How to Choose a Badminton Net
What’s the most overlooked part of the badminton game? Probably the badminton net.
Serious players might spend hours arguing over the merits of one racket over another. And even intermediate-level players know how important it is to have a Grade-A shuttlecock that’s in perfect shape. But nobody ever thinks much about the badminton net.
It just stands there, dividing the two sides of the court. You have to hit over it. You know that if you hit into the net, it will most likely cost you a point. But have you ever thought about the size and construction of the net?
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Badminton Net Regulations
The official rules of badminton say the net needs to be made of a fine, natural, dark-colored cord with an even thickness of not less than 15mm (5/8”) and not more than 20mm (3/4”).
The rules say that the net should be stretched firmly from post to post and should be 760mm (2’6”) in depth. The top of the net needs to be 1.524 meters (5’) high at its center and 1.55 meters (5’1”) at the posts.
It should be edged with a 75mm (3”) white tape, doubled and supported by a cord or cable run through the tape and strained over and flush with the top of the posts. Finally, a badminton net should be at least 20’ long as a regulation-sized court is 20’ wide.
What To Look For In A Badminton Net
The most important thing to look for in a badminton net is whether or not it meets the official rules of badminton. You may not want to take a ruler to your nearby sporting goods store to make sure the cord is not less than 5/8” and not more than 3/4” thick, but you eye can tell you if the cord seems fairly thick and durable or thin and flimsy.
The next most important thing is how the net is edged and how it is supported between the posts. The tape should be white and the regulation sized 3”. It should be supported with a thick cord or, better yet, a cable. It’s important to keep the net stretched tight and at the right height and the only way this can be accomplished is with a good supporting cord or cable.
If you are just a backyard badminton player, you will probably buy a badminton set. In this case, you won’t have much choice as to the quality of the net – you will get whatever net comes in the badminton set.
You can have some say-so in the net by choosing at least an intermediate-priced set. Cheaper sets ($22 and less) will most likely have nets made from thinner cord – about the thickness of household string – and may cheat on the width of the tape. One of these nets is liable to start sagging almost from the start, which can take some of the fun out of the game.
However, if you’re more serious about your badminton, you may want to throw away the net that came with your set and replace it with something of better quality. Or maybe your net has just worn out and you need to replace it.
A reasonably good badminton net (12 ply) can be purchased for around $18, while a “professional quality” outdoor net might cost around $30. If you will be playing indoors, you can buy a complete set consisting of a net, base and poles for around $30 or a Yonex Professional Net for $65.
As you can see, there is only a few dollars’ difference between the cheapest net and an intermediate priced net such as the Collegiate Badminton Net. This being the case, it makes better sense to spend $6 or $7 more and get a durable, well-made badminton net that will last for many years.