Badminton Court Dimensions – How Big is a Badminton Court?
- A badminton court should be 6.1m wide by 13.4m long (20′ by 44′).
- A badminton court’s lines are typically 38mm thick (1.5”).
- The net should be 1.55m (5’1) high at the poles, but it should be lower in the middle – 1.52m (5′).
- The laws of badminton don’t specify a minimum ceiling height for a court. Ideally the ceiling should be high enough so that clears and high serves won’t be restricted.
- See below for what to do if the shuttlecock does hit the ceiling.
This diagram shows the proper dimensions of a badminton court:
Badminton Rules: Doubles – what’s in and what’s out?
- During the main part of a badminton doubles rally, every part of the court is in.
- However, the serve must fall into the ‘short and fat’ area diagonally opposite the server. The side tramlines are in, but the rear tramlines are out during the serve. (See diagram above, or Diagram A in Section 1 of the Rules).
- This means that a singles player and a doubles player have similar amount of court to cover when receiving serve (the service area in singles is 24.4m2, while in doubles it is 24.2m2).
- The short and wide doubles service area makes it harder to catch an opponent out with a flick serve, therefore allowing the service receiver to stand further forward and attack the short serves as aggressively as possible. Which makes doubles rallies fast and aggressive right from the first stroke – one reason why badminton doubles is so exciting, whether you’re watching or playing!
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The Laws of Badminton
The official badminton rules (as of May 2006, when the gamed switched from 15 points to 21 point rally scoring) are found here: http://www.worldbadminton.com/rules/ This page also links to a complete historical archive of the rules – so you can check the rules which were adopted in 1873 in the Punjab if you wish! (These rules look pretty familiar – very much like the pre-2006 play to 15 points rules, but in the good old days if the shuttlecock hit the net you lost the point automatically whether it went over or not).
If you’re not sure how the 21 point rally scoring works then there’s a detailed explanation at badminton-information.com. For the traditionalists among you, for the old, 15 point scoring rules, best use the 1992 rules.
What happened between 1992 and 2006? There were experiments with alternatives such as 5×7, and 11 points for women’s and mixed doubles. 1992 rules are the ones most of you probably remember as the 15 point rules.
Common Questions about Badminton Rules
Is your question still unanswered? Submit it in the comments and I’ll answer it.
- What is the minimum height for a badminton court?
- So what happens if the shuttlecock hits the ceiling in badminton?
- Who serves first in a badminton game?
- How do you tell if your opponent is ready to receive serve?
- If I miss the shuttlecock when I try to serve can I serve again?
- If a the shuttlecock touches the top of the net when you serve but falls into the service area is this a “let” and the service replayed?
- When serving is it a fault if the frame of the racket strikes the shuttlecock and not the strings?
- When serving in doubles, can you stand within the sidelines?
- Can 2 players be in the same court while receiving a serve?
- What happens if the shuttlecock gets stuck on the net?
- Is a ‘scoop’ shot a fault in badminton?
- Is it a fault to hit the net with the racket in the follow-through of a stroke?
- Is it a fault if your racket crosses the net?
- If the shuttlecock lands so the shuttle head is outside the line but the feathers are on the line, is the shuttlecock out?
- Is it legal, as you’re about to lose the point from a disadvantaged position at the net, to merely stick your racket up to block the shuttle?
- What’s the maximum points that a winner can obtain in each set?
- If I’m watching my team play, can I give them advice during a match?
- How should you test a shuttlecock for speed?
- What’s the maximum time you’re allowed between rallies?
There is no minimum height for a court specified in badminton’s rules, but ideally it should be high enough so that clears and high serves in singles have no chance of hitting the ceiling.
There is no fixed rule for what happens if a shuttlecock hits the ceiling, it varies from club to club. Typically hitting fixtures such as lights or basketball apparatus will be a let and the point will be replayed, while hitting the ceiling itself will be a fault. In matches the home side should specify their precise rules at the start.
At most clubs, it is normal practice to decide who serves first by hitting the shuttlecock up into the air. Whichever side the shuttlecock points to goes first. However, the rules say that the decision is made by a coin toss and this is how the decision is made in professional matches.
The convention is that a player is considered ready once their racket is up, they have stopped moving and they have made eye contact with the server.
Strictly speaking no. If you attempt to serve and miss the shuttlecock, the rules say this is a fault:
9.1.9 in attempting to serve, the server shall not miss the shuttle.
In this situation the server would win the point – it is not a let when the shuttlecock hits the net at any part of the game, including the serve. The only exception is if the shuttlecock gets stuck on the net, see below for the rules when this happens.
It’s not a fault to hit the frame with a serve, as long as you only hit the shuttlecock once and you don’t hook/scoop the shuttle.
In doubles the service court is extended to the sidelines, so you may serve from there as long as you don’t stand on the outer sideline:
9.1.2 the server and the receiver shall stand within diagonally opposite service courts (Diagram A) without touching the boundary lines of these service courts;
Yes, as long as the receiver’s partner doesn’t block the server’s view of the receiver:
9.5 In doubles, during the delivery of service, the partners may take up any positions within their respective courts, which do not unsight the opposing server or receiver.
a) On the serve it’s a fault if the shuttlecock:
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;
b) After the serve, it’s a fault if the shuttlecock:
13.3.3 fails to pass over the net; and it’s a let if the shuttlecock 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;
It’s a fault if during play, the shuttle:
13.3.7 is caught and held on the racket and then slung during the execution of a stroke;
Yes, it’s always a fault if you hit the net with your racket during play.
It’s a fault if a player:
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;
Yes, it’s legal to try and block the shuttle like that – as long as your racket isn’t on your opponent’s side of the net when the shuttle hits it, then you can have your eyes shut, be hiding and still legally return the shuttle – and even win the point!
Having said that, rule 13.4.4 says it’s a fault if a player ‘obstructs an opponent, i.e. prevents an opponent from making a legal stroke where the shuttle is followed over the net;’.
In other words, it’s actually a fault to hold your racket up so close to the net that it gets in the way of your opponent’s swing (don’t forget – it’s legal for your opponent’s stroke to finish on your side of the net as long as they hit the shuttle on their side and don’t hit the net in the process).
In practice this rule rarely comes into play – it just means don’t take the mickey and hold the racket up so close to the net that it’s right under your opponent’s nose.
A winner normally plays to 21 points, but to win you have to be at least 2 points ahead, up to a maximum of 30 points; which is the maximum a winner can obtain.
16.5.1 Only when the shuttle is not in play (Law 15), shall a player be permitted to receive advice during a match.
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. Also see this video about testing the speed of the shuttle.
There is no time limit but a badminton game is meant to be played continuously so it as the umpire’s discretion to hasten the players when necessary. The rules talk about delays and allowed intervals:
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 receive advice.
16.4.2 The umpire shall be the sole judge of any delay in play.
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 duration).
That’s the end of the Frequently Asked Questions. Is your question still unanswered? Submit it in the comments and I’ll answer it.