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Badminton Tips for Doubles Play

The dynamics and tactics of playing badminton doubles (2 vs. 2) differ greatly from playing singles. This is because the game is much faster while you also have to get a sense of chemistry playing with your partner in order to win.

Find out the 4 Badminton Equipment Essentials Here.

Before you get started: Find out the rules of Badminton Doubles Here.

FRONT- BACK POSITIONING

Most teams would start out playing Right-Left with each player standing in his own box and taking over the shuttlecocks that fall within their respective location. However, this can be challenging especially during times when the shuttlecock lands in between the two players. Also, the movement of going forward and backward makes it tougher for each player to do change directions to cover the ground needed from front to back. The left-right positioning, however, can be effective when your team is trying to defend from strong smashes and net kills.

Another strategy that is preferred by more players in badminton doubles is the Front-Back positioning. This is done by having Player A stand in the center near the front while Player B is positioned 3-5 steps backward in the center as well. By playing this style, it will be easier to get moving laterally  with footwork to cover the left and right sides for each player. Also, this allows each player to focus on strong shots from the back and net shots from the front. Both players immediately go into the front- back positioning right after the serve. Another advantage of the front- back method is that Player B also serves as a safety net for Player A for long shots.

Click here to find out the basic skills you need to play badminton.

ATTACKING PLAY  

If the key in singles is to get your opponent moving to wear him down and lead him to making mistakes, for doubles play the key is to always be on the attack. This is because you can’t focus on getting your opponents moving since there’s two of them to return the attacks. Also, since it’s a doubles game both teams return the ball a lot faster so the objective now becomes to be the team that forces the other to make more mistakes. Being on attack mode means always pressuring the opponent by hitting fast and downward through drives or smashes. Doing so puts pressure on the opponent, and gives the attacking team more flexibility to answer lifts (by Player A) or net shots (by Player B). If your opponent is on the offensive, defend by counterattacking with blocks and drives until you’re able to swing the rally in your favor to be the attacker.

COMMUNICATION

When playing as a team, communication is key. In badminton, often teammates mistake a shot to be for the other player. Having constant communication throughout the game is key because just by talking, you’re able to delegate properly and you’re able to let each other know where you are on the court, especially for the player on the back (Player B). Also, communicating will allow each partner to anticipate the next move better.

For Badminton Singles Tips: Click here

Badminton Tips for Singles Play

When playing badminton singles, you have the entire court for yourself to protect. When playing singles, since you have to rely solely on your ability, you have to be able to be fit enough to run across the court and perform the different types of shots well. At the same time, you need to be able to maximize the use of the court to make your opponent uncomfortable and get wear him down.

See the rules for badminton singles here. 

Positioning on the Court

The rule of thumb when playing singles badminton is to always try to stay on the center of the court. This is on the midline and just a step behind the service line. Immediately shift to this position once you serve or you’ve returned the shuttlecock when the opponent serves. Being in the center-court position allows you to minimize the movements you’ll need in order to reach the four farthest corners of the badminton court. Whenever you’re able to return the shuttlecock  by  just taking one step away from the center, always try to go back to the center court. However, this is not always recommended because you also have to consider the type of shot you anticipate from your opponent. For example, if you’re on the offensive and you’re continuously driving the shuttlecock to your opponent, you can expect their returns to get weaker so you can adjust your base forward accordingly. At the same time, if your opponent has a strong clear, you can adjust your center backwards. Also, consider your strengths and weaknesses. If you’re able to recover quickly and change directions quickly, go ahead and always get back to the center. But if you’re more of a strength player and prefer to drive the shuttlecock and put pressure on your opponent, you can opt to stay a step back or two from the center. Note also that when positioning yourself nearer to the net, you only need your badminton racket to reach the net and not your feet.

See badminton footwork drills here

Service

The badminton serve is very crucial because it sets the tone for how the rally will go. When serving, there are three things you need to consider: (1) Where is your opponent standing: If your opponent is standing too close to the service line, you can opt for a high serve to immediately get him off-balance. (2) How does your opponent play: When your opponent has a really strong shot, you can opt to serve low so he can’t maximize this strength immediately. Also, take note if your opponent is more comfortable with his forehand swing than backhand swing. Most players have a preference and usually, the backhand swing isn’t as comfortable for most players, so try a high serve towards the direction of their backhand so they’ll either return it not as strong as they would with their forehand, or they’d have to immediately adjust their position to clear with a forehand. (3) What type of rally do you want to play: As you play, you’ll get a better sense of how your opponent will be able to return the shuttlecock if you target a particular location.

