The Laws of Badminton
- Player: Any person playing Badminton.
- Match: The basic contest in Badminton between opposing sides each of
one or two players.
- Singles: A match where there is one player on each of the opposing
- Doubles: A match where there are two players on each of the opposing
- Serving side: The side having the right to serve.
- Receiving side: The side opposing the serving side.
- Rally: A sequence of one or more strokes starting with the service,
until the shuttle ceases to be in play.
- Stroke: A movement of the player’s racket with an intention to hit
The Laws of Badminton
- COURT AND COURT EQUIPMENT
1.1. The court shall be a rectangle marked out with lines 40 mm
wide as shown in Diagram A.
1.2. The lines marking out the court shall be easily
distinguishable and preferably be coloured white or yellow.
1.3. All the lines shall form part of the area which they
1.4. The posts shall be 1.55 metres in height from the
surface of the court and shall remain vertical when the net is
strained as provided in Law 1.10.
1.5. The posts shall be placed on the doubles side lines as in Diagram A
irrespective of whether singles or doubles is being played. The posts or its
supports shall not extend into the court beyond the side lines.
1.6. The net shall be made of fine cord of dark colour and even thickness
with a mesh of not less than l5 mm and not more than 20 mm.
1.7. The net shall be 760 mm in depth and at least 6.1 metres wide.
1.8. The top of the net shall be edged with a 75 mm white
tape doubled over a cord or cable running through the tape. This tape
shall rest upon the cord or cable.
1.9. The cord or cable shall be stretched firmly, flush with the top of the
1.10. The top of the net from the surface of the court
shall be 1.524 metres at the centre of the court and 1.55 metres over
the side lines for doubles.
1.11 There shall be no gaps between the ends of the net and the posts.
If necessary, the full depth of the net at the ends shall be tied to the
Note: (1) Diagonal length of full court = 14.723m
Court as shown above can be used for both singles and doubles play
(3) ** Optional testing marks as shown in Diagram B.
2.1 The shuttle shall be made of natural and / or synthetic materials. From
whatever material the shuttle is made, the flight characteristics generally
shall be similar to those produced by a natural feathered shuttle with a cork
base covered by a thin layer of leather.
2.2 Feathered Shuttle
2.2.1 The shuttle shall have
16 feathers fixed in the base.
feathers shall have a uniform length between 62 mm to 70 mm when measured from
the tip to the top of the base.
tips of the feathers shall lie on a circle with a diameter from 58 mm to 68 mm.
2.2.4 The feathers shall be
fastened firmly with thread or other suitable material.
base shall be 25 mm to 28 mm in diameter and rounded on the bottom.
shuttle shall weigh from 4.74 to 5.50 grams.
2.3 Non-Feathered Shuttle
2.3.1 The skirt, or simulation
of feathers in synthetic materials, shall replace natural feathers.
2.3.2 The base shall be as
described in Law 2.2.5.
2.3.3 Measurements and weight
shall be as in Laws 2.2.2, 2.2.3 and 2.2.6. However, because of the difference in the
specific gravity and other properties of synthetic materials in comparison with
feathers, a variation of up to 10 per cent shall be acceptable.
2.4 Subject to there being no variation in the general design, speed and
flight of the shuttle, modifications in the above specifications may be made
with the approval of the Member Association concerned, in places where
atmospheric conditions due to either altitude or climate make the standard
- TESTING A SHUTTLE FOR SPEED
3.1 To test a shuttle, a player shall use a full underhand stroke which makes
contact with the shuttle over the back boundary line. The shuttle shall be hit
at an upward angle and in a direction parallel to the side lines.
3.2 A shuttle of correct speed will land not less than 530 mm and not more
than 990 mm short of the other back boundary line as in Diagram B.
4.1 The racket shall be a frame not exceeding 680 mm in overall length and
230 mm in overall width consisting of the main parts described in Laws 4.1.1 to
4.1.5 as illustrated in Diagram C.
4.1.1 The handle is the part
of the racket intended to be gripped by a player.
4.1.2 The stringed area is the
part of the racket with which it is intended that a player hits the shuttle.
4.1.3 The head bounds the
4.1.4 The shaft connects the
handle to the head (subject to Law 4.1.5).
4.1.5 The throat (if present)
connects the shaft to the head.
