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How to Score in Badminton

Regardless of whether badminton is played for fun or competitively, it is important to know and understand badminton scoring. There are two ways of scoring in badminton, the old way of scoring, known as service points and the new way of scoring known as rally points and is the one used in professional badminton games.

A Quick Guide to Badminton Scoring

The old way of scoring in badminton

If the game is just a friendly game of badminton between friends then the choice needs to be made up front on which badminton scoring method is used. If the old method of scoring is decided, points are only scored by the serving side and only if they win the rally.

Before beginning play the players also have to decide on how many points make up a game and how many games are in a match. Players can only score during the game when they are serving. At the end of the game the player with the highest score is awarded a point. At the end of the match the player with the most points wins the match.

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The new badminton scoring system

How to score points in badminton – modern scoring system

If the players are going to use the professional, more current, method of scoring they are using the rally system. In the rally system, the match is made up of three games with 21 points in each game. The player who wins the game wins the point, known as a rally point and the player with the most rally points at the end of the 3-game match wins the game.

During a rally score game of badminton, players change sides and take a short one-minute break at the scoring of eleven. In the last game of the match the player who has the leading score is the score that is used to determine the break and side change, which is the eleventh point.

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Who serves first

To determine who will serve first during the first rally, players generally use a coin toss with the winner being afforded his choice of serving or receiving the first rally. After the first game is over it is the winner of that game that determines who serves first in the next game.

In this modern scoring method the person who wins the rally is awarded the point regardless of who served the rally. This continues on until one player reaches 21; however, there must be at least a two-point lead or reach thirty points otherwise.

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Badminton scoring in doubles

Badminton players must also understand the scoring system if they are playing doubles. Only one player of the team can serve at one time and the serve is then passed consecutively around the table. If the score is even, the server plays from the right court.

The side that wins the rally wins the point just as in singles. However, the server continues to serve until the opposing side wins a rally and takes over. At that point, the serve would switch to the opposing side and once returned the remaining player of the team would serve.

Final thoughts

Badminton scoring is not hard to understand but it must be understood in order to play properly and know who is winning, otherwise the game will be confusing.

Professional players often use a different scoring method than non-competitive games which is why it is important to understand both scoring methods.

      Badminton Master