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Top 10 Badminton Rules

top 10 badminton rules

  1. Match Makeup
  2. Using Shuttlecocks
  3. Proper Equipment
  4. Court Requirements
  5. Correct Service
  6. Serving and Receiving Courts
  7. Change of Ends
  8. Faults
  9. Lets
  10. Continuous Play

1. Match Makeup

In order to win a badminton match, the scoring system must be established. Singles and doubles matches consist of a best of 3 games. In a game, the side that reaches 21 points first wins. Every time a side serves, a point is awarded. The point is given to whichever side wins the rally. A side can win the rally if the shuttle hits the ground on the opponent's side of the court and remains within the lines. A point can also be scored if the shuttle isn't in play. This is a result of the shuttle touching the surface of the court on their own side or if the opposing player commits a fault.

If a score reaches 20-20, two points must be awarded in order to win the game. If a score reaches 29-29, the first side to reach 30 points wins the game. The winning side gets to serve first for the next match.

2. Using Shuttlecocks

The shuttle/shuttlecock/birdie is used when playing badminton and is unique to this sport only. The shuttles are made of feathers or synthetic materials. A cone shape made out of those materials is secured on top of a rubber/cork base. The base is rounded at the bottom and 25-28mm in diameter.

If the shuttle is made out of feathers, there will be 16 feathers attached to the base. The feathers must be in a uniformed fashion and must be the same length which ranges from 62-70mm. The feathers create a circular shape and are 58-68mm in diameter. If the shuttle is made out of synthetic materials, it will closely mirror the shape of feathers. The cone shape allows the shuttle to have speed and flight characteristics. The shuttle weighs around 4.74-5.50 grams and is 62-70mm long.

3. Proper Equipment

badminton equipment list

Badminton must be played with a badminton racket, which is unique to the sport. The handle of the racket is the part that must be gripped by the players. The stringed area of the racket is the part which the player is supposed to hit the shuttle with. To play a fair and safe game, the racket must be in proper condition. The stringed area must be flat and have a pattern of crossed strings.

Before playing, make sure that there are not any loose or broken strings. This can cause a hindrance in the game as the shuttle might get stuck and not allow you to play to the best of your ability. Badminton rackets may vary in sizing but may not exceed 680mm in length and 230 in width. Depending on the size of the player, they may choose something that best fits their body type.

4. Court Requirements

badminton court

The court will be marked as a rectangle with lines 40mm wide. These markings must be identified easily and be either yellow or white. The posts will be positioned vertically and be 1.55 meters (5.09 ft) in height. This is how high the net will be positioned at the ends. In the middle, the net dips to 1.52 meters (4.99 ft). In a singles court, the court is 13.41 meters (43.99 ft) long and is 5.18 meters (16.99 ft) wide. The width can go up to 6.1 meters (20.01 ft) for a doubles match. When a player serves, it must pass the short service line. This is 1.98 meters (6.50 ft) away from the net. A line also splits the left and right side of the court down the middle past the short service line.

5. Correct Service

Serving correctly is a vital part of badminton especially when it comes to winning points. An incorrect serve may result in a fault or forfeiting points. When serving, both server and receiver must be diagonally on opposite sides of the court without touching the boundary lines.

When serving in proper form, the server must hit the shuttle in an upwards direction and in an underarm hitting stance. The racket will initially hit the base of the shuttle. When hitting the shuttle, it must be below the waist of the server. Once the serving position is set, there should not be any delays in the service as this may result in an undue delay. Once both players are ready, the first movement of the server's racket will indicate the start of the service. The server must make sure that the receiver is ready before hitting the shuttle.

6. Serving and Receiving Courts

During a singles match, the player must serve from the right service/side of the court. They must serve from that side every time they have an even number of points. Players must serve from the left service/side of the court when they have an odd number of points.

During a doubles match, the player/server must serve from the right service/side of the court and continue serving. This must be done so while alternating sides with their teammate as long as they are winning points. The players may not switch sides of the court unless they have won a point. The player on the receiving side who stands diagonally to the server will be the receiver.

