The UK Rules
Shuttle Badminton

Rules of Badminton 2019

What are the latest rules about badminton UK? Get all the BWF official rules and regulations in badminton game right here - made easy to understand!

This section explains all the key serving tactics in badminton. There is information about match scoring strategies for players and beginners.

Badminton Rules UK | Table of Contents

Shuttle badminton rules and regulations is a popular racket sport. In fact, the history and origins of badminton date back to the 16th century in Greece and in parts of Asia.

As a newcomer, you might find the concise badminton UK rules and regulations a little confusing - or difficult to understand.

Well not any longer! This simple guide for novices will soon get you on court and asking for more big servings of the game.

Let's start with some basics:

Badminton World Federation (BWF) laws govern and promote the racket game globally. The national governing body operates from its base and headquarters in Malaysia.

Badminton is one of the most popular indoor racket sports with top-level competitions played around the world. Furthermore, it is currently acknowledged by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Mastering the fundamental badminton laws and official match rules will give you the edge. Your court game will improve and you will become more competitive.

Badminton RulesUK Badminton Rules 2019

Aim of the Game Badminton

The simple aim of winning in shuttle badminton rules and regulation is to triumph at rallies against your opponent. So, the object of the game is to score more points and win.

Players use a stringed racket to strike and propel a light feathered shuttlecock (called a bird or birdie). A net, positioned between the opponents, divides the playing area.

So, how do you score?

You achieve points by 'grounding' the shuttlecock before your opponent can return it. You try to ground the shuttle in designated court areas on their side of the playing field.

Note: Don't miss our comprehensive A to Z list of sports rules and regulations (from American Football to Yoga) in the master section.

Badminton Rules on Court Lines

As a rule, badminton is played on an indoor court - even though you can play friendly games outdoors. A 1.55 metre net should be fixed securely across the center of the court.

The net must be positioned in the center of a rectangular court so it separates the playing field into two equal halves.

During a match, the badminton court size and net height must measure 6.1 metres wide and 13.4 metres long. Two tram lines run along each side of the court.

This part is important:

The regulations and rules of badminton singles games use the inside tramlines as the parameter. Whereas doubles rules badminton will use the outside perimeter court lines.


Badminton Equipment Used by Players

You will need badminton rackets and shuttlecocks to play the game. The racket is somewhat smaller in size to the ones that players use when playing tennis rules.

Professional competitors typically use a lightweight strung badminton racket made from a composite or graphite material.

The feather birdie should have feathery material surrounding the top section. Shuttlecocks also have a half round ball piece attached to the bottom end.

Note: The rules and regulations for badminton equipment govern the shuttlecock size and shape.

Player Formations: Singles and Doubles

The different formations can include male, female, or mixed doubles. Player formats are either singles, paired doubles, or mixed doubles (one male and one female).

Tip: The badminton terminology section explains more about the different types of professional events and player formats used in elite competitions.


General Shuttle Badminton Regulations

  • Official tournaments must be played indoors. The court must conform to all the codified rules for pitch dimensions and safety.
  • Badminton Rules UK 2019: Mixed Doubles Playing on CourtUK competitive badminton regulation laws of the game do not allow the shuttlecock to bounce.
  • Official British badminton rules and regulations allow two rest periods.
    • The first is a 90 second break each after the first game.
    • The second rest period is for five (5) minutes after the end of the second game.
  • Fault Points:
    • Your opponent receives a point if you touch the net with any part of your body or racket.
    • Deliberately distracting your opponent is also considered as committing a fault.
    • If the shuttlecock gets caught in the racket - and then 'flung' away.
    • Any player hitting the shuttlecock twice in one stroke.

Badminton Service Rules 2019

  • Players must serve the shuttle diagonally across and over the net into their opponent's court.
  • The serving stations move from one side to the other after winning points.
  • Serving rules state that the shuttle must reach your opponent's service box in their half of the court.
  • The serve will be good even if the shuttlecock hits the top of the net (termed Net Cord) on its path, providing it reaches the service boundaries. Read a full explanation of 'Net Cord' in the badminton terminology section.
  • You must try to hit the bottom 'ball side' of the shuttlecock. Gravity usually reverts the heavier rubber ball section to face downwards as it flies through the air.
  • Official badminton rules and regulations do not allow overarm serves. That means you must hit the serve with an underarm action and swing the racket from below your waist.
  • If your first serve goes out then your opponent wins the point. Unlike the rules of tennis, badminton regulations do not permit second serves for the server.

Note: The new service rules are in force for 2019. Hence, when the racket strikes the shuttle, it should be hit at a height BELOW 1.15 metres (i.e. from the court surface).


Fouls and Faults in Badminton

There are five (5) common badminton fouls which players should try to avoid making. The names of the rule infringements are:

  1. Contact Fault
  2. Over the Net Fault
  3. Service Fault
  4. Receiver Fault
  5. Double Hit

Tip: Review the YouTube video to see how service judges view and make calls on service faults made by players.


Badminton Scoring Rules

You win points when the shuttle comes to rest on the ground in your opponent's designated court half. Of course, your challenger will try to hit it back and start a rally.

The best way to achieve advantage in badminton scoring rules is by forcing your opponent into hitting the shuttlecock out of play or against the net.

Rules and Regulations in Badminton Rallies

A rally occurs if your opponent legally returns the shuttlecock back to you. Players rally the shuttle back and forth using a single shot each time.

Rallies continue unless it either hits the ground or fails to go over the net. You also win the rally if it lands outside the pitch on the other side of the net. Rallying will continue until a player wins the best of three games to win the match.

Badminton Rules and Regulations: Points

Points get awarded to you if your opponent commits a fault or fails to return the shuttlecock. Points may be won on either of the service games.


Badminton Umpires and Officials

  • The umpire in badminton oversees play and officiates the game from a high vantage point by sitting on an umpire's chair.
  • Line judges monitor whether the shuttlecock lands in play - or not. But, the match referee makes the overriding calls on infringements and faults.
  • Badminton umpire equipment includes a high chair, clothing, and a list of official tools.
  • Continuously breaking the laws may result in the referee docking points from your score.
  • Persistently committing fouls could get you a forfeit of the set or perhaps a disqualification from the match altogether.
  • A 'let' may get called by the referee for unforeseen or accidental circumstances.
  • 'Lets' may also be called in situations such as:
    • The shuttlecock getting stuck in the net.
    • A server serving out of turn.
    • One player was not ready to play.
    • Unsighted umpire or a decision was too close to call.

Winning a Game of Badminton England Rules

As a general rule, the first player to reach a score of 21 wins a set in the game. If scores are tied at 20-20, the winner is the first player to get ahead by two clear points. The next point decides the winner of the set if the points are still tied at 29-29.

The majority of championship matches will be played out to the best of 3 sets. Winning the overall game requires you to win 2 out of the 3 sets.

Badminton Regulations in the News



Badminton Rules and Regulations Explained for the United Kingdom

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