Throughout the years, we have seen many badminton greats, and even legends, come and go. It is always refreshing and awe-inspiring when a young new player bursts into the professional badminton scene and takes out big names, such as the young and promising An Se Young of South Korea. When such talent comes around, they always end up teaching us something new about badminton and they push the boundaries of what is possible. Even with such skill, agility, and youth, their time as professional athletes doesn’t last forever. Players inevitably must retire, even though there is no official age limit in international tournaments. While we would love to see these players in top form and duke it out for eternity, even top players’ bodies weaken physically over time, making them gradually slower, less powerful, and have lower stamina. Most of us have a general sense of this but probably never looked more into it. Let’s take a look at the numbers.
The average professional badminton player retires at 30.5 years old across all disciplines. The average female professional badminton player retires at 28.3 years old, and the average male professional badminton player retires at 32.8 years old.
Obviously, not all players will retire at the same age and their timelines will vary for different reasons such as changing priorities, injuries, or burnout – so take these numbers with a grain of salt. Overall, when a player retires ultimately depends on the individuals themselves due to different circumstances, but we used a data driven approach to find out when most elite badminton players retire. While we would like to get the retirement age for every professional badminton player ever, that would take far too much time. Instead, we took a subset of data by defining professionals as all the gold medalist winners from the All England Championships from 2000 to the present day (2021) who have retired and found out when they retired or played their last major BWF badminton tournament. This is what we found:
Category vs Retirement Age
As we can see from the disciplines, women’s doubles players retire the earliest on average at 27.9 years old while men’s doubles players retire the latest on average at 33.7 years old. Another interesting find we see is that women tend to retire 4.5 years earlier than men do on average. Just a quick glance at our overall dataset (at the bottom of the post) shows that the youngest 7 players to retire were all female while the oldest 13 players to retire were all male!
Whatever you make of these results, we’ll give you the rest of the data to let you play around with it. If you like this sort of material or want more data points and insights, let us know in the comments below! And if you would like to receive alerts when we publish new posts, subscribe to us by clicking the bell icon.