4.2 The stringed area:
4.2.1 shall be flat and
consist of a pattern of crossed strings either alternately interlaced or bonded
where they cross. The stringing pattern shall be generally uniform and, in
particular, not less dense in the centre than in any other area; and
shall not exceed 280 mm in overall length and 220 mm in overall width. However,
the strings may extend into an area which otherwise would be the throat,
18.104.22.168 the width of the
extended stringed area does not exceed 35 mm; and
22.214.171.124 the overall length of
the stringed area does not then exceed 330 mm.
4.3 The racket:
4.3.1 shall be free of
attached objects and protrusions, other than those used solely and specifically
to limit or prevent wear and tear, or vibration, or to distribute weight, or to
secure the handle by cord to the player's hand, and which are reasonable in
size and placement for such purposes; and
4.3.2 shall be free of any
device that makes it possible for a player to change materially the shape of
- EQUIPMENT COMPLIANCE
The International Badminton Federation shall rule on any question of whether
any racket, shuttle or equipment or any prototype used in the playing of
Badminton complies with the specifications. Such ruling may be undertaken on
the Federation's initiative or on application by any party with a bona fide
interest, including any player, technical official, equipment manufacturer or
Member Association or member thereof.
6.1 Before play commences, a toss shall be conducted and the side winning the
toss shall exercise the choice in either Law 6.1.1 or 6.1.2:
6.1.1 to serve or receive
6.1.2 to start play at one end
of the court or the other.
6.2 The side losing the toss shall then exercise the remaining choice.
- SCORING SYSTEM
7.1 A match shall consist of the best of three games, unless otherwise
arranged ( Part II, Section 1B Appendix 2 and 3).
7.2 A game shall be won by the side which first scores 21 points, except as
provided in Law 7.4 and 7.5.
7.3 The side winning a rally shall add a point to its
score. A side shall win a rally, if the opposing side commits a "fault" or the
shuttle ceases to be in play because it touches the surface of the court inside
the opponent's court.
7.4 If the score becomes 20-all, the side which gains a two
point lead first, shall win that game.
7.5 If the score becomes 29-all, the side scoring the 30th
point shall win that game.
7.6 The side winning a game shall serve first in the next game.
- CHANGE OF ENDS
8.1 Players shall change ends:
8.1.1 at the end of the first
8.1.2 at the end of the second
game, if there is to be a third game; and
8.1.3 in the third game when a
side first scores 11 points.
8.2 If the ends are not changed as indicated in Law 8.1, it shall be done so as soon as the mistake
is discovered and when the shuttle is not in play. The existing score shall
9.1 In a correct service:
neither side shall cause undue delay to the delivery of the service once the
server and the receiver are ready for the service. On completion of the
backward movement of server's racket head, any delay in the start of the
service (Law 9.2),
shall be considered to be an undue delay;
server and the receiver shall stand within diagonally opposite service courts
A) without touching the boundary lines of these service courts;
part of both feet of the server and the receiver shall remain in contact with
the surface of the court in a stationary position from the start of the service
(Law 9.2) until the service is delivered (Law 9.3);
server's racket shall initially hit the base of the shuttle;
whole shuttle shall be below the server's waist at the instant of being hit by
the server's racket. The waist shall be considered to be an imaginary line
round the body, level with the lowest part of the server's bottom rib;
shaft and the racket head of the server's racket at the instant of hitting the
shuttle shall be pointing in a downward direction;
movement of the server's racket shall continue forwards from the start of the
service (Law 9.2)
until the service is delivered (Law 9.3);
flight of the shuttle shall be upwards from the server's racket to pass over the
net so that, if not intercepted, it shall land in the receiver's service court
(i.e. on or within the boundary lines); and
attempting to serve, the server shall not miss the shuttle.
9.2 Once the players are ready for the service, the first
forward movement of the server's racket head shall be the start of the service.
9.3 Once started (Law 9.2), the service is delivered when the shuttle
is hit by the server's racket or, in attempting to serve, the server misses the
9.4 The server shall not serve before the receiver is
ready. However, the receiver shall be considered to have been ready if a return
of the service is attempted.
9.5 In doubles, during the delivery of service (Law 9.2, 9.3), the partners may take up any positions
within their respective courts, which do not unsight the opposing server or
10.1 Serving and receiving courts
10.1.1 The players shall serve
from, and receive in, their respective right service courts when the server has
not scored or has scored an even number of points in that game.
10.1.2 The players shall serve
from, and receive in, their respective left service courts when the server has
scored an odd number of points in that game.
