Badminton Scoring System: 21 Points

The badminton scoring system discussed on this page is based on the 21 points or known to many as the new rules.

How to Win a Badminton Game

You get a point by winning a rally.

You win a rally if:

  • The shuttle drops within the INSIDE boundaries of your opponent’s side.
  • Your opponent commits a Badminton Fault.

Whether you’re playing singles or doubles, you’ll win the game when you get 21 points before your opponent does.

Deuce in Badminton

When the score reaches 20-20, there will be a deuce. When a score deuces, you’ll need lead by 2 points in order to win the game. Counting of points continue even after 21 points. You will ONLY be announced as the winner if you lead by 2 points (For example, 22-20, 23-21, 24-22…)

However the maximum points for an official badminton game is 30 points. For example if both sides deuce at 29-29, the winner of the next rally will win the game at 30-29.

Badminton Scoring and Serving Position

You should also know which area on the court you should be standing when making a service. It’s very simple.

You always serve diagonally to the opponent’s side. For example in singles,

The next thing is where should I stand when I serve?

The player with an:

  • EVEN number score (0,2,4,6…) serve from the RIGHT hand side area of the court.
  • ODD number score (1,3,5,7…) serve from the LEFT hand side of the court.

A simple illustration is provided in the picture below.

This works exactly the same for badminton doubles. Since there will be 2 players each side, this might look a bit complicated.

In doubles, players only switch areas to serve if they win consecutive points.

Still don’t get it?

Don’t worry! It’s pretty simple. Here are examples of 2 possible scenarios…

One side will have 2 players (player A and Player B). The score is 0-0 and the team will start the game by making the first badminton service.

Scenario 1:

In the above picture, “player A” stands at the right hand side and their current point is 0, so “player A” will serve from the right side.

If A and B wins the rally, the point will be 1-0 and “player A” will have to move to the left hand side of the court to serve.

Now, “Player A” will make the service from the left side at 1-0.

Scenario 2:

Let’s go back to 0-0. Say “player A” starts the service. But this time, they LOSE a point to their opponents. Their score remains at 0; their opponent’s score is 1. The opponent gets to serve now.

Then during the next rally, “player A’s” side win the rally and bring the score to 1-1. This time, “player B” serves** instead of “player A” (They DO NOT need to switch areas).

**Since 1 is an odd number, the player standing at the left hand side of the court will make the service.

As a beginner, it’s very normal to find yourself ‘lost’ while playing doubles. It’ll be useful to have at least one player on court who is familiar with the badminton scoring rules to guide you at the start. I promise you’ll be a pro at this after a few sessions of badminton.

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