Rules of Badminton | How it is Played?

Badminton is a pretty similar game to tennis, except the fact it requires less space and easier to play. The game has been around since the 16th century and is quite popular in Asian countries such as Pakistan, China, India and Malaysia. The game requires fitness and agility to compete against the best of the games.

Rules of Badminton

Object of Playing Badminton

It is not played with a tennis ball but a shuttlecock which has to be hit over the net and your opponent has to do the same. Points are won in this fashion, everytime you send the shuttlecock in your opponent’s half he has to return it and if he fails to do so, you get a point.

How to Play?

Badminton can be played as single and doubles as well. Both players/ teams have their own halves divided by a net set at a certain height. Using their rackets, players hit the shuttlecock in their opponent’s half and everytime he misses it or commits a foul they get a point.

It is important to learn common types of fouls and rules of the game before you start playing Badminton. Read out our detailed guide on rules of Badminton to imitate professional games.

General Rules of Badminton

  • Both the teams or players have their own halves.
  • To score a point, a shuttle must fall within the parameters of the opponent’s half.
  • If the shuttle hits the net or goes out of the opponent’s half, the opponent gets a point.
  • If the serve goes out or you don’t serve rightly, your opponent gets a point – no second serve.
  • If a player hits the net with any part of the body or cloth, the opponent gets a point.
  • If the referee feels a player is intentionally trying to distract his opponent, he can call the “fault” and give one point to the opponent.
  • If players keep breaking the rules despite warnings, then the referee can deem the opponent as the winner of the set or even the match.
  • Every foul or violation results in a point for the opponent.

Scoring in Badminton

The first to score 21 points in a set wins the set and to win the game, you have to win 2 sets out of 3 or if the number of sets are more than 3, the one who wins the most sets is declared as the winner.


A coin toss takes place to determine who will get the first serve or which half of the court you want to have. Winner of the toss gets the chance to make one choice, either serve first or choose the side.

Badminton Court

A badminton court is usually rectangular and divided into two by a net. The width of the court is approximately 5-6 meters and the service court is marked by a centre line dividing the width of the court. A short service line is also there at a distance of 1.98 metres (6 ft 6 inch) from the net. A typical badminton court’s dimensions are 6.1m by 13.4m.

Duration of a Badminton Game

There is no time limit, the game goes on until one of the players wins the set and the decided number of sets have been played. Each game consists of 3 sets at least, and one set can last for 30-45 minutes. Players get 90 seconds rest after the first game and 5 minutes rest after the second.

Equipments in Badminton

A badminton game is played with a racket, a shuttlecock and a net in between the two halves.

Racket: Badminton rackets are usually light in weight and weigh below 100 grams. The frame can be steel, alumunium, carbon or ceramic made or a combination of some of these. The maximum racket length allowed is 680mm in overall length and 230 mm in overall width.

Shuttlecock: A typical tennis shuttlecock bears a weight of 4.75 to 5.50 grams and 16 feathers, each measuring 70mm in length.

Net: A badminton net is usually 5 feet and 1 inch high.

Referee’s Role

Every game is supervised by a referee whose job is to give unbiased judgments and fouls.

Famous Badminton Tournaments

Some of the major badminton tournaments are:

  • Olympic Games
  • World Championships
  • BWF World Tour Finals
  • BWF World Tour Super 1000, in 3 locations; England, Indonesia, and China.

Governing Body for Badminton

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) is the international governing body founded in 1943 and has more than 150 member nations around the world. The head office of the federation is located in Kualalumpur, Malaysia.