(Male and Female)
Choice of Ends or Service
Before the start of a match, the players should toss a coin. The winner of the coin toss can either opt to serve or choose which side of the court to play on. Once the winner has decided, the loser takes the discarded option.
In a badminton match players aim to win the best of three games, each of which is played to 21 points. Each time a player wins a rally, he receives a point and the right to serve for the next point. The first to 21 points wins the game. Like sets in tennis, games must be won by a two-point margin. If a game is tied at 20-20, the game continues until one player achieves a two-point lead or scores 30 points (30-29 is an acceptable victory).
The server must hit the base of the shuttlecock in a single stroke with his racket pointing downward. Neither the server nor the receiver can lift a foot off the ground until the shuttlecock has been served. The shuttlecock has to be below the server’s waist (defined as the lowest rib of the server) when it makes contact with his racket. The shuttlecock must make it past the receiver’s service line and stay within the court boundaries; otherwise, the serve is a fault, resulting in a point being awarded to the receiver and service passing to him. There are no double faults in badminton. The player serves from the right if his score is an even number and from the left if his score is an odd number. The receiver stands in the court box diagonally opposite to the server. The receiving player cannot come forward of the service area.
After a serve the rally can take place anywhere within the court boundaries, and a point is scored when the shuttlecock hits the ground within these boundaries. If the server wins the point, he continues to serve. If the receiver wins the point, he becomes the server. If the shuttlecock lands outside the court boundaries, this is a fault, and a point goes to the receiver. Similarly, if a player fails to get the shuttlecock over the net, this is also a fault. It is also classed as a fault if the shuttlecock hits the ceiling. The shuttlecock can only be hit once in a rally. Though only the base can be hit in the serve, the feathers of the shuttlecock can be hit during a rally.
Rallies can be replayed if something disturbs its flow, for example, people wandering across the court or something landing on the court. This is known as a let. In a competitive match, these will be at the umpire’s discretion. If one player serves before the receiver is deemed ready, the umpire may give a let and ask the server to replay the point. Thiscannothappenifthereceiverreturnstheserve.