10.2 Order of play and position on court.
In a rally, the shuttle
may be hit by the server and the receiver alternately, from any position on
that player's side of the net, until the shuttle ceases to be in play (Law 15).
10.3 Scoring and serving
10.3.1 If the server wins a
rally (Law 7.3),
the server shall score a point. The server shall then serve again from the
alternate service court.
10.3.2 If the receiver wins a
rally (Law 7.3),
the receiver shall score a point. The receiver shall then become the new server.
11.1 Serving and receiving courts
11.1.1 A player of the serving
side shall serve from the right service court when the serving side has not
scored or has scored an even number of points in that game.
11.1.2 A player of the serving
side shall serve from the left service court when the serving side has scored
an odd number of points in that game.
11.1.3 The player of the
receiving side who served last shall stay in the same service court from where
he served last. The reverse pattern shall apply to the receiver's partner.
11.1.4 The player of the
receiving side standing in the diagonally opposite service court to the server
shall be the receiver.
11.1.5 The players shall not
change their respective service courts until they win a point when their side is
11.1.6 Service in any turn of
serving shall be delivered from the service court corresponding to the serving
side's score, except as provided in Law 12.
11.2 Order of play and position on court
After the service is
returned, in a rally, the shuttle may be hit by either player of the serving
side and either player of the receiving side alternately, from any position on
that player's side of the net, until the shuttle ceases to be in play (Law 15).
11.3 Scoring and serving
11.3.1 If the serving side
wins a rally (Law 7.3), the serving side shall score a point. The
server shall then serve again from the alternate service court.
11.3.2 If the receiving side
wins a rally (Law 7.3), the receiving side shall score a point.
The receiving side shall then become the new serving side.
11.4 Sequence of serving
In any game, the right to serve shall pass
11.4.1 from the initial server
who started the game from the right service court
11.4.2 to the partner of the
11.4.3 to the partner of the
11.4.4 to the initial
11.4.5 to the initial server
and so on.
11.5 No player shall serve or receive out of turn, or receive two consecutive
services in the same game, except as provided in Law 12.
11.6 Either player of the winning side may serve first in the next game, and
either player of the losing side may receive first in the next game.
- SERVICE COURT ERRORS
12.1 A service court error has been made when a player:
12.1.1 has served or received
out of turn; or
12.1.2 has served or received
from the wrong service court;
12.2 If a service court error is discovered, the error shall be corrected and
the existing score shall stand.
It shall be a "fault":
13.1 if a service is not correct (Law 9.1);
13.2 if, in service, the shuttle:
13.2.1 is caught on the net
and remains suspended on its top;
13.2.2 after passing over the
net, is caught in the net; or
13.2.3 is hit by the
13.3 if in play, the shuttle:
13.3.1 lands outside the
boundaries of the court (i.e. not on or within the boundary lines);
13.3.2 passes through or under
13.3.3 fails to pass over the
13.3.4 touches the ceiling or
13.3.5 touches the person or
dress of a player;
13.3.6 touches any other
object or person outside the court;
(Where necessary on account of
the structure of the building, the local badminton authority may, subject to
the right of veto of its Member Association, make bye-laws dealing with cases
in which a shuttle touches an obstruction).
13.3.7 is caught and held on
the racket and then slung during the execution of a stroke;
13.3.8 is hit twice in
succession by the same player. However, a shuttle hitting the head and the
stringed area of the racket in one stroke shall not be a "fault";
13.3.9 is hit by a player and
the player's partner successively; or
13.3.10 touches a player's
racket and does not travel towards the opponent's court;
13.4 if, in play, a player:
13.4.1 touches the net or its
supports with racket, person or dress;
13.4.2 invades an opponent's
court over the net with racket or person except that the striker may follow the
shuttle over the net with the racket in the course of a stroke after the initial
point of contact with the shuttle is on the striker's side of the net;
13.4.3 invades an opponent's
court under the net with racket or person such that an opponent is obstructed
or distracted; or
13.4.4 obstructs an opponent,
i.e. prevents an opponent from making a legal stroke where the shuttle is
followed over the net;
13.4.5 deliberately distracts
an opponent by any action such as shouting or making gestures;
13.5 if a player is guilty of flagrant, repeated or persistent offences under
14.1 "Let" shall be called by the umpire, or by a player (if there is no
umpire), to halt play.
