How Does Scoring in Badminton Work?

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The Badminton scoring system has traveled a long way back from 1873. A new scoring system of badminton has now replaced many rules. But how does scoring in badminton work?

How Does Scoring in Badminton Work?

All the matches, whether they are playing singles or doubles, are the best of three games. The side which scores 21 points first wins the game. Whichever team wins the rally is awarded a point that is scored on every serve.

The winning side always gets a chance for the next serve. And, if the score is 20-20 then, one of the sides must win by two clear points to win the game. If the score reaches 29-all, the team who scores the 30th point first will win the game.

What is the Original Scoring System in Badminton?

  • Scoring System: A badminton match consists of the best of three games of 21 points. Every time there is a service, and a player scores a point. Then, it is added to the score of that side, which wins a rally.At the score of 20 all, the side which scores the lead of 2 points first, wins that game. And, at the score of 29 all, the side which scores the 30th point first wins the rally. The side who is winning the game gets to serve early in the next game.
  • Intervals and Change of Ends: When any side reaches a score of 11- points, then players have an interval of 60 seconds. A 2 minutes interval is allowed between each game. When the leading side scores 11 points, then in the third game, players change ends.
  • Singles: At the beginning of the game at the score of 0-0, when the server’s score is even, then the server serves from the right service court. And when the server’s score is odd, then the server serves from the left service court.

The server wins a rally then the server scores a point and gets a chance to serve again but from the alternate service court. But if the receiver wins a rally then, the receiver scores a point.

He becomes the new server and serves by the odd-even score. If even points scored, then he serves from the right service court else from the left service court.

  • Doubles: At the beginning of the game, when the score is 0-0 and is even then, the server serves from the right service court. When the score is odd, then the server serves from the left service court.If the serving side wins a rally, then the serving side scores a point and again starts serving from the alternate court.

The receiving side wins a rally, then the receiving side scores a point and becomes the new serving side. The players cannot change their service courts until they score a point while their side is serving.

  • Faults: If any player commits any error in the service court, then that error is corrected after the mistake is discovered. In doubles, the serving order depends on the score, whether the points scored are even or odd like in singles.Changing of courts can only be done by the serving side of the court when a point is scored. In all other cases, the players continue to stay in their service court, where they have started the previous rally.

How to Win a Point?

If the shuttlecock hits the ground in the opponent’s half of the court, including lines, then a point is scored. A point can be handed over to the opponent if a shot goes outside the opponent’s court boundaries or if the shuttlecock hits the net or passes through/under it. It can also happen if a player strikes the shuttle twice with his racket.

Players should wait for the shuttle to cross the net before playing a shot. It is better to avoid touching the net with their racket or any part of their body. If it happens then, it can result in a point, and the shuttle will be handed over to the opponent.

How to Serve in Badminton?

The shuttle must be served diagonally into their opponent’s service box and must be hit below the waist height. Both the players should remain stationary until the service is made.

In singles, the server always starts from the right service court and will continue serving from that side whenever he has even points. And, a player still serves from the left service court whenever he has odd points. Each player keeps on serving as long as they keep winning the points.

In doubles, the server starts from the right-hand side and keeps on serving while alternating sides with their teammate as long as they keep winning points. If the receiver side takes a point, then they assume the serve. If a player who did not initially serve for each team then, their side has to win a point.

How is the Scoring System Evolved with Time?

1. 2002 Scoring System:

In 2002, when the International Badminton Federation, i.e., BWF, was concerned with the length of the game, then they decided to experiment with the new scoring system to improve the sport’s appeal. The new scoring system was introduced by shortening the game to seven points and the best of five games.

When the score reaches six all then, the player who first reaches the 8th point will win. The experiment was later abandoned and replaced by a modified and traditional scoring system.

2. 2005-2006 Scoring System:

In the traditional scoring system, a player has to adopt rally point-scoring. The game was lengthened to 21 points with women as well as men singles games. In the old system, the serving was slightly more difficult than defending, especially in professional badminton leagues.

In August 2006, scoring was capped at 30 points, including the golden point rule of 29-all and later adopted by BWF.

3. 2014 Scoring System:

In 2014, the scoring system was reviewed. Match lengths have increased since 2006. Many systems were considered at that time. In the end, it was decided to try a system of best of five games to score 11 points. The new scoring system was adopted by specific tournaments from 1 November 2014.

Final Thoughts

It is very easy to forget the score and the side you were serving or receiving. But how does scoring in badminton work? The match is played for the best of three games scoring 21 points each game. At the score of 29-all, the side which scores the 30th point first wins the rally.