All articles Sport scoring

How does badminton scoring work?

A primer on how points are scored in badminton. Covers rallies, faults and serving. Also includes an explanation of what's shown on a scoreboard.



Badminton is a highly popular racquet sport which is known for its fast-paced nature and is played both recreationally and competitively. For beginners, understanding how scoring works in badminton might seem complex, but with this guide, it will become much clearer. We’ll explore the basics of badminton scoring and give you all the information you need to understand how it works.

Attractive woman playing badminton

The basic aim in badminton is for players to score points by hitting the shuttlecock over the net and into the opponent's court, ensuring that the opponent cannot return it.

Games and Matches

A badminton match consists of the best of three games. Each game is played up to 21 points, and a player must win by at least two points. If the score reaches 20-20, the game will continue until one player has a two-point lead or when the score reaches 30-29.

Dimensions of a badminton court

How to Score in Badminton

Points in badminton can be scored as follows:

  1. Serve: The game begins with a serve. The server must hit the shuttlecock so that it passes over the net and lands in the opponent's service court.
  2. Rally: After the serve, players hit the shuttlecock back and forth over the net. A rally ends when the shuttlecock hits the floor, or if a player commits a fault or violation.
  3. Scoring: A point is scored on every serve, regardless of which player is serving. The player who wins the rally earns a point and gets to serve the next point.
  4. Change of Serve: If the server loses the rally, the serve changes to the opponent.
  5. Changing Ends: Players change ends at the end of the first game and again at the end of the second game. If a third game is necessary, players change ends when the leading score reaches 11 points.


A fault is a violation of the rules. A fault can occur for various reasons, such as the shuttlecock landing outside the boundaries, the shuttlecock not going over the net, or a player touching the net with their body or racquet. A fault results in a point for the opponent.

What is Shown on a Badminton Scoreboard?

Typically, a scoreboard would show the following information:

  • The player names or team names in doubles.
  • The number of games won by each player or team.
  • The current score in the ongoing game.
  • Who is currently serving
  • The service judge's indicators (optional).
  • The duration of the match (optional).

Using Scoreboard Software

A badminton scoreboard

By the way: the easiest way of creating your own scoreboard is to use software combined with existing hardware such as a large TV or a projector. This is a great option for small leagues and teams that don't have the budget to purchase an expensive dedicated scoreboard.

Introducing is one of the leading solutions for creating online scoreboards. You can literally be up and running in under 30 seconds, no registration nor payment required.

What's very convenient is that you can control your scoreboard from anywhere, including a mobile phone.

Controlling a scoreboard from a mobile phone using a scoreboard app

Do you have feedback or questions? Please do comment below!