Body Rules for Badminton

Updated June 09, 2017

Badminton is a sport where players use racquets to knock a shuttlecock into the opposing side of the court. A net divides the two sides of the court and creates an obstacle for shots. The objective is to have the shuttlecock touch the ground on the opposing side of the court to score points. The rules of badminton have several body rules that must be followed by players. The official rules for badminton are the ones set forth by the Badminton World Federation (BWF).


The body of a player under Badminton World Federation rules includes any clothing worn by the player. The racket is not considered part of the player’s body in the rules of badminton. However, most illegal actions with the body are also illegal with the racket.

Body Rules

The player’s body cannot touch the shuttlecock. This makes it impossible in badminton to legally return the shuttlecock using anything other than the racket. The player’s body and racket can never touch the net under any condition. The player’s body and racket can never pass under the net. This is considered invading the opponent’s side of the court under the rules. The player’s body may not go over the net. However, the racket can go over the net if it is making a legal shot, as long as the player does not touch the net.

Distraction Rules

The rules of badminton specifically state that players cannot intentionally attempt to distract an opponent during a match. Making gestures or other distracting movements with the body breaks the distraction rule. In addition, making noises such as shouting will also break this rule.

Obstruction Rules

The rules of badminton prevent players from obstructing the opposing player’s shot with his body or racket. This rule is usually only relevant if the opposing player is making a shot where her racket passes over the net. The racket is allowed to go over the net to the opposing side of the court as part of a legal shot in badminton. The player may not use his body or racket to interfere with the path of the opponent’s racket at any time, even if the opponent’s racket is on his side of the court.


Breaking a body rule in badminton results is a “fault.” In badminton, a fault is equivalent to letting the shuttlecock drop in your side of the court. The opposing team gets a point and gets to serve the shuttlecock to restart play. Under Badminton World Federation rules, repeated faults can potentially result in a player or team being disqualified from a match. The referee has sole discretion for disqualification under the rules of badminton.

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About the Author

Matthew Anderson started as a writer and editor in 2003. He has written content used in a textbook published by Wiley Publishing, among other publications. Anderson majored in chemical engineering and has training in guitar performance, music theory and song composition.