Badminton rules

Badminton rules have been honed over centuries of play and govern the sport in a fashion designed to promote fairness and efficiency. Some common laws of badminton are as follows:


Occurring before the match proper, the winner of the toss, or the opening volley, has the choice of serving choosing which part of the court they’ll play on, meaning the loser has the other choice. The victor of the opening game of the match serves first in the subsequent game.


A winning score in badminton is 21, which recently replaced an older system where it took fewer points to win. A player must win by two points unless the score reaches 30-29. The winner of a badminton match is the one who wins the best of three games.

Receiving Courts

A player serves and receives in the right service court if the player or their opponent have scored an even number of points at that juncture of the game. A player serves and receives in the left service court if the player or their opponent has scored an odd number of points at that juncture of the game. The shuttle is volleyed back and forth until a fault is committed or the shuttle has exited the field of play.


Faults can occur for a wide variety of reasons, including improper shuttle contact, improper shuttle landing, improper player contact, player misconduct, or double hits.


Lets can be called for a variety of reasons, including if a shuttle is caught on top of or in the net, if both players fault, if a player is unready for a serve, if officials are unable to make a ruling decision, if a shuttle falls apart, or if there is a service court error.


Points are scored if a serve lands on the opponent’s court without being volleyed back or if the opponent returns a volley outside of the field of play. The player who gains the point retains the serve until it is broken by the opponent.

Service Court Errors

A service court error has been committed if a player has served out of their rotation, if a player has served from the wrong court, or if a player is standing on the wrong court while receiving a serve. Service court errors can only be enforced if discovered prior to the next serve. If the error is discovered and it both sides committed it, a “let” will result. If the offending player won the rally, it shall also be a ‘let’. If the offending player lost the rally, the error is null.