What are the rules of serving in a singles game?

by Prateeksha

(Uttar Pradesh, India)

Low Serve Trajectory

Low Serve Trajectory

Low Serve Trajectory

High Serve Trajectory

Question: What are the rules to serve in single game? (I don’t know the proper rules that’s why I am asking you)


Hi Prateeksha, thank you for the question.

The rules to serve in badminton for all categories are the same. It doesn’t matter if it’s singles, doubles or mixed doubles.

Why the Rules are in Place

The main reason for the strict rules governing a badminton serve is to prevent the server from performing a service that would look like a badminton smash or drive.

A server can serve from anywhere BEHIND the service line.

What the Rules Aim to Prevent

If there are no rules to regulate badminton serves, a player can simply toss the shuttle high up (like tennis) and smash the shuttle downwards to the opponent.

This will be unfair for the receiver. Think about it this way, imagine how difficult it would be to defend a smash performed near the service line.

Therefore the idea of the badminton service rules is to allow the shuttlecock to travel UPWARDS when the service is delivered, not horizontally or downwards to your opponent’s side.

The High Serve and Low Serve

Above are 2 illustrations of the trajectory of a low serve and high serve.

The pictures at the top of the page show you the CORRECT flight trajectory of the low and high badminton serves.

Observe that in both instances, the shuttle will travels upwards before dropping down. It does not just travel downwards (similar to a smash).

The Rules of Serving

In the officials badminton rules, regulations are set to ensure that the shuttlecock travels upwards upon a service.

Instead of simply stating that the shuttlecock must travel in an upward direction, the rules state that upon delivering a badminton serve:

  • The server can only make contact with the shuttlecock when the whole shuttlecock is below the server’s waist line (below your bottom rib).
  • The shaft of the racket must be pointing downwards, which means your whole racket must be pointing downwards when you deliver the service.
  • Your racket must swing upwards when delivering the badminton serve.

Basically your service must meet all 3 criteria or else it will be a service fault.

If a player follows these rules when delivering a badminton serve, there is no way that the service will appear like a badminton drive or smash.

Click here to read on the complete set of service rules for badminton.

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