Playing a sport without knowing the rules limits the ability of play. Knowing the most basic rules of Badminton before playing is a big must.

It is the Badminton World Federation (BWF) who lays down in detail the laws of Badminton.

Each player is expected to follow and abide these rules.


Most basic rules of Badminton


The obvious:


Let’s break down the absolute basics. Badminton is a sport that is played between two player (singles) or four players (doubles). The idea is for a player to score by points against his opponent by hitting a great shot or by forcing his/her opponent to make errors. Once the shuttle falls on the floor of the player, he/she loses the point.

Typically, each match lasts 21 points. In a professional/ tournament setting a best of 3 matches is played.



A game starts with a service. Hence, it becomes one of the most important shots in Badminton. But there are some rules a player must follow before serving. These rules are:


The service starts from the even side of the court (that is the right side of the court).

While serving, the player needs to make sure that no part of his leg/shoe is touch any of the lines.

Serving above the waist is considered a fault.

In singles, a service till second base line is allowed, whereas in doubles, anything beyond the first base line is considered out.

While serving, the player must serve in one smooth action. He/she can’t stop his/her service mid way.

If the shuttle hits the net and falls on the opponent’s side of the court but before the service line, the opponent gets the point.

During the entirety of the service, the server’s legs must be planted on the ground. The server may lift just his/her heel or ankle during serve, but cannot drags his/her feet.





To start the rally, a good return of service is expected. There are some things a receiver should keep in mind while receiving service:


He/she can’t move before the server contacts the shuttle.

He/she can’t make gestures to distract the server.

The shuttle should not touch any part of the receiver’s body before he/she hits the shuttle




Each match should consist of 21 points

Every time a service ends, the player/ his opponent gets a point

In the event the score reaches 20 all, a difference of 2 points is played.

If the score reaches 29-29, then the player(s) to reach 30 first, win.



Basic singles rules:


There are some rules in singles that differ from doubles. The main difference is area of play. Let’s look at the basic rules of singles:


The side lines in singles is out at all times; even during service.

The back box is considered in during service, i.e in-between the two base lines.

Besides the above service rules and area of play rules, all rules listed above apply.


Basic doubles rules:


As mentioned earlier there are just a few differences in the singles and doubles rules. They are:


Area of play for doubles is the full court.

However, for service, the back box, i.e in between the two baselines is considered out.

You can serve within the sidelines as well.

If the server’s side loses the point, the service will get transferred to the opponents. There is no second serve.

Besides the above service rules and area of play rules, all rules listed above apply.




Faults are errors in a game that are not allowed. If a player makes a fault, he/she will lose the point. The opponent will gain a point and the service. Besides the service faults listed above, some of the faults are:


At any time during play a person hits the net, he/she will lose the point.

If during play, the shuttle hits touches a player’s body, they will lose the point.

Hitting the shuttle twice is not allowed

Once the shuttle has landed on the ground, it cannot be played. The point will be given to the winning side.

If the shuttle hits the ceiling, it is a fault.

In doubles, if the shuttle nicks/ slightly touches the racket/ body of one player, his/her partner cannot attempt to send the shuttle back. This is considered a fault.




The above stated laws are the most basic rules in Badminton. Knowing the rules is a definite advantage as it saves you from losing precious points during the game. Not knowing the basic rules gives an upper hand to the opponents.