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a brief resume on the rules of the game, for a full and complete version of the
I.B.F. (international Badminton Federation) rules please see
Badminton is a game between two players or a team of doubles hitting a light, feathered shuttlecock with a racquet over a central net. Only the serving side can score a point, while the receiving side is trying to win the right to serve the following point.
A badminton match is normally played as the best-of-three games. In doubles and singles, the first side to score twentyone points (unless otherwise agreed) wins the game.
A coin toss decides who is to serve first and which side of the net a player will initially defend.
The shuttle must be hit below the server's waist (i.e. below the lowest part of the bottom rib) with the racquet shaft pointing in a downward direction at the moment the shuttle is struck and the server must have part of both feet stationary in contact with the ground. The shuttle then must fall within the receiver's service court to be deemed legal.
Once the shuttle is in play, the point continues with players attempting to hit the shuttle back and forth across the net. A side wins the rally by hitting the shuttle to the floor on the opponent's side of or if the opponent fails to keep the shuttle in play.
The shuttle is declared out of play if it fails to cross the net, lands out of the court or hits the ceiling of the venue.
A rally is also lost if a fault is committed. A fault is called if a player touches the net during play with either body or racquet, hits the shuttle before it comes across the net or is hit by the shuttle.
A shuttle that lands on a line is in bounds.
A player may let his racquet cross over the net in his or her follow-through on a shot.
A shuttle may hit the net on a serve as long as it then lands within the opponent's service court, otherwise it is a fault.
If a shuttle should get caught on top of the net or in the net, having passed over the net during play, a let is called and the rally replayed, except on service when a fault is called.
A fault is called if a player swings and misses while serving.
Players are guilty of a fault if they deliberately distract an opponent by shouting or making gestures.
An interval of 90 seconds is allowed between each game.
A badminton court is a rectangle 13.4-metres long and 5.18-metres wide for singles, extended on each side with 42-centimetre alleys for doubles (making the doubles court 13.4m x 6.1m). It is divided into two equal sections by the net, 155cm high at the posts at either side and dipping to 152.4cm in the centre.
shuttle consists of a rounded cork base covered in a thin layer of leather.
Sixteen goose feathers are attached to this base. Each shuttle requires three
birds because a wing has six feathers and manufacturers cannot mix those from
left and right wings, because they have different curvatures. Most high-quality
shuttles tend to use feathers from the left wing of the bird, considered
stronger. Note: all the feathers come from birds that have been raised for food.
The length of the shuttle may vary between 64 to 70 millimeters, provided that all feathers are equal length. Each shuttle should weigh between 4.74 and 5.5 grams.
A badminton racquet may be up to 68cm long and 23cm wide, with a head up to 29cm long.
Alley - extension of the court by 1-1/2 feet on both sides for doubles play
Back Alley- Area between the back boundary line and the long service line for doubles.
Backcourt- Back third of the court, in the area of the back boundary lines.
Balk (Feint)- Any deceptive movement that disconcerts an opponent before or during the service.
Baseline- Back boundary line at each end of the court, parallel to the net.
Carry- An illegal tactic, also called a sling or a throw, in which the shuttle is caught and held on the racquet and then slung during the execution of a stroke.
Center or Base Position- Location in the center of the court to which a singles player tries to return after each shot.
Center Line- Line perpendicular to the net that separates the left and right service courts.
Clear- A shot hit deep to the opponents back boundary line. The high clear is a defensive shot, while the flatter attacking clear is used offensively.
Court- Area of play, as defined by the outer boundary lines.
Drive- A fast and low shot that makes a horizontal flight over the net.
Drop- A shot hit softly and with finesse to fall rapidly and close to the net on the opponent's side.
Fault- A violation of the playing rules, either in serving, receiving, or during play.
Feint (Balk)- Any deceptive movement that disconcerts an opponent before or during the service.
Flick- A quick wrist and forearm rotation that surprises an opponent by changing an apparently soft shot into a faster passing one; used primarily on the serve and at the net.
Forecourt- Front third of the court, between the net and the short service line.
Hairpin Net Shot- Shot made from below and very close to the net with the shuttle rising, just clearing the net, and then dropping sharply down the other side. The shuttle's flight approximates the shape of a hairpin.
Halfcourt Shot- A shot hit low and to midcourt, used effectively in doubles against the up-and-back formation.
Kill- fast downward shot that cannot be returned; a "putaway".
Let- A legitimate cessation of play to allow a rally to be replayed.
Long Service Line- In singles, the back boundary line. In doubles a line 2-1/2 feet inside the back boundary line. The serve may not go past this line.
Match- A series of games to determine a winner.
Midcourt- The middle third of the court, halfway between the net and the back boundary line.
Net Shot- Shot hit from the forecourt that just clears the net and then falls rapidly.
Push Shot- Gentle shot played by pushing the shuttle with little wrist motion, usually from the net or midcourt to the opponent's midcourt.
Racquet (Racket)- Instrument used by the player to hit the shuttlecock. Weight about 90 grams (3 oz). Length 680 mm (27 in). Made from metal alloys (steel/aluminum) or from ceramic, graphite or boron composites. Generally strung with synthetic strings or natural gut.
Rally- Exchange of shots while the shuttle is in play.
Serve (Service)- Stroke used to put the shuttlecock into play at the start of a rally.
Service Court- Area into which the serve must be delivered. Different for singles and doubles play.
Short Service Line- The line 6-1/2 feet from the net which a serve must reach to be legal.
Shuttlecock (Shuttle)- Official name for the object that the players must hit. Composed of 16 goose feathers attached to a cork base covered with leather. Synthetic shuttles are also used by some.
Smash- Hard-hit overhead shot that forces the shuttle sharply downward. Badminton's primary attacking stroke.
Wood Shot- Shot that results when the base of the shuttle is hit by the frame of the racket. Once illegal, this shot was ruled acceptable by the International Badminton Federation in 1963.