Badminton Rules & Regulations | How to Play Badminton

Badminton is the game of glory and finest valor. It is an international game with a rich origin and history behind. There are a defined set of rules, world badminton laws and recommended equipment to play Badminton. Here in following article we have explained in detail.

Badminton Rules; Laws, Essential Equipment, Team Composition, Tournaments

Badminton is the old, historical & unique sport with all essential features, rules & equipment It is a fact that one can not cut a tree without a saw or an axe like wise one can not imagine a game without proper equipment and tools.

All games have specific tools. If one aims to play any game in a conventional and professional way he needs some equipment to play with the competitor. No game is complete or playable without proper equipment. So is the case with badminton, if we desire to play a professional match with someone we have to follow specific rules and laws set by BWF.

This is the international body which regulate and codifies the laws of Badminton. In the light of Badminton world Federation laws the requirements are enlisted as under.

1. Badminton Racket; Measurement & Make: The

first and the most important thing required for badminton is racket. Without racket one can not imagine badminton. It is special tool that player keeps in hands and plays with. Let me tell how a racket look like and what is its specific codified structure.

A racket is said to be a stringed hitting surface attached to an oval, thin shaft bearing a handle.

It has a flat face with a unvarying pattern of overlapping strings. According to BWF the stringed surface area of a racket is confined. It must not exceed 11 inches in length and 8 inches in width.

The length of stringed area in centimeters is 27.94 cm while width is 20.9 cm. The overall length of a racket must not exceed 34 inches in length. While the widest part or the racket the stringed surface area must not exceed 9 inches.

The Rackets have developed and are developing in material.  Long ago wooden frame rackets existed but nowadays rackets are made in aluminum alloy, titanium, steel and composite materials frames.

Racket- Badminton rules

2. Badminton Shuttlecock:  Secondly there comes shuttlecock because if you have a racket and don’t have a shuttlecock you can’t play badminton. It is the second important tool in badminton. The shuttle are made of feathers. The feathers are affixed in a cork which is covered with leather.

Approximately 16 feathers are fixed in a cork to form a shuttle. For the professional matches of Badminton the weight of feathered shuttle is fixed from BWF.

The maximum weight is 5.50 grams while minimum weight of shuttle must be 4.74 grams. The size of feathers must be 2 to 12 inches. The diameter of the circle formed of tips of feathers must not exceed 14 inches.

The diameter of base of shuttle should be one inch. The weight of whole shuttle must be 16 to 19 Oz. Nowadays synthetic shuttles are made with synthetic materials their with the same weight and diameter. The shuttlecock is also known as birdie or bird. When hit with a racket it flies into air and falls or hits ground with cork or base.

3. Badminton Net:  Thirdly, badminton can not be played without net. Net is the essential part badminton professional matches. BWF has set laws of net too.

Its height, width and construction is fixed under badminton laws. The law states that at center the net must measure five feet while at sides its measurement must be five feet and one inch. The net is attached with two vertical posts of on either sides of the court. From bottom to top, the measurement of net must not exceed 30 inches.

It is made of dark color mesh and a white tape running along the top of the net so that its full height is clearly visible to the player. Different types of nets are found, specially polyethylene and nylon are commonly used.

Without a net badminton game can not be considered complete because it is the net which evenly separate the court into two equal parts. The both sides of the court are the areas where players stand and play their game

4. Shoes For Badminton:  Shoes are very necessary for a badminton player because they need to move a lot on the court. The Court is limited area where players move back and forth and jump and hop.

ASICS Women's Gel-Rocket 9 Badminton Shoes

All this is possible when he is wearing court shoes which enable him to play well. Without court shoes badminton is very difficult. After game one will feel too much pain in forefeet if badminton is played without court shoes.

The shoes hold the weight of whole of your body. Therefore shoes must be comfortable that do not tire your feet. One can not use hands only to pay badminton.

Basically badminton is the game of feet. Your feet help and coordinate your hands and makes you win. The court shoes won’t let you slip in the court area and won’t tire you.

5. Badminton Court:  The Court is the soul of Badminton. It is where the game is played on. The total dimension of court is 22×44 feet. There are lines on the badminton court which represent single and double play. The side lines are for double play while service lines are for single play.

At the middle of the court there are net lines where net is placed. Apart from it there are short service lines on the court also known as Non volley zone which measure 7 feet from the center line. The line that divide the court into two equal halves is called center line which makes right and left separated. The outermost back line on the court is termed as back boundary line.

Whole rectangular area of the court is marked by these lines and divided into two halves by the net at the center. When two players play from each side than they play within double lines.  Remember the doubles court is bit wider than the singles except their length which is same in both form of game.

