Badminton is an increasingly popular sport across Australia, both for casual players and professionals. This fast-paced, exciting sport is a great choice for young kids, families, schools, and community groups.
Players hit a birdie, also known as a shuttlecock, back and forth over the net. Players earn a point when the receiving team isn’t able to successfully hit the birdie back over the net. Here’s everything you need to know to get started playing badminton.
A badminton court is set up similarly to a tennis court, with two quadrants on either side of the court. The court is set up to accommodate single and double play. The centre line splits the quadrants on either side of the net, and these quadrants are used differently depending on the number of players in the game.
There are also short and long service lines, which dictate where a server needs to stand and how far the birdie needs to go over the net. Courts can be dirt, clay, grass, concrete, or hardwood. As the birdie isn’t played off of the ground, the surface is purely the preference of the players.
Overhand serves are illegal in badminton. Players must stand behind the long service line when they serve the birdie to their opponents. Stepping over the long service line is counted as a fault. Players are allowed two serving faults before a point is awarded to the other team. Faults are when a server steps over the long service line, misses the birdie, serves into the wrong quadrant, or otherwise makes an illegal serve.
The serve must go past the receiving player’s short service line, which is located near the net on the opponent’s side. If the birdie hits the ground short of this line, it is also considered a fault.
Service must be played diagonally. The server stands behind one quadrant and the serve must be played in the quadrant diagonal from them on the other side of the court. The centre line is there to help determine if a serve is legally served into the correct quadrant.
As we mentioned, points can be earned when an opponent makes more than two serve faults. Points are also awarded when the birdie hits the ground. If the birdie hits the ground within the court, the team that hit the birdie into their opponent’s half and had the birdie hit the ground earns a point. If the birdie is hit outside of the court, the other team earns a point. The outermost lines on the court determine the out of bounds zone.
Unsuccessfully returning the birdie to the opponent will also award a point to the other team. For example, hitting the birdie into the net will award the other team a point. Players have one hit to get the birdie over the net successfully, and hitting the birdie twice before it goes over the net is an illegal move.
Winning the Game
Players hit the birdie back and forth over the net to score points, and the first person or team to reach 21 points wins the game. The game is won by two points, unless the game gets to 29 points each. At that point, the first side to 30 wins.
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