Badminton Match Rules

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Badminton Match Rules
Badminton matches consist of three games (badminton image by Francis Lempérière from

The Badminton World Federation promotes and regulates badminton around the world. Rules and regulations are called the Laws of Badminton and are used during professional tournaments. The Badminton World Federation was originally established in 1934 under its previous name "The International Badminton Federation".

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Serving in badminton must be played with the head of the racket pointing downwards. The shuttlecock must not be hit from above the waist. Neither player may lift a foot off the ground until the shuttlecock has left the servers racket. The shuttlecock must be hit past the receiver's (defensive player) service line, which is marked horizontally across the centre of the court. The serve must stay within the boundaries of the court or a fault is called. Servers (offensive players) are only allowed one attempt at serving per point. If the server loses the point the opposing player becomes the server. The server stands on the right hand side of the court if he has an even number of points and on the left if his score is odd. The opponent (defensive player) stands diagonally opposite the server.

The Game of Badminton

After the initial serve, the rally can continue anywhere within the boundaries of the court and a point is scored when the shuttlecock hits the floor within the boundary lines. If the server loses the point the opposing player becomes the server. If the shuttlecock lands on the ground outside the court boundaries, the point is given to the opposing player. The shuttlecock can only be hit once by a player to return it over the net.


A "let" is called if a server hits the shuttlecock before her opponent is ready. This means the point is replayed. A "let" may also be called by the umpire if a foreign object lands on the court, or if the play is interrupted by loud noises from the spectators.

Scoring In Badminton

Badminton games are played until one of the players gains 21 points. A player needs to win two games to win the entire match. If the score is 20-20 the play must continue until one of the players wins two more points than his opponent. If play continues until both players reach 29 points, the player who reaches 30 points is the winner.

Doubles Matches

The first player to serve in a doubles match must serve from the right hand side of the court. If the serving team wins the initial point the teams swap sides on the court. If the point is lost, the player that did not receive the original serve becomes the server. Any player may hit the shuttlecock after the initial serve and return of this serve.

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