There really are a lot of badminton rules to get your head around if you are just starting out. The aim here is to simplify them and empower the player by presenting only the most essential aspects of the rules and regulations.
If you decide to take your game to the next level and play in local leagues you will no doubt want to join a club. From there you will soon pick up the rest of the rather wordy badminton rules and regulations that cover every eventuality. However you really don’t need to know much of this when just starting out.
Badminton Rules: The Basics
There are five forms of badminton:
- Men’s Singles
- Women’s Singles
- Men’s Doubles
- Women’s Doubles
- Mixed Doubles (Men & Women)
A singles match consists of two player’s one person on each side of the court. A doubles match consists of four players with two people per side of the badminton court.
- Matches consist of the best of three games.
- A game is won when a side reaches 21 points.
- One point is awarded to the side winning a rally.
- Should the score become tied at 20-all, the side which gains a two point lead first, shall win that game.
- If the score become tied at 29-all, the side scoring the next point (30th point) wins that game.
- The side winning a game serves first in the next game.
- Players change ends at the end of the first game.
- A change also occurs at the end of the second game should there be a third game.
- A further change is also required within the third game upon the first side acquiring 11 points.
- The server and the receiver stand diagonally in opposite service courts. They should avoid touching the boundary lines of the service courts.
- Part of the feet of the server & receiver should remain in direct contact with the badminton court in a stationary position until the service is started.
- The flight of the shuttle needs to move upwards from the server’s racket in order to pass over the net so it will arrive in the receiver’s service court.
- In doubles partners can take up any positions within their respective courts, providing they do not unsight the opposing server / receiver.
Badminton Service: Singles
Serving & Receiving
- Players will serve from & receive in their respective right service courts when the server has not scored or has scored an even number of points in that game.
- The players will serve from & receive in, their respective left service courts when the server has scored an odd number of points in that game.
Badminton Service: Doubles
Serving & Receiving
- Players of the serving side serve from the right service court when the serving side has not scored or has scored an even number of points in that game.
- A player of the serving side serves from the left service court when the serving side has scored an odd number of points in that game.
- The player of the receiving side who served last will stay in the same service court from where they last served.
- The reverse pattern must apply to the receiver’s partner.
- Players don’t change their respective service courts until they win a point when their side is serving.
- The sequence of serving passes consecutively from the initial server who started the game from the right service court to the partner of the initial receiver.
- Either player of the winning side can serve first in the next game & either player of the losing side can receive first in the next game.
Faults include things such as the shuttle failing to pass over the net or it hitting the ceiling. The most common is the shuttle landing outside the boundaries of the court.
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- The Different Types of Shuttlecock
Final Thoughts: Badminton Rules for Beginners
Hopefully this simplified look at the badminton rules is not too off putting and helps you get ready to hit the court. It covers all the main points and should make both playing and watching easier to understand.
If you’re playing at school or at a club then you will be given lots of instruction into how the rules of the sport are applied.
Remember the most important thing is to enjoy playing badminton.
For those of you wanting to see the full badminton rules & regulations you can head over to the BWF.