Can A Badminton Racket Cross The Net? | Paddle2Racket

Can a badminton racket cross the net? This is a question that many new gamers have and we are here to answer it.

The shuttle can be struck at such an odd angle in badminton that players must take drastic steps to keep the rally moving. How far out are you willing to go? It's extreme to the point that the player must return the stroke quite close to the net. The racket may cross the net as you might expect. But is this permissible?

The answer is, yes. In badminton, a racket can only cross the net if the shuttle is inside the court at the striker's end. In other words, the receiving player cannot hit the shuttlecock while it is on the opponent's court. It would be a fault if you hit the shuttle on the other side of the net.

For beginners, the line between what is and is not a defect or a fault can be very unclear. When is it permissible for a badminton racket to cross the net? As previously stated, you can only cross the net with a badminton racket as a continuation of a stroke played on your side of the court.

After conducting research and speaking with our experts in the field, we have put together this guide to help you learn more about when it is permissible to cross the net in badminton.

Table of contents


Can A Badminton Racket Cross The Net?

It is permissible for the badminton racket to cross the net, except only as part of a stroke in which the primary point of touch with the shuttlecock is on the striker's side.

What exactly does that imply? It means that if you smash a net kill on your side of the court and then follow through the shot by passing your racket to the other side of the court, it's fine as long as you don't block your opponent from returning the shot.

The reason for this rule is that it is acknowledged that a certain amount of movement is required after you have hit the shuttle, thus you are allowed to continue that movement on the opposite side of the court because you are not gaining anything from it.

The receiver can only strike the shuttle with the racket as it crosses the net after the shuttle has gone above the net and onto the receiver's side of the court. A fault can be called out in two separate instances:

1. If the striking player's racket crosses the net before the shuttlecock has reached their end

2. If the racket legitimately crosses the net before colliding with the opponent's racket.

Even though it is officially the opponent's end of the court, the second is a fault on the opponent. But what exactly does "crossing the net" imply?

What Is Meant By Crossing the Net?

When the racket goes over the net, it crosses it. It may not be necessary for it to cross completely over the net though. Even if only a portion of the racket — such as the head — crosses the net, the racket is considered to have crossed the net.

Crossing the net is prohibited by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) unless the striker pursues the shuttlecock over the net with the racket during a stroke after the first contact with the shuttlecock. A fault is called when a racket crosses the net in any other scenario.

Another issue worth highlighting is that the badminton racket should not contact any area of the net when crossing it. Even if the shuttlecock has already passed over to the player's end of the court, the umpire will blame the player who made the stroke if the racket makes contact with the net during a live rally.

Can A Badminton Racket Cross The Net?

There are two ways for a racket to cross the net: illegally and lawfully. The Laws of Badminton identify one circumstance in which the racket can cross the net without causing a fault, which is when a player returns the shuttlecock with a strike; the racket can cross the net

The racket can lawfully cross the net only when the shuttlecock has reached the receiver's end of the court, according to BWF Laws of Badminton. Furthermore, the racket must never touch the badminton net, as this will result in a fault. Even if the player returns the opponent's shot by passing the racket over the net, the contact will be considered a fault. It can be helpful to have a few instances to demonstrate how this rule works in practice.

Consider the following three scenarios:

Scenario A: The Racket Crosses over the Net Once the Shuttlecock Has Passed Through the Net

Consider the following two players: X and Y. The server is player X, while the receiver is player Y. When Player X serves, the shuttlecock flies above the net. On his side of the court, Player Y notices that the shuttle is poised to land a few inches away from the net.

To return the shuttlecock, player Y rushes and carries out a net kill swipe. Resultantly, a few inches of the head of the racket goes over the net without touching it. The crossing is lawful in this case.

Scenario B: The Shuttlecock Flies over the Net Before the Racket Crosses It

Player X is about to begin service this time. Player Y preemptively passes his racket over the net, eager to make a return stroke. In this case, the racket crossed the net without permission. As a result, player Y receives a fault.

Scenario C: The Racket Makes Contact with the Net

Player Y leaps towards the shuttlecock and swipes it in an attempt to return player X's serve. While he manages to hit it over the net, the racket makes contact with the top tape of the net. Since the racket touched the net, player Y made an error, and the action was deemed illegal or at fault or fault.

Is It Possible for a Badminton Racket to Pass Through the Net?

We've talked about how the racket can go over the net, but can it also go under it? A badminton racket is not allowed to go under the net if it provides an obstacle to the opponent, according to section 13.4.3 of the BWF Laws of Badminton. When players fall beneath the net during a forward movement, however, no fault is called as long as the opponents' movement is not obstructed.

Passing the racket under the net is considered a fault by the player who commits the offence. This is true regardless of whether the racket made contact with the net.

Is it possible for a player to pass through the net?

If you've been following the sport for a while, you've probably seen players be penalized for getting too close to the net. Here’s why:

Even if a single part of any player's body (such as the arm) constitutes an impediment to the opponent, they are not allowed to go beneath the net. Even if the player aimed to strike the shuttlecock flying towards them, it would be considered a fault. According to the BWF's Laws of Badminton, this is a potential disruption to the opponent, making it an occurrence that warrants a fault to the offending player.

Any part of a player's body would have to be extremely close to the net for any part of the body to get beneath the net. While this may appear to be innocuous, an umpire may consider it as an attempt to distract or block the opponent. As a result, it's recommended to preserve your distance from the net. Furthermore, being so close to it can result in contact with it, which will also be considered a fault.

Badminton Terms - Over and Under

Only when striking a shuttlecock that has crossed over to your end of the court can the racket go over the net. Anything beyond that will be risky and can result in a fault, which is something that no one wants in a badminton match!

The following are the primary three scenarios in which this could occur:

  • A fault would be if you accidentally hit the shuttle on your opponent's side of the net before it crosses the net.
  • It is deemed a fault if you cross the net with your racket without first hitting the shuttle on your side of the court.
  • If the umpire believes you obstructed your opponent from returning a legal shot by crossing the net after hitting the shuttle, you will be penalized.


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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