Agility, hand-power, and hand-eye coordination. If you’re a good badminton player, you’re good at these skills. Badminton is one of the fast-paced sports recognized as an Olympic event in the 1992 Barcelona games. There are two primary categories – singles and doubles badminton. India has aced the game of badminton producing some of the finest shuttlers in the world, both men and women. PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, Pullela Gopichand, Prakash Padukone, Srikanth Kidambi and the list of world-class Indian badminton players goes on. KreedOn brings you a complete guide to how to play badminton step by step guide, the game, rules, and tricks.
Badminton court dimensions
The measurements of a badminton court differ for singles and doubles. For both categories, the length of the court is 44 feet but the width is 17 feet for singles and 20 feet for doubles. The extension in width is done by adding a side box of 1.5 feet each at the lateral sides. The net bisects the whole court into two equal parts and each part has a front service line and back service line. The area between these lines is longitudinally divided into two by a mid-service line.
How to play badminton rules
Singles badminton is an individual event where two players go head-to-head for three games. The player winning two games first will win the match and winning a game requires 21 points. The match starts after a coin toss to decide who serves first and which court each player should be playing at, though they will shift the courts after each game. In the third set, players shift ends after any one of them scores 11 points so that fairness is maintained. The first shot of a rally is called a serve. The serve should always be an underarm shot delivered diagonally to the other court starting below the waist height of the player. The winner of a rally earns one point along with the next serve.
As mentioned earlier, the mid-service line divides the court into two. The point system is set up in a way that every time when the point becomes an even number, the following serve should be delivered from the right side of the mid-service line and when it becomes an odd number, the serve is given from the left side. The opponent wins a point if:
- The shuttlecock lands inside your court
- The shuttlecock hit any part of your body
- You hit the cock more than once with the racket
- Your shot goes outside the entire court
A major rule while serving is that the shuttlecock should fall past the front service line on the diagonal court of the other end. If not, the point would be given to the opposition. The rally continues even if the cock hits the top of the net and moves towards the other court. After each game, a 2-minute interval is provided and after any of the players reach 11 points in a game, both players can take a break of one minute.
This is a team event. Two pairs of shuttlers battle each other in a three-game match where each game requires the same 21 points. Doubles badminton is a modified version of singles badminton with a few differences in rules.
- After every point, the team earned it should switch across the mid-service line. The odd-even pattern of serve positions applies in doubles as well.
- In doubles, you can only serve to the area between the front and back service lines of the respective court. Any serve falling ahead of the front line or beyond the backline is considered as a fault and a point would be given to the opposite side.
- If a team gains a point from a rally served by the opposition, they don’t have to change the courts. The shift only happens when the team serving gains a point in the same rally.
If both the players/teams are tied at 20 points, the first to take two consecutive points wins the match. This goes till they tie at 29, where the first to take to 30th point wins. This particular rule is applicable for both singles and doubles.
How to play badminton: Fouls
- Badminton players need to hit the shuttle only from their side of the court only.
- Players are not allowed to touch the net.
- If the racket of a player landed on the opposing team’s side, it’s a foul.
- The shuttle should never touch a player’s body.
- In the doubles match, the shuttle shouldn’t touch a player or his racket or his clothing before his teammate touches it.
- Both the feet of a player should be in contact with the ground while receiving & serving.
How to play badminton: Scoring System
- A standard badminton match consists of 3 games of 21 points. The player to first win 2 games wins the match.
- The side which wins a rally adds a point to its score tally.
- At a score of 20-20, the side that succeeds in gaining a 2 point lead first, wins the game.
- At 29-29, the side that scores the 30th point wins that game.
- The side that wins a game serves first in the following game.
How to play badminton like a pro: Tips and Tricks
Badminton is one of the best leisure sports. Children and old adults play badminton to maintain fitness and flexibility. But for competitive events, a professional mindset is important. These are some of the tips and tricks to play badminton on a higher level.
1. Practice the footwork: You might think it’s a game to run around the court but it’s not. A professional badminton player doesn’t just run around, they do calculated footwork and practice it to reach all corners of the court. Speed is important but what’s even more important is the balance to return to a stationary position after reaching any corner.
2. The wrist is the key: The wrists are your magic wand. For an experienced player, the arm is predominantly used for deception where the wrist actually directs the shuttlecock.
3. Reach the cock as soon as you can: The faster you send the cock to the other court, the harder it gets for your opponent to find their balance. In this game, the difference between aggressive play and defensive play is a matter of milliseconds.
4. The serve is an opportunity for a head start: Your serve might earn you or lose you points within seconds. A good service would either pass close to the net or travel to a far precise corner.
5. Exploit the backhand: One of the toughest skills to master in badminton is the backhand. The player is forced to go for a backhand shot when the cock is moving to the far end of your weaker side (the side opposite to your strong hand). Some players are exceptional with this skill but it takes them out of their center and shape and you can take advantage with a deceptive slice or powerful smash.
6. Understanding between the partners: A crucial factor in any team sport. The more you practice and play along with your partner, the more you’ll understand each other and that really helps in avoiding confusion and most importantly, the smooth movement within the court.
7. Meet it high: It’s always good to meet the cock as high as possible to find a great angle and trajectory for your shot.
8. Enjoy the creativity: Deception and fake moves are a part of professional badminton. It’s also a part of enjoying the game. Use your creativity and don’t bother about the consequences much. Try out new things because after all, it’s also fun.
9. Always hit the center of the shuttlecock: To have a better accuracy & control over the shot, a player should always focus & practice to hit the shuttle from the center of the racket,