The Badminton World Federation organises and overlooks badminton tournaments all over the world. More information for all the badminton tournaments at the highest level across the globe can be found below along with that on the tournaments played at a lower and senior level in specific countries.
Badminton Tournament Structure & Tiers
There are three tiers or grades, as they are called by the BWF, of badminton tournaments; Grade 1, 2 and 3.
- Grade 1 consists of the highest level of competitions including the Olympics, World Championships and a few of the other top-notch tournaments which have been around for a while.
- Grade 2 has badminton tournaments which are further divided into six levels depending on how many points are awarded in each of them, starting from 100 to 1000. The BWF World Tour Finals is also a part of Grade 2.
- Grade 3 is the Continental Circuit, starting with the International Challenge, International Series and Future Series. Each of these levels have different points associated with them.
Grade 1 Badminton Tournaments
Seven tournaments are scheduled in this top grade of badminton competitions starting with the Olympics. The others include World Championships, World Junior Championships, Thomas Cup (or World Men’s Team Championships), Uber Cup (World Women’s Team Championships), Sudirman Cup (mixed team championships) and the BWF World Senior Championships.
There is one other tournament that makes it to the Grade 1 competitions – the Para-Badminton World Championships.
Badminton in Olympics
It was first played in 1992, and it’s played as men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles and mixed doubles competitions. The winner of the gold medal at the Olympics earns 13,000 points which is the joint-highest a player can earn out of any tournament, followed by 10,200 for the runner-up and so on.
Much like the Olympics, the winner of the Badminton World Championships also wins 13,000 points with the runner-up pocketing 10,200. There is no prize money allocated to this competition though and the winner is called the World Champion.
Events are held for the men’s and women’s singles and doubles and mixed doubles. In the previous edition of the BWF World Championships, 64 players participated in the men’s singles draw and 48 in the women’s singles. There were also 48 teams in all the doubles categories.
This is also called the World Men’s Team Championships and played every two years. Currently the final phase of this competition sees 16 teams play each other in round-robin-cum-knock-out format tournament.
This is also called the World Women’s Team Championships and like the Uber Cup it’s played every two years. Also, much like its men’s counterpart, the final phase of the tournament has 16 teams fight it out a round-robin-cum-knock-out format competition.
This is a mixed world team championships competition played every two years. Currently, while Thomas and Uber Cup tournaments are played in the even years, the Sudirman Cup is hosted every odd year and has 32 teams participating in it.
World Senior Championships
This is an age-group badminton competition with players competing in the 35+, 40+, 45+, 50+, 55+, 60+, 65+, 70+ and 75+ age categories. The tournament is held every two years.
Grade 2 Badminton Tournaments
The next tier of badminton competitions is the called the Grade 2 which has six further levels of tournaments, each sub-tiered based on the points on offer. Below are the six levels under Grade 2 and the winners’ points associated with each of these competitions in badminton.
Level 1: BWF World Tour Finals
This is an end-of-season competition played in December where some of the top players, based on their performances in the badminton season, feature in a round-robin-cum-knockout competition.
The winner of the World Tour Finals accumulates 12,000 points, while the runner-up is awarded 10,200 points. The two losing semifinalists earn 8,400 points while third and fourth-placed players have to remain content with 6,600 and 4,800 points respectively.
A total prize money of $1.5 million is currently on offer which is distributed among the players featuring in the men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles and mixed doubles competitions in the World Tour Finals.
Level 2: BWF World Tour Super 1000
There are three tournaments which form a part of the World Tour Super 1000; All England Open, China Open and Indonesia Open. Like the World Tour Finals, the winner of these tournaments earn 12,000 points while the runner-up end up with 10,200 points.
32 players participate in the main draw of the competition with players losing in the first round getting 3,000 points.
- All England Open: This is the oldest badminton tournament in the world, first played way back in 1898. The only two phases of times it wasn’t played before 2020 was during the two World Wars. Currently it’s hosted at the Arena Birmingham, having had seven other venues before this.
- China Open: It first began in 1986 and was earlier a part of the BWF Super Series tournaments.
- Indonesia Open: First played in 1982, a total of nine different cities in Indonesia have hosted this tournament. Currently it’s played in Jakarta.
Level 3: BWF World Tour Super 750
Currently, there are five tournaments played under the World Tour Super 750 where the player winning the badminton competition earns 11,000 points. The runner-up gets 9,350 while those losing in the first round end with 2,660 points.
The list of World Tour Super 750 tournaments can be found below.
