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How to play badminton singles and doubles

How to Play Badminton Singles and Doubles

Badminton is the fastest racket sport that involves two or four players hitting a shuttlecock to and fro over a net on a surface of specified dimensions. If you are curious about how to play badminton, you need to know the rules and scoring systems of badminton.

How to Play Badminton: Minimum Requirements

First, you have to arrange a badminton court. The size of a badminton court is 44 ft (13.40 m) X 20 ft (6.1 m). For the singles game, the width reduces to 17 ft (5.18 m).

You need the minimum following basic equipment to play badminton.

  1. Badminton Racket: A badminton racket has a frame made of different materials like steel, and graphite. The frame has a strung surface attached to a head that serves the purpose to hit the shuttle.
  2. Shuttlecock: Unlike other racket sports, in badminton, a shuttlecock is used instead of a ball. A shuttlecock has 16 feathers fixed at the base of the cork which creates high drag force in the air and swings differently from a ball.
  3. Net: A badminton net divides the court into two equal parts. The net is tied with the posts placed on the doubles sideline.

How to Play Badminton Singles

Service area for the singles game in badminton when the server has an even numbers of points
The service area for singles when the server has an even number of points
The service area for singles when the server has an odd number of points
The service area for singles when the server has an odd number of points

For singles, you need one player as your opponent. The match opens with a toss. The player who wins the toss decides either to serve first or a particular side to start the match.

The server serves from the right service court to his/her opponent standing on the diagonally opposite service court. The server should hit the shuttle in an underarm action within a height of 1.15 m.

The receiver tries to return the shuttlecock to land on the right area of the court. If the return is right, the server and receiver get involved in a rally. The rally continues till any of the players commits a fault by landing the shuttlecock outside the court or by obstructing the shuttle against the net. The player who wins the rally earns one point.

What are the Service Rules for Singles?

  • The server and the receiver stand within the diagonally opposite service courts without touching the boundary lines. After service, the shuttlecock must land on the diagonally opposite service court.
  • The shuttlecock must land on the area within the short service line and back boundary line and also within the singles service line and the centerline.
  • When there is no score or even number of points, both the server and receiver stand on the right service court. For odd numbers of points, both of them stand on the left service court.

How to Score in Badminton

  • In badminton, a game starts with both players standing on the right service court. If the server wins the rally, he earns a point and moves to the left service court and if the receiver wins the point, he moves to the left court to serve.
  • If the shuttle lands on the marking line, it is a valid service or return.
  • A game consists of 21 points. The player who reaches 21 points first, wins the game.
  • If the game arrives at 20-20, a 2-point lead is a must to win the game.
  • If the game arrives at 29 points, the player wins the 30th point, wins the game.
  • The side winning a game serves first in the next game.
  • A match consists of 3 games and the player who wins 2 games, wins the match.

What are the Faults in Badminton?

These are the conditions when it counts as a fault in badminton.

  • If the server fails to place the shuttlecock within the service area.
  • The receiver fails to land the shuttle within the marking of the court.
  • If the shuttle obstructs the net and does not reach the other side.
  • If any player hits the shuttle twice in succession.
  • The shuttle touches the body or the dress of a player.
  • If any player touches the net with his racket, dress, or in person.
  • If any player invades his opponent’s court over the net with a racket or in person.

How to Play Badminton Doubles

Doubles in badminton

In a doubles match, 4 players are involved and each team consists of 2 players. There are some variations in service rules in doubles than in the singles. The court size is different in doubles against the singles. The service area is also different.  

Service Rules for Doubles

The service area for the doubles game in badminton when the server has an even number of points
The service area for doubles when the server has an even number of points
The service area for doubles when the server has an odd number of points
The service area for doubles when the server has an odd number of points
  • The member of the team who serves first stands on the right service court (As the point is 0) and his partner stands anywhere within the court without obstructing the view of the receiver.
  • The receiving member of the other team stands on the right service court with his partner standing anywhere within the court.
  • If the server wins the rally, he moves to the left court to continue serving. But if he fails, the other team wins the point and the opponent member gets the chance for serving from the left court (As 1 is the odd point)
  • The position of the players remains the same except for the server who will move to the other side of the court if he wins the point.
  • Any member of the team can hit the shuttle during a rally.
  • In doubles, a player and his partner can’t hit the shuttle successively.

Check my detailed review of the rules in badminton for a better understanding.

Tips to Play Badminton Better

  1. Warm up and prepare yourself ready before the game.
  2. Grip the racket properly.
  3. Hit at the center of the base of the shuttlecock.
  4. Judge the flight of the shuttle carefully which is wobble in nature.
  5. Hit the shuttlecock at the top of the arc.
  6. Hit the shuttle to place it on the backhand side of your opponent.
  7. Practice short and long serve.
  8. Don’t smash frequently, rather try to place the shuttle more at the back of the court.
  9. Jump before you smash.
  10. Always come back to the center of the court after playing any return and prepare for the next shot.
  11. Read the opponent’s game precisely and try to force him to play to your strong side.
  12. Plan for A, B, and C. If A does not work switch over to B, then C, or vice-versa. 

If you like videos, check the nice visual explanation on “How to play badminton” from Howcast.

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