The overall width of the court is 6.1 meters and length is 13.41 meters. The place where court is made, there the height of the ceiling in not fixed in the badminton laws. But it is necessary that ceiling must be higher so that when hit shuttle must not hit the ceiling in case when played hard.

6. Additional Equipment Needed for Badminton Play:  Along with above mentioned things there are few additional things that seem quite trivial or small but matters most in badminton.

In those things socks are very necessary, one must wear quality socks on feet which should be comfortable one and absorb sweet produced in feet during movement. High quality socks give good performance while low quality socks yield low performance of the player because being uncomfortable none can play well and give good result.

Not only socks but wrist bands are also important for playing badminton. Wrist bands stop flow of sweet produced in hands and arms on the handle of the racket, it manages the grip and handling of racket.

It is observed that badminton player sweet profusely while playing game. The body excrete salty water through tiny invisible holes of skin. Headband help stop sweating enter into eyes. Sometimes your long hair disturb your play, headband help bind your long hair above the head and you play comfortably.

Above all, last but not the least requisite object for badminton is the quality t-shirt. A badminton player must wear cotton t-shirts and fabric t-shirts light one which do not warm body and absorb sweating. Sweating of the body can affect the performance, but if one wears high quality cotton fabric t-shirts which are light and absorb sweating rapidly.

Badminton Players & Team Composition

Badminton is the only game in the world in which five different formats of players are there. It is divided into five different compositions.

1. Men’s Singles Badminton Game

Generally badminton is played between two single men. From each side there is a single men it is called men singles.

2. Women’s Singles

Second format is called a women singles, in this format of Badminton at each side there is a single women.

3. Men’s Doubles

Third category of Badminton is men doubles, in this type of Badminton match there are two men at each side. Both players at each side play a vital role, both play together to win the game.

4. Women’s Doubles

The fourth format of Badminton is women doubles, in this format of matches there are two women at both side who defend the opponent together.

5. Mixed Doubles

The fifth and last format of Badminton game team composition is called as Mixed Doubles. In this from of match at each side of court there is a couple means one man and one women, or a boy and a girl.

It means in badminton the arrangement of players is different in different formats. Sometimes a badminton match is played between two players either men or women while sometimes a badminton match consists of four players in men doubles, women doubles and mixed format.

Various Styles of Badminton Game

There is variety of styles in this game. The styles of this game are based on the performance of players. Notably three major styles are seen and experienced in badminton. The first style is called the fast and aggressive style of the game.

1. Fast & Aggressive Style

There is a variety of shots played in this style.  A player who aims to defend or win plays aggressive shots. He or she smashes the racket on shuttlecock aggressively where they play attacking lobs and fast drop shots and net shots to score points and to make a lead on the score table. During this style one can observe the fast pace of footwork of the player on the throughout the court where he or she make fast and rapid movements.

2. Deceptive Stroke Playing Style

Secondly in badminton one can enjoy watching the style of deceptive stroke player. This is the only style of Badminton where a player passes high services to the baseline than low services.

Players play drop shots deceptively and use different tricks to befool the opponent or to exhaust the opponent. Major tricks applied in this style of game are that players drop shuttlecock nearer to net where the opponent reaches hardly and fails to play back nicely.

The most difficult and deceptive shots played in this style are push shots at the back of ground. Sometimes the shuttle hits net or falls on the ground and a point is earned to the player. While playing in this style a tries to defend and plays reliable shots.

3. Defensive & Straight Forward Style

The third and last style commonly observed in badminton is the defensive and straightforward style. In this style simple and plain shots are played just to defend the their scored points. In aggressive style sharp shots are played while in this style sharp shots are rarely hit.

All badminton players throughout the world play badminton in these three styles. Most of the international players of Badminton who are very popular they play safe shots to defend the attacking or deceptive shots of opponent or opponents.

The most famous players in these three styles of Badminton are as under.

The world famous player of Badminton, Rudy Hartono is called a fast attacking player of the world while P. Gopichandis known as the famous deceptive stroke player of the world. He is also good at attacking style play.

But Susi susanti is famous as the straightforward player of the game. At present most of the players of Badminton play fast attacking style of play.

Badminton Matches and Tournaments

Badminton matches, tournaments-Badminton rules

Badminton matches are of different forms sometimes a match is played one against one called singles and sometimes two against two called doubles.

There can be seen two or four players on the badminton court. Altogether five types of Badminton matches are played. They are as under

  • Men’s singles
  • Women’s singles
  • Men’s doubles
  • Women’s doubles, and
  • Mixed doubles.

Stages of Badminton Play

The badminton matches are played in two stages.  In the first stage a round Robin group matches are performed followed by knockout phase in which quarter finals, semi finals, bronze medal final and gold medal final are played.

Before matches the teams are divided into four groups. Each group comprises of four teams. Then all teams compete with one another and play games to reach at the final.

