Is a Shuttlecock That Lands on a Line Considered “In?”

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links. See our Privacy Policy for more information.

Affilate Program Icon
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Out or in? That’s a fundamental question — one that every line judge and umpire asks.

When a shuttlecock lands on a line, it’s indeed considered within bounds or “in.” The shuttlecock’s cork base needs to make contact with the line. As long as the shuttlecock lands within the line’s threshold or the line itself,the shot will be considered “in.” This gives a point to the player who made the shot. Even if the cork only makes partial contact with a line, it is still considered “in.”

It gets a little more nuanced than this. Luckily, I’ll be more than happy to expand the bounds of your understanding about when a shuttlecock is in or out of bounds. 

Read on to learn more about when a shot counts and when it’s out of bounds!

Join our mailing list on our About Page for exclusives, offers, and the latest news from BadmintonBites! By joining, you’ll get 25% off anything from our shop!

BadmintonBites Free Downloadable PDF Badminton 101

Is the Line Considered “In” on a Badminton Serve? 

Unlike in most sports, the line in badminton is more than a demarcation of the playing surface’s legal threshold. In other words, it’s more than a line that tells line judges or linesmen where the court ends.

According to 9.1 Badminton World Federation’s (BWF) Service Rules, the line is considered “in” even if the shuttlecock lands on it. The condition is that the line needs to be one of the surrounding lines of the service area. If a shuttlecock lands on one of these lines following a legal service, the shuttlecock will be considered still within bounds.

Shuttlecock on the Line In or Out
A shuttlecock than lands directly on the boundary line is IN.

To get an idea of how this plays out (pun intended), let’s look at two scenarios. These examples will illustrate how the above rule applies to singles games.

Imagine two players standing diagonally opposite each other, as per the BWF’s rules. The server initiates the serve. As soon as the server serves the receiver moves towards the shuttlecock to strike it. Sadly the receiver misses, and the shuttlecock’s base lands exactly on the line.

Are There Any Lines Considered Out of Bounds During a Serve? 

We’ve just covered when a shuttlecock is considered within bounds during singles play, but when can a shuttlecock be considered out of bounds after service? We can answer this by looking into whether or not there are out-of-bound lines during service.

The lines outside the legal service areas are considered out of bounds. If a shuttlecock’s cork makes contact with any of these lines, the player who made the shot won’t get the point — the opponent or receiver will instead. As well, the areas encompassed by these lines are also out of bounds.

A line judge signals OUT
A line judge makes the call if the shuttlecock is IN or OUT.

In most cases, the falling of the shuttlecock on an area that’s out of bounds seems straightforward. However, some situations will result in either confusion or disagreement between a line judge and a player. One such situation is when the shuttlecock bounces.

Keep in mind that the cork base of the shuttlecock is what’s being observed when officials judge a landing. It is the part of the shuttlecock that needs to make contact with a line or surface. Let’s illustrate with an example.

Imagine a server that strikes the shuttlecock to initiate play. Following service, the receiver doesn’t strike the shuttlecock, recognizing the trajectory of its flight. The shuttlecock does land on an area that’s considered “in” but it bounces onto a line that’s not in the legal service area during play.

In such a situation, officials may turn to the Instant Review System. When the officials see that it was the shuttlecock’s feathers that landed first on the legal service line, the service will not count. When the officials see that the cork base made no contact with the line but bounces to an “out” line, the point goes to the receiver. 

Shuttlecock Bouncing Off the Floor
A shuttlecock that lands on an IN area and bounces off outside the court is still considered IN.

Are There Any Lines Considered Out of Bounds?

The service lines for singles games surround a player’s service area. According to the BWF’s standard court measurements, the ones behind and in front of a player will measure 2.6 meters each. The ones at the sides will be 4.72 meters each. If you do the math, this gives a player 12.72 square meters of an area during a serve.

Beyond these lines, any line will be considered out of bounds. These lines, in particular, are the sidelines for doubles. These lines are just beyond the first lateral boundary lines of the court. These lines are about half a meter from the inner boundary lines — 0.40 meters, to be exact, as per the BWF’s standard.

Hawk-Eye Technology
Hawk-Eye Technology is used for the Instant Review System

During singles play, under no circumstances should the shuttlecock make contact with the aforementioned lines. It’s only in doubles games where these lines would be considered still within bounds.

Service Areas
Doubles Service Area VS Singles Service Area

Thank Your Line Judges

There’s a lot to be said about hitting the shuttlecock at the right speeds. However, without it landing on the right spot, knowing who should receive the point can be an area of confusion, throwing the game into chaos.

Luckily, we’ve got line judges and umpires who have the skills and visual acumen for this. Because of these BWF-trained badminton officials, we’ve got games with clear winners and indisputable outcomes.

Subscribe on our About Us page, see you there!

Thank you for reading! Our most popular posts are our badminton equipment posts, make sure to check them out next.

Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our email list down below for a FREE downloadable PDF and a 25% COUPON CODE for our store.

BadmintonBites is all about honest and authentic badminton content. The goal of BadmintonBites is to create real value for the badminton community, which is often plagued with subpar or downright false content on the internet.

Badminton deserves so much more and we’re here to share our experience and expertise with you. You can read more about BadmintonBites and our purpose on our About Us page.

We would love to have you with us on our badminton journey and we hope to provide you with as much value as possible.

Here’s some guides and reviews on badminton products. We update this list whenever we add new equipment content – hope you enjoy!

Equipment TypeProduct Category
Bags Yonex Badminton and Tennis Bags
Yonex Pro Racquet Bag (9 PCS) Review
GripsYonex Grips
Yonex Clean Grap Review
Yonex Hi Soft Grap Review
Yonex Super Grap Review
Yonex Super Grap Tough Review
Yonex Tacky Fit Grip Review
Kimony KGT109 Grip Review
Badminton Grip Buyer’s Guide
RacketsYonex Astrox Series
Yonex Duora Series
Yonex Nanoflare Series
Yonex Nanoray Series
Yonex Voltric Series
Victor Auraspeed Series
Victor Thruster Series
Victor DriveX Series
Victor Light Fighter Series
Best Rackets for Beginners
Best Rackets for Intermediate Players
Best Rackets for Smashing
Best Rackets for Control
Badminton Racket Buyer’s Guide
Astrox 77 Review
Astrox 77 Pro Review
Astrox 88D Pro Review
ShoesYonex Shoes
Shoe Products
ShuttlecocksUltimate List of Badminton Shuttlecocks
Yonex Shuttlecocks (Feathered)
Yonex Shuttlecocks (Synthetic)
Yonex Aerosensa 20 (AS-20) Review
Yonex Aerosensa 30 (AS-30) Review
Yonex Aerosensa 50 (AS-50) Review
Victor Shuttlecocks Overview
Victor AirShuttles
Victor Master No. 3 Review
Li-Ning Shuttlecocks Overview
Aeroplane Black Label (EG1130) Review
StringsVictor and Ashaway Strings
Yonex Strings
Best Badminton Strings for Beginners
MiscYonex Accessories Guide
8 Pieces of Equipment Every Badminton Player Needs
16 Best Gifts for Badminton Fans

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *