Serving Rule (waist height)

by Salman


Question: I am used to giving service while placing shuttle on my chest height and my elbow direction is upwards and from the backhandd I am giving impressive service, my counterpart has protested that this is wrong service, as per him shuttle should not be high from waist when doing service. Can you pls clarify this.


Hi Salman, thanks for your question.

Shuttle at Chest Level is NOT a Foul

If you’re holding the shuttle at around your chest area before delivering the badminton serve, that’s NOT a foul.

Racket Head at Chest Level IS a Foul

Having the shuttle placed at your chest area is not a foul. Having the head of your racket placed at your chest area before delivering a service IS A FOUL.

How to Avoid a Service Foul

To avoid a badminton service fault,

  • The HEAD of your racket must be swung from BELOW your waist. This means that your racket head must be placed below your waist when you deliver the service (only the head or some part of the head of your racket, not the whole racket)
  • Your racket must swing UPWARDS. Many people swing their racket horizontally, therefore having the shuttle fly horizontally towards the opponent (like a badminton drive). THIS IS A FOUL. Your racket must swing in an upwards direction when delivering a service.

These are the 2 most common and important things you need to know about delivering a correct badminton serve.

When you have placed your racket below your waist, moving it slightly upwards above your waist and then swinging it to make a service is also a foul.

Why the “Complicated” Serving Rules Exist

The main reason there are so many rules surrounding a badminton service is to ensure that the person delivering the service does not make the service appear like a badminton drive.

If the shuttle flies so fast across to your opponent like a drive upon a badminton serve, it will be unfair because it is almost impossible to retrieve it.

Therefore it is fairly simple to detect whether a serve is a foul or not. If you deliver a serve and the shuttle flies fast and horizontally towards the other side of the court, that’s probably a FAULT.

You can click here to read more on badminton fouls.

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