|Rules and Regulations|
Doubles and Singles:
Badminton can be played by two or four players. In a singles, two single players (two men or two women) play against each other. A doubles consists of two opposing pairs of players. There are ladies' doubles (two pairs of ladies playing against each other), men's doubles (two pairs of two men playing against each other) and mixed doubles (two pairs consisting of one man and one woman playing against each other). The game therefore has five disciplines: ladies' singles, ladies' doubles, men's singles, men's doubles, and mixed doubles.
In normal play, the court is 13.40m long and 5.10m (singles) or 6.10m (doubles) wide. The height of the net is 1.524m over the centre of the court, but 1.55m over the side lines of the doubles court.
The singles court always covers the full length of the court, from base line to base line, both in normal play and for the service. Similarly, singles are always played on the narrow court.
Doubles are always played on the wide court. During a rally, the base line at the back of the court marks the end of the court. However, a doubles service must be played into the short service court, marked by the doubles service line 80 centimetres before the base line.
At the beginning of each match, a toss is made to determine which side serves first. The winner of the toss can chose whether to make the first service of the match or whether to return first, thus leaving the first service to the opponent. The side that lost the toss can then chose on which end of the court he/she/they want to start.
Alternatively, the side that wins the toss may also choose to select the end of the curt on which he/she/they want(s) to start. The right to decide who makes the first service in the match then goes to the side that lost the toss.
A badminton match commonly consists of up to three sets. The side that first reaches 21 points wins a set (exception: when there is no two-point difference - see below). The side that first wins two sets wins the match. A third set is played if, after two sets, both sides have won one each.
After each set, the sides change ends. A short break of up to 90 seconds can be made between sets and in the middle of each set, when the first player reaches 11 points. Strictly speaking, the players may not leave the court during the break, but coaching is allowed.
A rally is won by one side if it plays the shuttle in such a way that it cannot be returned by the opponents and hits the ground inside the opponent's court (including on the lines), if the opponent's return does not cross the net or if the opponent's return hits the ground outside the court boundaries. Furthermore, a side wins the rally if:
The basic scoring rules are:
Every service, in singles and doubles, must be played across the front service line, nearly 2 metres away from the net, and always into the diagonally opposite service court. Each side has one service (in singles and in doubles). If the serving side's score is even, the service must be played from the right service court, if it is odd, from the left service court. The first service (at 0-0) is always played from the right service court.
If the serving side scores a point, it keeps the service and starts the next rally with a new service from the left or right service court, depending on whether its score is odd or even. If the returning side scores a point, it also wins the right to serve. This principle applied to singles as well as to doubles matches.
In singles, the position of the serving player is easy to ascertain as it always and only depends on whether the serving player's score is odd (left service court) or even (right service court).
In doubles, a little more care needs to be taken as the two players of a side take it in turns to serve. Again, the service court from which the service is played depends on whether the score is odd (left) or even (right). If the side of the serving player scores a point, the player keeps the right to serve and moves to the other service court for the next service. This procedure continues until the returning side wins a point. In this case, they also win the right to serve, but they do not change service courts at that point. Service courts are only changed by the serving side.
Example: A and B play against C and D. A and C start the set on their respective right service courts, B and D on the left service courts. At 0-0, A plays the first service from the right service court. C is the returning player. If A and B win the rally, they score a point and lead 1-0. A then moves to the left service court (and B, by implication, to the right one). C and D remain where they are. At 1-0, A serves again, this time from the left. C and D win the rally and score a point. However, as they did not serve in this rally, they do not change service courts. At a score of 1-1, their score is odd and therefore D, being the player on the left service court, wins the right to serve. D then serves to A and C and D win another point. They therefore change service courts and D continues to serve, this time from the right hand side, at a score of 2-1. If A and B win the next rally, they equalise and win back the right to serve without changing service courts. A is now on the left service court and the side's score is even (2-2), therefore B wins the right to serve (from the right service court).