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Badminton Rules

Badminton is a sport that has been around since the 16th century. The sport is played indoors and the pinnacle comes from its Olympic events. The sport is very popular in Asian countries such as China and India. Below are some basic rules ,if you want a more detailed look at the rules click the red button below. You can also download the official rules below.

Download Official Rules PDF Here:

badminton court with raquets and shuttlecocks layed out


Object of the Game

The object of badminton is to hit the shuttlecock over the net and have it land in the designated court areas. If your opponent manages to return the shuttlecock then a rally occurs. If you win this rally i.e. force your opponent to hit the shuttlecock out or into the net then you win a point. You are required to win 21 points to win a set with most matches being best of 3 sets. Points can be won on either serve.


Players & Equipment

There are two forms of badminton, singles and doubles (it’s also possible to play 2 vs 1). Each player uses a stringed racket and a shuttlecock. The shuttlecock is made up of half round ball at the bottom and a feather like material surrounding the top.  You may only hit the shuttlecock once before it either hits the ground or goes over the net.

The court measures 6.1m wide and 13.4m long. Across the middle of the rectangular court is a net which runs at 1.55m. Running along each side of the court are two tram lines. The inside lines are used as the parameter for singles match whilst the outside line is used for a doubles match.

Animated badminton court
Shuttlecock with a scoreboard underneath



A point is scored when you successfully hit the shuttlecock over the net and land it in your opponent’s court before they hit it. A point can also be gained when your opponent hits the shuttlecock into either the net or outside the parameters.


Winning the Game

To win a game you must reach 21 points before your opponent. If you do so then you will have won that set. If the scores are tied at 20-20 then it comes down to whichever player manages to get two clear points ahead. If the points are still tied at 29-29 then the next point will decide the winner of the set. Winning the overall game will require you to win 2 out of the 3 sets played.

Animated badminton player celebrating


Summary of Rules

  • A game can take place with either two (singles) or four (doubles) players. In addition, it can be played with 3 players. 2 players on one side, one player on the other.

  • An official match has to be played indoors with the proper court dimensions. The dimensions are 6.1m by 13.4m, The net is situated through the middle of the court and is set at 1.55m.

  • To score a point the shuttlecock must land within the parameters of the opponents court.

  • If the shuttlecock hits the net or lands out then a point is awarded to your opponent.

  • Players must serve diagonally across the net to their opponent. As points are won then serving stations move from one side to the other. There are no second serves so if your first serve goes out then your opponent wins the point.

  • A serve must be hit underarm and below the servers waist. No overarm serves are allowed.

  • Each game will starts with a toss to determine which player will serve first and which side of the court the opponent would like to start from.

  • Once the shuttlecock is ‘live’ then a player may move around the court as they wish. They are permitted to hit the shuttlecock from out of the playing area.

  • If a player touches the net with any part of their body or racket then it is deemed a fault and their opponent receives the point.

  • A fault occurs if a player deliberately distracts their opponent, the shuttlecock is caught in the racket then flung, the shuttlecock is hit twice or if the player continues to infract with the laws of badminton.

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