Main Rules in Badminton

Written by ronni dee
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Main Rules in Badminton
Learn the badminton rules. (badminton image by Pontus Edenberg from

The Badminton World Federation governs, promotes, develops and regulates the sport of badminton worldwide. The federation develops and monitors the game rules, and proposes amendments to the rules of the game. The latest changes to the laws of badminton were approved in May 2010 and stand as the most up to date rules of the game as of June 2010.

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The Toss

Before the beginning of a match, there will be a toss. The team or person who wins the toss may choose if they wish to serve first, or if they wish the other side to have the first serve. They may also choose which side of the court they wish to play on for the first game of the match.

The Match

Unless predetermined arrangements have been made, a regular badminton match consists of three games of 21 points each, with the winning side being the winner of two out of the three games. The Badminton World Federation acknowledges either a one game, 21 point match or a three game, 15-point match if prior arrangements have been made.


In a standard, 21-point game, the winner will be the first side to reach 21 points. If a score becomes 20-20, better known as 20-all, the first side to gain a two-point lead will win that game. If the score becomes 29-all, or 29-29, the first side to score the 30th point shall be named winner of the game. In a 15-point game, if the score becomes 14-all, the first side to gain a two point lead will win the game or if the score becomes 20-all, the side to score the 21st point shall be named winner of the game.

Changing Sides

In a three game match, the players shall change sides after the first and second game. When one of the teams reaches a score of 11 points in the third game the players shall change sides again. The third game change at 11 points only occurs once, when one of the two teams reaches 11 points, but not again when the second team reaches 11 points.


Serving is to take place from the right of the server’s side of the court when the server has not scored or has scored an even amount of points in the current game. When the server has accumulated an odd number of points in the game, they shall serve from the left side of their side of the court. The server order goes from the initial server to the partner of the starting receiver, to the partner of the starting server, then to the starting receiver. Once all players have served, the order starts again with the initial server and continues in the same manner.

First Serve and First Receive

The first server can be either player on the serving side and the first receiver can be either player on the receiving side. A player is not permitted to serve or receive two consecutive serves in any game. Either player is permitted to serve or receive the first serve of the following game, even if the server and receiver served and received for the last point of the last game.

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