- Denmark Open: It was earlier called the Danish Open, and was a part of the BWF Super Series till 2017 before becoming a World Tour Super 750 event. It is one of the oldest badminton tournaments as well, having first begun in 1935. The Denmark Open wasn’t played during the second World War and was paused between 1955 and 1964 as well. Currently it’s played at Odense.
- Fuzhou China Open: Originally a part of the BWF Super Series and then Grand Prix Gold, this is the second top badminton event held in China. It was first played in 2005 and is hosted at Fuzhou.
- Japan Open: The Japan Open’s first edition was held in 1977 and it has slowly grown to be one of the top badminton tournaments in the world. Its current host is Tokyo.
- French Open: Despite having been first played in 1908, it was stopped in 1915 and did not resume till 1935. At various points in its history, the French Open wasn’t played but is now a part of the Super 750 competitions.
- Malaysian Open: Another one of those old tournaments which was first played in 1937. It wasn’t played during the second World War obviously but also missed 14 years between 1969 and 1982 as well.
Level 4: BWF World Tour Super 500
The tournaments played under the BWF World Tour Super 500 award 9,200 points to the title-winner and 7,800 to the runner-up. With competitions typically seeing draws of 128 players participating in them, the first round losers take 430 points home.
Here’re the current seven World Tour Super 500 events on the badminton calendar.
- Hong Kong Open: First started in 1982, the Hong Kong Open has had its misses when it comes to being played each year, missing out in 1983, 1984, 1990, 2000, 2002 and 2004.
- Indian Open: The Indian Open kick-started in 1973 but it was only in 2008 it was played regularly, each year. Since 2011, this tournament has been hosted in Delhi.
- Indonesia Masters: It was earlier called the Indonesia Open Grand Prix Gold before changing its name to Indonesia Masters, and has been played every year since 2010.
- Korea Open: Played since 1991, the Korea Open has been played across different venues in the country including Jeju City, Yeosu, Seoul and Incheon.
- Malaysia Masters: Currently hosted in Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysia Masters was first played in 2009 and Lee Chong Wei had a run of four successive titles to begin with.
- Singapore Open: First played in 1960, the Singapore Open became a regular feature only in 1987.
- Thailand Open: The Thailand Open has been hosted in the country since 1984.
Level 5: BWF World Tour Super 300
The winner of the Super 300 competition gets 7,000 points while the runner-up has to make do with 5,950. First round losers are awarded 320 points. Following are the tournaments which make a part of the World Tour Super 300:
- Australian Open
- Chinese Taipei Open
- German Open
- Korea Masters
- Macau Open
- New Zealand Open
- Spain Masters
- Swiss Open
- Syed Modi International
- Thailand Masters
- US Open
Level 6: BWF Tour Super 100
Super 100 badminton tournaments form the Level 6 in the Grade 2 of its competitions and award 5,500 points to the winners and 4,680 to the runner-up with the first round loser getting 240 points. The tournament list is as follows:
- Akita Masters
- Canada Open
- Dutch Open
- Hyderabad Open
- Indonesia Masters Super 100
- Lingshui China Masters
- Orleans Masters
- Russian Open
- SaarLorLux Open
- Scottish Open
- Vietnam Open
Grade 3 Badminton Tournaments
Even further down the points chain is the third grade of badminton tournaments. These are usually the starting point for most players, especially at the start of their careers and have three different types of competitions associated with it as follows.
The three tiers of competitions under the Grade 3 badminton tournaments include the International Challenge, which offers a minimum prize money of $25,000, International Series with a prize money of $10,000 at least and the Future Series.
The winner of the International Challenge badminton competitions earns 4,000 points while the runner-up ends up with 3,400. With tournaments usually consisting of 256 players in the main draw, first round losers gain 70 points.
Some of the tournaments played under the International Challenge 2019 tour have been hosted in Tehran, Vienna, Vantaa, Hanoi, Farum, Mumbai, Madrid and Lagos among many others. A total of 28 tournaments were held at this level in 2019.
The winner of the International Series badminton competitions earns 2,500 points while the runner-up ends up with 2,130. With tournaments usually consisting of 256 players in the main draw, first round losers gain 40 points.
About 38 competitions were held under the International Series banner including at Kampala, Kingston, Hamilton, Lima, Sofia, Minsk, Kathmandu and Islamabad among others.
The winner of the Future Series badminton competitions earns 1,700 points while the runner-up ends up with 1,420. With tournaments usually consisting of 256 players in the main draw, first round losers gain 20 points. This is typically the entry point for most badminton players as they look to garner enough points to be able to move up the rankings ladder.
27 badminton tournaments were played under the Future Series calendar in 2019.