If you are playing badminton competitively you should definitely know what the referee hand gestures are and what they mean. They are very useful and help you to understand what you are doing that may be incorrect or against the rules.

Read more: Badminton official terms that you should know.

If you are a badminton enthusiast who loves to watch and follow badminton on TV, knowing what the referee is trying to communicate during the match can prove to be very useful as it will help you completely understand the game.

You won’t be lost as to what happened during the game or why a particular player lost a point if you understand these signals.

The hand gestures are mentioned below:

#1. Undue delay of serve:

Undue delay of serve

Even the receiver should be ready for the service and shouldn’t cause undue delay. The judge will swing their right arm to the left to indicate that the player has been penalised.

Read more: How to serve better in Badminton?

#2. Feet on the service line or even off the ground:

feet on the service line or off the ground

The server and receiver both should stand diagonally opposite each other while at the time of service and receive and they cannot stand outside the bounds of the court lines. 

#3. Service too high:

This is one of the most common hand signals you will see a judge using. This kind of fault occurs quite often in a match even at the international level.

#4. Racket handle should face down while serving:

If it is not facing down, it calls for a violation of the service rules and the service judge will make this gesture to indicate the same:

#5. When the shuttle falls outside the lines of the court:

This is a very common signal seen on TV and even in other matches. It is also a very important signal as it is the final decision though it can be reviewed.

#6. When the shuttle lands inside the lines of the court:   

This is very crucial as the decision of the line’s judge is the final one with regards to whether the shuttle was in or out. It is very important that the line’s judge stays alter and gives the right signal at the right time.


These are the most important hand signals one should know about in badminton as they can come in handy especially while watching the sport on tv.

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