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Basics

Badminton is a simple sport to start to play, but there are plenty of rules that can complicate the game. Below we’ve outlined the very basic rules to start playing badminton wherever you are!

The aim of the game

Badminton is played over the best of three games, first to 21 for each game. Points are given when one of the following happens:

Winning Points

  • The shuttle hits the court floor on your opponents’ side within the lines
  • The shuttle is hit out of the court lines and reaches the floor by your opponent
  • The shuttle fails to reach your side of the net
  • The shuttle is served above the waist when you’re receiving

Basic Rules

  • The server is required to hit the shuttle below the hip when serving, if the serve is above the hip, this is deemed a fault
  • A shuttle can only be hit once upon returning a serve/shot
  • The shuttle must be volleyed over the net to continue play
  • A serve must be served diagonally with the opponents standing within their respective diagonal boxes
  • Players cannot make contact with the net
  • The service is always given to the winner of the previous point, meaning it will alternate on the point won.
  • The serve must alternate their location from left box to right box or vice versa when maintaining serve

Singles v Doubles Courts

Singles and doubles vary in their use of the lines on the court and these are important because of the number of players means that more or less area can be covered. Below we have two diagrams showing the difference. An easy way to think about the court changes are, Singles; long and skinny all the time, Doubles; short and fat when serving then full court during play.