3 Scoring System in Badminton

Every professional player looks for the best badminton strings on a racquet. Such a cord enables a player to inject more energy on the shuttlecock and also provides easy control. By doing so, you stand a chance of winning a rally or game.

For a novice player getting into a badminton game, it’s wise to know the rules and scoring system in the game. That way, you can strategize on how to earn the winning points.

When you dig deep into the background of badminton sport, you’ll learn that its scoring system has evolved over the years.

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History of the Scoring System of Badminton Game

Scoring System

Since the conception of the badminton game, it has progressed over three different scoring systems to date. That involves the following:

  • The traditional scoring system
  • The 2002 scoring system of 5 x 7
  • The Modern scoring system of 3 x 21

Let’s have a look at each system in detail.

Traditional Scoring System

Scoring Points in the Traditional System


The traditional badminton scoring system dates back to the 1870s. It’s the first system to be adopted in the game since the beginning of the sport.

Under the traditional scoring method, the winner of a badminton match depends on the best of three-game. Further, each game is played to15 points for men singles or doubles. On the other hand, women played to 11 points in a game.

Kick-starting the game involved tossing a coin. Depending on the outcome, each player would know which side to take and who serves first.

In the case of singles, if you serve and win the rally, you earn one point and continue to serve. On the other hand, if you lose the rally, then you earn zero points. Furthermore, you’ll then have to transfer the serving opportunity to your opponent.

But the doubles had a slight change in the serving pattern. When striving for the first point of the game, losing a rally means forfeiting your serving chance.

However, for other subsequent points, losing a rally means passing over the opportunity to your partner. If your partner also is defeated, you give the opposing team chance to serve.

But if you win the rally, you get one point. Then you interchange positions with your partner and thus giving him the chance to serve.

Under the traditional scoring method, anytime a server loses a rally, no team earns a point.

When playing to 15 points, it’s possible for players to end with 13- 13points. If that happens, the player who reaches 13 points first gets the privilege of resetting the game. After the reset, the player that earns 5 points first then becomes the winner of the match.

Similarly, if the scores clock 14-14, the same rule applies, and only the player who nails 3 points first becomes the winner.

In the case of women singles, similar scenarios would occur at nine and ten points. Then the game would similarly reset, but whoever reaches the 3rd and 2nd points for the two cases respectively, emerged the winner.

The 2002 Scoring System, 5 x 7

Scoring Points in the Traditional System

The traditional badminton scoring system allowed matches to go over a lengthy time. So the BWF in 2002 came up with the new scoring system.

Unlike the initial system that required playing to 15 points, the new method stipulated playing to 7 points for a game. At the same time, the winner comes from using the best badminton sets.

Further, if at one time the players record a score of 6-6, the side to first earn 6 points would reset the game. Consequently, after the reset, the player that gets to score 8 points first becomes the winner.

After the changing of the rules of the scoring system, lengthy playing time persisted as an issue. That gave birth to the contemporary scoring method.

The Modern Scoring system, 3 x 21

The Modern Scoring system, 3 x 21

To resolve the problem of protracted playing time of the badminton game, the BWF came up with a new resolution on scoring in 2005.

The resolution brought in significant changes. For example, the new system requires playing three sets to 21 points. Also, both the ladies and men’s singles played to the same rules.

In the modern scoring method, anyone that wins a rally earns a point. So it doesn’t restrict who earns points in a badminton game. But besides playing the best of 3 to 21 points, the winner must lead by at least 2 points.

And to further prevent matches from prolonging, the new system capped the maximum points at 30. In other words, when the scores clock 29-29, whoever reaches 30 first emerges the winner.


So as you have probably realized, the badminton scoring system has come a long way. The professional matches employ the modern scoring system of playing to a set of 3 for 21 rally points.

However, it’s wise to know the rules of all the scoring systems. That way while, practicing badminton at home, you can adopt whichever method that suits you most.

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