How to play badminton: Rules, positions, equipment used

How to play badminton: Rules, positions, equipment used

It is estimated that badminton has been played for almost 2000 years, and early iterations were performed in China, Greece, and India. It is similar to the 17th-century British upper-class game battledore and shuttlecock. But the big question is, do you know how to play badminton? If the answer is no, let's go through some of the rules of badminton and all that is related to the sport.

Positions in badminton
How to play badminton: Rules, positions, equipment used. Photo: Supachai Bunsan (Modified by author)
Source: Getty Images

The objective of the early form of the game, which lacked a net, was to keep the shuttlecock in the air for as long as possible. The contemporary game was most likely brought home by British officers stationed in India in the 19th century. The first significant match was played at the Duke of Beaufort's rural seat, Badminton House.

How many players make a badminton team?

Unlike baseball, basketball, and rugby, where a team has more than ten players, in badminton, only one player makes the team. Therefore, there will be two teams comprising two players in any tournament.

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Badminton equipment

For a badminton match to be a success, players require the following,

  • Net
  • Shuttlecock
  • Two rackets
  • Shoes
  • Badminton attire
  • Socks
  • Badminton court
How to win in badminton
High angle view of badminton rackets with a shuttlecock. Photo: Jennifer Miranda Lobijin
Source: Getty Images

The badminton court's centre is divided by a net, and it must be 5 feet high in the middle and 5 feet high on either end. For both singles and doubles play, the posts must be 20 feet apart and on the furthest sidelines.

Various materials may be used to make rackets. However, most current badminton rackets are built of a carbon fibre composite. The conventional head form is square, yet many people today have oval heads.

The width and length cannot be greater than 230 mm and 680 mm, respectively. The head's length and breadth cannot exceed 280 millimetres.

The base of the shuttlecock is round and often composed of cork, and a thin leather or another material coating is placed on the cork base. Sixteen feathers make up a typical shuttle glued into the floor. Since plastic feathers are less costly and more durable, most current shuttles utilize them instead.

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How to play badminton

Rules of badminton
Lee Yang and Chi-Lin of Chinese Taiepei compete during the training session ahead of Petronas Malaysia Open at Axiata Arena on 9 January 2023 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Photo: Shi Tang
Source: Getty Images

One or both players in doubles or singles match successfully place the shuttlecock in the playing area of the rival. When the other team serves incorrectly, or the outcome of a player's stroke is beyond the playing area, the player or pair of doubles gets points.

If the opposite side disobeys the match's regulations, the referee will award a player or double the number of pair points. In a badminton match, a turn to receive a service is given for each point a player or doubles team scores.

The start of a match in badminton is signaled by the serve, one of the critical components of a game. Service judges who assess whether the service complies with the regulations are present throughout badminton matches.

In addition, a player's fundamental commitment is their service because it frequently affects how the game will turn out. For instance, an opponent receiving a serve will only have an opportunity to attack if the serve is executed flawlessly.

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How to play badminton for beginners
Aya Ohori competes in the women's singles final match against Akane Yamaguchi at Musashino Forest Sport Plaza on 30 December 2022 in Chofu, Tokyo, Japan. Photo: Shi Tang
Source: Getty Images

A lousy serve, on the other hand, will provide the opposition with a tremendous opportunity to attack. Whether from the left or right side of the court, the serve is made across the net and into the opponent's zone.

It is ruled that the shuttlecock is out if it lands on an opponent's field that does not cross. Additionally, the servicing zones for singles and doubles players differ.

The shuttlecock is ruled out if it touches the front box and side box during singles play. When playing doubles, the shuttlecock must not land in the front or back boxes to be ruled out.

The number of points the player who will serve has amassed determines whether the service is made in the left or right position. The right position is appropriate for an even number of points, but the left position is proper for an odd number. When there are still no points, the right position is also served.

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There is no second serve in doubles matches; each pair only has one opportunity to serve. The player whose position corresponds to the points the couple has accrued makes the serve. Until the opponent scores the following point, the same player will continue to serve.

How to play badminton step by step
Kenta Nishimoto competes in the men's singles final match against Kento Momota at Musashino Forest Sport Plaza on 30 December 2022 in Chofu, Tokyo, Japan. Photo: Shi Tang
Source: Getty Images

How to play badminton step by step

For one to become a badminton guru, the following steps ought to be followed,

  1. Learn how to hold a racket
  2. Get knowledge about the rules of badminton
  3. Build strength in your wrist by wall practice
  4. Learn different types of shots
  5. Build a fitness foundation
  6. Teach yourself footwork
  7. Know different tactics
  8. Train your mentality

Rules of badminton

Every game has set rules and regulations to govern the day-to-day activities on any given pitch. And when you hear about any rules, you know there are consequences if they are broken. Here are some of the rules of a badminton game.

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  1. In singles and doubles, the game can be played by two or four players.
  2. In rallying or passing the shuttle from side to side across the net, the players utilize their rackets.
  3. A rally is returned by Team B if Team A does not, giving Team B the upper hand.
  4. Up to 21 points are scored in the game.
  5. Teams play until one side has a two-point lead after the score ties at 20. For instance, 21-23.
  6. A team wins whenever it scores the following point after the score is tied at 29.
  7. When two out of three games are won, a side prevails and takes the match.
  8. With a net in the middle, the court is a 44-foot-long rectangle. For doubles, it needs to be 20 feet wide and for singles, 17 feet.
How to play badminton
Ayako Sakuramoto and Rena Miyaura compete in the women's double final match against Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hirota on 30 December 2022 in Chofu, Tokyo, Japan. Photo: Shi Tang
Source: Getty Images

Courts are typically 20 feet wide in actual play, with an inner line designating the singles sideline. A short service line, a rear service line, and left and right service courts are located on either side of the court.

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Badminton techniques

Some call it a skill, while others call it technique. And while the two words mean almost the same thing, badminton players often display it.


It is required to play the shuttlecock below the server's waist. Both feet need to be on the ground, and the arm needs to be below shoulder height.


A bad shot with a horizontal trajectory that goes past the net, either the forehand or the backhand, is possible. The backhand drive is equivalent to hitting with the knuckles, whereas the forehand drive is equivalent to shooting with the palm.


The most impressive and potent counterattack shot is used to conclude a rally by knocking the opponent's shuttle down on their court.


It is a forehand high and deep shot that stops the play's pace and allows the player to regain control of the situation.

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How to play badminton for beginners
Kento Momota plays Kenta Nishimoto on route to winning the men's singles final at the national badminton championships on 30 December 2022 at Musashino Forest Sport Plaza in Tokyo. Photo: Kyodo News
Source: Getty Images


Shots played from around the net area reduce the opponent's reaction time and force him to move a long distance.

Winning a point

A point is scored whenever the birdie, shuttlecock, including the lines, lands in the opponent's half of the court.

Thus, if a shot lands outside the court lines, if the birdie hits the net or travels through it or beneath it, or if a player hits the birdie twice with their racket, a point may be forfeited.

Players must wait for the birdie to cross the net before playing a shot. Although you can follow through over the net, doing so will result in a point being given up.

Every game, be it soccer, baseball, football, basketball, or even rugby, has rules and regulations governing the respective players. As for how to play badminton, the rules and the game might look easy but wait until you are the player holding that racket.

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