Designing a badminton hall


Building a badminton hall is something most people rarely get involved in. If you do get the chance, Sport England produces an excellent document on the technical specifications.

There are some practical points to consider in the planning process.

Height – This is the effective clearance height and is the final height from the floor to the ceiling. If the ceiling will have wires, pipes, beams, air conditioning, fans etc, the ceiling will have to be made even higher. A multipurpose gym might also include roof mounted basketball board as an afterthought which would lower the effective height. Remember, once you add in the many layers to the floor, the effective height may also be reduced. For good amateur competitive players, an effective clearance height of 9.0 metres should be the standard. If the architect or other stakeholders try to argue that 7.5 metres is sufficient, stand your ground and insist on the 9.0 metres.

9.0 metres also happens to be the minimum height to host Level 2 and below international badminton tournaments in your facility. These include any Superseries events and below ( section 2.3).

Walls – A dark wall is preferable but how dark is dark? The key term is the “light reflectance value” and for badminton, the walls should be of 30-50% light reflectance value. The colour may be blue (code 86 BG 43/321) or green (code 30 GG 40/290). If your facility is planning to use panels mounted on to the wall (for example, for acoustic purposes for other events), make sure they get the colour correct during the ordering process. I have seen a hall being delivered the wrong colour panel (too bright) and mounted as such. By that time, it was too late.

Lighting – ideally, the lights will hanging down from the ceiling dedicated solely for badminton. Lights can glare a fair amount distracting the players. Adding a series of fins to the lighting can diffuse the light. Lights set into the ceiling have important implications. Since they are vertically higher, they will be more distracting to players looking upwards to the shuttlecock. Secondly, ceiling lights reflect light off the ceiling more. If your facility will host local tournaments, have adjustable lights that will give 500-600 lux on the court. International tournaments will require 1000 lux. Higher light levels make a big difference to photographers and videographers. Better quality action images can be produced and these in turn, assist in marketing and publicising your facility.

Ceiling – the recommended value of the light reflectance value of the ceiling is 70-90%. Do note this is for the ideal situation where the lights are hanging down from the ceiling. Again, to emphasise the point made above in the lighting part, ceiling lights cause more reflection. In this situation, a lower light reflectance value (i.e. darker ceiling) is required, although no figure is quoted in the reference documents. One can consider 30-50% light reflectance value as a target value.

References and links

Badminton design guidance

Badminton priority sport