Types of Shots to Use

The usual advice when playing badminton would be to vary your shots to deceive your opponent. However, what’s lost is how exactly you can do this. Use the drive to pressure and wear down your opponent’s returns. Ideally you take control of the tempo so you can be on attack mode. You can do this by putting pressure on your opponent so that you will be the one with more time to adjust between your shots. The drive is very effective in this sense. Once your opponent wears down and returns a soft shot, you can then opt to smash or drop depending on how high the shuttlecock’s angle is. The higher the angle and the slower the flight, the better your chances of landing a strong smash. If the angle is too low, you can opt to return it softly to drop just over the net. If you’re playing a best of 3 set or more, better to reserve your smashes to those shots when you’re confident that you’ll be able to land them and score so you can conserve energy.

See the five basic badminton skills every beginner needs to learn here.

Movement Pressure

Movement pressure is a key strategy in badminton singles, since the floor space each player has to cover is much larger. Try to use the entire space of the badminton court by hitting the shuttlecock towards different directions to force your opponent to keep moving and using different types of shots. This will keep your opponent off balance and wear him down as the game goes along.

Ready to play?  See the badminton equipment essentials you need to get started here. 

 

Getting Started – 4 Essential Badminton Equipment

Playing badminton does not require a lot of equipment. Here is the list of 4 essential badminton equipment you’ll need to have in order to get started.

Shop for essentials here

Badminton Racket

As a beginner, you don’t have to be picky with your badminton racket. The badminton racket looks like the one in the photo above and is a lot lighter and smaller than the tennis racket. The standard badminton racket should be relatively light, weighing between 79-91 grams. Usually, the lighter the racket, the better, as it allows you to move and swing faster. Rackets are usually made of steel or aluminum but higher end rackets, with better durability because of nanomaterials are also available if you want to invest in a good racket early on. Some popular brands are Yonex, Wilson and Li-Ning. The racket’s strings and grip are also adjustable. You can opt to have your strings adjusted in terms of material and tension depending on your comfort level. While you can place wraps around the grip to make it more comfortable and less slippery to hold when you sweat.

Pick out your Badminton Racket here

Shuttlecock

Also known as the shuttle or the bird, the shuttlecock comes in two forms. For most competitions such as the Olympics, the feather shuttlecock is used. This shuttlecock is much more aerodynamic and also has a higher flight trajectory, making it easier to control your shots. More expensive shuttlecocks are also usually better in terms of aerodynamic properties and lightness The second type is the nylon shuttlecock is a more cost-effective option since it does not break easily. The nylon shuttlecock is also a bit heavier and is not as affected by wind, and so it’s preferable to use when playing outdoors.

Choose between Nylon or Feather Shuttlecocks here

Badminton Court and Badminton Net

The standard badminton court dimensions are 20 by 44 feet, with a 5 ft high badminton net in the center. Courts can be on concrete, wood or acrylic floors. You can even set up your own court if you have the space by purchasing a badminton net set. However, for badminton competitions, they’re played on a PVC/PU vinyl flooring. These are the green courts usually on top of wooden floors. These courts are better to play in since it has anti-slip properties and a bit of cushion.

See here to find DIY nets to make a badminton court from your backyard.

Badminton Shoes

Regular low-cut training shoes or rubber shoes may be used to play badminton for casual players or when you play in outdoor or wooden courts, but it is not recommended. When you play competitively and the games can get fast with a lot of quick movements, it is highly recommended to use badminton shoes, with less lateral support, to help avoid sudden injury such as ankle sprains. Also, when playing on the PVC/PU court, badminton shoes also have better traction helping avoid slippage. Victor and Yonex badminton Shoes are highly popular especially among competitive players.

Find the latest badminton equipment and gear here

5 Basic Badminton Skills Every Beginner Needs to Learn

 

Badminton is a beginner-friendly sport as anyone can start out and try to play the game. Usually, beginners are only focused on trying to make sure that whenever they hit the shuttle, it goes over the net and within the bounds of the court. But even for beginners, learning these basic badminton skills can help increase both competitiveness and also the fun in playing.

