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Badminton is a bit overwhelming when you start out. There are badminton specific terms and rules (let alone service rules) that can be incredibly confusing if you’re not used to it. In this specific post, I’ll try and clarify some common questions people have about what a “rally” is in badminton. However, I highly recommend you read up on our getting started guide if you want to dive deeper into badminton.

Badminton has used rally scoring since August 2006 when the Badminton World Federation (BWF) adopted the 21 point rally scoring system. Before August 2006, badminton did not use a rally scoring system, but rather a 15 point sideout scoring system where players can only score if they, or their team, served. This produced very long matches and made it easy for tournaments to go over time, which is why badminton now uses rally scoring.

What is a Rally in Badminton?

rally in badminton is defined as a single instance of when the shuttlecock is in play to when it is no longer in play. Effectively, this means a rally starts when a player serves and ends when the shuttlecock lands on the ground or a fault is called. You can think of it as a single point that is played in a match.

What is Rally Scoring in Badminton?

Rally scoring in badminton means that either player or team can win a point no matter which side serves. Under traditional badminton rules, you can only score a point if you or your team served. In modern badminton, which uses rally scoring since August 2006, you or your team do not need to serve in order to score a point.

CRAZY Badminton Saves Part 1
CRAZY Badminton Saves Part 1

How Many Points Does the Server Get for Winning a Rally in Badminton?

Winning a rally as the server gives you a single point (1 point). It does not matter who serves, a single point is always awarded to the winner of a single rally.

How Many Points Does the Receiver Get for Winning a Rally in Badminton?

Winning a rally as the receiver gives you a single point (1 point). It does not matter who receives, a single point is always awarded to the winner of a single rally.

Do Singles Matches Use Rally Scoring in Badminton?

Yes, singles matches use rally scoring in badminton. All badminton disciplines use rally scoring.

Do Doubles Matches Use Rally Scoring in Badminton?

Yes, doubles matches use rally scoring in badminton. All badminton disciplines use rally scoring.

Where Do You Serve in Rally Scoring?

The winning side of the rally always serves the next point. The person standing on the left will serve if that player or team’s score is odd. The person standing on the right will serve if that player or team’s score is even.

For more details, check out Everything You Need to Know About Service Rules in Badminton.

How Do You Determine a Winner if There is a Tie in Scoring?

A player or team must win by 2 points in badminton for rally scoring, unless 30 points is reached. If a player or team reaches 30 points, they win the game even if they do not have a 2 point advantage.

Will Badminton Continue Using Rally Scoring in the Future?

It’s very likely that badminton will continue using rally scoring for the foreseeable future. Going back to sideout scoring would increase the time that matches take which isn’t what the Badminton World Federation (BWF) is going for. In fact, the BWF has been experimenting with a 5 game, 11 points per game system. If badminton were to change scoring systems, it would likely be to this.


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