Badminton vs Squash: What’s the Difference?

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While badminton and squash are both games that we play with a racquet, they are completely different from each other in many ways, including how they’re played and what equipment is needed. If you’re interested in learning all of the many differences between the two, keep reading.

The differences between badminton and squash include the courts they are played on, the rules, and the equipment used. In badminton, courts are indoors with a net in the middle and players on either side of the net and a shuttlecock being hit back and forth. In squash, the court is also indoors but is in a box with no net. Players share the same space and take turns hitting a ball that is allowed to bounce once on the floor.

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1. Court Size/Dimensions

There are many differences between badminton and squash when it comes to their respective courts.

A full badminton court, which is used for doubles, is 13.41 meters (44 feet) long and 6.1 meters wide. On the other hand, the singles playing area is a little bit narrower at 5.2 meters (17 feet) wide with the same length. Lastly, the width of the boundary lines themselves are 40 millimeters (1.56 inches) across.

Image with text - Squash Court with Dimensions
Squash Court Dimensions

Full details of badminton court dimensions can be found at What are the Dimensions of a Badminton Court?.

The size of a typical squash court, on the other hand, is 9.75 meters (32 feet) long and 6.4 meters (21 feet) in width. This court is shorter but slightly wider than that of badminton.

2. Service (and Service Rules)

Service is the act of hitting the shuttlecock or ball to start a game.

In badminton, the server must hit the shuttlecock below 1.15 meters (3.8 feet) low height and point their racquet in a downward direction. The receiver cannot move until after the server makes contact with the shuttlecock. Singles and doubles have distinctive service lines, which affects how the server and receiver play. Service rules in badminton can get a bit confusing, so I’ve put together a list of answers to the most common badminton service questions in Everything You Need to Know About Service Rules in Badminton just for you.

Badminton Service Height
The shuttlecock should not be higher than 1.15m from the floor during service

Squash has different service rules. The ball should be served with one foot in the service box and should hit the front wall first, above the service line. The service is not over until it hits the ground or walls of the court. The player must stand in their own serving box. After the service, the opponent can let the ball bounce. The player can serve underhand or overhand with no restrictions.

Service in Squash
How to Serve in Squash

3. Scoring and Winning 

Scores in badminton and squash are different. The way we win a badminton game is also different.

To win a point in badminton, you must hit the shuttlecock over the opponent’s side of the net and land it on their side of the court. We also score a point if our opponent fails to return it, hits it out of bounds, or into the net. The first player to get 21 points with a two point advantage wins the game. You win the match once you win two out of three games.

Full badminton rules can be found at Fundamental Rules of Badminton – the World’s Fastest Racket Sport.

In squash, a point is won when a player fails to return the ball before it bounces twice on the floor. The ball is allowed to hit walls or the ceiling multiple times which do not count as bouncing on the floor and is still considered in play. Squash uses rally scoring and is a best of five games, with each game played to 11 points. Similar to badminton, squash requires players to win each game with a two point advantage.

Squash Ball Bouncing Twice
A point is won when a player fails to return the ball before it bounces twice on the floor.

4. Where the Sport is Played 

These two different sports can be played in different places. Professional and serious badminton players play indoors, such as in gymnasiums or sports centers with badminton courts inside them. Casual badminton players play outdoors such as on a field or beach.

Squash is also typically played indoors but the courts themselves are literally surrounded by four walls and a ceiling. This is done so players can bounce the ball off the walls to keep the rally going. There are also courts outdoors, but these are not as common. Since the squash court is inside a wall, wind has less of an effect on the ball. There is no net or other equipment needed other than the walled court. The only thing needed to be done for the court would be to clean the glass wall.

Squash Court
A Squash Court

5. Equipment Used in the Sport 

While these are both indoor sports, the equipment used has some major differences.

For badminton, the players need badminton specific shoes, rackets, shuttlecocks, and grips to play because they enable the players to move fast and with accuracy. It can be a lot to take in at first, so I’ve already done the work to help you get started. There’s a whole Badminton Equipment page I made that has all of the equipment guides you need. However, I suggest looking specifically at the 4 Best Badminton Rackets for Beginners4 Best Badminton Strings for Beginners, and Getting Started pages if you’re a beginner.

On the other hand, we need a ball for squash rather than the typical shuttlecock used in badminton. The ball is made of two pieces of rubber that are linked together. When played with, the squash ball has a distinct performance. Squash balls are warmed up, which can be done by humans or machines. If the squash ball is not warmed up, it will barely bounce. Each grade is represented by a different color dot on the ball. With a yellow dot, a red dot, and a blue dot, the pace and bounce of the balls vary.

The use of court is also different. Badminton is played on a rectangular court with short, crisp grass lines that are easy to see. The net is in the center of the court and divides it into two equal halves. Squash is played on a four-walled court. These walls are made of hollow steel, and the surface is very similar to an indoor floor.

Squash Ball and Racket
A Squash Ball and A Squash Racket

6. Types of Disciplines or Events

Badminton and squash have the same types of disciplines or events. The five events are: Men’s Singles, Women’s Singles, Men’s Doubles, Women’s Doubles, and Mixed Doubles.

Find out how gameplay differs in each of these events for badminton at What Type of Events are in Badminton?.

7. The Popularity of Each Sport on a Global Scale

Badminton is a popular sport. There are millions of people around the world who play badminton in their free time. It has been in the Olympics since 1992. Squash, while being a part of the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games since 1998, has yet to make an Olympic appearance.

Badminton is also a sport that can be learned in a single day (but takes a lifetime to master), whereas squash is slightly harder to grasp. Badminton is widely played around the world, and more people participate in badminton than squash.

The appeal of badminton is also due to how competitive it is. There are many badminton events, but there are only a few squash tournaments. 


So, what’s the difference between squash and badminton? In a nutshell, badminton is an indoor sport that’s played on a court with space on either side of the net, and squash is played in a shared space in a four-wall court. The scoring rules are similar for both games in that they use rally scoring and must win by 2. However, badminton is played to a best of three games to 21 and squash is played to a best of five games to 11.

Furthermore, squash also has no net. Instead, we use a racket to defend against shots from other players or off of walls around the court. You might think these differences make them two very different sports, and you’d be right. Regardless of whether you prefer playing indoors or outdoors, which game has caught your attention? Let me know in the comments below.

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Here’s some guides and reviews on badminton products. We update this list whenever we add new equipment content – hope you enjoy!

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