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Playing doubles with your friends in badminton is pretty exciting but not knowing how to play badminton doubles can be a hurdle in enjoying the game but don’t worry in this guide you will find all information which is necessary to play doubles.

To summarize in order to play badminton you need to have knowledge about these topics

  • Service rules in doubles
  • Receiving rules
  • Which shuttle is in and which is out?
  • Scoring rules
  • Faults in doubles
  • Doubles Footwork
  • Doubles Strategy to win matches

To play Doubles in badminton you need 4 players in total with each team having two players

There are three types of doubles categories:-

  • Men’s double
  • Women’s double
  • Mixed double (one male/one female as a pair)

For all categories, rules are the same, but your strategy differs in each category for example

  • Men’s doubles, it mostly depends upon attacks
  • Women’s doubles, matches are more like marathon means players try to win the rally by making deceptive of fast shots
  • Mix doubles, as the name suggests is the mixture of both men’s and women’s double in meaning that at mail player is attacking from the back of the court and female player is covering the front area.

Badminton Doubles Rules

Before starting a match a toss of the coin is performed to decide who is going to serve to whom and which side of court will be taken by respective players.

You can use any conventional coin.


1) to serve or to receive or

2) the preferred side of the court.

The loser of the coin toss will then exercise the remaining choice.

Badminton doubles rules (Service)

Which service is IN and which is OUT in doubles?

In doubles service which lands in the colored area is valid (Shuttle even if it lands on the line is considered as valid)

And all service in doubles (and singles) are done diagonally.

A simple rule is followed for service if you are having points in odd number like 1, 3, 5 then you will serve from left box of courtside diagonally to your opponent and if you are having points in even number like 0, 2, 4 then you have to serve from right box of your courtside diagonally to your opponent.

Red to Yellow, Yellow to Red (shuttle if lands in Yellow area while serving from Yellow area from another side than it is not valid)

Who is Going to do service to whom?

There are two players in a team then service will be done in continuity means if A and B are playing A receive the first service and win the point now the next service will be of his partner B and he will continue to serve until they lose the point.

Look at the table below for more clarification.

Course of action / Explanation Score Service from Service Court Server & Receiver Winner of the rally
Badminton rules
Badminton rules

Souce:- BWF

Legal Serve

There used to be a time when players have to keep their racket below the waist to make a legal service but now after 2018 bWF introduced the rule in which a stand of 1.15 m will be used to determine whether the server is legal.

Now according to the new rule, your racket head and contact point shuttle should be below 1.15 m but it is not the only rule which you have to keep in mind to make a legal service.

Here are some common service rules

  • You cannot move your feet while service it applies both to the receiver and the person who is doing the service
  • You cannot do a double-action with your racket while service it means that you have to use a Single swing to hit the shuttle and not use any double action to deceive the receiver.
  • Your feet should not be on any line

Which Shuttle is IN/OUT in badminton doubles?

Badminton doubles rules
Badminton doubles rules

Any shuttle which lands on the court is considered as valid (even if it is on the line).

A player who is receiving the shuttle can place it anywhere to his opponents’ court but it should not be out of the court.

Scoring system in Badminton

The Badminton 21 points scoring system started in the Thomas / Uber cup 2006. The current scoring system in Badminton

approved by bwf is Best of 3 sets where each set is of 21 points. In this scoring system, point taker will make service just like in tennis except bounce is not allowed in badminton.

System For Counting scores in badminton as an umpire

It is easy to count the scores in badminton as an umpire, you have to follow one single rule and that is, while counting always pronounce the score of the player who is having the service.

For Example Lin and Lee is having a match and you are appointed to count score as an umpire now according to rules you have to tell the score of the server(who is doing the service) first and after that the score of the receiver(who is receiving the service)

Like Match start 0-0 (now the person who will do the service his score will be told first )

now score is 6-7 ( in this situation the player with 6 points is having the service so now the score will be pronounced in this manner 6-7 not 7-6 because the player with the 6 points is having the serve).

Badminton doubles faults

It is very common that most of the players play badminton without the presence of an umpire so it is necessary for a player to know the badminton faults that can give the point to your opponent. Click to read the article on faults.

How to Move on Court while playing Doubles

I see sometimes doubles player, due to lack of Doubles positioning (formation) knowledge, both players end up in the same corner leaving the whole court free or argue about that “This was my hit “.

It can be very tricky for a beginner to play doubles especially when you don’t know where you need to be after the shot hit by the opponent.

