If you’re a backyard badminton player and playing just for fun, there are not a lot of rules to remember. The important badminton rules to remember are:
1. You need to win two out of three games to win a match.
2. You need to score 15 points to win a game unless you want to play just one game to 21 points.
3. Only the person serving can win a point.
4. You win a point when the shuttle falls to the ground on your opponent’s side of the court or your opponent hits the shuttle out of bounds.
5. If the shuttle sticks in the net when you serve, you get to serve over.
6. If you don’t score a point, you lose service.
Who Serves First In Badminton?
So, there you are, the four of you, all set to begin a hot game of badminton. You’ve got a nice court set up, grass mowed down to 2”, but wait. How do you determine who serves first? Or, for that matter, how do you decide which team gets which side of the net?
In a friendly, family game, you might just go to one side of the net and holler, “hey, you serve first”.
Badminton Rules For First Serve
If you want to abide by the rules of badminton, you do a thing first called “the toss”. This means you toss a coin and the winner or winning side gets to choose to serve first or not serve first; or choose which end to play on. The losing side then has a choice of the remaining alternatives. For more reviews, follow this link for more details.
Badminton Rules For A Game
The rules of badminton state that a doubles match or men’s single match consists of 15 points. However, if the score is 14-all, the side that reached 14 first has the option of “setting” the game to 3. The score is called “love-all” and whichever side scores 3 points first wins the game.
If players choose to “set”, the score is no longer called “love-all.” Instead, play is continued until one person or team has 17 points. In either case, the claim to “set” the game must be made before the next service is delivered after the score has reached 14-all. In either case, the call to “set” the game must be made before the next service after the score reaches 14.
The ladies’ badminton game consists of 11 points. If the score reaches 9-all, the player who first reached 9 has the option of “setting” the game to 3, much as in a men’s match. Like a men’s match, the score is called “love-all,” and the first player to win 3 points wins the game. If the score has reached 10-all, the player who first reached 10 has the option of “setting” the game at 2.
Also, if one side rejected the “setting” at the first opportunity, it still has the opportunity to “set” if there is a second opportunity to do so.
Finally, as an option, the players can agree to play just one game to 21 points. In this case, the “setting” is at 19 and 20.
Badminton Match Rules
The rules of badminton say that a match consists of the best of three games. The players or teams change sides at the end of the second game. Players also change sides in the third game (if there is a third game), when the leading score reaches 8 in a game of 15 points or 6 in a game of 11 points.
In doubles and men’s singles, the first team to score 15 points wins the game. In women’s singles, the first side to score 11 points wins the game.
The side that won a game serves first in the next game. Only the side that is serving can score a point.
Badminton Rules on Scoring
In badminton, you score a point when you are serving and your opponent makes a “fault” (see explanation of a fault, below) or the shuttle ceases to be in play because it has touched the surface of your opponent’s court.
However, you do not score a point if you make a fault or if the shuttle touches the surface on your side of the court. In this case, the right to serve goes to your opponent.
Badminton Rules For Singles Matches
In a game of men’s singles, you serve from and receive in the right service court when you or your opponent has scored an even number of points. When you or your opponent has scored an uneven number of points, you serve from and receive in the left service court.
You score a point and serve again from the alternate service court when one of two things happens – either your opponent makes a ‘fault’ or the shuttle ceases to be in play because it touches the surface of your opponent’s side of court.
No points are scored when you make a fault or the shuttle ceases to be in play because it has touched the surface on your side of the court. However, your opponent will get to serve next.
Badminton Rules For Doubles Matches
At the start of a doubles game, the side with the right to serve does so from the right service court. Only the opponent standing diagonal to the server can return the serve. If your opponent’s partner touches or hits the shuttle, this is considered to be a fault, and your side scores a point.
You serve from or receive into the right service court at the start of the game or if your side or your opponent’s side has an even number of points. Conversely, you serve from or receive in the left service court when you or your opponents’ score is an odd number of points.
The reverse of this applies to your partner.
After the first person has served, that person who was the initial receiver gets to serve next. Then, the receiver’s partner serves. Following this, the serve passes to the opponent who is due to serve from the right service court, then to that player’s partner and so on.
Badminton Rules On Service Errors
An error in service occurs when a player serves out of turn or when a player is standing in the wrong service court when preparing to receive a shot and the shot has been made.
If you discover a service court error after the next service, the error does not need to be corrected. If the error is discovered before the next service, these are the rules.
If both sides made the error, it is considered to be a “let.”
If one side committed the error and won the rally, it will also be a “let”.
If one side committed the error and lost the rally, the error doesn’t need to be corrected.
Badminton Rules On Faults
The rules of badminton say the following are faults:
If the shuttle lands outside the court, passes through or under the net, fails to pass the net, touches the ceiling or side walls, touches the person or dress of a player or touches any other object or person.
If the initial point of contact of the shuttle is not on the striker’s side of the net. However, the striker may follow the shuttle over the net with his or her racket in the course of a stroke.
If a player touches the net or its support with his or her racket, person or dress, or invades the opponent’s court over the net with a racquet.
If a player invades an opponent’s court under the net with racket or person such that an opponent is obstructed or distracted or obstructs an opponent that prevents an opponent from making a legal stroke where the shuttle is followed over the net.
If a player deliberately distracts an opponent by shouting or making gestures or any other such action.
If, during a stroke, the shuttle is caught and held onto the racket and then slung.
If a player uses two strokes to hit the shuttle twice in succession.
If a player and the player’s partner successively hit the shuttle or if the shuttle touches a player’s racket and continues toward the back of the court.
If a player is guilty of flagrant, repeated or persistent offenses under the Law of Continuous Play, Misconduct, Penalties.
If, when the shuttle is served, it is caught on the net and remains suspended on the top or if it is caught on the net after passing over the net following a service.
Badminton Rules On “Lets”
A “let” is called by the umpire or a player to halt play. A “let” is:
If the shuttle is caught in the net and remains suspended on top or after passing over the net, or is caught in the net.
If the receiver and server are both faulted at the same time during service.
If the server serves before the receiver is ready.
If during play, the shuttle disintegrates and its base separates completely from the rest of the shuttle.
If a judge is unsighted or the umpire is unable to make a decision.
If the “let” occurs following a service court error, the play since the last service doesn’t count and the player who was serving will serve again.
Badminton Rules On The Shuttle
A shuttle is not in play when it strikes the net and remains attached to it or is suspended from the top of the net. It is also not in play when it strikes the net or post and starts to fall towards the surface of the court on the striker’s side of the net. Finally, a shuttle is considered to be not in play when it hits the surface of the court or a “let” has occurred.
There are definitely a lot of badminton rules to remember but knowing these rules can actually make badminton more enjoyable. And who knows? Knowing these badminton rules could even help you win a match or two.