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Basic badminton rules and regulations you need to know

By: Swetha
Date: 31 Jan, 2018
Image Courtesy: GoBadminton

Badminton is the sport which needs brawny personality along with brain and it is an easy racquet sport to pick which is widely being played by all age groups. Either it be the recreational or the international match, it helps the participants burn a lot of calories.


If one wants to dig more and know more about the game, there are few basic rules to be followed while playing.


Absolute basics:


The aim of badminton is to hit the shuttle with your racket so that it passes over the net and lands inside your opponent’s half of the court. Whenever shuttlecock lands on opponent’s court, you have won a rally and a point.


Your opponent has the same goal who will try to reach the shuttlecock and send it back into your half of the court. You can also win rallies from your opponent’s mistakes: if he hits the shuttle into or under the net, or out of court, then you win the rally.


If you think your opponent’s shot is going to land out, then you should let it fall to the floor. If you hit the shuttle instead, then the rally continues.


Once the shuttle touches the ground, the rally is over. In this respect, badminton is not like tennis or squash, where the ball can bounce.


Following are the simplified badminton rules and regulations ;


Singles:


  • The server and the receiver shall stand within diagonal opposite service courts.

  • At the beginning of the game at 0-0 and if the server’s score is even, player must  serve from right service court and if the score is odd, the player must serve from the left service court.

  • If the server or receiver wins the rally, he/she serves the next rally.


Doubles:


  • The server and the receiver shall stand within diagonal opposite service courts.

  • At the beginning of the game at 0-0 and if the server’s score is even, player must  serve from right service court and if the score is odd, the player must serve from the left service court.

  • Each side has only one service.

  • The service passes to the second player after their turn.

  • If the server or receiver wins the rally, the player serves the next rally.

  • The players do not change their respective service courts until they win a point when their side is serving.


Changing ends:


  • At the end of the first game.

  • At the end of the second game, if there is to be a third game.

  • In the third game when a side first scores 11 points.


Faults:


  • If service is not correct.

  • During service if the shuttle is caught on net and suspended on it.

  • If lands outside the boundaries of the court.

  • Fails to pass over the net.


Serving rules for singles and doubles:


  • Every service, in singles and doubles, must be played across the front service line, nearly 2 metres away from the net, and always into the diagonal opposite service court.


  • If the serving side scores a point, it keeps the service and starts the next rally with a new service from the left or right service court, depending on whether its score is odd or even. If the returning side scores a point, it also wins the right to serve.


  • In singles, the position of the serving player is easy to ascertain as it always and only depends on whether the serving player's score is odd (left service court) or even (right service court).


  • In doubles, more rules are needed to be followed as the two players of a side take it in turns to serve. Again, the service court from which the service is played depends on whether the score is odd (left) or even (right). If the side of the serving player scores a point, the player keeps the right to serve and moves to the other service court for the next service. This procedure continues until the returning side wins a point. In this case, they also win the right to serve, but they do not change service courts at that point. Service courts are only changed by the serving side.


  • New Service Rule: BWF has recently introduced the new service rule which says ‘The racquet to be at the fixed height of 1.15 meters above the surface of the court at the instant of being hit by the server’s racquet’. BWF is intended to start testing of this Experimental Service Law from All England championship badminton tournament.


Court rules for singles and doubles:


  • The singles court always covers the full length of the court, from baseline to baseline, which means they play on the long service court, while doubles play on the wide court, from sideline to the sideline or short service court.  

  • At the beginning of the game at 0-0 and if the server’s score is even, player must  serve from right service court and if the score is odd, the player must serve from the left service court.

  • The server must hit the shuttle to the receiver on the diagonal court.


Court measurements:


  • The full width of the court is 6.1 metres (20 ft), and in singles this width is reduced to 5.18 metres (17 ft).

  • The full length of the court is 13.4 metres (44 ft).

  • The service courts are marked by a centre line dividing the width of the court, by a short service line at a distance of 1.98 metres (6 ft 6 inch) from the net, and by the outer side and back boundaries.

  • In doubles, the service court is also marked by a long service line, which is 0.76 metres (2 ft 6 inch) from the back boundary.

  • The net is 1.55 metres (5 ft 1 inch) high at the edges and 1.524 metres (5 ft) high in the centre. The net posts are placed over the doubles sidelines, even when Singles is played.


Scoring rules:


  • In general, a badminton match is of ‘best of three’ event. The winner of each rally scores a point, regardless of who is serving. This means that every mistake, even a faulty service, wins the opponent a point.

  • The player winning a rally scores a point and simultaneously gains the right to serve.

  • The winning score in each set is 21 points, but to win a set, a side must lead their opponents by two points (at 19)  or more.

  • A player must lead his/her opponents by a minimum of two points in order to win a set. The closest possible winning score with 21 points is therefore 21-19. If the score reaches 20-20, the set is won by the first player or pair building up a two point lead or by the first player or pair to score 30 points. This means that possible winning scores are 22-20, 21-23, 22-24,…, 29-27, 30-28 - or 30-29: if score reaches 29-29, the next player to score a point wins the set with a score of 30-29. This is the only exception when no margin of two points is needed to win a set.


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