Badminton Singles Rules | Recreational Services
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2017 Badminton Singles Rules

Rule 1: Facility | Rule 2: Player Eligibility | Rule 3: Format | Rule 4: Toss |
Rule 5: Scoring System | Rule 6: Singles Play | Rule 7: Faults | Rule 8: General Rules 

Recent rule changes appear in italicized font.

Rule 1: Facility

  1. All matches will be played on the Main Deck of the Field House. Alcohol and tobacco are not permitted inside the facility.

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Rule 2: Player Eligibility

  1. All Intramural Sports eligibility rules apply. Please check the Intramural Sports Rules and Regulations carefully.

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Rule 3: Format

  1. Badminton uses a “play-by” tournament format, meaning players will be paired with an opponent for first round matches. Players will have one week to play their matches before advancing to the next round of the tournament. The bracket will be updated the day following the deadline for each round. It is the responsibility of each player advancing in the tournament to set-up the date and time for the next round to be played. Contact information for your next opponent will be provided through to facilitate communication for future matches.
  2. All participants are responsible for reporting the results of each match to Ashley Zugschwert upon completion. Make sure that the winner’s name, loser’s name, and the scores are all listed in the email. The results must be submitted no later than 11:59 PM on the day of the deadline. All match results will be posted on

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Rule 4: Toss

  1. Before commencing play, the opponents shall toss a coin and the person the toss shall have the option of:
    • serving first,
    • not serving first, or
    • choosing ends
  2. The person losing the toss shall then have the choice of any alternative remaining. Ends are changed after games one and two. If a third game is necessary, ends are changed during the game after one person has scored 11 points. 

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Rule 5: Scoring System

  1. A match consists of best-of-three games to 21 points.
  2. At 20 all, the side which gains a two-point lead first wins the game.
  3. At 29 all, the side scoring the 30th point wins that game.
  4. The side winning a game serves first in the next game.
  5. Every time there is a serve, there will be a point scored, unless that point is replayed.
  6. A two-minute break between each game is allowed.
  7. When the leading score reaches 11 points, players may take a 60-second break if needed. 

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Rule 6: Singles Play

  1. At the beginning of the game (0-0) and when the server’s score is even, the server serves from the right service court. When the server’s score is odd, the server serves from the left service court.
  2. If the server wins a rally, the server scores a point and then serves again from the alternate service court.
  3. If the receiver wins a rally, the receiver scores a point and becomes the new server. He/she serves from the appropriate service court – left if his/her score is odd, and right if it is even.

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Rule 7: Faults

  1. If in serving, the shuttlecock is struck above the server’s waist.
  2. If at the serve, the shuttlecock falls into the wrong receiving court.
  3. If the server’s and receiver’s feet are not within the boundaries of their serving court and receiving court, respectively.
  4. If a player touches the net with his/her racquet, person, or clothes.
  5. If the shuttlecock is struck in return before it has crossed the net to his/her side. (The follow-through may break the plane of the net.)

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Rule 8: General Rules

  1. You should not serve until the opponent is ready, but if he/she attempts to return the serve, he/she is considered ready and play continues.
  2. If in serving, you miss the shuttlecock, you may serve again providing your racquet did not make any contact during the attempt.
  3. Birdies that hit the net as they cross during play are good and should be played.
  4. If, in serving, the shuttle touches the net, it is a “let” provided the service is otherwise good and the birdie is served again.
  5. Birdies that fall on the line are considered good.

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