How Does Scoring Work In Badminton?

How Does Scoring Work In Badminton

Badminton is a racquet sport that is similar to tennis, where the two teams volley a feathered cone-shaped object, known as a “birdie,” back and forth. The game is usually played in either a singles or doubles style. The objective of the game is to score points by forcing your opponent to commit an error in the process of returning the birdie over the net.

Game Format

Badminton games are played to a score of 21 points. In order to win the game, a team must have a two-point advantage over the other team. So, if a team reaches 21 points but the other team has 20, the game is not over. The teams will keep playing until a team is up by two points or a team reaches 30 points.

Match Format

A match is won by whichever team wins two games. Therefore, if a team wins games one and two, they win the entire match. If one team wins the first game and the other team wins the second, a third game is needed to determine the winner of the match. Like the first two games, a team must score 21 points with a two-point advantage to win the game. The team that wins the third game is the winner of the match.

Scoring Points in Badminton

Points are scored in badminton when a team commits an error or fails to return the birdie during a rally. Each time a team commits an error, the opposing team is awarded one point. This includes allowing the birdie to hit the ground, hitting the birdie out of bounds, hitting the birdie into or under the net, or a player hitting the birdie twice in a row. A point can also be scored if a player on the opposing team comes in contact with the net, either with their body or racket.

Rally Scoring System

Badminton is similar to sports like volleyball and tennis in that it utilizes a rally scoring system. This means that either team can score, regardless of which team is serving. This system helps prevent the serving team from gaining too much of an advantage in scoring, as they are not the only team that can score.


Badminton Serve

A game begins with a serve from one of the teams. While serving, one player starts on the right side of their court, known as the right service court, and attempts to hit the birdie diagonally over the net into the opposing team’s right service court. During a serve, the player must hit the birdie below their waist. The winning team of each rally is awarded the next serve.

Singles and Doubles

If playing singles, the player on one team continues to serve and alternate between left and right service courts until they lose a rally (the player commits an error). When playing doubles, the same process applies, but each time the team regains possession of the birdie or begins to serve again, the server alternates.

Scoring Rules Summary

  • A team scores a point when the opposing team fails to return the birdie over the net.
  • A team also scores a point when the opposing team makes an error, such as failing to properly serve the birdie.
  • Games are played to 21 points and must be won by a two-point margin.
  • If a game reaches a score of 29, the first side to reach 30 wins the game.
  • Badminton games are won by winning two out of three games.
  • Rally scoring is used, meaning that either team can score following an error, regardless of which one is serving.


How does the scoring system work in badminton?

The scoring system used in badminton is the rally point scoring system. This means that teams can only score one point at a time, but either team can score on any given rally regardless of who is serving. A team scores a point when the opposing team fails to legally return the birdie over the net. A match is played in three games to 21 points (the team must also have a two-point advantage). The first team that wins two games wins the match.

What is the last point before winning a game of badminton?

The last point before winning badminton is typically when one player reaches 20. However, in the event that the two sides are not more than one point apart, the game continues. If the game reaches a score of 29-29, the first player to score their 30th point wins the game. This keeps a game of badminton from running on endlessly.

When did the scoring system change in badminton?

When badminton first started around 1877, each game was only played to 15 points. Additionally, points were only awarded to teams if they won the rally and were the serving team. If the team won the rally but was not the serving team, they would become the serving team but would not be awarded any points. In 2002, the BWF (Badminton World Federation) implemented a scoring system including five games played to seven points. In 2005, the current 21-point system was implemented.