Badminton is a racket sport played by either two opposing players or two opposing pairs on a court. The game is similar to tennis, with some rules and court differences. Some tips and guidelines can make understanding the set-up of the game easier, allowing novice badminton players to score points in no time.
The badminton court is a rectangle shape divided into two side with a short net down the middle. Most badminton courts will have parallel white lines running up and down the side that show the dimensions for singles play or doubles play. Singles must stay inside the two lines closest inset on the court, while doubles are given more room and play inside the two wider lines. The court is typically 20 feet wide and 44 feet long.
One match is made up of three rallies, with the best of three taking the match. If the serving side loses a rally, the opposing side earns the next serve. The server stands on the right side of the court when his score is even, and on the left side of the court when his score is odd. If the server wins the rally, he continues to serve for the next rally. When a player serves, the shuttlecock -- the small ball used to play -- must pass a horizontal line on the opposing player's side to count.
Games are played to 21 points. Players win a point by taking a rally, and they can win the rally whether or not they were the serving team. A complete badminton match is three games, with the winner being the side that wins two out of three. Ultimately, to win a match, one side must earn at least 42 points.