How to Serve in Badminton

Serving is simple. Right?


For professional players, serving might be easy as pie, but for beginners, they can be really tough.

Because it’s not only about hitting the shuttlecock, you have to do it right.

Remember, your serve will determine the pace and the tone of the match. Now, there are different types of serves that you can use to unsettle the opponent.

But before you learn how to serve in badminton, you must know the rules of serving.

So, without further ado, let’s get started.

Where Do You Serve?

One thing you must always keep in mind is that when you are serving, it has to be done cross-court. Meaning that you have to make sure that your shuttle goes diagonally when it reaches across the net.

This rule stands for most sports that include a net separating the opponents, like tennis.

While serving, the player must be careful not to stand on the lines of the court, as it is counted as a fault. Another thing you have to know that it would be considered an in if the shuttle drops and lands on the opponent’s boundary line.

Where you serve from depends on your point and whether you are playing singles or doubles. If you have a score of an even number or a zero, you have to serve from the right court. However, if you have a score of an odd number, the service must be done from the left court.

Who Serves First and When?

The rules of service when it comes to singles is very easy. The two must toss a coin, whoever wins gets the chance to serve first. If you are able to win each round, then you will be able to serve every time.

If you lose a rally, then your opponent will serve the next time and will continue to do so until you win a rally.

This rule isn’t as easy for a doubles match. It starts out the same as the singles game, a coin is tossed and the ones who win serve first. Like I mentioned before when a score is an even number or zero, the service is done from the right court.

Now say that Harry and Penny are a team and Leo and Will are another team. If Harry and Penny win the toss, they serve first. Whoever is on the right side of the court must do it.

So, if Harry is on the right, he will serve it to the one who is diagonal to him. And say that harry and Penny win this round, they switch places, and now Harry is in the left court. He will now serve from the left court as the score is an odd number.

So basically, when you serve and win that rally, you have to switch places with your partner. And whether you have to serve from left or right will be determined by your score.

If you win a rally served by your opponents, then you do not have to change spots with your partner.

How Should You Serve?

As you know that just like other badminton rules, there are also rules on how you serve the shuttle.

For example, one of the rules is that the server and the receiver are not to move from their spot until the service has been made. Another rule is that the server’s racquet must be faced downwards when it’s about to serve the shuttle.

You need to keep in mind that when serving the shuttle, the racket should never be above the waist. The belly button is a mark that you can’t cross.

Now that we have all the rules out of the way, it is time we moved on to the different types of serves in a game of badminton.

Types of Serves

There are four types of serves that you can start the game with. Now, the direction of the serves may vary all the time.

  • High Serve

It is used when the server wants the shuttlecock to go high up in the air but has a vertical descent to the ground when it goes to the receiver.

This is the only serve that allows a forehand position of the racquet, and it requires more force to go high up. A downward faced racket will not let you do it right.

  • Low Serve

Low serve tends to be frequent when starting out a game, as it genteelly allows the shuttle to travel to the other side of the court. It is fairly easy for the opponent to receive.

This serve is less risky as the server is sure that it will land in court, which is sometimes difficult to ensure with a high serve.

  • Drive Serve

Drive serves are much faster than the other ones. The shuttle is supposed to go to the back of the receiver’s side of the court.

As the serve is so fast, the receiver will either miss it entirely, which means that the rally is already won by the server’s team or the receiver will be able to act quickly and will be able to hit the shuttle.

This one is ideal for a fast-paced match. But this is not a very popular type of service among professionals. That’s because their opponents have enough skills and will be able to counter this service.

  • Flick Serve

For this one, you let the shuttle to go upwards, but not as high as it would for a high serve. The receiver will have to hit the shuttle only when it reaches behind his or her body. This one is very commonly used in a doubles game and sometimes in singles.

Which Direction Should You Serve?

Now that you know about the types of serves, you should also know that you can use any of these serves at different angles or directions.

You can serve wide, meaning that you are aiming toward the sides or the outer corners of the court.

When you serve straight, you aim your shuttle to the center of the opponent’s court. But you can serve to the side to confuse the opponent.

It is extremely important for you to have a strong serve, as otherwise your opponent may gain from a weak serve and exploit it by smashing the shuttlecock.

However, it’s important that you learn to smash the birdies as it can be of great help to you in the court.

Get Your Serve Right

Now, just knowing the serves is not enough.

If you really want to win games, you must learn how you can use all the serves to your advantage based on the weather and the skills of your opponents.

It might take some time and lots of practice to master all of them, but it will be worth the effort.

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