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Badminton is one of the most popular racket sports in Singapore. With 17 different ActiveSG venues all over the island to book your courts, it is no doubt one of the most popular recreational sport amongst Singaporeans. Equipment is also relatively inexpensive which makes it easy for new players to take up the sport. To get started, all you need is a badminton court, net, rackets and shuttlecocks.

Badminton is fun which makes it a good activity for family and friends to bond. At the same time, it is also an effective calorie-burner that not only builds strength but put your reflexes to the test. After all, players are required to run, lunge, stretch, leap and jump around the 20 x 44 feet rectangular court.

Just 30 minutes into the game you could feel as though you’ve been through an intense workout or just ran a marathon.

badminton court dimensions


Here is a breakdown of badminton rules based on “Laws of Badminton Regulations 2017” by the Badminton World Federation. You can also click here for a beginners guide to badminton rules and regulations.

Setting Up

Before we begin, we ought to be sure that the court we’re playing on is according to the dimensions provided above and to ensure that the net separating the two courts are of the right height. Not to worry as all ActiveSG badminton court are drawn in accordance to international standards.

The coin toss – who goes first?

Before a tournament starts, a coin is tossed. The winner of the coin toss will then get to choose either

  • to serve or to receive first or
  • the preferred side of the court

The loser of the coin toss will then exercise the remaining choice.

However, if it is just a friendly game with your family or friends, you may wish to use rock-paper-scissors to determine the winner of who’s going to go first.

Badminton Service

A serve is delivered diagonally across the courts. During service, both the server and receiver must stand at diagonally opposite sides without touching the boundary lines of the badminton courts. During a serve, the point at which the racquet is allowed to come into contact with the shuttlecock must happen below the server’s waist. Once the players are ready, the first forward movement of the server’s racket shall be the start of the service. The server shall not serve before the receiver is ready. However, the receiver will be considered to have been ready if a return of service is attempted.


A rally starts with a serve, often continuing with a series of shots exchanged between opposing sides before it finally ends when a point is scored.

Badminton Scoring System – 3 (games) x 21 (points)

The 3 (game sets) x 21 (points) scoring system was first introduced in December 2005 and is now the official scoring system used at professional tournaments.

Despite the official updates to the rules, some recreational players (particularly those who have been playing badminton for many years) still follow the traditional scoring system where winners are determined by the best of three games, played to 15 points for men and 11 points for women.

In the official tournament rules today, a badminton match consists of three games. The winner of the best of three shall be crowned the winner.

The first player/team to score 21 points wins a game.

A point is awarded to the player/team that wins the rally.

In the event that a game reaches a 20-20 score, players can only win the set by getting a 2 point lead over the opposing party, e.g. 22-20, 23-21, 24-22 etc.

In the event that the game reaches a 29-29 score, the first team to reach 30 points will win the set and take the service for the next game.

Specific Rules to Badminton Singles vs Doubles

Badminton Singles

Where should you serve from?

The server shall serve from their respective right service court when the server has not scored or has scored an even number of points in the game. Vice-versa, the server shall serve from their respective left service court when the server has scored an odd number of points in the game.

Scoring in Badminton Singles

If the server wins a rally, the server shall score a point and shall serve again from the alternate service court. If the receiver wins a rally, the receiver shall score a point. The receiver will become the new server.

Badminton Doubles

Where should the pair serve from and sequence of serving

A player of the serving side shall serve from the right service court when the serving side has not scored or has scored an even number of points in the game. Vice-versa, a player of the serving side shall serve from the left service court when the serving side has scored an odd number of points in the game.

The player of the receiving side standing diagonally to the server will be the receiver.

The sequence of serving in a doubles game shall follow,

From the initial server who started the game from the right service court to the partner of the initial receiver, to the partner of the initial server, to the initial receiver and back to the initial server and so on.

Switching sides on the court

Here are a few instances where players or teams will switch sides on the court,

  • At the end of the first game
  • At the end of the second game if there is a third game
  • During the third game, the first player/team scores 11 points.

For a detailed breakdown of badminton rules, do refer to the Badminton World Federation “The LAWS of Badminton”. Badminton Court Rules in a nutshell Like many other sports, winner of the coin toss shall have a say in who serves first and gets to choose the side of the court they prefer. Badminton is played in a best of three set formats. The first to reach 21 points will win the set. Service is always delivered diagonally across the court be it in Singles or Doubles play. Switch sides of the court after every game and after the first player to score 11 points on the 3rd game if it exists.


To receive the latest updates on the happenings in the Singapore sports scene, or to find out more about some of the latest programmes on offer at ActiveSG, like our Facebook page here.

Whether you would like your child to experience badminton or embark on a pathway to excel in it, the SBA Badminton Academy @ ActiveSG is the right place for you! Helmed by professional coaches, they will be on hand to guide your child every step of the way to instill values and character development. From fundamental movement skills to core badminton skills, the programmes are designed to be fun, yet challenging.

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