Badminton Competition Format

Six medal events are contested in Badminton including five individual events: Singles and Doubles for both men and women, Mixed Doubles and a Mixed Team Event. The Team Event is completed before the individual events commence.

Each country can enter a maximum of five men and five women.

Mixed Team Event

A team consists of a minimum of two men and two women and a maximum of five men and five women. With the larger teams, substitutions and changes to the selection of players for ties during the tournament are allowed.

The Team Event is conducted in two stages: a round-robin group stage followed by a knockout phase (quarter-finals, semi-finals, a bronze medal final and a gold medal final). The event will comprise of 16 team slots allocated in accordance with BWF World Rankings. Teams are divided in the group stage of the competition into four groups of four teams.  All teams in the designated group play each other to establish a final ranking order, based on the total number of matches won. The top two teams from each group progress into the knockout stage, with a draw conducted to decide the quarter-final ties.

A tie consists of five matches: Men’s and Women’s Singles, Men’s and Women’s Doubles, and Mixed Doubles. No player may play in more than two matches in a tie. A team must win three matches in a tie to be successful. Each match is the best of three games.

Individual Events

The individual events are straight knockout competitions, with the number of rounds depending on the number of entries, with options to have a round of 128, 64, 32 and 16 prior to quarter-finals, semi-finals, a bronze medal final and a gold medal final. Each match is the best of three games.

The match order for the first round of individual events is determined by a competition draw and takes into account event seedings based on BWF World Rankings.


Field of Play

The court is a 13.40m x 5.18m rectangle for singles and a 13.40m x 6.10m rectangle for doubles. The same court is used for Singles and Doubles contests; only the line marks differ. The court is divided into two equal parts by a net attached to the posts at a height of 1.55m.

The Contest

An umpire, aided by a service judge and line judges, presides over a Badminton contest. Before the beginning of the contest, the umpire flips a coin. The winning athlete or pair can choose to serve or receive first or choose its side of the court.

To score a point, athletes have to hit the shuttlecock over the net with their rackets so that it lands on the opponent’s side. An athlete or pair loses the point if the shuttlecock hits the net, lands outside the court or if he or she commits a fault. The most common faults occur when:

  • The shuttlecock hits the athlete
  • The athlete’s racket or body touches the net
  • The shuttlecock hits the ground before passing over the net
  • The shuttlecock is hit twice.



  • Serves must be diagonal
  • The server’s feet must be touching the ground
  • The serve must be made from below the waist
  • Players change ends after each game and in the third game when a side first scores 11 points
  • During service in doubles, the partners can take up any position on their respective courts which do not unsight the opposing server or receiver
  • During service in singles, the players serve from and receive in their respective right service courts when the server has not scored or has scored an even number of points in that game. Players serve from and receive in their respective left service courts when the server has scored an odd number of points in that game.



  • A match is the best of three games.
  • The winner of each game is the first player(s) to reach 21, by two clear points.
  • At 20-all, the side which scores two consecutive points shall win that game.
  • At 29-all, the side scoring the 30th point shall win that game.
  • A point is scored by winning a rally. Points are scored regardless of who is serving and the side who wins the point serves the next point.
  • The side winning a game serves first in the next game.


A racket has the following parts: handle (known as the grip), shaft, throat and head, which is the stringed area. It weighs between 85g and 100g. Its length and width must not exceed 68cm and 23cm respectively.


The shuttlecock is made of a semi-spherical piece of cork coated with leather. On it are attached 16 real goose feathers forming a cone. A shuttlecock must weigh between 4.74g and 5.5g.


Badminton athletes wear shorts/skirts and short sleeved shirts and any combination of colours is permissible. In doubles both players must wear the same clothing, which has their name and country on the back of the shirts. Shoes are usually flat but there are no official standards or specifications.

Sport Jargon

Ace: An outright point from a serve that is not even touched by the receiver.

Lift: A shot played from beneath the height of the net, normally played high to the back of the court.

Smash: A hard, overhead shot, hit directly down into the opposition’s court.

Clear: A shot hit deep into the opponent’s court.

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