Saturday, 20 Jul 2024

Badminton Pan America


Para badminton is an exciting new sport that will be making its debut at the Paralympic Games this summer in Tokyo. Alongside taekwondo, it adds a new level of excitement to the 2020 Paralympic program, with 20 other sports also vying for attention. Known as the fastest racquet sport in the world, Para badminton promises to entertain viewers on one of the biggest stages in the world.

A Brief History

Although Para badminton is appearing for the first time in the Games, it has been played and enjoyed internationally since the 1990s. The first World Championships were held in Amersfoort, Netherlands in 1998 and have taken place every two years since 2001.

However, the sport truly gained prominence in 2014 when the Badminton World Federation (BWF) made a bid to include Para badminton as a Paralympic sport. This bid was successful, and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) selected the sport for Tokyo 2020. Since then, Para badminton has grown in popularity, with over 300 athletes from almost 50 countries competing in the last World Championships held in Basel, Switzerland.

Rules and Scoring

The rules and set up of Para badminton are largely similar to that of traditional badminton. Players score points by hitting the shuttlecock over the net without it being returned. Matches are played in the best-of-three games format, with the first player to reach 21 points winning the game. The height of the net remains the same, and events include men’s and women’s singles, doubles, and mixed doubles.

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Differences in Para badminton

While the rules of Para badminton closely align with traditional badminton, there are some key differences. There are six athlete classes, two for wheelchair players and four for standing players, which ensure a level playing field for athletes with different abilities. Wheelchair players compete in classes WH 1 and WH 2, while standing players compete in classes SL 3 and SL 4 (standing lower), SU (standing upper), and SS (short stature).

In Para badminton, wheelchair players and standing players with lower limb impairments play half-court singles matches. In these matches, wheelchair doubles, and mixed doubles, the area in front of the service line is out of bounds. Additionally, wheelchair Para badminton athletes use adapted chairs to aid their balance and movement, such as chairs with low backrests and extra wheels at the back.

Key Terms and Phrases

When watching Para badminton, it can be helpful to be familiar with some of the terminology used in the sport. Here are a few key terms and their definitions:

  • Clear: A high, deep shot that pushes the opponent to the back of the court.
  • Drop: A shot that barely clears the net.
  • Lift: A generic term for an upward shot.
  • Net: A shot from the forecourt that just clears the net.
  • Smash: An overhead, powerful attacking shot.

Target Tokyo 2020

At the 2020 Paralympics, spectators can look forward to 14 medal events in Para badminton. There will be seven events for men, six for women, and one mixed tournament. A total of 90 players, consisting of 44 men and 46 women, will compete across singles, doubles, and mixed doubles events.

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The athletes participating in Para badminton have been competing in BWF international tournaments worldwide since 2019 to qualify for Tokyo 2020. As they compete in these tournaments, they earn points based on their performance. These points contribute to their international ranking, and the ranking points also help determine the country slots for the Paralympic Games. The National Paralympic Committees then select their athletes based on these rankings.


Q: How long has Para badminton been played internationally?
A: Para badminton has been played internationally since the 1990s.

Q: How many athlete classes are there in Para badminton?
A: There are six athlete classes in Para badminton, two for wheelchair players and four for standing players.

Q: What are some key terms in Para badminton?
A: Some key terms in Para badminton include clear, drop, lift, net, and smash.

Q: How many medal events will there be in Para badminton at Tokyo 2020?
A: There will be 14 medal events in Para badminton at Tokyo 2020.


Para badminton is poised to make a thrilling debut at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. With its fast-paced action and intense competition, it promises to captivate viewers from around the world. As athletes from different countries showcase their skills in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles events, the excitement of Para badminton will undoubtedly be a highlight of the Games. To learn more about Para badminton and stay updated with the latest news and events, visit Carnegiecentre.