle in the neck than in the
Tennis Elbow – This can be caused by gripping the racquet too tightly, combined with a lack of
strength in the forearm muscles. Racquets that are too tightly strung or too light are also thought to be
a contributing factor in causing inflammation of the elbow. There are shock absorption bands
available that might reduce the impact or probability of such injuries.
Note: If you have to use the computer continuously outside of badminton, RSI/tennis elbow may
sometimes be accentuated when paired with badminton.
Knee Injuries – Wearing incorrect footwear can be a contributing factor in getting a knee injury while
playing. Learning proper lunging techniques, and doing exercises to strengthen your knees, can also
help prevent your knees from aching and injuries occurring.
Ankle Injuries – Sprains and twists of the ankles are quite common, but normally don’t result in any
serious long-term injury. If you have suffered from a recurring ankle injury, then support (strapping) is
advised before playing a match.
Shoulder dislocation – Talented people often play multiple sports and if you have a pre-existing
injury related to your shoulder or from strenuous sports such as squash or bowling in cricket, there is
a high chance of dislocation of the shoulder if you put a lot of strain on your shoulders in badminton.
- Safety will always be their first priority
- Do not attempt to hit the shuttlecock if there is a risk of colliding with another player
- Avoid aiming the shuttlecock at the head or face of another player.
- Do not turn to look at your partner in a doubles match.
- Do not run or walk across any part of a court that is in use
- Parents/Guardians/Adults that accompany children to the club are also responsible for
ensuring the safety of children.
- In doubles, communicating with your partner is important. Simple calls like “mine”, “yours”,
“leave”, “out”. If you use generic calls such as “yes” or “no”, make sure your partner and you
have the same understanding of what the calls mean.
- In doubles, remember the partner at the back has greater visibility of the court and therefore
in most cases has the responsibility to avoid colliding with the partner in front.
- If the shuttle is hit on to another court where play is in progress, wait for the play to stop
before retrieving it.
- In doubles, you may want to “call” before taking a shot on your partner’s ‘turf’ or partner’s
court area of dominance (usually the partner’s strongest hand).
Note: ~10% of the world population is left-handed.
- When leaving your court, remember not to cross too close behind any other court where play
is in progress. You wouldn’t want to injure yourself in this fashion.
- If someone on court asks for assistance with removing obstacles off-court that are distracting,
please assist them if you are not in ‘play’.
Badminton Safety will not be much of an issue if you take reasonable care towards yourself and other
players around you.