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Badminton Doubles Rules

By Alex Oppenheimer

Badminton can be played by two players or four players at a time. Similar to tennis and popular worldwide, badminton has been in the Olympics since 1992. Rules for doubles play are similar to singles, but with slight variations in the court size and scoring system.

The Court

In doubles badminton, the court is 20 feet wide by 44 feet long; the singles court is just 17 feet wide. The mesh netting used to separate the two sides of the court must be at least 6.1 meters wide and 5 feet high in the center.

Starting the Game

Badminton games start with a coin toss. The winner of the toss chooses to either serve or receive or can defer to the opposing team. If the winner of the toss defers, the team can choose the side of the net it wants to start play on. Once deferred, the opposing team decides to serve or receive first.

Scoring System

A team may only score points on its service. Matches are a best-of-three games, with each game being played until one team reaches 15 points. Players change sides after the completion of each game.


To start, a player serves from the right side of the court. When either team has scored an even number of points, including the start of a game with the score 0-0, the team that is serving must serve from the right side of the court. When either team has scored an odd number of points, the team that is serving must serve from the left side of the court. Servers are allowed two chances for a successful serve. If Player A on Team 1 is serving first, he or she will serve on alternating sides until a point is lost. Once that occurs, the player on the right side of the court on Team 2 will then serve. Once he or she loses a point, his or her teammate will pick up the service. Once he or she loses a point, the service then goes back to Team 1, where Player B will pick up the service.

Serving Errors

Serving errors include a player serving out of turn at any point during the match or serving from the wrong side of the court. A let is when both sides commit an error on the same service point or when a player serves when the receiving player is not set to return the serve. In this case, the point will be thrown out and be replayed.


Faults in doubles badminton are called if: The shuttlecock lands anywhere outside of the boundaries at any time. A player touches the net before or in the process of hitting the shuttle. A player reaches over the net in an attempt to hit the shuttle. A player deliberately distracts an opponent who is attempting to hit the shuttle. The shuttle is hit two times in a row by the same player. A team collectively hits the shuttle more than three times to successfully get it over the net The shuttle is carried on a player's racket and not hit right away

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