Are Side Arm Serves Legal In Badminton? | Paddle2Racket

When you start playing badminton, you may start questioning, “are side arm serves legal in badminton?” After all, if you are a newbie, it can get confusing.

Before starting any badminton match, it is important to know what to do with the shuttlecock. Many of the world’s professional badminton players opt for a short backhand serve, or even high-toss serves. Other players like PV Sindhu go along with a forehand serve.

As for side arm serves, they are legal in badminton. The key is that the bird should not be contacted above the point of the waist. In case the serving side manages to win a rally, it will score a point, and your partner will then serve the next time.

In badminton, there are some rules and regulations to remember. However, once you master these, you can play in any part of the world and enjoy the sport. After all, badminton is one of the most famous sports played globally across the globe.

Here is everything you need to know about badminton rules, illegal serves, how to play, and the little nitty-gritty details of badminton that will allow you to stand out from the rest of the opponents.

Table of contents


Are Side Arm Serves Legal in Badminton?

Depending on where you want the shuttlecock to land, you can perform a high or low serve. A side arm serve is also legal in badminton, but the bird should not be contacted beyond the waist. A serve that manages to touch the net as it passes and falls into the right service area is thought to be a good serve.

However, a fake move or balk performed by a player is illegal in badminton. The receiver and server are meant to stand within the receiving and serving courts.

Serving from the Side Box

In badminton, the service box can be used when you are serving. Every player is supposed to serve from within the markings of the box.

Each player is supposed to stay inside each of their own services boxes, and their feet must stay on the floor till the receiver hits the shuttle and finishes the return.

Smash Serve in Badminton

If you know how to, you can definitely smash serve in badminton. However, keep in mind that short serves are difficult to smash because they are usually hit low on top of the net.

If you feel that your opponent has a loose serve, you can try to smash it.

Serving Above the Waist in Badminton

No one wants to perform a badminton service fault. The head of the racket should be swung from below the waist to ensure that this does not happen to you.

Remember to place your racquet below the waist when you are performing a serve. However, this does not apply to the entire racket. Only the head or a part of the head needs to be placed below. You must ensure that your racquet swings upwards.

Forehand Serves in Badminton

Forehand serves can usually only be performed in a singles game. To perform this, you need to practice. Start off by standing 2 meters away from the badminton net.

Before you perform the forehand serve, notice which of your hands is holding the racquet. Put the leg on the same side behind you. Once you are in position, try to serve.

Why is a Good Badminton Serve Important?

If you have a weak serve, it will be easier for your opponent to create an attacking shot that you will not be able to handle. Hence, you should learn to serve properly so that after your serve, you do not end up losing a point.

High Badminton Serve

A high badminton serve is when the player is aiming for the shuttlecock to land towards the back of the court. For a great high serve, you need to focus on dropping the shuttlecock steeply at the back end of the badminton court.

If you perform a high serve, your opponent will be less likely to perform a strong smash. Rather, a drop or lob is more expected. However, if your opponent knows how to perform a jump smash, you need to be careful.

We would recommend that you try serving the shuttlecock towards the backhand area of your opponent. Your aim should be to force the opponent to make use of his backhand. The truth is that regardless of how great a player you think your opponent may be, there are high chances that he has a weak backhand.

In case you hit the shuttlecock to the backhand area, but your opponent does not use the backhand, he only has the choice to move away from the base. This will allow you to control the game if your opponent is not good at badminton footwork.

Here is how you can perform good high badminton serve:

  • The head of the shuttlecock should be held in a way so that it is facing down. This will ensure that the shuttlecock drops straight down.
  • Stand towards the side so that half your body faces the net. Keep your racquet arm relaxed.
  • Throw the shuttlecock and throw your racquet arm up. Twist your waist so that your body is facing the net. Flick the wrist in the direction where you are planning on dropping the shuttlecock.
  • Lift your back leg gently as you make your shot.

Low Badminton Serve

The point of low badminton serve is so that the shuttlecock can land right in the front of the court. However, for a good serve, it should make its way above the net. Otherwise, your opponent will intercept what is happening the smash your serve back to you.

With low badminton serve, you are not restricted- you can drop the serve anywhere you want, including the backhand or forehand area of the opponent. Make sure that when you are hitting the shuttlecock, you should apply force from your thumb and flick your wrist.


Michael Stevens

Michael Stevens

Since initially playing at the collegiate level, I have amassed several decades of experience playing racquetball, tennis, and pickleball. I have played thousands of matches and games, and won medals and awards in multiple tourantments. I am constantly improving my game and enjoy mentoring and coaching other players in strategy and technique. I have authored dozens of articles on the sport.

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