Badminton has become one of the flourishing sports in India with the inspiring success of Indian Badminton players such as PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal at a global level. It no more comes as a surprise to us that Badminton is currently the second most popular sport in the world. Invented in India as Poona, the shuttlecock and racquet sport has risen to prominence quickly. Today, Badminton is played in two formats: singles and doubles. In singles, where players need to have optimum stamina, doubles require perfect coordination. Both of these formats have varying rules, including serving rules. If you are an intermediate player, who loves challenging coordination and is seeking a deep understanding of the Badminton Doubles Service Rules, this article is for you.
Types of Serves in Badminton
A serve or service in Badminton is when a player hits the shuttlecock with the racquet to the opponent’s side over the net. The shuttlecock should not get stuck in the net and should stay in the periphery of the playing area.
Primarily, there are two types of services.
- High serve
The high service is usually a good start to a rally. It is hit in the upward direction to cross the net and land deep on the opponent’s side. The best thing about this service is that the opponent is forced to play a defensive shot, and you get the time to play an attack reshot. However, you need to ensure that the shuttlecock should not go beyond the court’s boundary.
- Low serve
Also known as the short service in the rules and regulations of Badminton doubles, in this kind of service, the shuttlecock lands close to the front service line after just passing over the net. The best thing about this service is that you gain a better position while the opponent has to lift the shuttlecock by running towards the net.
Other than these, there are strategic ones.
- Flick serve
A flick serve is a clever and deceptive serve where you hit the shuttlecock in an upward direction. The trick in the serve is that the speed of the racquet increases in the last millisecond. The shuttlecock goes higher and farther, which confuses the opponent and allows you to take the attack position, which pushes the opponent deep into the court to strike back.
- Drive serve
This is the service in Badminton doubles service rules where the speed of the shuttlecock is the fastest. The objective of this service is to make it flat and fast at the same time. This provides less time for the opponent to prepare and intercept the attack. Further, it also limits the opponent’s chances to strike back efficiently.
Basic Terminologies for Service in Badminton
The basic terms related to Badminton doubles service court rules are easy to understand. Here are some of them!
- Service court: It is the area from where one serves.
- Service line: The service line defines the service and runs parallel to the back boundary line.
- Service box: It is a small box in the service court. The player needs to stand in this box to hit the service shot.
What are the General Service Rules in Badminton?
No matter if it is a singles or a doubles Badminton game, there are some game rules that remain the same. These rules include some service rules too.
The first service rule for both the singles and doubles formats is the cross-court service. No matter who the server is, the server and the opponent must serve and collect while standing at the diagonal edges of the court.
Both the server and the opponent must stand still or be stationary on the court until the shuttlecock implementation of serve. No one should move!
In no circumstances the boundary line of the court should be touched, or it will be considered a fault. But, if the shuttlecock lands on the boundary line or the long service line of the opponent, it is not a fault.
You must serve from the right court if your score is zero (love) or any even number. If your score is odd, you must serve from the left court. Hence, as per the Badminton doubles service court rules, you must change the serving side every time you score a point.
When you are serving, the height of the shuttlecock should be below 1.15 meters from the court’s surface. If it goes above that, it is a fault.
There should not be any halt in the motion of the service after you hit the base of the shuttle.
When you serve, your service should be over the net and land beyond the service line in the opponent’s court.
Make sure that your opponent is ready before you serve the shuttlecock.
What are the Rules For a Legal Serve in Badminton?
A legal serve in Badminton doubles service rules is one that does not attract a fault. There are several rules and requirements for a legal service, which include
- On the court, one must always serve from the service box.
- The player should hit the shuttlecock from the height below the waist.
- One should hit the shuttlecock diagonally across the Badminton court. From the right court of the server end to the left court of the receiver’s end or vice versa.
- The shuttlecock should always land in the receiver’s service court.
If any of these rules are violated, it is considered a fault. Players can commit only two faults in a game, or they lose the serve and give the opponent’s team a point. These are the critical rules and regulations of Badminton doubles that players need to abide by.
Specific Serving Rules For Doubles!
Before we jump into the serving rules for doubles, it is imperative to note that the size of the court is different in the doubles format play. Unlike the singles format, the doubles court is wider and shorter. Also, slightly more complex rules need more of your attention if you wish to ace your game. Let’s get started
The player who serves first should serve from the right side of the court. The receiver should stand on the opposite end of the court. The winning pair should be the one to serve the next time.
There is a particular order or right to serve in Badminton. Here is the correct one!
- It begins from the initial server who served from the right side in the beginning.
- Served diagonally in the opponent’s court.
- Back to the server’s co-player.
- Then to the first receiver in the beginning.
- And back to the initial server.
In the doubles game, the toss decides which team will serve and who will serve.
No player on the receiving side can get two consecutive services in a single game.
In the doubles Badminton format, if any of the players have served or received out of turn or served or received from the wrong side of the court, it will need correction there and then.
The players on both sides of the court can stand in any position if they are not in the line of sight of the server.
The next rule is about the rally. The serving team or the receiving team wins the rally when the point is scored. Any team scores a point when the shuttlecock is hit by the opponent and touches the ground, lands outside the boundary of the court or hits the net.
The side that scores 21 points with a 2-point difference is the winner of the game. There are three games, and after each game, the sides are changed. To start with a new game, any player from the winning team can serve, and any player from the losing team can receive.
What are Service Faults, and How Can You Avoid Them?
There are some common service errors which may lead to losing points.
- Serving from the wrong side of the court.
- Serving from the outside of the service lines. This falls in the Badminton doubles service line rules.
- Serving with the racquet that is touching the net.
- Serving by keeping the shuttlecock over the height of 1.15 meters.
- Serving before the opponent is not ready.
These are service faults, which can be corrected by careful analysis before serving.
Bonus tips – How to Improve Your Serving in Badminton?
Now that you are aware of the nitty-gritty Badminton Doubles Service Rules, here are some tips to improve your serving efficiency.
- Racquet: Always focus on the positioning of your racquet. Hold the racquet head pointed towards the sky while placing it by your shoulder. It will help in the easy back and forward positioning while striking back.
- Grip: Your grip on the racquet handle plays a pivotal role in serving. You can practice different grip positions. The ideal grip position is the thumb and index finger on either side while the other fingers are wrapped around the handle.
- Stance: To ensure proper balance while serving, focus on your stance. Always stand facing the side of the court while your feet are shoulder-width apart. Further, balance the weight on your feet with your knees slightly bent.
Badminton is a great sport. However, if you want to play it professionally, you must abide by the game’s rules. Yes, the Badminton doubles service rules are complex, but one can get hold of them once they are regular. To begin your playing journey, get started now!