Basic Rules & Information on Badminton

Written by steve johnson
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Basic Rules & Information on Badminton
Badminton has been around since ancient times. (badminton image by Francis Lempérière from

Badminton has a rich history and remains a popular game that can be played with friends or competitively. The World Badminton Federation governs the rules and policy for the game. Other organisations, such as the United States Badminton Association, also play key roles in promoting and expanding the game. There are many rules and regulations that govern badminton to insure that the game is properly played.

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The origins of badminton date back to ancient Egypt and Greece, where games similar to badminton were played using a "shuttlecock." The game eventually spread to India during the 18th century, where it was known as "Poona." British officers stationed in India during the 1860s took the game back to England, where the Duke of Beaufort featured it during a party on his estate, known as "Badminton." The name of the estate stuck with the sport and the game has since been known as badminton.


Badminton is played on a relatively small court when compared to tennis. Courts typically are 17 to 20 feet wide and 44 feet long. Nets are approximately 5 feet high in the centre. Badminton is played with a racket and shuttle. Badminton rackets consist of a head, throat, shaft, stringed area, and handle. An individual racket will fluctuate in weight; however, it should stay below 100g. Shuttles or shuttlecocks weigh between 4 1/2 and 5 1/2g.


Badminton has some unique rules compared to other net games. Players must keep their feet on the ground at all times when serving unlike tennis, where players can jump. Like tennis though, badminton players are required to stand at diagonal angles to each other during the serve.

The court has two halves, each half further divided into "service courts." If the player that is serving has an even number of points, they serve from the right service court; if they have an odd number, they serve from the left service court.


A badminton match consists of the best of three games. The first player to 21 points wins the game. Players hit the shuttlecock back and forth until one player misses or commits a "fault." A "fault" can be anything from the player hitting the net with the racket to hitting the shuttlecock twice. "Lets" also take place during games. One example of a "let" is when outside influences affect the game, such as the shuttle breaking or the net causing the shuttle to stick.

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