Badminton Rules

Badminton Rules

The rules of playing badminton seem quite complicated at first with the variations between who will serve, the positioning on the court and which areas of the court are considered in or out. There are also variations to these rules depending on if you’re playing Singles (1 vs. 1) or Doubles (2 vs. 2) that make it more confusing but the rules are really important to know so you can play competitively and improve your badminton skills.

The Basics

Whether you are playing Singles or Doubles, these basics apply:

  1. Things You’ll Need– before playing a game, make sure you have the following equipment:
    1. Badminton Racket
    2. Shuttlecock
    3. Rubber Shoes
    4. Light Clothing
    5. Water

Get the latest badminton equipment here

  1. The Toss- this is done by hitting the shuttlecock upwards to decide which side serves first. Whichever side the shuttlecock points to when it lands will be the first to serve.
  1. Serving from the Left or Right Side – whenever the score is even (0,2,4,6,…), the server must serve from the right side of the court, and when the score is odd (1,3,5…), the server must serve from the left side of the court. This is why you’ll often see teammates switch positions on the court when the score changes.

  1. Serving to the opposite side – when serving, always serve diagonally to the opposite side.
  2. Faults – a rally continues as long as each team/ individual is able to hit the shuttle to go over the net to the side of the opponent within the boundaries of the court. If the shuttlecock does not go over the net or lands outside, this is considered a fault and the point goes to the opposing team/player
  3. Winner’s Ball – whoever won the last point, will get to keep serving until the other team scores. Once a non-serving team scores, they get to serve.

 

Badminton Scoring Rules

The same rules of scoring apply for both singles and doubles:

  1. Each game is a race to 21 points.
  2. A team scores anytime the opposite team has a fault, regardless of who serves.
  3. Each time a team wins a rally, they earn one point.
  4. If the score is tied at 20-20, the first team to gain a 2-point lead (ex. 23-21) will win the game.

Learn some basic badminton drills

Badminton Singles Rules (1 vs.1)

To start the game, one player must Toss the shuttlecock. The side it points to will be the first to serve. Both players will then stand on the right side of their respective courts.

When serving, the server must direct the shuttlecock diagonally to the side where their opponent is standing. If the ball lands in the opposite (orange) area, it is called wrong court and the other player scores a point. The area where the shuttlecock can land is in the green portion below. If it falls in the yellow portion it is called a short and the other team scores a point. If the shuttlecock falls in the red section, then it is called out and the other team scores a point.

After the serve, the two players can make the ball land anywhere within the green portion of the court.

When the serving player (Player A) scores, he switches sides to depending on what his/her score is. If even, Player A moves to the right side; if odd, Player A moves to the left. The opponent (Player B) must then also be on the opposite side depending on where the serving player is.

When the non-serving player (Player B) scores, he/ she gets to serve next. Player B will serve from the left (odd) or right (even) side of the court depending on his/her score.

 

Badminton Doubles Rules (2 vs. 2)

To start the game, one player must Toss the shuttlecock. The side it points to will be the first to serve. The serving player (Player A) will then stand on the right side of their respective court.

When serving, the server (Player A) must direct the shuttlecock diagonally to the side where their opponent (Player C) is standing. If the ball lands in the opposite area, it is called wrong court and the other team scores a point. If Player D hits the shuttlecock, this is a fault as Player C should be the one to return the shuttle. The area where the shuttlecock can land is in the green portion below. If it falls in the yellow portion it is called a short near the net, or long at the ends of the court and the other team scores a point. If the shuttlecock orange section, then it is called wrong court and the other team scores a point.

After the serve, the two players can make the ball land anywhere within the boundaries of the court.

When the serving player (Player A) scores, he switches sides with Player B to depending on what his/her score is. If even, Player A moves to the right side; if odd, Player A moves to the left. The opposing (non-serving) team stays in their place.’

When the non-serving player (Player C/D) scores, their team gets to serve next. The order of serving whenever the non-serving team gets a point goes to the player standing on the side of the court that is in accordance to their score (right side even, left side odd). So if the non-serving team was able to score, the Player C would serve if the score was odd, while person D would serve if the score were even.

 

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