Badminton Referee Rules

Written by erin webb
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Badminton Referee Rules
Badminton (badminton image by Pontus Edenberg from

Since 1873, the game of Badminton has been played in countries all over the world. With it quickly becoming a popular party sport, the Bath Badminton Club was formed in 1877, and developed the first official set of rules. With the objective of the game being quite simple, one team must hit the shuttle over the net, with hopes of it landing in the opponents court before it can be returned.

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Why Referees Are Important

To ensure that a game is played fairly, all tournament-level badminton games call upon the services of a referee. Taking his place on or near the court, the referee is there to ensure safety and fair play, along with keeping score. Although the players are asked to assist the referee in making calls, he will ultimately have the final say.

Referee (football referee image by jimcox40 from

Line Judging

The referees must judge if a shuttle has landed inside or outside of the court. Anywhere from two to 10 volunteers are typically present to stand at the lines and assist the referee in making these calls accurately.

Judging the Line
Judging the Line (attention image by Andrey Rakhmatullin from

Explaining the Call

In order to be a good badminton referee, the individual must understand all the rules of the game in its entirety. There will be times when a player or coach disputes a call that the referee has made. At this point, it is her job to quickly explain her reasoning for making the call as it compares to the rule book. If the player or coach still disagrees with the call, the referee would come down from her perch, listen to the argument from the player or coach, and then converse with a league official. They make take a few minutes to discuss the situation to determine what will happen next. The referee will then announce her decision so that the match can continue. If the player or coach still disagrees with the decision and continues to dispute it, that person is subject to a penalty, which may result in suspension from the rest of the match.


Referees are responsible for being fair to both sides of the court, and ensuring that all rules and guidelines, as they have been given to them by the league director, are being followed. If a referee is found to be favouring one side, and making biased, unfair calls to one team or the other, that referee may be subject to termination, and never allowed to referee badminton again.

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