You need 21 points to win a badminton game.
If you've played badminton on your front lawn, or at a neighbor's home, you probably set up a makeshift court and simply awarded points when your opponent couldn't return a shot. If you're interested in playing competitive badminton, however, learn the official scoring rules so you can rack up the points for yourself or your team.
Either the server or the receiver can score a point by winning a rally, according to the Laws of Badminton as established by the Badminton World Federation. You win a point if you hit a shot that lands inside your opponent's court, which includes the outer lines. If a shot hits the net, then drops onto your opponent's court, you win the rally and score a point.
You win a point whenever your opponent commits a fault. The most common faults occur when a player hits the shuttle into or under the net or hits a shot that lands outside of the opponent's court. You'll also score a point if your opponent touches the shuttle twice before hitting it over the net; touches the net with a racket; hits a ball that touches a wall or ceiling around the court; gets the shuttle stuck in his racket; or obstructs an opponent. In doubles, a team also commits a fault if it serves out of turn or from the wrong court, or if one player's shot touches his teammate.
Standard Scoring System
In a standard, competitive badminton match of three games, the first individual or team to win two games wins the match. The first player or team to score 21 points, with a margin of at least 2 points, wins the game. If the score is tied at 20-20, competitors continue to play until one side has a 2-point lead, or until the score reaches 29-29, at which time the next point wins the game.
Alternative Scoring Systems
For much of badminton's history, games were won by the first side to score 15 points. If a match reached 13-13, the player who scored the 13th point first had the option to вЂњsetвЂќ the game to 5 points. In effect, the score would revert to 0-0 and the first player to score 5 points would win the game. If the match wasn't set, but reached 14-14, the first player to score the 14th point could set the game to 3 points. If the game still wasn't set, the next point decided the game.
In 2002, international badminton briefly used a 5x7 scoring system. Games were played to 7 points and matches were best-of-five games. If a game score reached 6-6, the player who scored the sixth point first decided whether to play to 7 or to 8 points. In both the 15-point and 5x7 systems, only the server or the serving team could score points. When the server lost a rally, the opponent gained the serve.