Badminton is one of the most enjoyable sports and recreational players often go at it for hours. However, how long is a badminton match in tournaments?
Even though badminton has a lot of rules, it is still a very quick game. However, exceptions always exist, and depending on various factors, the duration of a match can be unpredictable.
Typically, though, a badminton match lasts for around 40 to 50 minutes, which is a much shorter time than tennis. The difference in the duration of the match is due to a variety of factors like how many games the match goes to, the number of intervals, and the skill of the players.
In this guide, we can help you find out the average duration of a badminton match and the shortest and longest matches in the history of badminton. We will also touch upon the various factors that affect the duration of a game and how long a badminton match is as compared to other racket sports.
To get accurate information, we have used the statistics from the Olympic Games site and other credible resources.
What is the Average Length of a Badminton Match?
The average length of a badminton match is less than one hour, typically anywhere between 40 and 50 minutes. This duration of the game is significantly shorter than a match of tennis, depending on how many sets are being played. On the other hand, it is typically shorter than a table tennis match.
Of course, exceptions always exist and there have been instances when a match has gone on for hours or finished in just a few minutes.
What is the Longest Ever Badminton Match?
The longest ever badminton match was a women’s double match between the Japanese team, which included Kurumi Yonao and Naoko Fukuman, and the Indonesian team, which included Greysia Polii and Nitya Krishinda, which lasted for a whopping 2 hours and 41 minutes.
In the semi-finals match of the Badminton Asian Championships, the Japanese team faced the dominant Indonesia team that had bagged 21 points in the first game. Polii and Krishinda were able to beat Japan by 8 points and started the second game with the confidence of soon-to-be winners. However, luck was not on their side this time around and the Japanese duo snatched victory from right under them with a 21-19 in the second game.
The third game was pivotal and would determine which team would advance to the finals. The Japanese and Indonesian teams fought tooth and nail during the match, which lasted for much longer than the average duration of a badminton game.
In the end, the Japanese team won by a close 24-22.
The game lasted for 2 hours and 41 minutes, according to the Badminton World Federation, making it the longest ever badminton match to date.
Although the BWF does not have a published list of the longest matches on record, it was only the second match that lasted for over two hours in recent history.
The Second Longest Badminton Match
The second-longest badminton match was the men’s singles between Denmark’s Peter Rasmussen and China’s Sun Jun during the 1997 IBF World Championships.
The match was played in Glasgow and lasted for 2 hours and four minutes – the longest badminton match until 2016.
In the first round, Jun furiously rallied against Rasmussen and secured a 16-17 win for China.
In the second game, the tides turned and Rasmussen was able to beat Jun by three points, securing a score of 18-15. In the third decider game, Rasmussen achieved victory and brought the championship trophy to Denmark.
The match lasted for over two hours and secured both Rasmussen and Jun a place in badminton history.
What is the Shortest Ever Badminton Match?
A game of badminton doesn’t have to last close to an hour. In some cases, speed, talent, and clever strategy can help win a match in just a few minutes. In fact, the history of badminton has a match that lasted for a mere 6 minutes.
This is the shortest ever badminton match on record which occurred in Hong Kong during the 1996 Uber Cup.
The record-breaking match was between the South Korean badminton player, Ra Kyung-min and English player, Julia Mann. During the historic match, Ra sent attack after attack at Mann, who kept missing to return. The endgame was an easy victory for South Korea.
Ra was able to win the first game by nine whole points, scoring 11-2 against Mann and won the second game by 10 points, scoring 11-1 against Mann. This marked her win by a landslide since in 1996, women’s singles matches only had to reach a total of 11 points.
Before the spectators knew it, the game was over in just a matter of minutes.
Factors That Influence the Length of a Badminton Game
As you can see, the duration of a badminton game can vary by a huge margin. This can be due to a wide range of factors.
The Third Game
If both the players or teams have played well enough in the first and second game, the match will go to a third game, which will be the decider.
A badminton match consists of three games, where two players or two teams will play against each other for a target of 21 points. The first team to achieve 21 points in the game and get a two-point lead, will win the game.
Typically, a player needs only to win two out of three games to claim the win. When a player wins two games back to back, they will be the clear winner of the match and the match will not proceed to a third game.
However, there are two situations in which a match will go to a third game.
- The player attains 21 points but is only one point ahead of the other player
- A tie, also known as a deuce, occurs, with each player at 20 points
If either of these things happen, the game will be lengthened since the two teams will need to battle it out until one player is leading by two points. The game has a 30-point score cap so that it does not go on indefinitely.
If both players have won one game each, then the match will be decided by a third game. Often the third match is the longest since the players bring their A-game and battle tooth and nail to secure a victory. Typically, a three-game match can increase the time of the match by 50%.
Badminton is a very intense game and so the players are given a rest period after a certain time. These intervals also account for the total time of the game.
- The first interval is given in the first game when a player reaches 11 points. This interval lasts for 60 seconds.
- The second interval is at the finish of the first game and lasts for 120 seconds or a total of two minutes.
- The third interval is given in the second game when a player reaches 11 points. This interval is 60 seconds.
- If the match lasts for only two games, the players will be given three intervals which total to four minutes. However, if the match proceeds to the third game, then:
- A fourth interval will be given at the finish of the first game and last for 120 seconds or a total of two minutes.
- A fifth interval will be given during the third game when a player reaches 11 points. This will be for 60 seconds.
Assuming that the match extends to a third game, then a total of seven minutes of rest will be provided to the players.
The Difference in Skill Level
This is a very interesting factor since skill level can either shorten or lengthen a game. This is very obvious in the historic game between South Korea’s Ra Kyung-min and England’s Julia Mann.
When there is a big gap between the skill levels of the two players, the game tends to end quickly since one player will completely dominate the other player and bombard them with rallies, making for a short overall match duration.
However, when it comes to evenly matched skills, this can have the opposite effect of lengthening the match. During such matches, the winner often claims victory by a smaller margin and usually has better endurance.
A great case in point is the men’s singles between Denmark’s Peter Rasmussen and China’s Sun Jun during the 1997 IBF World Championships.
When players are able to have almost the same skill level, it can result in rallies that drag on and on, games that go into deuces or hit the 30-point cap.
In such matches, you can expect more water breaks and towel-offs since the players are battling harder and longer. In addition, the officials will also be called to mop the perspiration off the floor so that the players might not skid and injure themselves.
How Long is a Tennis Match as Compared to a Tennis Match?
Typically, a tennis match is longer than a badminton match. Depending on whether it is a best-of-three match or a best-of-five match, a tennis game can run anywhere between 90 minutes to 2 hours and 45 minutes.
How Long is a Tennis Match as Compared to a Squash Game?
An average game of men’s squash can last for 43 minutes while women’s squash can last for 32 minutes.
A squash game can go much longer if all five rounds are to be played and there have been instances when a match lasted for over two hours.
About THE AUTHOR
Since initially playing at the collegiate level, I have amassed several decades of experience playing racquetball, tennis, and pickleball. I have played thousands of matches and games, and won medals and awards in multiple tourantments. I am constantly improving my game and enjoy mentoring and coaching other players in strategy and technique. I have authored dozens of articles on the sport.Read More About Michael Stevens