The top two teams proceed for the final knockout match. A team which win three matches becomes successful and qualifies. There is a service judge and line judges in badminton. Before the start of match an umpire preside over the badminton match.

He also flips a coin and toss is made before the game start. The one who wins or the pair which wins toss either choose to serve or choose side of the court. Then the match starts. An athlete hits shuttlecock over the net with his or her racket.  if shuttlecock lands on the side of opponent, a point is scored.

World Badminton Tournaments

The first badminton tournament was played in 1977 and it was held after every three years till 1983. Later the tournament was made biannual.

It was held after every two years till 2005. In 2006 the badminton tournament was made annual. now it is played annually. In the history of Badminton, only 20 countries have won bronze medal in badminton. All the recent matches of Badminton have been played in Basel.

A total ten Asian and eight European countries are bronze medalist in badminton. So far Africa has not won any medal. The world top three gold medal winner countries are China, Indonesia and Denmark. China is the most successful one in world championship of Badminton since 1977.

She has won 66 gold medals, 46 silver medals and 75bronze medals so far. China has won total 187 medals in badminton. While top second country Indonesia has won total 77 medals in badminton and at third rank Denmark has won total 62 medals in the history of Badminton.

Badminton Skills to Play

Fundamental skills;  Physical & Mental abilities For a Badminton Player A Badminton players need to be physically fit and strong. One who aim to be a good badminton player has to learn the skills of game and common tactics that can make a player strong and successful.

As it is played in a specific court where one moves in all directions and runs and hops behind the shuttle. One can not win even a single game without learning the skills and tactics. One who do not understands tactics of this game can not be good badminton player.

The first and foremost skills is the footwork.  One has to learn footwork and practice footwork continuously to adopt it fully. Good footwork help use little energy.

One who does not get tired and plays comfortably, the game become easier. Later one has to learn backhand smashes which help to win game. These smash shots had to be practiced well to get mastery. All basic skills of Badminton are mastered by excessive practice.

As it is believed that practice makes man perfect. Badminton requires quality of strokes and good movement on the court. This sport is a type of sorcery to be played because one need to have mastery at the tactics and to defeat the opponent.

Without the basics any game can not be played nor one can be famous at it.  If basics are flawed one will remain stagnant. The polished footwork works on the court, and proper handling of racket.

The basic skill to learn for badminton is the ready stance, it means before receiving the serve a player must bend knees a little, bend from hip slightly and keep one’s back straight and balance the body. Apart from it the player’s forehand and backhand grip also plays an important role, the player’s index finger must control the racket and thumb should be folded.

There should be loose grip of the on the racket so that the racket is shifted quickly from one hand to other. For the flexibility of the wrist the racket should not be grasped tightly.

>>> Read: A Comprehensive Guide For Badminton Skills & Tactics >>>>>>>>

Strokes in Badminton Play

There isn’t any way to succeed in badminton without learning strokes. There are four different types of strokes played in badminton.

  • The overhead forehand
  • The overhead backhand
  • Underarm forehand
  • Underarm backhand

One must learn these types of strokes to be good at badminton. The attacking stance is also vital in badminton, to attack the player a overhead forehand stroke is played, while playing this stroke one need to generate the power to attack the shuttle.

If one learns attacking stance, one must learn defensive stance too because when one is smashed by the opponent he must defend it comfortably. In badminton net stance is also learnt.

The smash is the key to win the game, there are three types of smashes in badminton, they are forehand smash, backhand smash and jumping smash. The most toughest stroke played in badminton is jumping smash. This smash stroke is hardly defended by any badminton player.

If you aim to score point in deception or to deceive your opponent you need to learn drop shots. Drop shots are also very difficult to be defended because it is played to bring the opponent in the front court where it is difficult to hit it back.

The inverted U trajectory shot also known as a lob shot is also learnt. This shot is played from the forecourt and often land on the forecourt of the opponent or sometimes near the baseline. This shot is often played to create penalty opportunities for the opponent.

Serving in Badminton

Badminton rules serving

The basic serving rules in badminton are as under.

  • The serves are made diagonally, it is very necessary to serve diagonal
  • The one who serves his feet must be touching the ground.
  • It is also important to have serve below the waist
  • When a side score 11 points before the side are changed, it is necessary for players to change ends after every game.

The serves of Badminton are essential part of game. If the opponent comes near to the net or wants to play an attacking shot play a high serve to move the player to the back of the court.

If you want to bring the opponent under the shuttle play a low serve. While to bewilder your opponent or to confuse the player play a flick serve, it is bit higher than low serve, the opponent will think that you at playing a low serve but flick serve will make you score a point.

Sometimes a player need to play a drive serve, the drive serve is a slow fast serve to the rear of the opponent’s court where opponent usually miss to hit it back.