But don’t worry in this article you will learn movement to move more effectively on the court with your partner.

Where you and your partner formation should be while you are playing:-

  • Smash
  • Serving and receiving
  • Defense

Formation When you are playing smash from the back of the court

(want to improve speed of your smashes read this article)

Scenario 1 :

When your opponent gives you a high lift on your side of the court(where you are standing), the attacker goes to rear court for the smash and other player will move to the front.

Reason why? because it will be difficult for the smasher after smash to reach to net quickly.

Attacking formation
Attacking formation

As you can see in the diagram the frontcourt player is standing a little bit to the side of the court from where his partner hitting smash, This formation helps the player to keep there attacking plays by covering the net.

Scenario 2 :

When the attacker is hitting the smash, not that back of the court this formation in doubles will be effective.

Attacking early
Attacking early

Here in diagram Smasher is not that far behind and if a straight drop is played by an opponent he can easily follow through the shuttle but if he counters the smash to cross side of rear court backside player will be needed to play backhand which is not much effective.

That is why frontcourt player is standing a little bit to the left side to cover those cross drives.

Service and return position in doubles

Service formation
Service formation(CC license)

The person who is doing the service and receiving the service stand close to the front service line, whereas the other two-player stand to the side of the court where the receiver is standing.

Like in this picture red t-shirt player is standing a little bit to the left to cover the straight reply of the receiver.

Doubles Positioning When you are Defending smashes

Scenario 1 :

When you have lifted shuttle to your opponent in the back court (corners) and he is attacking

Badminton defensive formation
Badminton defensive formation(by – Antony stanley)

Here you can see that the Right side player is standing close to the center because if the smash cross court he will have enough time to react compare to straight smash.

That is the reason this formation is effective.

Scenario 2 :

When your opponent is attacking the center of his rear court.

Badminton formation
Badminton formation

In this situation, the player is hitting smash from the center which means every possible smash angle has to travel some distance, so standing in the center of their respective half-court will be best.

Doubles positioning Fighting for the next attack

When both sides are fighting for the attack, they both tend to start in a defensive side-by-side position.

As one side gains the advantage, one of their players will move forward to claim the front of the court, and their attack will begin.

Doubles tactics to win matches

The right way to receive and serve in doubles

In doubles, you cannot afford to make a loose serve so you should invest fair amount time in practicing your service but now the question is where to do serve as your option is very limited because of less area as compared to single

Your service should be according to your position for example if you are serving from left side of the court then cross serve is not a valid option because it will give the receiver a chance to push the shuttle straight giving you and your partner less time to react always aim for Central Line or flick service

As a receiver, your aim should be to keep the shuttle as below the net as possible lifting in the doubles is the last thing you want to do.

You need to be quick on receiving shuttle, the best option is to either dribble or go for push shots to the backhand side of your opponent.

Attacking tactics

One of the most common mistakes attacking player 2 in Doubles is thinking that he is playing singles means you always go for sharp smashes which land on the lines but this is not a correct strategy look at these variations which you can incorporate in your game

Long smashes

I have a friend who smashes always to the chest but in Doubles it seems to work out because in Doubles players tend to keep their racket and body low so long smashes gets them with surprise.
Next time when you play, try to hit smash between their hip and chest area and see how that works out, but keep in mind that your Smash should be close to their body because if you hit this type of shot on their forehand side then get ready for hard counter-attack always try to keep this shot close to their body.

Center smash( between opponent)

When my coach told me about this tactic I used to wonder why there are not many players using this in international matches, now I have realized this is because they do not lift the shuttle at center of the court instead keeps the attacker at the corners which a beginner or even an intermediate player tends not to do
So This might prove a good tactic for you.

Getting in attacking position

In Doubles major chunk of the rally is won by getting the attacks but now the question is how you can set up a rally


One of the basic things you can do is to to make a fine dribble shot which will force your opponent to lift, eventually giving your partner an opportunity to attack


Counterattack is just the variation of Defence here you are hitting shuttle with more force, instead of just placing the Drop shot on your defense try to hit hard so that your opponent is forced to either make a drop or lift the shuttle


It is very rare to see a point set up by deception in doubles because here two players are on the court so you need to be extremely good with these shots.
Try to find out which of the two-player is more easy to deceive, so that you can gain the advantage to get a lift from your opponent.

There are so many things you can do the wrong check this article for common mistakes done by a beginner


if you face any problem in your badminton career.

Thank you for reading…….

Categories: For beginner


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