Badminton Ladder Rules

Written by nancy hayden
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Badminton Ladder Rules
Badminton dates back to the mid 18th century. (shuttlecock image by Antonio Oquias from

Badminton has long been played in the U.S. and has become more popular since its inclusion as an Olympic sport, beginning in 1992. Badminton Ladders are a fun way for clubs or groups to set in place a system for challenges and competition. They provide players of all skill levels a chance to play against each other and improve their skills. Ladders are also a great way to meet new people.

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The Board

The league organiser or club official creates a board with each player's name and contact information. This can be done the old fashioned way, with a handwritten board, or the organisers can use software and create one that can be viewed online. This person also assigns each player a ranking based on their ability. The board is laid out, at the organiser's discretion, starting with the best player on top and the player with the worst ranking at the bottom. Each player is expected to play a match every two weeks, or at an interval set by the board organiser.

Badminton Ladder Rules
The Internet makes maintaining and checking a ladder board more simple. (laptop image by martini from


Rules may vary from club to club, and there are many variations, but all ladders work on a basic challenge system. It is up to the players to contact each other to issue a challenge to play a match. Anyone on the board is eligible to be challenged, as long as they are within three spaces above you on the board. When you first join the ladder, you can challenge anyone within the bottom 75 per cent to 80 per cent of the board, depending on the club. A player who is challenged must answer the challenge and play the match within two weeks. Exceptions are made for circumstances such as injury or vacation.

Challenging someone with similar ability is the best way to steadily improve.
Challenging someone with similar ability is the best way to steadily improve. (badminton image by Pontus Edenberg from

Matches and Results

A match is made up of three games. Each game is played to 15 points. The winner of two out of three games wins the match. If the players each win one of the first two games, the third game is used as a tie breaker. The match goes to the first player to 15 points, but it must be won by two points. At the completion of the match, it is the winner's responsibility to report the score to the board administrator so the result can be posted. If the winner is already in the higher position on the board, no change in ranking occurs. If the challenger wins the match, however, they take over the winner's higher position.

Badminton Ladder Rules
Determination and practice may lead to a top spot on the board. (steel trophy image by Paul Moore from

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