14.2 It shall be a "let”, if:
14.2.1 the server serves
before the receiver is ready (Law 9.4);
14.2.2 during service, the
receiver and the server are both faulted;
14.2.3 after the service is
returned, the shuttle is:
126.96.36.199 caught on the net and
remains suspended on its top, or
188.8.131.52 after passing over
the net is caught in the net;
14.2.4 during play, the
shuttle disintegrates and the base completely separates from the rest of the
14.2.5 in the opinion of the
umpire, play is disrupted or a player of the opposing side is distracted by a
14.2.6 a line judge is
unsighted and the umpire is unable to make a decision; or
14.2.7 any unforeseen or
accidental situation has occurred.
14.3 When a "let" occurs, play since the last service shall not count and the
player who served last shall serve again,.
- SHUTTLE NOT IN PLAY
A shuttle is not in
15.1 it strikes the net or post and starts to fall towards the surface of the
court on the striker's side of the net;
15.2 it hits the surface of the court; or
15.3 a "fault" or a "let" has occurred.
- CONTINUOUS PLAY, MISCONDUCT & PENALTIES
16.1 Play shall be continuous from the first service until the match is
concluded, except as allowed in Laws 16.2 and 16.3.
16.2.1 not exceeding 60
seconds during each game when the leading score reaches 11 points; and
16.2.2 not exceeding 120
seconds between the first and second game, and between the second and third game
shall be allowed in all matches.
(For a televised match, the
Referee may decide before the match that intervals as in Law 16.2 are mandatory and of fixed
16.3 Suspension of play
16.3.1 When necessitated by
circumstances not within the control of the players, the umpire may suspend play
for such a period as the umpire may consider necessary.
16.3.2 Under special
circumstances the Referee may instruct the umpire to suspend play.
16.3.3 If play is suspended,
the existing score shall stand and play shall be resumed from that point.
16.4 Delay in play
16.4.1 Under no circumstances
shall play be delayed to enable a player to recover strength or wind or to
16.4.2 The umpire shall be the
sole judge of any delay in play.
16.5 Advice and leaving the court
16.5.1 Only when the shuttle
is not in play (Law 15), shall a player be permitted to receive
advice during a match.
16.5.2 No player shall leave
the court during a match without the umpire's permission, except during the
intervals as described in Law 16.2.
16.6 A player shall not:
16.6.1 deliberately cause
delay in, or suspension of, play;
16.6.2 deliberately modify or
damage the shuttle in order to change its speed or its flight;
16.6.3 behave in an offensive
16.6.4 be guilty of misconduct
not otherwise covered by the Laws of Badminton.
16.7 Administration of breach
16.7.1 The umpire shall
administer any breach of Law 16.4, 16.5 or 16.6 by:
184.108.40.206 issuing a warning to
the offending side;
220.127.116.11 faulting the
offending side, if previously warned. Two such faults by a side shall be
considered to be a persistent offence; or
16.7.2 in cases of flagrant
offence, persistent offences or breach of Law 16.2, the umpire shall fault the offending side
and report the offending side immediately to the Referee, who shall have the
power to disqualify the offending side from the match.
- OFFICIALS AND APPEALS
17.1 The Referee shall be in overall charge of the tournament or event of
which a match forms part.
17.2 The umpire, where appointed, shall be in charge of the match, the court
and its immediate surrounds. The umpire shall report to the Referee.
17.3 The service judge shall call service faults made by the server should
they occur (Law 9.1.2 to 9.1.8).
17.4 A line judge shall indicate whether a shuttle landed "in" or "out" on
the line(s) assigned.
17.5 An official's decision shall be final on all points of fact for which
that official is responsible except that if, in the opinion of the umpire, it
is beyond reasonable doubt that a line judge has clearly made a wrong call, the
umpire shall overrule the decision of the line judge.
17.6 An umpire shall:
17.6.1 uphold and enforce the
Laws of Badminton and, especially, call a "fault" or a "let" should either
17.6.2 give a decision on any
appeal regarding a point of dispute, if made before the next service is
17.6.3 ensure players and
spectators are kept informed of the progress of the match;
17.6.4 appoint or replace line
judges or a service judge in consultation with the Referee;
17.6.5 where another court
official is not appointed, arrange for that official's duties to be carried out;
17.6.6 where an appointed
official is unsighted, carry out that official's duties or play a "let";
17.6.7 record and report to
the Referee all matters relating to Law 16; and
17.6.8 refer to the Referee
all unsatisfied appeals on questions of law only. (Such appeals must be made
before the next service is delivered or, if at the end of the match, before the
side that appeals has left the court).