The Basic Rules of Badminton
The first, and most important, thing to learn in badminton are the rules of the sport. The rules describe the agreement on which opponents test their skills against each other. It is absolutely essential to have a good grasp on the basic rules of badminton so that there is no confusion during play.
There are few similarities between a person picking up the racket for the first time, and a player who has years of experience under her belt. The most basic and important of these similarities are the rules that define the sport. Every player is required to abide by these rules at all levels the sport is played in.
It is not uncommon for players to have played at an amateur level for years without having a correct notion of these rules. Similarly, it is also sometimes seen that professional players are confused about the nuances of a peculiar rule and they engage in arguments with the referees and this can be a national embarrassment. We have prepared handy notes for you to learn or brush up on the absolutely essential rules of badminton.
Basic rules of badminton can be divided into:
- The Scoring System
- Earning a point
- Serving Rules
- Court Dimensions
- Shuttlecock Specifications
- Racket Specifications
- The Scoring System : All badminton matches, whether singles or doubles, are won on the basis of two games being won out of three. A team needs to win 21 points first to claim the game. In case both teams tie at 20, the first team to win two consecutive points wins the game. If the teams are tied at 29, 30 is considered to be the ‘Golden Point’.
- Earning a point : A team earns a point when the shuttle touches the other team’s half of the court. A point is conceded if the point hits the net and falls on one’s own side, goes under the net or goes out of the court. In case the shuttle hits the player’s body, the racket hits the net or the shuttle hits the racket of the player twice, the point is conceded as well. This also holds true for the shuttlecock hitting a player’s racket and the racket of her partner.
- Serving Rules : The shuttle needs to be hit with the racket under 115 cms. The shuttle needs to be hit in a diagonal manner into the opponent’s court and the players need to be at rest while receiving and making the serve. In doubles, players of a team take turns in serving after each point they win. Even points are served from the right side of the court whereas odd points are served from the left side of the court.
- Court Dimensions : The length of the badminton court in singles and doubles is 44ft whereas the width is 17ft for singles and 20ft for doubles. The net at the center of the court is 5ft tall. There is a service line 6.5ft from the net and all serves must fall beyond this line. During doubles, the serve must fall 2.5ft before the baseline whereas during singles, 1.5ft from the sideline.
- Shuttlecock Specifications : The shuttlecock is traditionally made from natural duck or goose feathers and is usually white in color. It has a natural cork base. The shuttlecock is made from 16 feathers in total and should weigh a maximum of 5.5gms. The length of the shuttlecock is a maximum of 70mm. At recreational and club levels, the shuttlecocks used are often made of nylon skirts.
- Racket Specifications : The badminton racket needs to be of a certain specification to be allowed in official play. The racket can have a maximum length of 680mm and breadth of 230mm. The stringed area of the racket cannot exceed 330mm.
These basic rules of badminton are an absolute necessity to be remembered by heart so that there is no interruption in play during confusion between players and referees. Remembering and abiding by these necessary rules also ensures that the players are aware of the international rules and are following them in their games from an early stage ensuring uniformity of play that makes participation in tournaments familiar. The Badminton World Federation (BWF) is responsible for the upholding and updation of these rules and all tournaments follow their handbook during conduction of matches.