badminton scoring system

Badminton Scoring System [ Full Explanation ]

The badminton scoring system is fairly simple to understand, even for someone who has never played.

However, there are still some rules that it is important to know to be able to follow a game of badminton without always having to be asking something to anyone who understands the sport.

The rules may also change a bit in some simpler things, depending on whether it is a big tournament or smaller leagues / casual games in practice.

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All About Badminton Scoring System


The game is usually played to the best of 2, that is, the game wins who wins 2 sets.

Each set ends when one of the players reaches 21 points, but there has to be a difference of 2 points between players.

For example, if a set is 21-20, it does not end immediately, it as to be 22-20 to finish.

If the opponent scores a point and gets 21-21, one of the players has to gain a 2-point advantage, getting 23 and always doing so, but there is one exception.

If the set is 29-29, whoever can reach the first 30 wins, without a difference of 2 points.

This is to prevent longer games from continuing indefinitely, which could disrupt a tournament’s schedule and also increase the risk of injury to one of the players because of the exhaustion that is building up.

badminton game mans

Game Parts and Divisions

As we have said, a game is divided by sets, and up to 3 sets can be played if the game gets 1-1 in sets.

When a player reaches 11 points there is a pause of up to 60 seconds (casual games or leagues this pause may not be made if both players decide to continue immediately) and between sets there is a pause of up to 2 minutes.

When a set is finished, the players change fields and in the 3rd set, if the game needs it, players change sides when one of the players reaches 11 points, thus balancing the game and eliminate the side of the field as an advantage factor.

Start of the Game

In a bigger tournament, a coin toss is done and the service belongs to who wins the launch.

In a casual or minor league game, the shuttle is usually launched into the air or against the net and begins to serve the player on the side to which the shuttle’s head is pointing.

In some cases, it may be a little different and whoever wins the launch choose whether to start serving or receiving the service.

badminton service doubles

If you still do not know, the field side where both players are in the service is defined by the number of points the player is serving.

If it is an even number the player is on the right side and serves to the right side of the opponent, if it is odd, the reverse happens. Since 0 is an even number, both start from the right (the service always has to be crossed).

To know more about services in badminton and its rules just click on the previous link.

Purpose of the Game and Most Common Faults

There are things that can make the player lose the point, some of them are:

  • Do not serve into the opponent’s service area on your diagonal;
  • Send the shuttle directly off the field;
  • If in a service you are stepping on one of the boundary lines;
  • The impact point with the shuttle in your service is higher than the waistline (beginning of the ribcage);
  • Shuttle hits the net and does not fall in the opponent’s court (falling on your half or off the court);
  • Double touch or “hold” the shuttle in your racket, this being considered holding the shuttle;
  • Have the shuttle engage in something external to the court (the ceiling is the most frequent element in this rule);
  • Etc…

As you can see, many of these rules are quite intuitive and you can easily understand why.

badminton drive

[Extra] Serves in Doubles

In this case, at the beginning of the game, both doubles decide who will perform and who will receive the first service.

While the duo holds the point, that person will serve, for example, in the double Anne/Marie, Anne begins to serve and they won the points, staying 1-0, she continues to serve, this time from the left, stays 2-0, go to the right and makes the serve.

The opposing double wins the point and the game stays 2-1 and will serve who started on the left (the player who did not receive the service) for Marie who was on the odd side (because Anne served when they had 2 points).

The pair Anne/Marie wins the point stays 3-1 and who will serve this time is Marie and always so.

All other rules in terms of who serves and rotations are equal to what you know of singles games.

And then, you know more about the badminton scoring system, how it works, some faults, etc …?

Please leave a comment or comment on any comments you may have after reading the article.


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