Are There Faults In Badminton? | Paddle2Racket

All games have ways you can mess up, and badminton is no different. Are there faults in badminton?[1]

On the face of it, badminton looks like a very straightforward sport – all you have to do is hit the shuttlecock back and forth, right? But there are plenty of faults and fouls in badminton as well.

The five main types of faults in badminton are contact faults, double hit faults, service faults, receiver faults, and over-the-net faults. The penalty for the fault is that you’d lose the rally and the opponent gets a point.

Because these faults can make or break the game, it’s important to understand them so you don’t end up losing points unnecessarily.

We read up on the rules of the game and how these common faults occur, as well as read up on how to avoid these faults.

Table of contents


Contact Fault

The most common type of fault in badminton is the contact fault. This means that the shuttlecock comes in contact with anything that isn’t the racket. The rules of the game state that the shuttlecock should move between the rackets only, and if it touches anything else, you get a contact foul.

This means that it cannot touch your clothes, shoes, hats, or even your person. Once the shuttlecock has made it over the net, it’s your responsibility to avoid it hitting anything, or you will get a fault and your opponent will get a point.

The best way to avoid a contact fault is to stay flexible. This is why stretches and warm-ups are great before you start playing. You have to react and move quickly to keep from getting a contact fault.

Service Faults

As the name suggests, service faults tend to occur during serves. Serves have to be executed below the waist, and in an upward motion, and if these two requirements are not met, you can get a service fault.

You can also get a service fault if you do not serve diagonally – that is, if you are on the left side of the court, you have to serve to the opposite side of the opponent’s court. If you do not do this, you get a foul.

Unreasonably long delays before serves can also sometimes be called service faults. When it is your turn to serve, you should be prompt and ready to hit the shuttlecock. Also, make sure that you swing at it only once, and that your feet are firm on the ground.

This brings us to…

Double Hit Faults

If you hit the shuttlecock twice in a row, it’s called a double hit fault. You are only allowed to hit the shuttlecock once, while it is on your side of the net. This means that if it does not manage to get over the net, you cannot hit it a second time, since this is also a fault.

Similarly, if you are playing doubles, your teammate cannot hit the shuttlecock after you have already come in contact with it, and vice versa. This is also called a double hit.

Coming in contact with it any more than once while it is in your court will result in a fault.

Over The Net Faults

These types of faults are mostly associated with coming in contact with the net yourself. This would mean, for example, touching the net with your hands or falling into it. Even if you come in contact with it through your racket, or anything else connected to your person, this is a fault, and your opponent will get a point for it.

However, over-the-net faults are not just about touching the net. They also include failing to hit the shuttlecock over the net when you serve, or even when you return your opponent’s serve! Since you can’t hit the shuttlecock more than once, if it doesn’t go over the net, you get a fault.

If it goes under or through the net, this is also an over-the-net fault. This is why you should be careful about having a good racket that can make the hits you need.

If you try to, or manage to hit the shuttlecock before it’s fully crossed over the net onto your side of the court, this is also a net fault.

Receiving Faults

Very similar to serving faults, are receiving faults. With serving faults, you are the one serving, but receiver faults occur when it is your opponent’s serve.

The first thing you have to do is avoid movement. Any movement on your side before your opponent has served is considered a fault, and your opponent will get a point. You also cannot make any sort of gestures or talk to your opponent in a way that would be considered a distraction.

The best course of action is to stay silent and still while your opponent is serving, so you can avoid getting a fault.

Avoiding Faults

The majority of rallies that occur during badminton games are due to faults occurring. This means that you should know what the rules are and how you can get faults so that you can avoid doing anything that may result in you getting one. Again, faults are a very easy way for your opponent to get an advantage over you, and you don’t want to give them that!

On top of that, you lose the chance to serve, if you get a fault, and since most points are gathered when it is your serve, you want to avoid faults as much as possible.

Most faults are very easy to avoid – for example, receiver faults can be pretty much eliminated if you simply stay still, while serving faults are easy to manage if you’re ready to serve.

The other types of faults will need a little bit of practice and warm-up before your game, but they are not very difficult to avoid either.

Knowing what faults are in badminton can help you brush up on your skills and make a good game.


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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