Before beginning, make sure you have the 4 essential badminton  equipment you’ll need to play by clicking here.

1. The Ready Stance

Always having the right stance when playing makes it a lot easier to minimize the movements you need to make to hit a shot. The ready stance done by putting your non-racquet leg a step forward and about shoulder width away from your racquet leg. Slightly bend both knees with your weight balanced between both legs. Slightly bend forward from the hip, keeping your back straight, and lift your racquet up with your racquet-hand in front of you slightly above your shoulder and the head of the racquet to be right above your forehead. Raise your non-racquet arm to help improve your balance.

2. Forehand and Backhand Grip

Having the right grip is crucial in helping new players control their shots better and protects from possible injury from putting too much pressure on the wrist. The simplest way to grip your badminton racquet is by imitating a handshake. Your thumb should press against the handle while the rest of your hand and four fingers wrap around the racquet. This handshake should be a friendly one. Don’t grip too tightly because you need to retain flexibility in your wrist. It is recommended that you opt to put a wrap around your grip to make it more comfortable and less slippery.

This grip applies to both forehand and backhand grips used for both forehand and backhand shots. The variations lie in that for the forehand grip, it’s better to fold your thumb a bit and let your index finger control the racquet on the stroke, while for the backhand grip, the thumb pressing against the racquet will control the stroke. Having a loose grip and being able to quickly switch between grips is an advanced skill that allows pros to shift from forehand to backhand easily.

Click Here to see Grip Wraps to make your grip more comfortable.

3. Footwork

Footwork is basic badminton skill that a lot of new players often overlook. But having the right footwork makes the game so much easier as it allows you to cover more ground around the court while using less time and energy. Lateral steps are the best way to move around the badminton court as it allows you to cover a lot of ground and change direction fast, while putting less strain on your knees. By practicing the right footwork, you’ll feel that it is easier to recover to hit shuttles that are flying towards the other side of the court. Some basic drills to improve your lateral movement can be very effective in helping train yourself to move around the court better.

Click Here for Basic Footwork Drills  

4. Strokes

There are 4 basic strokes that every beginner needs to learn. By knowing these, beginners can create good badminton stroke habits, which they can use in the future for more advanced shots like drops, smashes and drives. These are:

Overhead Forehand – this is the most common stroke and most beginners are very more comfortable using this especially for stronger strokes. Make sure to have a forehand grip, lift your racket arm up with the racket slightly above your head, and tilt your body to the side of your racket arm with your racket arm behind you. Widen your chest and use your non-racket hand to point at the shuttlecock to aim. Straighten out your racket arm then swing it towards the shuttle in a downward motion while slightly rotating your waist towards the front. Swing the racket until it’s pointing slightly downwards.

Overhead Backhand- the overhead backhand is slightly more difficult for beginners as you’ll have to face your body backward to use this effectively. This is a slightly advanced shot that is hard to master at first but doing so will set good foundations to how you play badminton. To start, turn your body to the back in the direction of your non-racket arm, with your racket arm raised in front of you and pointing towards the back. Keep your racket-arm close to your body, bent such that your elbow is pointing down. As the shuttle approaches above your head level, slightly tilt your arm downward to gain momentum then swing up and flick your wrist upward until the racket is pointing up and your arm is straightened out. Remember to immediately go back to your ready stance once you’ve hit the shot.

Underarm Forehand– the underarm forehand allows you to hit low shots with a lot of strength, but it is quite challenging to aim at first. To do this, from your ready stance, lunge forward with your racket-leg and keep your racket arm slightly bent with the top of the racket’s head slightly below shoulder level. Straighten your arm out to make the racket tilt backwards then flick your wrist, followed by your arm, to swing forward when hitting the shuttle. Bend your body forward slightly to keep your balance.

Underarm Backhand– the underarm backhand is actually easier to do than the overhead counterpart since you won’t need to turn backwards. Lunging towards your backhand area, Bend your racket arm downward with the racket handle parallel to the floor and the racket head parallel to your body. Flick your wrist upward, followed by your arm until your arm is extended straight and aligned with your shoulder.

