A badminton match is played to the best of three games. A coin toss determines first serve or choice of side. The object of a badminton game is to hit the badminton shuttlecock over the badminton net and onto the ground within bounds on your opponent's side of the court. A rally can also be lost by hitting the shuttle into the badminton net, out of bounds, before it crosses the net to your side, or if it strikes your clothing or body rather than your badminton racket.
Badminton Scoring Formats
The modern badminton rules permit two different scoring formats: service and rally. In service play, a badminton game is won by scoring 15 points in doubles and men's singles, or 11 points in women's singles. In rally play, 21 points are needed to win a badminton game.
In service play, only the serving team may score a point. If the rally is lost, service passes to the opponent in singles play. In doubles play, except for the first service of a game, each player on a team is permitted to serve at least once before service is lost. In rally play, a point can be awarded to either team, and in most cases, a point is awarded along with resumption of service, except when a rally point is lost by the first member of a serving doubles team.
At the conclusion of each badminton game, players or teams must switch sides. If a third game is necessary during a match, sides are switched during that game when a player/team has reached eight points in doubles or men's singles, six points in women's singles, or 11 points in rally play.
Badminton Serving Rules
As in tennis, badminton service is always done diagonally, e.g. from the right service court to the opponent's left service court. The first serve is always taken from the right court, and subsequent serves are taken from alternating sides.
Line shots in badminton service or rallies are considered in, though court bounds are different for singles and doubles play. The back line is the same for both, but singles badminton is played with the narrower of the two sidelines.
A serve that strikes the net and lands in the opponent's court is a let serve and is retaken. During service, players must stand in their respective service courts. The receiving player is not permitted to move his/her feet until the badminton shuttlecock has been struck. The highest part of the serving player's badminton racquet must remain below his/her hand and waistline during service. In other words, only underhanded serves are permitted.