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Roles of Officials in Badminton

Badminton officials share the officiating roles and responsibilities during the game. Understanding the function of technical officials in badminton will help you keep control of players and spectators. In most major tournaments, there will be at least thirteen (13) officiating officials in badminton. The list includes one referee, one umpire, a service judge, and up to ten (10) line judges.

Badminton Officials Duties:List of Contents

Note: Technical officials have their own specific roles and responsibilities. Even so, they all share some common officiating duties and functions during a competition.

The BWF can award extra responsibilities to badminton officials, such as the supervision and the accountability to spectators. These extra duties would apply most in top international games and elite competitions.

So, the vital part played by the officials of badminton will include enforcing and amalgamating authority. Guiding player appeals is also part of the roles and responsibilities of officials in badminton.

So, the question is:

Who are the officials in badminton? In fact, they are a group of individuals appointed by the sport’s governing body.

Their role, as functionary team members, is to officiate the games. Simply put, they govern over, and regulate, fouls and rules infringements.

You will see them directing rule verdicts during international tournaments. Their roles also extend to authorising competitive championships and elite televised events.

BWF Technical Officials Roles

Badminton World Federation (BWF) provides qualified and highly skilled Technical Officials of badminton for the top signature events.

The role of Technical Officials (TOs) is critical for the sport, especially at the international level. Officiating officials will get specialist materials supplied to them for all competitive matches.

The documentation will include superior training materials as well as up-to-date resources on refereeing guidelines.

Note: Check out our badminton terminology section to learn more about the lingo used by players and the administrators.

Role of Referee in Badminton

The laws of the Badminton World Federation (BWF) grant overall authority to the match referee. Hence, badminton referees have total governance during any entire tournament or formal event.

Match referees should ensure the practice schedules, facilities, playing conditions, and players’ equipment meet the standards set out by the health and safety rules and official laws of the game.

All referees will have attained significant badminton qualifications in order to officiate the games. But, it is a tournament referee who establishes an appropriate panel of technical officials (where required).

And how does that work?

The tournament referee has complete authority over any championships or international competitions. It includes those with several individual umpires or judges. That said, they all have contributing roles and responsibilities as sanctioned officials.

Note: Read more about the general appearance of badminton officials in the equipment and accessories section.

Role of an Umpire in Badminton

There are many responsibilities of an umpire in badminton. But, umpires have one main focus. That is the close monitoring and governance of all sporting activities on the court.

Match umpires should apply, authorize, and regulate the laws of the game. They will supervise the service judge and line judges (further details below).

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) is the governing body of the sport. As such, control administered by badminton officials, as well as the conduct of all players, must fall under the BWF codified regulations of play.

Note: As a rule, the contribution from badminton umpires would also integrate the general control over any immediate spectator viewing areas (where applicable).

Badminton Umpires Authority

Umpire roles and responsibilities apply to the match being played on the court they are officiating. Thus, they should enforce all badminton rules and regulations on their particular court.

Furthermore, these rulings apply to calls and umpire hand signals relating to ‘LETS‘, game faults, and to service faults.

Umpiring responsibilities provide them with full authority in the application of any lawful sanctions during the particular match which they oversee.

Here’s a good example:

Officiating officials of badminton, and their functions, have several levels of jurisdiction. So, they would all have control over the players and spectators. They govern the regulations of a match ‘collectively’.

Umpiring assistants should include a service judge and several line judges (up to 10 in elite matches). As a result, they are responsible for calling service faults and line errors (e.g. in or out).

There is great importance awarded to the functional duties and roles played by the service judge and line judges. But, the umpire in badminton can use discretion and overrule calls or signals made by refereeing assistants.

This part is important:

The umpire should announce the score to the players and to the audience after each point. Therefore, the same duty would apply as the scores change throughout a match.

Another function of the umpire is to record any incidents of misconduct committed by the players and to report infringements to the referee.

Note: As a rule, championship organizers would provide badminton umpiring equipment and appropriate clothing for officiating (e.g. a uniform).

The jurisdiction of umpires in badminton exists from the moment they enter the court. That means they have control even before a match starts. It would continue until the game has finished – reporting to and acting under the authority of the referee.

Umpire in Badminton Duties and Decisions

  • A badminton umpire signals for, records, and then reports all incidents of player misconduct.
  • In most cases, badminton umpire hand signals will be directed to the players while seated on a high chair.
  • Umpires in badminton must enforce all game laws and court rules (e.g. net height and markings).
  • A badminton umpire calls decisions on service faults, lets, and any other player faults.
  • Throughout the game, the umpire must announce the match score to the players and to any watching audience.

What if an umpire chooses to appoint officiating officials in badminton? In fact, appointing any particular service judge and line judges is another role and characteristic of the umpire.

Match umpires can appoint a team of judges at their discretion – explaining how to officiate badminton on his or her court. They also have authority to replace them (after consulting with the tournament referee).

Note: Browse through our Pinterest badminton section for some great pictures of famous players and the equipment they use.

Responsibilities of a Service Judge

A popular question is: what is the role of a service judge in badminton? In fact, they have two important roles:

  • Calling service faults.
  • Keeping hold of, and handing out, shuttles.

It would not be uncommon for the umpire to delegate some of their own duties to a service judge. Typical examples include:

  • Checking shuttle speeds and the height of the net.
  • Making sure the position of the poles is correct and they are secure.

Even so, the chief role for a service judge is watching over the server and checking whether serves they make are legal.

The service judge will sit on a low chair, located at the middle of the court (directly opposite the umpire). But, the role of the service judge would go to the umpire if no service judge has been appointed.

Note: Don’t be fooled in thinking the service judge has an easy job. In fact, monitoring the badminton serve is an important, and sometimes controversial, aspect of the game. Hence the need to dedicate an experienced judge to that particular role.

Badminton Line Judge Responsibilities

There are several functions for a line judge in badminton. They are responsible for monitoring the service, side lines, and baseline during a match.

The role in the game is such that a line judge must decide and announce – by verbal call and hand signals for badminton – whether the shuttle has landed inside or outside of the boundary lines.

Line judges have the responsibility of calling a shuttlecock IN or OUT. Whereas, the chief task of a service judge in badminton is calling any service faults committed by the players.

Note: Learn more about badminton court size, net height, and line markings in the technical section.

Badminton Officials and Player Appeals

Players can appeal decisions made by service or line judges. If it happens, the umpire should provide a ruling on any protested calls.

The outcome of a player appeal is likely to result in the judge either upholding or overturning the original call.

Umpires in badminton should consult the tournament referee if they are unsure how to rule any particular appeal. All player appeals should reach an amiable result before the match resumes at the next serve.

Advanced Rule Guides:

Badminton officiating tool kit
Badminton frequently asked questions
Health and safety rules in badminton

Officials in Badminton: Duties and Responsibilities Explained