Badminton rules

Badminton rules | up to date 2022

Badminton rules | up to date 2022

Badminton rules
Badminton rules

The badminton rules are pretty simple. Enough to understand the basic aspects of the rules of badminton on and you will be ready to start playing!

Along badminton history, official badminton organization (BWF) put rules to regulate Badminton game, as the size of badminton court, badminton net height, badminton racket measurements, badminton score, badminton rules for singles, badminton rules for doubles and fouls in badminton.

Notbadminton will try to simplify all badminton rules and make it clear to badminton lovers.

size of badminton court

According to the rules, the size of a badminton court is 13.40 x 6.10 m for a doubles game and 13.40 x 5.18 m for a single.

Size of badminton court in feet is 44 ft x 20 ft for doubles and 44 ft x 17 ft for single games. 

The court should be marked with 40 mm wide lines.

The lines marking the court should be easily distinguishable, preferably white or yellow.

All lines are part of the areas of the field that they limit.

Badminton net height

The net is the barrier that separates the field of badminton between a player and his opponent, which is composed of longitudinal and transverse cords made from nylon, cotton or plastic.

The upper edge of the net should be at a height of 1.55 m (5 ft 1 inch) from the court surface at the edges and 1.524 m (5 ft) in the center.

According to the badminton rules by BWF, the net should be made of a thin cord of dark color and the same thickness, with cells from 15 x 15 mm to 20 x 20 mm.

See also: How to set badminton court at your backyard?


Badminton shuttlecock or birdie is the ball of the badminton game, which is made of 16 goose feathers, arranged to form an open cup, and a half-spherical base made of a rubber foam material.

According to the rules, the shuttle can be made from natural and (or) synthetic materials. 

Regardless of the material, the flight characteristics of the shuttlecock should be close to those obtained from a natural feather shuttlecock with a cork stopper head coated with a thin skin.

a. Feather shuttlecock:

  1. The shuttle shall be composed of 16 feathers, fixed in the head.
  2. The feathers should be the same length: from 62 mm to 72 mm, which is measured from the tip of the pen to the top of the head.
  3. The ends of the feathers should form a circle with a diameter of 58 – 68 mm.
  4. Feathers should be firmly fastened with thread or other suitable material.
  5. The head should be 25 – 28 mm in diameter, rounded down.
  6. A shuttle should have a weight of 4.74 – 5.50 grams.

b. synthetic shuttlecock:

  1. Natural feathers are replaced with a simulator made of synthetic material.
  2. The head must meet the requirements for feather shuttlecocks.
  3. The size and weight of the shuttle should comply with the requirements for feather shuttlecocks. 
    However, in view of the difference in density and characteristics of synthetic materials from natural ones, deviations from the indicated values ​​up to 10% are allowed.

Provided that the overall design, speed and flight paths remain unchanged, national federations of countries may allow the use of other types of shuttlecocks, when the atmospheric climatic conditions or the height of the terrain above sea level do not allow the use of a standard shuttlecock.

Badminton racket

Badminton racket is used to hit the shuttlecock to the opponent’s field. It is composed of a head with strings, a stick (shaft), a handle and a joint between the frame and the stick. 

The frame of the racket should not exceed 680 mm in length and 230 mm in width.

a. Racket head:

  1. It must be flat and consist of segments of intersecting strings, alternately intertwined at the intersection points; it should be generally homogeneous and, in particular, no less frequent in the center than in other places.
  2. It should be no more than 280 mm in length and 220 mm in width, however, the strings can be extended through an area that otherwise relates to an adapter, provided that: 

a) This segment is not more than 35 mm in width. 
b) The total length of the string surface will not exceed 330 mm.

b. Racket frame:

  1. Must be free of attached objects and protrusions, except those used specifically to limit or prevent wear and tear of the strings, or vibration, or to change the balance, or to attach the handle to the player’s hand, and which have acceptable sizes and locations for these goals;
  2. Must be free of any devices that would make it possible for the player to significantly change the configuration of the racket.

Toss in badminton

Before the match, the draw is held; the winning party may choose between:

  1. Serve or take feed;
  2. Start the game on one side or the other.

The side that lost the toss, after that, makes the remaining choice.

Badminton score rules

  • A match must consist of a maximum of three games, unless otherwise specified.​
  • The game is won by the player who first scored 21 points.​
  • The side that won the rally counts a point. A party may win the rally if the opponent (s) make a mistake or if the shuttle is out of the game by touching the surface of the court on the opponent’s side (s).​
  • With a score of “20–20,” the side that first picks up the 2-point difference wins the game.​
  • With the score “29-29”, the side that wins the 30th point wins the game.​
  • The side that wins the game is the first to submit in the next game.​

Rules of switching sides

Players must switch sides:

  1. At the end of the first game.
  2. Before the start of the third game (if needed).
  3. In the third game, when one of the parties scores 11 points.

In accordance with the rules of badminton, if the moment of switching sides is missed, the change is made immediately, upon detection of this, and the account existing at that moment is preserved.

