Rules of Badminton Serving

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Rules of Badminton Serving
The shuttlecock must land in the correct zone for a successful serve. (basket ball court image by Jim Mills from Fotolia.com)

The service in badminton is not a power shot. There will not be players who win matches because of the speed of their serve. This does not mean, however, that serving is unimportant; the first few shots of a rally will usually decide who will get the first power attack. It is much easier to gain the first power attack if you can serve well. Serving is not as important in singles, because they are less about power and more about making the opponent move around the court more and positioning shots.

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Rules of service

The server will stand diagonally opposite to the opposition on the court and without touching the boundary lines. Both feet must remain on the floor until the service has been served. The servers racket must hit the base of the shuttlecock. In singles, if the server has an even number of points, they must serve from the right side of the court; if they have an odd number, they must serve from the left. The shuttlecock must be served from below waist, and the head of the badminton racket must be pointed downward. The shuttlecock must move upward from the server's racket and pass over the net so that if the opposition was to miss the hit, it would land in the correct quadrant of the court.

Service faults

A fault will be called by the umpire if the shuttlecock becomes caught in the net or passes through or under the net. It is also a fault if the shuttlecock lands outside the boundaries of the court or hits the ceiling. The shuttlecock must not hit a person either on or off the court while in the air.

Low Serve

There are four main types of serves. The first type of serve is the low serve. This type of serve is played short and gentle so it lands right near the front of the oppositions service court, near the service line. It must pass low over the net. This service can be used in both single and double matches and is the commonly used serve in double matches.

High Serve

This type of serve is served upward and powerful. The shuttlecock travels high in the air and lands at the back of the opponent's service court. High serves are frequently used in singles but not in doubles. This serve cannot be played from a backhand, as there would not be enough power from it. Therefore, it can only be used from a forehand serve.

Flick Serve

Flick serves are used usually in doubles. It is a very shallow shot and played quickly so the opponent has little time to prepare and has to hit the shuttlecock when it is behind his body.

Drive Shot

The drive shot is a fast shot and played low toward the back of the court. The aim of this quick shot is that the opponent will mishit the return shot. Drive shots are rarely used by professional players because their opponents are very quick and can return the shot easily. It is a shot that is used mostly in doubles because the opposition stands further forward.

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