The skillful delivery of the shuttlecock is the first step in any badminton game. Pros all over the world agree that a short backhand serve is the best way to get the match started. Or perhaps a high-toss serve is in order.

Badminton, one of the world’s most popular racket sports, is loved for its fast-paced action and strategic gameplay. Serving is an essential component of the game, acting as the starting point for each rally.

But, like every sport, badminton has its rules, and when it comes to serving, they’re quite specific. Let’s delve into the intricacies of badminton serves, exploring legal techniques and understanding what’s considered illegal.

Are Side Arm Serves Legal in Badminton

Badminton, with its fast-paced action and skill-based gameplay, requires not just physical prowess but also a deep understanding of the rules. These regulations not only dictate how the game is played but also ensure fair play and sportsmanship.

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This article aims to shine light on some common misconceptions about badminton and clarify what players can and cannot do during a match.


Are Side Arm Serves Legal in Badminton

Someone like PV Sindhu, who won silver at the Olympics, likes to use her long forehand serves to force her opponent to the baseline and then extend the point.

Challenges might arise while receiving a serve from a left-hander, like as Olympic gold medalist Carolina Marin or world champion Kento Momota. While the speed and accuracy of a serve in badminton are not as necessary to winning points as they are in lawn tennis, they are nevertheless a vital aspect of a shuttler’s strategy.

When a player has at least one foot in contact with the court and successfully hits the shuttlecock with their racket across the net to their opponent’s side, this is called a serve in the sport of badminton.

If the server loses control of the shuttle and it flies off of the court, the point goes to the team that was receiving the serve. It’s crucial that the entire shuttlecock be below the server’s waist when the racket is struck.

A server’s waist is a made-up number that starts at the bottom of their rib cage. When both the server and the receiver are ready, the service should begin with the first forward movement of the racket head. The server should also take care to not prolong the service for too long.

Both the server and the receiver must stand on the court’s diagonal, outside of the baselines. When playing badminton, the side or player who wins a point flips a coin to see who serves for the next point.

Matchmaking For Badminton Singles

First-served players always start each game from the right side of the service court. The server must serve from the right side of the service court if they have won an even number of points in a game.

If the number of points the server has won is divisible by 2, 4, or 6, then the server will serve from the left side of the service court for the next point.

Doubles Service in Badminton.

Badminton’s doubles service rules are more intricate per the BWF’s regulations. The basic service rules remain the same, with the player who wins an even number of points serving from the right side of the service court and the player who wins an odd number of points serving from the left side of the service court.

The pair that wins the point will serve in the next game, while the receiver must move to the opposite service court. In a doubles game of badminton, the serving rights will be distributed as follows:

  • It all began with the first server, who correctly established the service court.
  • To the spouse of the first beneficiary
  • Partner of the first server
  • To the first recipient
  • It’s back to the first server, and so on.

In the same game, no defender may get services twice in a row. Service court errors are remedied promptly if a player serves or receives out of turn or from the wrong side of the court.

As long as they don’t get in the way of the server or receiver, players on either side of the court are free to set up wherever they like on their respective halves of the court. According to the rules, a point is awarded to whoever wins the rally, regardless of who is serving.

Once the shuttlecock lands on the ground, strikes the net, or goes out of bounds, the rally ends. A match consists of three games, each of which is won by the first team to score 21 points and have a two-point advantage over the other.

After each game, the teams switch roles, allowing any player on the winning team to serve in the next game and any player on the losing team to receive.

What is an Illegal Badminton Serve?

An illegal serve in badminton refers to a serve that violates the sport’s established rules. These could include:

  • Serving overarm (the racket head must be pointing downwards when serving).
  • Striking the shuttlecock above the waist during the serve.
  • Not having both feet stationary and on the ground during the serve.

Serving from the Sideline in Badminton

In singles play, the server can use the entire width of the court, meaning serving from the sideline is entirely legal. However, in doubles, the serve must travel into the appropriate service box, diagonally across the court.

Are There Illegal Serves in Badminton?

Yes, several actions can deem a serve illegal, including:

  • Flicking the shuttlecock with a movement of the wrist or thumb.
  • Hitting the feathers of the shuttlecock first during the serve.
  • Making deceptive movements during the serve.
  • Serving before the receiver is ready.

The Underarm Serve in Badminton

Badminton serves are exclusively underarm. The racket head must remain below the server’s hand, ensuring the shuttlecock is struck from a position below the waist.

What Constitutes an Illegal Stroke in Badminton?

Apart from serving, general gameplay has its rules too. Illegal strokes include:

  • Hitting the shuttlecock before it crosses over the net to your side.
  • Making contact with the shuttlecock more than once.
  • Touching the net with your body or racket during play.

Can You Spin in Badminton?

Spinning the shuttlecock is legal, and often, players employ spinning net shots to make the shuttlecock’s movement unpredictable. However, during the serve, excessive spinning that results from a sliced serve action may be deemed a fault if it’s deemed deceptive.

Where Are You Allowed to Serve in Badminton?

In singles, players can serve to the entire width of the opponent’s court, targeting the area from the short service line to the back boundary line. In doubles, players serve diagonally to the opponent’s service box.

Can You Serve Forehand in Badminton?

Yes, you can serve using a forehand grip in badminton. Both forehand and backhand grips are permissible, with the choice often depending on player comfort and strategic intentions.

What Can’t You Do in Badminton?

In addition to the official rules, there’s a set of unwritten guidelines or etiquettes that players are expected to follow. Some common actions that are off limits include:

  • Touching the Net: During gameplay, neither the player’s body nor the racket should touch the net.
  • Reaching Over the Net: Players cannot reach over the net to play the shuttlecock, even if it seems like an easy point.
  • Double Hits: Hitting the shuttlecock twice, either intentionally or unintentionally, is considered a fault.
  • Obstructions: Players shouldn’t obstruct opponents, either by physical interference or by shouting and trying to distract them.

Can I Serve Above the Waist in Badminton?

No, you can’t. One of the fundamental rules in badminton serving is that the shuttlecock must be struck below the server’s waist level. The definition of “waist” in badminton is the lowest rib’s height, ensuring that the serve remains underarm.

Is Shouting Allowed in a Badminton Tournament?

While expressing excitement or venting frustration is natural during intense matches, shouting excessively or with the intent to distract the opponent is frowned upon.

Continuous disturbances or aggressive behavior can lead to warnings and even disqualifications. However, short exclamations after winning a point are generally considered acceptable, provided they’re not directed offensively towards the opponent.

Can We Hit the Shuttle with Our Hand?

No, players cannot use their hands or any other part of their body to hit the shuttlecock in badminton. The shuttlecock must always be struck with the racket. Hitting the shuttlecock with the hand or any body part, even unintentionally, is considered a fault.

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Understanding the rules of serving in badminton is crucial for both casual players and professionals. By mastering legal serving techniques and being aware of potential faults, players can harness the serve’s power, turning it into a strategic weapon in their badminton arsenal.

Whether you’re just starting out or looking to refine your game, keeping these rules in mind will ensure you serve with both confidence and accuracy.

Badminton is a game of agility, strategy, and skill. However, an understanding of the game’s rules and etiquettes is equally crucial. Whether you’re a budding player or an experienced pro, being aware of these nuances ensures a fair game and showcases sportsmanship – vital components in the spirit of badminton.