Badminton is a fun game, but sometimes you need to change things up. In those cases, there are variations on the standard games we can play or similar games that’ll add some much-needed variety to the gaming schedule.
So, in this article, let’s dive into 13 other games that are close enough to badminton that they’re kinda-sorta related but different enough that they can be a great option for family members of all ages.
- Table Tennis (or ping pong)
- Paddle Tennis
- Squash (or squash ball)
- Ball Badminton
- Hardball Squash
- Beer pong
Ready to dive into these alternative games? Let’s do this!
Badminton Alternate Games for All Players
Personally, I’ve only played some of these games. But knowing that we’ve got options? It’s amazing. And my kids are all excited to try these new games. Okay, so they’re mostly all excited. Some of them are totally happy to keep playing badminton!
Game #1: Speedminton
Speedminton is a racket sport that is very similar to badminton. The playing rackets are nearly identical, and they have the same purpose.
However, there are significant differences in the games themselves. For example, as the name implies, Speedminton is faster.
- It is played without a net and with a heavier shuttlecock than badminton.
- The first team to score 15 points in Speedminton wins, and the game itself has no prescribed layout.
Speedminton can be played on a tennis court, beach, field, street, gym, or open field.
Game #2 Paddleball
Paddleball is a classic beach racquet sport without a net or a courtyard.
- The only rule in paddleball is to not allow the ball to touch the sand. (Don’t have a sandy playing area? Don’t stress. Just don’t let the ball hit the ground.)
- It is one of the oldest games known to be similar to badminton.
· Paddleball can be played as a single or doubles match.
The paddles used in this game have holes that allow airflow through them which gives the player more speed as they play.
Game #3: Tennis
Tennis is also a racket sport played by single or double opponents.
- It is played using a tennis racket and a rubber ball.
- This game is very similar to badminton as it is also played on a rectangular court.
- Similar rules are applied as in badminton, except the ball can bounce once in tennis.
- Tennis can be played as a one-vs-one game or as a doubles match.
Tennis tends to be a little bit rougher on joints than badminton, though. However, tennis can be a great option for overly energetic children! Just watch out for how they handle the rackets.
Game #4: Qianball
Qianball was invented and first played in China. It is a racket sport like badminton, though it uses a ball.
- The court used in qianball is larger than that of badminton, rectangular, and divided into player and ball zone with a net in the middle.
- The game is played in singles or doubles as a single or double player match with a ball and qianball racket.
- To score a point, players bounce the ball on the opposing team’s zone and return shots until the ball touches where players are standing.
This is one of the games we haven’t played yet, but it would be really cool to try!
Game #5: Racquetball
Racquetball is a versatile game, as it can be played either on an outdoor or indoor racketball court. It’s also a sport that is similar to badminton, if by similar you mean they both use a racket to hit things.
- The game is played with a stringed racket that gives control and increases momentum.
- While playing this game there is no net to hit the ball over.
Racketball is a lot more fast-paced than badminton, though, so make sure you invest in eyewear. Getting hit in the face with the ball isn’t fun.
Game #6: Table Tennis (or ping pong)
This game is also called ping pong. And ping-pong tables are pretty much everywhere, though quality ones are definitely less frequent than the multi-game tables that double as ping-pong tables.
- Two to four players hit the ball consecutively back and forth using a small racket or bat and just as the name implies, it is played on a table with a hard surface that serves as a court, with a net in the middle.
- In table tennis, a point is scored when the opposing player does not successfully return the ball within the stipulated rules.
Table tennis is a fun game to play, as it’s so versatile. It’s like badminton on a table – which is perfect for a rainy day when kids want to smack stuff with a paddle.
Game #7: Paddle Tennis
Paddle tennis is also a racquet sport like tennis, but the court is smaller, without a double lane, and the net is lowered.
Shots are played before or after the ball bounces off the walls which adds a unique twist to the sport.
This is another sport we haven’t tried, mostly because pickleball is so much more prevalent in our area. And we love pickleball. But this is on our “to try” list!
Game #8: Squash (or squash ball)
Just like every other game mentioned here, squash ball is a racket sport like badminton.
