Scoring

A rally is won by one side if it plays the shuttle in such a way that it cannot be returned by the opponents and hits the ground inside the opponent's court (including on the lines), if the opponent's return does not cross the net or if the opponent's return hits the ground outside the court boundaries. Furthermore, a side wins the rally if:

  • (one of) the opposing player(s) touches the shuttle with the body before it hits the ground (whether inside or outside the court)
  • (one of) the opposing player(s) touches the net with the racket or the body while the shuttle is in the air
  • (one of) the opposing player(s) hits the shuttle before it has crossed the net (i.e. reaching over to the opponent's side of the court)
  • both players of one side in a doubles touch the shuttle
  • one player touches the shuttle more than once
  • a faulty service is played

The basic scoring rules are:

  • The winner of each rally scores a point, regardless of who is serving. This means that every mistake, even a faulty service, wins the opponent a point. (Avoidable) mistakes are thus penalised quite heavily.
  • The player winning a rally scores a point and simultaneously wins (or keeps) the right to serve.
  • The winning score in each set is 21 points, but to win a set, a side must lead their opponents by two points or more (see below).
  • A player must lead his/her opponents by a minimum of two points in order to win a set. The closest possible winning score with 21 points is therefore 21-19. If the score reaches 20-20, the set is won by the first player or pair building up a two point lead or by the first player or pair to score 30 points. This means that possible winning scores are 22-20, 21-23, 22-24,…, 29-27, 30-28 - or 30-29: if score reaches 29-29, the next player to score a point wins the set with a score of 30-29. This is the only exception when no margin of two points is needed to win a set.
  • The winning score for a set is the same in all five disciplines.
  • Even in a doubles, each side only has one service. As in the singles disciplines, the service is played from the left or the right service court, depending on whether the score of the serving side is odd or even. The service is always played from the left service court if the serving side's score is odd or from the right service court if it is even. In doubles, players of the serving side change service courts with every point they score, but if a side scores a point without having served, they do not change service courts.