>>> Read: A Detailed Guide For Serving Rules in Badminton Singles & Doubles >

Scoring System in Badminton

The scoring system of Badminton is very easy;

  • A team which scores 21 points wins the game. Only last two points matters a lot.
  • if both teams reaches 20 points then the team which will score 2 consecutive points will win the match.
  • But if both reaches 29 points then the team which will make next point 30th first shall win the game.
  • Every point is scored after winning a rally.
  • A rally is won when the shuttle you hit drops within the boundaries of your opponent.
  • A rally is also awarded when your opponent commit any badminton fault.
  • It is a rule that the team which wins will serve first in the next game.

The scoring system state that in both singles and doubles game you win the game when you score 21 points before your opponent.

There is concept of deuce in badminton scoring system, it is when the score reaches 20-20. In this condition you need to lead by two points to win the game.

  • The deuces can continue to exist, the maximum points in an official game are 30.
  • If both players or teams deuces at 29-29 then the one who wins next rally wins the game. 30-29 or 29-30

Interval & Change of Ends

Badminton is not played at a stretch, there are short breaks and intervals in badminton which help players to breathe comfortably. In the laws of the badminton it is stated that;

  • When the leading score reaches 11 points there will be a minute or 60 seconds interval.
  • After every game there is two minutes interval.
  • While in the third game players change the ends when the leading score reaches 11 points.

Badminton Fouls

Badminton is a typical game, one need to be careful enough to avoid faults and fouls.

  • If the shuttle hits the player it is a foul in badminton.
  • The net is the dividing line of the court, the athlete’s body must not touch the net, if the body of player touches the net it become a foul.
  • If the shuttlecock falls on the ground before passing over the net, a foul is recorded
  • The racket grasped in athlete’s hand must hit once with shuttle, if shuttle is hit twice through racket it become a foul.

During the game if a player commits faults or fouls, they are charged with penalty or cards are shown by referee. In badminton three different types of cards are shown, they are red card, yellow card and black card.

Yellow card: is not that much heavier as compared to two other cards because yellow card is only shown as a warning to player or a pair if any law of Badminton is violated in the play. But if a player or pair makes subsequent breaches of the laws of Badminton they are charged with red card.

Red card: is not a warning, with the red card the team loses a point scored. While the black card represents disqualification of the player or the pair.

The let is not a penalty nor it cause any damage to player. An umpire plays let where something unusual happen during the game for example if the opponent is not ready to receive the serve and a player serves opponent when is not in position to receive it then the umpire show let.

Badminton Lets

  • A let is also played by umpire when a shuttle from another court interferes the play.
  • If the shuttle breaks during the game, the umpire plays a let.
  • If the couch causes disturbance umpire will play let.
  • When receiver and server commit mistake at the same time, the umpire will play let.

Badminton Singles

For detailed study of refer here Badminton Singles Rules, following are the brief points for understanding The start of the game takes place from zero, there are some laws for the singles in badminton.

The law states that;

  • In singles when the server’s score is even, the server has to serve from the right service court and if the server’s score is odd he will serve from the left service court.
  • In singles if a server wins a rally, a point is scored and he will serve again from the alternate service court.
  • If the receiver wins a rally he will be score a point and will become a new server.

Badminton Doubles

We have given detailed guide about what are badminton rules doubles here, however, for shorter quick overview these are doubles rules in brief

  • In doubles side posses only one set.
  • In doubles the service passes from one player to other consecutively.
  • Like singles, in doubles also if the score is even the server will serve from the right service court and if the score is odd, the server will serve from the left service court.
  • In doubles if the serving side wins the rally, they will be awarded a point and same server will serve again from the alternate service court.
  • Alternatively, if the receiving side wins the rally, receiving side will score a point and will become new serving side.
  • If a side is serving, its players can not change their respective service court until and unless a point is scored.

In doubles this below mentioned formula is applied. As there are four players in a double match. For example a doubles match between A&B against C&D. If A and B won the toss and decided to serve.

Then A will serve to C, the initial server is the A, likewise on the other side C shall be the initial server. Before any point is scored all players will continue to stay in the respective service court.


Badminton is the game of tactics and skills. It is a game in which one find many rules and regulations. One who aspire to be a badminton player has to learn basics of Badminton and all essential skills.

There is a server and receiver in this game, both server and receiver stand diagonally at the beginning of game in opposite service courts. The server hits the shuttlecock and receiver hit it back and if shuttlecock falls in the service court a point is scored. The team scoring 21 points first wins the game and if both teams reach 20-20,it is called a deuce. In this case game continues till one side gains a two points lead such as 24-22, the maximum points limit in badminton is 30.


Following Sources were sought during our research for Badminton Rules

  1. Wikipedia Badminton
  2. World Badminton Federation
  3. World Badminton

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