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How Long Is A Game Of Badminton?

Whether you are looking to take up badminton as a hobby or simply wish to spectate, understanding the rules and intricacies of the game is crucial.

Since badminton is not widely understood, many new players and enthusiasts are unclear on how long a game of badminton is and what is involved in the gameplay.

In this article, we will be looking at the length of a game as well as discovering the points system and how the game gets started.


How Many Games Are There In A Badminton Set?

A full round of badminton takes place throughout a set, and each one of these sets includes three games.

Much like other sports and games that involve three rounds, the player who wins the most games, wins the entire set.

Aside from the actual play, each badminton set should also have two rest periods. In the main, these are taken after the first and second games and usually last for 90 seconds and five minutes respectively.

How Many Points Do You Need To Win Badminton?

For a player to be declared the winner of each of the three games, he or she must reach a score of 21 points. The player to do this first wins the round. However, things aren’t as simple as they might first seem.

A player can only win if they exceed their opponent's score by two points. This means that should the game reach a score of 20-20, 21 points would not give a clear win. For this reason, players can continue playing up to a maximum score of 30 until there is a clear two-point lead.

Should both players go on to score 29 points, then the player who reaches 30 first will win and the two-point lead rule is removed.

Scoring Rules

It can be a little overwhelming to learn the scoring rules of this seemingly simple sport, but once you have a grasp on them, you will likely find yourself something of a stickler for the rules.

Up until 2006, badminton rules dictated that both players could not score a point during a rally, but this was changed so that, regardless of which player served, both could score during the rally.

Single players or doubles can play matches, and a point is awarded to the person or team that wins the rally.

Points can be awarded if the returned shuttlecock hits the net or lands outside of the playing court. Additionally, points will be given if the shuttlecock lands on the ground within the opponent’s court.

How Many Points Do You Need To Win Badminton?

How Does A Badminton Game Start?

One of the unique things about badminton is how the game begins. At the beginning of the gameplay, there is a coin toss.

The player who wins this coin toss will be given preference over which side of the court they would like to play on and will get to choose who serves first. This is an ancient tradition that likely dates back as far as the game itself.

Badminton was first developed in the 16th century and is popular in many countries but has a particularly special place in India and China. These countries are primarily seen to be leaders in the sport, and some of the greatest players in the world hail from them.

Important Additional Badminton Rules

Aside from understanding the scoring system, how long a game lasts and how a game should be started, it is essential to have a good knowledge of the rules that players are expected to uphold during play.

Players must not touch the net at any point during the game.

In order for a match to be considered official, it must be conducted indoors on a court measuring 13.4m x 6.1m.

During the serve, each player must stand at opposite, diagonal ends of the court. As soon as the shuttlecock is ‘live’ the players can move around the court and can hit the shuttlecock from anywhere within or outside of it.

For a serve to be considered legal, it must clear the net in a diagonal direction across the court. Second serves are not permitted.

Plays are forbidden from deliberately distracting their opponents.

In the case of an unforeseen situation or accident, the referee may call what is known as a ‘let.’ This allows the rally to start from scratch and any points accrued during this time are void.


Badminton is often played between friends and family as a recreational sport. Still, if you want to abide by the official rules, then it is important to be aware of how long a game of badminton lasts and what each round consists of.

There are three games during a set and players must win two out of three to be declared the overall winner. Points are awarded during each game and players must reach a score of 21, with a two-point lead to win. However, the game can continue up to a score of 30 if the two-point lead has not been reached.

The rules of the game are many, and this can be confusing, but sticking to them adds to the fun of what is already an enjoyable sport.

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