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Some Basic Rules and Guidlines. 


21 points Format

Currently, this is the official format used by the IBF.

Here are the basic badminton rules for this format.

- To win a match, you have to win 2 out of 3 games.
- To win a game, you have to score 21 points.
- If a score becomes 20-20, the side which scores 2 consecutive points shall win that game.
- If the score becomes 29-29, the side that scores the 30th point shall win that game.
- There are no "service over", meaning you can score a point no matter who serves.
- One service only for doubles.
- Other rules shall remain the same.



The court is marked for both singles and doubles, which use slightly different court sizes.

The outermost lines form the doubles court. So in a doubles rally, the shuttle is allowed to land anywhere on the court. 

The singles court is slightly narrower than the doubles court. The singles side lines are not the outermost lines, but the next ones in. Taken together with the outermost (doubles) side lines, these make narrower alley shapes along the sides of the court. 

These alleys are often caller the tramlines, since they look like tram or train tracks. 



Service courts

The service courts are smaller box shapes inside the court. We’ll look at what they are used for in a moment, but first let’s get the right boxes.

Notice that the badminton court has a line down the middle, extending from the back to near the net; this is the centre line. At the front of the court, the centre line is met by another line; this is the front service line. These two lines form a T shape where they meet.

A singles service court is a box made from four lines:

  • The centre line

  • A singles side line (inside side line)

  • The front service line

  • The back line (the outside one, all the way at the back)

On your side of the net, you have two service courts: your right service court, and your left service court. The same is true for your opponent.

The doubles service courts are slightly different. They are wider, because they use the outside side line (remember: the doubles court is wider); and they are shorter, because they use the inside back line.

That’s what the inside back line is for: doubles service, and nothing else. It’s probably the most confusing line on a badminton court, because that’s all it does!

So just to be clear, a doubles service court is made from these four lines:

  • The centre line

  • A doubles side line (outside side line)

  • The front service line

  • The inside back line (not the very back line, but the next one in)


Five types of badminton:

  • Men’s singles

  • Women’s singles

  • Men’s doubles

  • Women’s doubles

  • Mixed doubles (each team is a man and a woman)

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