Badminton Rules For Beginners

Badminton is a relatively easy game to understand, but here are a few of the basic rules to help a beginner get to grips with the game.

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How to play badminton

  • Badminton is played on a court by either two players (singles) or four players (doubles).
  • Players use rackets to hit a shuttlecock over the net from one side to the other, the object being to score points by hitting the shuttle over the net to so that it lands in the other player’s side of the court before they hit it.
  • Points are also awarded when your opponent hits the shuttle outside of the court or fails to clear the net.

Serves and points

  • Serves should be diagonal across the court to count and should always be hit from below the waist.
  • Matches generally consist of best of three game format with the first player/team to reach 21 points winning the set.
  • If the scores are tied at 20 all, then the player/team to gain two clear points ahead of their opponent will win the game.
  • The side who wins the game then goes on to serve first in the next game.

Badminton court size

  • The court size will depends on whether a game of singles or doubles is being played.
  • The singles court is 13.4m (43.9ft) long, 5.18m (17ft) wide and divided in half by the net, which should be 1.5m (4.9ft) high from the surface of the court.
  • In doubles, the area of play is larger due the addition of the 1.4m (4.6ft) 'alleys' along either side of the court, therefore increasing the width to 6.1m (20ft).