Is it considered “out” if the shuttle touches a player outside the badminton court?

by NB Sunuwar

(Grand Rapids, MI , USA)

What is the BWF Rules says and what do you call?

During play in a doubles match, a player returned opponent’s smash and rushed out of the Side Line Boundary (He is outside of the court) and an opponent returned and hits him outside the court. In this situation, what should be called?

IN or OUT?

A player:

  1. Is out of the court (his whole body and racquet is outside of the court)
  2. Did NOT try or attempt to hit the shuttle
  3. Hits by the shuttle outside the court

NOTE: In 2009 Yonex/OCBC U.S. Open, during play one of the player went outside of the court and shuttle hits him outside, both Line Judge and Umpire called it is OUT. Opponents did not say anything.

Are they right?


Hi Sunuwar, thanks for asking us a question.

We appreciate that you ask a question in a clear and concise manner.

In such a scenario, it should be a FAULT because the player touched the shuttlecock before it landed on the ground.

Although it is very clear that the shuttlecock is flying outside the court, the line judge (in official tournaments) will not call it out UNTIL the shuttlecock has landed onto the ground.

Technically, if the shuttle has not landed on the ground, the rally has not ended.

The player commits a foul if the shuttlecock hits him, regardless of whether it is outside or inside the court. Even if he tried to dodge the shuttlecock, it is still considered a foul if the shuttlecock makes contact with the player or the racket.

Getting back to your question, the umpire should call it a fault in such situations.

In the Yonex/OCBC U.S Open 2009, the player who got hit by the shuttlecock should be the one to lose the rally. It shall be a “fault” and the umpire should make the call.

Even if any of the line judges spotted the fault, they are NOT in a position to make the call. Line judges are ONLY responsible to determine whether the shuttle lands inside or outside the court.

I did not watch the Yonex/OCBC Open 2009 but I guess one of the reasons that the opponent did not protest was mainly because the opponent did not see the shuttlecock hitting the player.

Otherwise, they could have had a dispute with the umpire.

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