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Home >> Basic Rules for Playing Badminton

Basic Rules for Playing Badminton

Like any sport, badminton has a set of rules that players must follow. While the game itself is not difficult to play, understanding the rules will allow for better matches. This is especially true if you plan to play in competition. Even if you only ever plan to play badminton leisurely, having an understanding of the rules will allow for streamlined playing. Badminton is similar to tennis in that teams can play singularly or in doubles.


The bird - also known as the shuttlecock - is the main playing piece in a game of badminton. To score, it is necessary for a player to hit the bird over the net, without having it returned to them. If the opposing player commits a fault or returns the bird so that it falls out of bounds, the serving team will receive a point as well. Players are not able to hit the bird more than a single time before it is returned over the net.

In order to win a game, the player must win by two points. If the game is tied, scoring a single point will not end the game. Rather, the player must get two consecutive points in a row for the game to end.

Scoring is done in two formats - the 15 point game and the 21 point game. Each game is slightly different in terms of how the game ends, but the basics remain the same.


To begin the game, one player or team starts off by serving. The game starts with the first serve being hit from the right side of the court. The bird is hit in a diagonal motion into the opposite side of the badminton court. If the opposing player fails to return the bird or returns it out of bounds, the server gains a point, as explained above. If the player loses the rally, however, it is the opponents turn to serve the bird. If the score is odd, the opponent will serve from the left side of the court. If the score is even, he serves from the right side.

In order for a serve to be considered a legit serve, the bird must be hit from below the server's waist. In addition, both feet must remain on the ground.


There are several ways that a fault can occur. If the bird, for example, gets stuck in the net or passes through or under the net, a fault is called. A player fault can also occur. This happens when the player comes in contact with the net or ends up crossing over into the opponent's side.


A let is a simple way of replaying a point should the bird get caught on or in the net after the serve has been returned.