Top 10 Badminton Rules
Badminton is a popular sport with specific rules and equipment that are necessary to the flow of the game. Keep reading for a list of the ten most important rules you should know before playing.
What Are the Most Popular Badminton Rules?
- Match Makeup
- Using Shuttlecocks
- Proper Equipment
- Court Requirements
- Correct Service
- Serving and Receiving Courts
- Change of Ends
- Continuous Play
1. Match Makeup
To win a badminton match, a scoring system must be established. Singles and doubles matches consist of a best of three games format. 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 goes out of play. This is a result of the shuttle touching the surface of the court on a player’s own side, or if the opposing player commits a fault.
If the score reaches 20-20, one side must win by two points for the game to end. 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 must be 16 feathers attached to the base. The feathers must be in a uniform fashion, and must be the same length which ranges from 62-70mm. The feathers create a circular shape that is 58-68mm in diameter at the tips of the feathers. If the shuttle is made out of synthetic materials, it will closely mirror the shape of feathers. The conic shape allows the shuttle to reach an ideal speed and maintain adequate flight characteristics. A badminton shuttle typically weighs around 4.74-5.50 grams, and is 62-70mm long.
3. Proper Equipment
Badminton must be played with a badminton racket, which is unique to the sport. The handle of the racket is the part that the players must grip. The racket’s stringed area is the part with which the player is supposed to hit the shuttle. 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 perpendicularly-crossed strings.
Before playing, players must make sure that there are no loose or broken strings on their rackets. 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 size, but may not exceed 680mm in length and 230 in width. Depending on the player’s size, they may choose something that best fits their body type.
4. Court Requirements
A standard badminton court is a rectangle with lines 40mm wide. These markings must be identified easily and be either yellow or white. The posts are positioned vertically and are 1.55 meters (5.09 ft) in height. This is how high the net will be positioned at the ends. However, the net dips to 1.52 meters (4.99 ft) in the middle.
A singles badminton court is 13.41 meters (43.99 ft) long and is 5.18 meters (16.99 ft) wide. The width increases 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 sides 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 across from each other 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 a fault. Once both players are ready, the first movement of the server’s racket will indicate the start of the service. The server must ensure that the receiver is ready before hitting the shuttle.
6. Serving and Receiving Courts
During a singles match, both players 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 side of the court first, or when their score is an even number, and continue serving as above. This must be done 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 three games. Players must change ends of the court at 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 immediately after discovering the mistake. The teams can change ends when the shuttle is not in play. In this scenario, the current score of the game will still stand.
During a badminton match, there are many instances where “faults” may occur. A fault is an action that requires penalization in badminton. If a player commits a fault, the point of that rally will be awarded to the opposing team. The first way for a fault to occur is if the service of the shuttle is not correct. A fault can also happen during the serve. 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.
Other faults 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 (e.g. shouting).
A “let” is determined by the umpire or a player if there isn’t an umpire present. A “let” is an action that halts the play because of an error during the serve, but does not result in penalization. The first way a “let” can occur 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 the shuttle breaks or the feathers come apart from the base during play.
If an umpire believes a player to be distracted or disrupted by their respective coaches, they will issue a “let.” It will 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 cannot come to a decision or if any accidents or unpredictable situations occur.
10. Continuous Play
From the first service, 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. If play is suspended, the existing score will stand and play will resume from that point on.
When the leading score reaches 11 points, intervals between rallies 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 most important rules of badminton?
The most important rules of badminton are match format, equipment and court requirements, and service procedure. A match is composed of the best of three games, each played to 21 points. Badminton can be played in either a singles or doubles format. A badminton racket and a shuttlecock are 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.
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. Shuttles are the “ball” used to play badminton. Service refers to the act of serving the shuttle to the receiver. Change of ends refers to when players switch sides of the court once a game is finished. Faults refers to breaking any rule. Let refers to an action that halts the play because of an error during the serve, but does not result in penalization.
What is against the rules in badminton?
The shuttle cannot be hit more than once per side. When playing a doubles match, players must not hit the shuttle twice from the same side, as that will not count. Players should refrain from distracting other players as it may result in a fault or let.