What Are the Basic Badminton Rules?

basic-badminton-rules Credit: Ian Patterson/CC-BY 2.0

In badminton, the objective is to hit the shuttlecock over the net without committing a foul, or having the shuttlecock hit the ground or go out of bounds. The first player, or team, to 21 wins the set, and the best of three sets wins the match.

In badminton, the rules state the server must stand inside a service court area when serving and the opponent stands in the service court diagonal to the server. The server must serve diagonally to his opponent and the shuttlecock must be served underarm and hit below the waist. The players cannot move from the service court area until the shuttlecock is in play.

Once the shuttlecock is in play, hitting the net, or going over the net to hit the shuttlecock, is against the rules. A player scores a point when he serves and the shuttlecock falls in his opponent's court, his opponent committed a foul, such as hitting the net, or his opponent hits the shuttlecock out of bounds. If the server does any of the above, he loses the serve, but his opponent does not get a point. There are two service courts on each side of the net. When the server's score is even, he serves from the right side of the court, and when the server's score is odd, he serves from the left side of the court.