As the match moves on, the player who did not serve initially will take the role of being the server. This can only be done when they are awarded a point as the receiving side.

7. Change of Ends

When playing badminton, a game is played to the best of 3 matches. Players must change ends of the court at the end of each match. This must be done so after the end of the first and second games. If there is a third game, they will change ends after one side receives 11 points. In case the change has not been made, it must be done so immediately after discovering the mistake. They can change ends when the shuttle is not in play. The current score of the game will still stand.

8. Faults

There are many instances during a badminton match where "faults" may occur.

The first is if the service of the shuttle is not correct. It can also be a fault when the shuttle is being served. This will happen if it's caught on the net and remains there, if the shuttle is hit by the receiver's partner, or if it's caught in the net after passing over the net.

These are some faults that may occur when the shuttle is in play; these faults include if the shuttle does not pass over the net, touches any side or ceiling walls, lands outside of the boundary lines, is hit by the server and their partner one after another, touches the player or their dressing, or if the shuttle touches any person or item outside of the court.

A fault may also occur if a player touches the net, occupies their opponent's court over the net, or intentionally distracts their opponent (eg. shouting).

9. Lets

A "let" is determined by the umpire or a player if there isn't an umpire present. A "let" halts the play. The first way there can be a "let" is if a player serves before the receiver is ready. Next, if both server and receiver receive "faults" it will be considered a "let." Another way to call a "let" is if during the play the shuttle falls apart and the feathers come apart from the base. Essentially, if the shuttle breaks, that will be "let."

If an umpire believes a player to be distracted or disrupted by their respective coaches, they will issue a "let." It shall be a "let" if the service is hit back and the shuttle either is suspended on its top and caught on the net or is caught in the net after crossing over the net. "Lets" can also be issued if an umpire is unable to come to a decision or any accidents or unpredicted situations occur.

10. Continuous Play

From the first service, the play must be continuous until the match ends. A play may not be delayed under any circumstances to give players time to recover strength or gain advice. The umpire is the only one who may determine delays of any play. If certain circumstances occur which are not under the control of the players, the umpire may choose to suspend the play for as long as they deem necessary. In this case, if a play is suspended, the existing score will stand and the play will resume from that point on.

When the leading score reaches 11 points, intervals may not exceed 60 seconds during each game. Similarly, intervals may not exceed 120 seconds between the first and second games. Lastly, players shall only be permitted to receive advice during a match if the shuttle is not in play. Players may not leave the court during a match unless they have the umpire's permission.


What are the rules of badminton?

The rules of badminton are as follows:

  • A match is composed of the best of 3 games of 21 points.
  • Ashuttle must be used in play.
  • A badminton racket is the required equipment to play.
  • Court dimensions and boundary lines must be drawn to allocate space for each player.
  • Correct service must be executed in order for the play to begin.
  • There are specific serving and receiving ends of the court.
  • A change of ends must be completed after each game.
  • There are also several rules that include the multiple faults, lets, and penalties that may occur when playing.

What are the most important rules of badminton?

Playing badminton requires a shuttle and racket. A badminton match will have the best of 3 games and each game consists of 21 points. When the shuttle is served, a point will be awarded. If a player is serving or has an even number of points, they will serve from the right side of the court. If they have an odd number of points, they will serve from the left side of the court. After each game ends, players must change ends and switch sides of the court.

What are some important terms used in badminton?

A few of the critical terms in badminton are: shuttle, service, change of ends, faults, and lets. Understanding these badminton concepts will help a deeper understanding of the games.

  • Shuttle: The "ball" used to play badminton.
  • Service: Act of serving the shuttle to the receiver.
  • Change of ends: When players switch sides of the court once a game is finished.
  • Faults: Breaking any rule is considered a fault.
  • Lets: A let is determined by an umpire and halts the play.

What can you not do in badminton?

When playing badminton, it is important to make sure that the shuttle crosses over the net diagonally to the receiver. It is best to avoid touching the net or shuttle. Players should refrain from distracting other players as it may result in a fault or let. When playing a doubles match, players must not hit the shuttle twice from the same side as that will not count. The shuttle must only be hit once per side.