Badminton Rules

Scoring system and service 

Interval and Change of Ends

  1. When the team leading reaches 11 points, 60 second (1 minute) interval is given.
  2. 2 minute interval between each game can be taken.
  3. In the third and last game, players change their ends/sides when either team’s/player’s score reaches 11 points. 


At the start of a match, the shuttlecock is transmitted and the side towards which the shuttlecock is pointing serves first. On the other hand, a coin can be tossed, the winners can choose whether to serve or receive first. They can also choose which end/side of the court to occupy.

When the server serves, it ought to be such that the shuttlecock must pass over the short service line on the opponents' court else it will be counted as a fault.

At the start of the rally, the server and receiver stand in diagonally opposite service courts. When the serving side loses a rally, the serve immediately passes to their opponent(s).

Singles: In singles, the order of serve depends on whether the score is odd or even.

  1. The server serves from the right service court when: at the beginning of the first game of match (0-0) and when the server’s score is even.
  2. The server serves from left service court when the server’s score is odd.
  3. When the server wins a rally, he/she scores a point and then serves again from the alternating service court.
  4. The service court can be changed by the servicing side only when he/she scores.


  1. A side has only one ‘service’.
  2. The service passes successively to the players as shown in the diagram.
  3. The rule of serve according to score – odd or even, is similar to that of singles.
  4. When the serving side wins a rally, they score a point and the same server who served last serves again but from the left/right alternate service court.
  5. If the receiving side wins a rally, they score a point and become the new serving side.
  6. An outcome of this system is that, each time a pair regains the service, the server will be the one who did not serve the last time.

In a doubles match between A & B being one pair against C & D, the other pair; suppose A & B wins the toss and decides to serve. A serves to C therefore A shall be the initial server while C shall be the initial receiver.


  • A match consists of the best of 3 games of 21 points each. A player (singles) or pair (doubles) must win two games (of 21 points each) to win the match
  • The side winning a rally adds a point to its score.
  • The side winning a game serves first in the next game.

Each game is played till 21 points, with players scoring a point whenever they win a rally not considering of whether they served.

If the score reaches 20-all both the players have a score of 20, then the game continues until either side gains a two-point lead (such as 24–22), up to a maximum of 30 points (where in 30–29 is the winning score).

In subsequent games, the winners of the previous game serve first. If the receiver wins a rally, the receiver scores a point and becomes the new server.


  1. For the first rally of any doubles game, the serving pair may decide who serves out of the 2 players and the receiving pair may decide who receives out of the 2 players.
  2. The players change ends/sides at the start of the second game- they switch the courts; they again change ends at the start of the third game as well as when the leading pair's score reaches 11 points.

The server and receiver must remain within their respective courts, without touching the boundary lines or stepping out of the boundary lines, till the time the server strikes the shuttlecock. The remaining two players may stand wherever they want, but should not block the vision of neither the server nor the receiver.


Lets may occur because of some unexpected disturbance such as a shuttlecock landing on court (having been hit there by players on a neighboring court) or in small halls the shuttle may touch an overhead bar/rail/roof can be referred to as a let. If a let is called, the rally is stopped and replayed with no change to the score.

A let thus can be referred to as a stop in the rally due to unexpected disturbances.

If the receiver is not ready to take the shot when the service is delivered, a let shall be called; yet, if the receiver attempts to return the shuttlecock, he shall be judged to have been ready and if he misses the shot, it will be counted as a score of the opponent (server).