Badminton serving rules

Serving in badminton has a specific rules that regulate it. So if you are asking “How to serve in badminton?”, you should be aware of the following rules to play a right serve:

  1. Neither side should allow an excessive delay in the execution of the service when the server and the receiving party are ready to serve. Any delay in moving the racket forward while filing should be considered an error (foul);​
  2. The server and the receiver must stand within their fields in a diagonal arrangement, without touching the lines bounding these fields;​
  3. Any part of both the feet of the server and the receiver must remain in contact with the surface of the court in a fixed position from the beginning of the service until the delivery;
  4. The server’s racket should initially hit the shuttle’s head;
  5. The whole shuttle must be below the server’s waist when the racket hits it. The waistline is an imaginary line around the body, passing at the level of the lower point of the lower rib of the server;
  6. The center of the server’s racket, at the moment of hitting the shuttle, must be directed clearly downwards;
  7. The player’s racket’s movement should continue only forward from the beginning of the service until its completion;
  8. The flight of the shuttle shall be directed along the ascending line from the racket of the server before it crosses the grid, so that if it is not reflected, it falls into the appropriate field of supply (that is, within or on the lines bounding it);​
  9. The server should not miss the shuttlecock.

When the players take their positions, the first forward movement of the player’s racket head is the beginning of the service.

The server must not serve until the receiver has prepared, but the latter should be considered ready to receive if he made an attempt to repel the shuttle.

In double games, at the time of submission, the partners of the server and the receiver can take any position that does not block the appearance of the receiver or the server of the opposite side.

Badminton rules for singles

Serving & receiving rules

  1. Players must serve (and receive) from their right-serving pitch when the server has no points or has an even number of points in this game.
  2. Players must serve (and receive) from their left-serving field when the server has an odd number of points in this game.

Scoring rules

  1. If the server wins the rally, he is awarded a point. Then he again starts serving from the other field.
  2. If the receiver wins the game, a point is awarded to him. Then the receiver becomes the new server.

Badminton rules for doubles

Serving & receiving rules

  1. Players of the serving side must serve from their right-sided court when the serving side has no points or has an even number of points in this game.
  2. Players of the serving side must serve from their left-serving field when the serving side has an odd number of points in this game.
  3. The player of the receiving party, who served last, remains on the same field from which he served. 
  4. The player of the receiving team, which is diagonally opposite to the field of the server, must be the receiver. The other player should not touch the shuttlecock.
  5. Players must not change their respective field until they win a point when serving.

Scoring rules

  1. If the serving side wins, the point is awarded to them. Then they start to serve again.
  2. If the receiving party wins the rally, a point is awarded to them and they become the new servers.

Serving errors

Errors happened if the player:

  1. serves or receives out of order.
  2. serves or receives from the wrong court.

Violations "Fouls"

In this section, you will know “what is a fault in badminton” or “what is a let in badminton“.

Violation (“foul”) occurs if:

  1. Serving is not performed according to the rules;
  2. At the time of serving, the shuttlecock:
    • Falls into the net and hang on its upper edge;
    • Flies over the net and stuck in it; or
    • In double games, the non-receiver player hit the shuttle.
  3. During the game, the shuttlecock:
    • Falls off the court;
    • Fly through or under the net;
    • Touches the ceiling or walls of the hall;
    • Touches the body or clothes of the player or
    • Touches any object or person in close proximity to the court;
      (If necessary according to the terms of the structure of the building, the local conducting organization may establish special conditions in the event that the shuttle touches the obstacle);
    • Is caught and detained on a racket, and then thrown when making a strike;
    • Is played twice in succession by the same player with two strokes. However, it is not considered a mistake if the shuttle hits the head and string surface of the racket with one blow;
    • Is played by the player and his partner in sequence.
  4. During the game, the player:
    • Touches the net with a racket, body or clothes;
    • Invades the opponent’s side over the net with a racket or body. The striker, however, may accompany the shuttle with a racket over the net in the direction of impact if the racket’s initial contact with the shuttle was on the striker’s side;
    • Invades the opponent’s side under the net with a racket or body so that it interferes with the opponent or distracts him or
    • Interferes with the opponent;
    • Intentionally distracting the opponent by any actions, for example, by shouts or gestures.


“Controversial” is announced by the judge on the tower or the player (if there is no judge on the tower) to stop the game.

“Controversial” should be appointed if:

  1. The server hit the shuttlecock before the receiver is ready to receive;
  2. Both players break the rules at the same time;
  3. During the game, the shuttlecock:
    • Hook onto the net and hang on its upper edge;
    • Is destroyed and the head is completely separated from the rest of the shuttle.
  4. According to the judge on the tower, the game was interrupted or the player was distracted by the opponent’s coach;
  5. The line judge did not see, and the judge on the tower is not able to make his decision, or
  6. In any unexpected or accidental situation.

If “controversial” is designated, the rally is not counted since the last serve, and the player who submitted this serve must play again.

General badminton rules and regulations

Continuity of the game

According to the rules of badminton, the game must continue from the first serve to the end of the match, excluding breaks and temporary stops of the game.


  1. No more than 60 seconds during each game when the score of either side reaches 11 points;
  2. No more than 120 seconds between the first and second game, and between the second and third game.

Time to stop the game:

  1. When there are circumstances beyond the control of the players as badminton injury, the tower judge may pause the game for some times according to his view.
  2. In special cases, the Chief Justice may suggest that the judge on the tower suspend the game.
  3. If the game is suspended, the achieved score must be saved and the game must be resumed from this account.

Delay in the game:

  1. The game should not be suspended in order to allow the player to regain strength or breath, or to get advice;
  2. The judge on the tower is the only judge who has the right to suspend the game.

Players are not allowed to:

  1. Intentionally cause a delay or suspension of the game;
  2. Deliberately change the shape of the shuttle to change the speed of its flight;
  3. Behave insultingly;
  4. Commit unsportsmanlike actions, not provided for in the Badminton Rules.
  5. get advice during the match except when the shuttle is out of the game.
  6. leave the court during a match without the permission of the tower judge, with the exception of breaks.