Rules of Badminton & Scoring
As with any sport it is important to know the rules of badminton. After all, you wouldn’t want your opponent gaining an unfair advantage over you just because you aren’t sure about them! It is also worth noting that the rules have been changed in recent years in an attempt to make the game more exciting and entertaining to watch. The laws of badminton are highly complex and technical, but here is a brief overview of the key points to know:
New Badminton Scoring System
The scoring system for badminton has changed in recent years. This was done to speed games up and make them more entertaining to watch. A badminton game is now played up to 21 points, and a point can be scored from every rally(rally scoring), regardless of who is serving. Under the old system a point could only be scored by the player holding the serve. If the score reaches 20-20 then a two-point advantage is required for victory, however. If no player has managed to achieve this two-point advantage by the time the score reaches 29-29, then the first player to reach 30 is the winner. Matches are generally played over the best-of-three sets.
The rules regarding the serve in badminton are very particular. Here are the key points to remember:
- At the beginning of the game (0-0) and when the server’s score is even, the server serves from the right service court. When the server’s score is odd, the server serves from the left service court.
- If the server wins a rally, the server scores a point and then serves again from the alternate service court.
- Keep the ball out of the middle (too many angles for your opponent to use)
- If the receiver wins a rally, the receiver scores a point and becomes the new server. They serve from the appropriate service court; left if their score is odd, and right if it is even.
- Each pair only has one serve.
- At the beginning of the game and when the score is even, the server serves from the right service court. When it is odd, the server serves from the left court.
- If the serving side wins a rally, the serving side scores a point and the same server serves again from the alternate service court.
- If the receiving side wins a rally, the receiving side scores a point. The receiving side becomes the new serving side.
- The players do not change their respective service courts until they win a point when their side is serving.
- Front and Back is more offensive (taller in the front/faster in the back)
- Side by Side is more defensive
Another key rule regarding the serve in badminton is that the point of impact between racket and shuttlecock must be below the player’s waist. The shaft of the racket must also be angled in a downward direction. So, the serve in badminton should always be an underarm shot!
What is ‘in’ and ‘out’?
Whether a particular shot is deemed ‘in’ or ‘out’ will differ depending if you are playing singles or doubles. In a singles match the court is often referred to as ‘long and thin’. That is, the side tramlines and anything beyond are considered ‘out’. This applies for every single shot in a game of singles. The situation in a doubles match is slightly different however.
For a serve in doubles the court is ‘short and fat’. Roughly translated, that means that the back tramline is considered ‘out’, but the side tramline is deemed ‘in’ – the opposite to the situation in singles. However this only applies to the serve, as once you are in a rally in a doubles match, anything within the outer court line is considered ‘in’. In both singles and doubles, the serve must always cross the front ‘service line’ however!