5. Underarm Backhand Serve

The underarm backhand serve is the most basic badminton serve that you can practice as a beginner because it gives you easier control in terms of how strong you’ll hit the shuttle and where you will make the shuttle go in terms of height or placement on the court. By learning how to utilize this serve, you can already start to strategize where you place your serve depending on your opponent. To start, have a ready stance with your backhand leg slightly forward with both feet pointing forward. Lift your racket up to so it is parallel to the floor, with the head parallel to the net and aligned with your shoulder. Using your non-racket hand, hold the shuttle cock by the feather about 5-6 inches in front of the center of the racket’s face. Bend the wrist of your racket hand downward to generate momentum and flick upwards with varying strength depending on how far or how high you want the shuttle cock to travel. Try to play around with how strong you hit the shuttle and how high you follow through. Try to aim for different spots in the court with this serve and you’ll immediately have the upper hand against your opponents.

Badminton Footwork Drills

 

Footwork is the most underrated yet the most valuable part for improving your badminton skills. Having good footwork allows you to maximize your movements, hit the shuttlecock in the most controlled manner and helps avoid wasting energy. The best badminton players are able to cover a lot of ground each time they play without expending a lot of energy through their proper footwork. Here are some drills to help improve yours.

6x 6 Direction Lateral Steps

Standing on the center of the court, squat to bend your knees about 45 degrees and hold your arms with your swing arm holding the racket in ready position. From here, there are three main variations, whether you are going to your forehand side or your backhand side.

  • Forehand Side
    • Forehand Front Corner When going to your forehand side, take a lateral step, starting with the lead leg same as your forehand (right hand – right leg/ left hand- left leg) going 45 degrees to the front towards the corner near the net. Keep your lead leg ahead and take one or two lateral steps depending on when you’re able to reach the corner near the net with your racket. Take a small swing as if you’ve returned the shuttlecock from that point. With your lag leg, take lateral steps to get back to the center position. Do this 6 times.
    • Forehand Sideline Do the same drill, this time, moving lateral steps horizontally towards the lead leg and swinging once the racket is near the side line. Go back to the center with lateral steps. Do this 6 times.
    • Forehand Back Corner Do the same drill, this time moving lateral steps 45 degrees to the back, starting with the lead leg, until you’re able to hit the racket with a forehand swing. Go back to the center with lateral steps. Do this 6 times.
  • Backhand Side
    • Backhand Front Corner When going to your backhand side, pivot your lag foot to face the corner and take a large step with your lead leg towards the direction of the backhand front corner towards the net. Take lateral steps until the racket reaches the end and perform a backhand swing. Right after, take your lead leg and bring it back to position and start with the lead leg to take steps going back to center position. Do this 6 times.
    • Backhand Side Corner Do the same drills, this time moving lateral steps horizontally towards the sideline. Do this 6 times
    • Backhand Back Corner Do the same drills, this time moving lateral steps at a 45-degree angle towards the back. Do this 6 times

Practicing these moves often will allow you to improve your ability to cover ground on the court faster. If this is easy for you, have a partner throw or serve the shuttle cock to these 6 corners so you can also practice hitting the shuttlecock while maintaining your footwork.

Diagonal Shuffles (3 x 4 Directions) 

Having fast feet can help in terms of boosting reaction time to wherever your opponent directs the shuttle to. Practice shuffles by taking a ready stance (feet shoulder width apart with slightly bended knees), push through your feet and run in place with your feet not going higher than 3 inches off the ground. Shuffle in place for 10 seconds then shuffle your feet while moving towards the four corners of the court. Shuffle towards one corner, going back to center and to the next corner. Do this until you’ve completed all four corners. Do this exercise 3 times.

Cardio

 In order to play full best of 3 sets of badminton games, you must have strong cardio. Exercise this by running for 20-30 minutes or do several variations such as skip rope, high knees and butt kicks so you can workout in place.

Shuttle Runs

Shuttle runs are a good exercise to practice your speed, endurance and change direction. Start from the bottom left corner of the court and run towards the right corner, touching the floor once you hit the corner. You then back pedal going back towards the left corner, touch the floor then run back. Do this 10 times

Squat Jumps (3 x 10)

Squat Jumps help strengthen your legs for maximum jump height. First, take a ready stance with feet shoulder width apart with slightly bended knees. Squat downwards until your thighs are parallel to the floor and jump up as high as you can while swinging both arms upward. Repeat 9 times. Do this exercise 3 times.

Do these drills regularly before you play and apply these footwork drills to your badminton skills by being aware of your footwork whenever you play.

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.

 

Ready to play? Get the latest badminton gear here.