Why You Should Teach Badminton in PE

Badminton is a fun and fantastic backyard game and a fan favorite in your PE curriculum.  What’s even better is that Badminton has a few perks that other activities or sports don’t necessarily have the flexibility to offer:

1. It’s Relatively Inexpensive.

Once you purchase the Badminton racquets and shuttles, you can move forward to offer the badminton unit.  You do also need a net, but can typically repurpose your volleyball and/or Pickleball nets and standards for your badminton unit.

If you’re looking for a set of badminton nets, I’d recommend these Rainbow UltraNets. They come in a pack of rainbow colors (6 nets), which allow me to easily organize students. The rainbow colors also ensure the pieces to the sets stay together. I can’t stress how helpful this is!

A cost-effective solution to outfitting your entire gym with badminton, pickle ball or volleyball courts.


If you’re looking for a less expensive option, the ComboCourt Badminton system works great. Instead of setting up individual nets, the ComboCourt stretches across your entire gym. You can set up 3 gyms instantly and it’s comparable to the price of one badminton net. They’re also adjustable so you can use them for pickleball and volleyball as well.

2. Different Formats

Badminton can be offered as a recreational, competitive or a hybrid unit which is very rare.  We’ll explain later in the blog the multiple options. There are also a variety of small-sided games that you can play with your students.

3. Accommodates all users

Students do not have to be in great shape to play. Of course by playing badminton they will improve their conditioning a little bit, but this unit is more about participation, skill acquisition, strategy and cognitive retention.  This is not a game kids will shy away from because they are not in great shape.

4. User Friendly

Kids won’t be intimidated because they don’t know the game and others do. Most students will not know how to serve, hit, or track the score of the game, so everyone will learn together. If you need help learning the fundamentals of the game, we put together this great tool that teaches badminton serving and scoring.

5. Fun

Badminton is FUN! Once you offer the unit and students get a handle on some of the fundamental skills they will truly love to play. This is a game that students will find success in a short amount of time.

Teaching Badminton in Physical Education

So what is the best way to launch your badminton unit, should it be recreational or competitive?  I’ve seen many schools teach it successfully both ways and some schools offer it in a hybrid format that allows for competition and recreational options. Here’s how we offer our badminton unit related to skills, cognitive content, and format:

Set up

We set our gym up with 2 strings of nets, with 3 or 4 nets on each string. Basically each string should run east to west right along with your basketball foul line.  6 nets allow for 24 participants (we always start with doubles games) and 8 nets would include 32 students. If your classes are larger, you can certainly put more on each court while you practice or spread them throughout the gymnasium or any annexes you might have available.

Introduction

Of course we launch the unit with the origin of the game, quick fundamental skills explanation, scoring discussion, and then a quick demonstration.

Serving and Basic Clear

We then work on two important skills, serving and the basic clear.

  1. Serving – Just like in Volleyball, Nitroball, and Table Tennis. Drop the shuttle while swinging the racquet forward.
  2. Basic Clear – Player returns the serve and hits the shuttle deep and far back into the opponent’s side of the court.

Modified Game Play

Once our students spend some time in “Skill & Drill,” we then allow them play a modified game where they try to be the first to 7 or 11 points. The goal score can be set based on time and also age of the students.  We always allow for modified gameplay at the end of the class to motivate kids to want to play and have some fun.

Here are a few other small-sided Badminton games your students will enjoy.

Fundamental Skills

For the first few days we work on fundamental skills like hand-eye coordination to serve and return the shuttle, and reaction time (being able to move quickly to the shuttle). Once we have implemented the service skills and establishing a few shots where kids can return the shuttle we move to our double-elimination round robin tournament. This is where it gets fun!

Tournament Play

Kids are allowed to pick their teammates and then must “name” their team. We set up a board for each class/period and list the games by their team name, the students love this! We play the double-round robin and move teams along accordingly. After a few teams are eliminated we reserve 1 or 2 courts for these teams to play recreationally, change teammates or issue challenge matches.

Once we narrow it down to the final game we give the students the option to watch the championship match or play on another court, 99% of the time 99% of the students choose to watch and have fun with the final match.

We schedule at least 2 weeks for most of our units so the 2nd week is where we primarily run the tournaments and allow the kids to come to class excited to warm-up and play their games.

As I’ve shared, there are many options for a Badminton Unit. You can run the unit strictly recreationally, completely competitive, or in a hybrid format the way we do.  Of course, you can also delve into allowing the students to play singles too, which opens a much larger perspective related to speed and covering the court. I can assure you that if you make the commitment to acquire badminton racquets and shuttles, your students will fall in love with this sport! Your students will learn the physical skills and cognitive content to play competitively or in a recreational life skill type of environment – the benefits are limitless with this sport and unit!

So take the plunge, offer Badminton, and let us know how it goes! Or, let us know some of the various and creative ways that you offer Badminton in your school or district.

Related Articles:
How to Play Badminton – Serving and Scoring Tips [Instructional Videos]
4 Simple Small-Sided Badminton Games
9 Net Games to Try Today! | Ep. #4 PE Express Podcast by Jessica Shawley

Related Equipment:

Peter is the Director of Athletics at Milford Public Schools in Milford, MA. Previously he was the Elementary Principal & K-12 Wellness Coordinator in Canton, MA and was the Massachusetts K-12 Wellness Director of the Year in 2011-2012.

Peter is the Director of Athletics at Milford Public Schools in Milford, MA. Previously he was the Elementary Principal & K-12 Wellness Coordinator in Canton, MA and was the Massachusetts K-12 Wellness Director of the Year in 2011-2012.

1 COMMENT

  1. Love this ~ good ideas. The only thing I might adapt is that I would assign teams based on an equity of skills of my students. A kids biggest nightmare is not being selected on a team.

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