- It is played almost exactly as badminton as the game is played on a rectangular court but with a rubber ball instead of a shuttlecock. So similar, but totally different!
- This rubber ball absorbs speed in effect making it swift and easy for players.
- To score a point, the ball should be hit in a way the opponent wouldn’t be able to play a good return.
Squash is a lot more popular in European countries, but we think it would be fun to try.
Game #9: Ball Badminton
This is a racket team sport of five players that is largely played in India.
- The ball used is made of yellow wool.
- The game is played on a court divided by a net.
- Ball badminton demands skills, agility, and quick instincts, as well as the ability to dominate the ball with the wrist, and is fast-paced.
It’s not a sport I’d heard of before writing this article, but we’re kind of excited to try it now that we know about it!
Game #10: Pickleball
Pickleball is a fun game I first played back in 2019.
- It’s a sport played with the use of a solid paddle (made up of wood) to hit a polymer ball on a badminton-sized court with a lower net (more reminiscent of tennis) in between sides.
- The game has less complicated rules than badminton and is easy to learn.
It’s a lot easier to learn while playing than studying a YouTube video, though, so get out there and play it!
Game #11: Hardball Squash
Hardball squash is directly derived from squash balls.
- The scoring system is the same as regular squash.
- The main difference is that a hardball is used during the game.
The squash racket has a teardrop shape with a larger surface area which gives the player more power with less effort while playing.
Game #12: Jazzminton
This game is a racket or paddle game played just like badminton, but without a net.
- Jazzminton is a well-liked beach game with sturdier birdies that work better than traditional shuttlecocks in wind.
- It also doesn’t require as much space as traditional badminton does.
Again, we haven’t played this game in the proper way. But we’ve definitely played an homage to it, with badminton gear (sans net) out in the windy backyard! It’d be nice to have sturdier birdies, though. The ones we got in our badminton kit go crazy in the wind!
Game #13: Beer Pong
Beer pong has more similarities with ping pong and is a game we haven’t played at all. We might make a lemonade or Fresca version, though, as those are our kids’ favorite summertime drinks. However, beer pong deserves a spot on this list because it is a lot of fun even if you aren’t using beer.
- In this game, a hard table is used as a court with cups of beer on each end.
- To score, the ball needs to land in a cup of beer (or other drink) on the other end of the table.
- This is cost-effective and doesn’t require as many skills as badminton. It does require some good timing and/or good luck, though!
Plus, it’s fun watching the ping pong ball splash into a cup – and splash the other player!
Equipment used in badminton includes the following items.
- Badminton clothing, shoes, and attire
Keep in mind that the clothing may include a uniform and dedicated shoes for higher-level players.
The following games can be played with the types of equipment listed above:
- Beach tennis
What is Badminton Similar to?
Badminton is a racket sport, so it is like all racket and paddle games including the following.
- Kid’s water paddle ball
- Road tennis
- Four-wall paddle ball
- Pan pong
Again, some we’ve played. Others are new to us, too.
Games similar to badminton are racket sports because they are played with almost the same equipment. These include:
- Ping pong
We’ve covered most of these within the article, but we didn’t touch on either battledore or padel.
We’ve covered a lot of new game options for badminton fans. Some of these got more detail than others – and that’s okay. Because now that you know the names of the games? You’ll be able to better find details on how to play them.
Now that you know which games you can play as an alternative to badminton, make sure you read our article comparing badminton, table tennis, tennis, and pickleball!
Learning from your own experiences is important, but learning from others is also smart. These are the sources used in this article and our research to be more informed as a family of sports nuts wannabes.
- Racket Warriors. transmosis.orfinity.com.
- Speedminton Sporting Goods. Speedminton Sporting Goods, speedmintonusa.com
- O’Brien, Jane. “Pickleball: The Racquet Sport Experiencing a Pandemic Boom.” BBC News, 15 Mar. 2021, www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-56324048.
- Fun, Racket. “Badminton vs Racquetball.” Racket Fun, 11 Dec. 2020, racketfun.com/badminton/badminton-info/badminton-vs-racquetball.
- “Squash (Sport).” Wikipedia, 15 July 2021, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squash_(sport).