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It’s easy to get racket sports mixed up with one another. That’s why I’ve written about how badminton differs from tennis, squash, and other racket sports. This time, I’m going to compare and contrast badminton with a recently invented racket sport — crossminton, or speed badminton. So what’s the difference?

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Badminton and crossminton differ in their playing environments, courts, equipment, and rules. While badminton is played within an indoor facility, crossminton games take place outdoors. Also, the differences in the playing environments call for different equipment. More specifically, badminton uses a shuttlecock whereas crossminton uses a ball called a Speeder®. Scoring a point is nearly similar but crossminton matches consist of five sets instead of badminton’s three.

There’s a lot to unpack when it comes to what distinguishes these two popular racket sports. Read on as I compare badminton and crossminton!

Where are Badminton and Crossminton Played?

As mentioned earlier, games in badminton and crossminton take place in two different environments:

Badminton is mainly an indoor sport, given its history. Games occur in indoor courts measuring 13.41 meters in length and 6.1 meters from side to side. Crossminton, on the other hand, is played on an outdoor court measuring 5.5 meters from one side to another and 23.8 meters from end to end.

Badminton Court vs. Crossminton Court

Besides the location of the courts, badminton and crossminton courts differ in several aspects as well.

A badminton court is a rectangular court marked by white lines. The lines mark an area that’s 13.41 meters x 6.1 meters. The area is inclusive of the two alleys and two back alleys that are not legal areas at certain points of the game. A crossminton court, by comparison, is an outdoor court measuring 23.8 meters x 5.5 meters. Putting these two courts side by side, you’ll find that the badminton court is shorter but wider than a crossminton court.

Badminton VS Crossminton Court
Crossminton Court VS Badminton Court

The dimensions aren’t the only characteristics separating the two courts. Badminton and crossminton courts also differ in their playing areas.

In badminton, players can move within their halves of the court. What divides the badminton court is the net — something you won’t see in a crossminton court!

For the most part, players can move within their halves of the court. And they can only hit the shuttlecock within this legal area. For singles matches, this legal area measures 5.18 meters in width and 5.94 meters in length from the net.

By comparison, the legal areas in crossminton are two squares that are 5.5 meters by 5.5 meters each. These squares are on opposite ends of the court with a gap of 12.8 meters in between them.

The Speeder® (which we’ll talk about later) should land or fly onto these squares. Should the speeder fly or fall outside these squares (the legal area), the last person to strike the Speeder® gives the opposing player the point. So it’s like badminton in that respect at least!

CRAZY Badminton Saves Part 1
CRAZY Badminton Saves Part 1

Badminton Birdie vs. Speeder®

Besides the court, you’ll see one big difference right off the bat — the equipment. In particular, the projectiles used for both sports differ.

Badminton uses a shuttlecock, otherwise known as a birdie. It’s a projectile consisting of a cork or rubber base with a “feathered” end. In crossminton, players strike a Speeder®. It’s a projectile that resembles a shuttlecock except for the weight and material. Because of where crossminton games take place, the Speeder® is heavier than the shuttlecock or birdie.

Shuttlecock VS Speeder
Speeder VS Shuttlecock

Based on the Badminton World Federation’s (BWF) equipment guidelines, the shuttlecock or birdie must be 4.74 to 5.50 grams. And this is true for both feathered and non-feathered birdies.

Yes, 5.50 grams isn’t all that heavy. But since badminton shuttlecocks are aerodynamic for indoor flight, it’s no big deal.
The Speeder® is heavier than the birdie, weighing as much as 10 grams. According to the International Crossminton Organization, the speeder can be as low as six grams. But these are for junior-grade tournaments.

The heavier weight of the Speeder® isn’t an arbitrary decision. On the contrary, it needs to be owing to where crossminton games are played. Because games take place on an outdoor court, air resistance and flow have a large effect on where the speeder goes.

Hence, to offset the effects of the outdoor environment, Speeders® need to consist of denser material. And as we all know, denser material can translate to straighter flight paths.

Speeders® and shuttlecocks also differ in material. Badminton shuttlecocks will often have rubber or cork bases. The feathers can be goose feathers or plastic webbing attached in a conical fashion to the base.

Speeders® consist of thermoplastic material for the added weight. The “tail” is also made of plastic and resembles the tail of the non-feathered bride.

How Do You Score in Badminton and Crossminton?

Despite the vast differences between badminton and crossminton, scoring in either sport is similar. At least, they’re similar in more ways than one. Here’s what I mean.

Both sports follow a rally scoring system. To score a point in badminton, you should strike the shuttlecock in a manner that causes your opponent to miss. You should also hit the shuttlecock so that it flies onto the legal playing area of your opponent. You can also score a point for each time your opponent commits a fault like a service fault or hitting the shuttlecock twice before it crosses the net. In crossminton, scoring is the same. Your opponent needs to miss for you to score one point. As well, your opponent can lose points by committing faults like hitting the Speeder® outside the legal area.

The difference when it comes to scoring is the score cap and scoring format. Badminton matches are best-of-three games where players try to reach 21 points in each game. In crossminton, players need to race to 16 points to win a game. As well, the first player to win three games wins the match since matches follow a best-of-five format.

Should I Play Badminton or Crossminton?

I’ll be biased and say “badminton!” But, ultimately, it comes down to the kind of environment you prefer.

If you love the pristine condition and controlled environment of an indoor court, then badminton is the obvious choice. You’ll also be better off playing badminton if you like the idea of an obstacle standing between you and your opponent — the net. Then again, if you like playing a racket sport under the sun, then play crossminton. Crossminton is also an excellent option if you want a tennis-like experience without the net, ball, and heavier racket.

In short, it depends on the kind of environment that tickles your fancy. On a side note, it also depends on the kind of shoes you’ve already got.

If you already have badminton shoes but nothing close to what can take the punishment of an outdoor court, go for badminton. On the other hand, having a pair of tennis shoes in your closet opens up crossminton as an option.

Don’t Want to Choose Just One? Cross Train!

Sure, badminton and crossminton have their differences. But they’re both racket sports that even share scoring methods!

Beneath the differences in courts, rules, scoring formats, and equipment, both sports are fun and will get your heart racing. So if you’re into badminton, there’s nothing wrong with dabbling in crossminton.

The same is true if you’re reading this as a crossminton enthusiast!


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