Does Height Matter in Badminton?

Does Height Matter in Badminton?

Many players want to know if their height will be detrimental to their performance on the Badminton court. This is a tough one to answer because if you look at the world’s top players, some are of average height and others are exceptionally tall. Still, it is natural to wonder if your height is going to work against you on the Badminton court.

Does height matter in Badminton? Yes, technically speaking, height does matter in Badminton. While height does not dictate whether you can play Badminton or not, height does play a role in performance. Both tall and short Badminton players have advantages and disadvantages to the court. It is therefore important for players to focus on strengthening and honing their particular skills and advantages linked to their specific heights.

From a bit of research that I have done into the game of Badminton and past heroes in the public eye, I have found that there are downsides to being tall and short in Badminton. It is really not something that should deter you from playing the sport though. Anyone can play Badminton, short or tall. If you want to learn more about the impact of your height on your performance on the Badminton court, read on below.

The Advantages & Disadvantages of Height in Badminton

One thing that must be noted is that it does not matter if you are tall or short; you can play Badminton regardless. That is one of the great things about the sport – it is for everyone. The thing is that tall players can hone their skills just as much as short players can. How you train will determine how you perform on the court. In short, if you learn how to work with your body and train efficiently while being fully aware of your strengths and weaknesses as well as your opponent’s, you can improve on your on-court performance.

Being tall has advantages and disadvantages. And the same goes for players who are short. To bring some clarity to the situation, I would like to mention some of the weaknesses and strengths that both short and tall Badminton players can expect. If you know what to expect from your body and from that of your opponent, you can strategically plan your game and you can win.

Tall Badminton Player’s Strengths and Weaknesses.

Some people might say that having longer arms, longer legs, a greater reach, more speed, and leverage is what makes being a tall Badminton player so rewarding. While these are warranted points and I agree, I also think there is more to it than that. There is no denying that tall players have a height advantage and that is something that is easily noted by watching tall players in a heated match on the Badminton court. Because of their height, they are able to impact the shuttle at a fairly high point. The height enables the player to create a steep smash which is something that a short player may struggle with. Being tall also allows a player more options when it comes to hitting the shuttle. They can hit a straight smash or a cross-court smash with very little effort.

As you probably already know, when serving in Badminton, the player must swing the head of the racket up from below the waist. This means that it is easily possible for a tall player to produce a quality low serve as their waists are naturally higher than that of a short player. This means that tall players can produce quality serves in comparison to short players. And that is an unfortunate fact for short players on the court.

I have noticed that taller players tend to use less energy when moving around the court which means that they can keep playing without feeling exhausted prematurely. This doesn’t mean that they are better than short players, but when playing against a short player, this may very well be an advantage.

Unfortunately, it is not all good news for tall players. The bad news is that tall players do not have much defense if the shuttle is hit directly toward the body. If a smash comes up towards the chest and neck area, a tall player will find it fairly difficult to defend against. A short player may defend this kind of short with relative or natural-feeling ease. Flexibility seems to be an area of concern for some players who are tall. It is harder for taller people to match the flexibility of a shorter player, but it is not impossible. Flexibility training can greatly help with this and that is why many tall Badminton players can benefit from focusing on becoming more flexible. Also, when it comes to hitting drives, which are supposed to be hit horizontally across the net; tall players struggle.

Short Badminton Player’s Strengths and Weaknesses.

A short Badminton player typically shines where a tall Badminton player fails. As such, you can expect short Badminton players to have an excellent defense against shots hit towards the body. Hitting overhead strokes when the shuttle comes up towards the neck should be no problem for the short Badminton player at all. Short players are also effective at hitting strong overhead drives and horizontal shots across the net. They do not have to squat to make these hits as a tall player does.

While tall players might use less energy on the court because of their size, it is much the same for short players. Short Badminton players have less weight to manage and so, therefore, use less energy to get around. This makes shorter players smooth, quick, and agile on the Badminton court.

Just like taller players, short Badminton players also suffer a few weaknesses. One of the most notable is that short players seem to have less power when smashing because they do not have the same steep angle that a taller player does. This is not an exact science because I have noted some famous Badminton players who are short delivering some powerful smashes. It is all about learning to use your height to your advantage. This basically means that a tall player and a short player will learn slightly different ways of performing on the court.

At the end of the day, it really comes down to individual skill and training. You can be tall or short and perform poorly on the court if you don’t have the training and skill required. With the right skills and with regular training, there is every reason to believe that you can excel on the court, regardless of your height.

Some of the Tallest and Shortest Players in Badminton

For many people worried about how their height will impact on their overall Badminton performance, taking a look at the performance and skill of both tall and short world players is important. I thought we would check out a list of the tallest and shortest players:

Tall players:

Some of the world’s tallest Badminton players include the following (this is the top 3).

  • Mads Pieler Kolding – a whopping 6.7 ft(2.05 m) tall.
  • Vladimir Ivanov – 6.6 ft(2.01 m) in height.
  • Viktor Axelsen – an impressive 6.4 ft(1.95 m) in height.

Short players:

Some of the world’s shortest Badminton players include the following (this is the top 3).

  • Nozomi Okuhara – a mere 5.1 ft(1.56 m) tall.
  • Ashwini Ponnappa – coming in at just under 5.1 ft(1.65 m) tall.
  • Saina Nehwal – also coming in at 5.1 ft(1.65 m) tall.

To get a clearer idea of how height plays a role in performance or technique, try to look up video clips of each of these players in action.


If you are just getting into Badminton and worry that your height may affect whether you win or lose on the court, do not worry too much. While height does not determine whether you can or cannot play Badminton, it is realistic to note that your height can change your experience during play. Tall players enjoy certain advantages and disadvantages, just like short players.


Hey! I’m Steven. I've been playing badminton for over 10 years and working as an assistant badminton coach for kids. This website is created to share my passion and knowledge of badminton as well as discuss relevant and useful topics in the world of badminton.

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