The Laws of Badminton and Competition Regulations in the BWF Statutes provide the detail on every aspect of the game of badminton.
Below is a brief overview - simplified rules.
- A match consists of the best of 3 games of 21 points.
- Every time there is a serve – there is a point scored.
- The side winning a rally adds a point to its score.
- At 20 all, the side which gains a 2 point lead first, wins that game.
- At 29 all, the side scoring the 30th point, wins that game.
- The side winning a game serves first in the next game.
Interval and Change of Ends
- When the leading score reaches 11 points, players have a 60 second interval.
- A 2 minute interval between each game is allowed.
- In the third game, players change ends when the leading score reaches 11 points.
- At the beginning of the game (0-0) and when the server’s score is even, the server serves from the right service court. When the server’s score is odd, the server serves from the left service court.
- If the server wins a rally, the server scores a point and then serves again from the alternate service court.
- If the receiver wins a rally, the receiver scores a point and becomes the new server. They serve from the appropriate service court – left if their score is odd, and right if it is even.
- A side has only one ‘service’.
- The service passes consecutively to the players as shown in the diagram.
- At the beginning of the game and when the score is even, the server serves from the right service court. When it is odd, the server serves from the left court.
- If the serving side wins a rally, the serving side scores a point and the same server serves again from the alternate service court.
- If the receiving side wins a rally, the receiving side scores a point. The receiving side becomes the new serving side.
- The players do not change their respective service courts until they win a point when their side is serving.
If players commit an error in the service court, the error is corrected when the mistake is discovered.
In a doubles match between A & B against C & D. A & B won the toss and decided to serve. A to serve to C. A shall be the initial server while C shall be the initial receiver.
Course of action / Explanation
Service from Service Court
Server & Receiver
Winner of the rally
Note that this means:
- The order of server depends on the score odd or even same as in singles.
- The service courts are changed by the servicing side only when a point is scored. In all other cases, the players continue to stay in their respective service court from where they played previous rally. This shall guarantee alternate server.