June 28, 2024

How Long is a Game of Badminton? Everything You Need to Know About this Popular Racquet Sport

If you’re thinking about taking up the sport of badminton, getting familiar with the ins-and-outs, like how long is a game of badminton, is a great start.

It’s an incredibly popular sport (some insist it’s the second most played sport in the world) and is also very beginner-friendly.

While fairly similar to other racquet sports, badminton has its own unique set of rules and terminology which you’ll need to learn before jumping into a game.

We’ve rounded up all the key pieces of information you need to know about this sport, including the length of a game, how the scoring system works, and important rules to stick to.

How Long is a Game of Badminton?

The length of a badminton game depends on the players' skill levels and the match format. In both singles and doubles, games are 21 points long, and matches are best of three.

If the score hits 20-20, the play continues until someone leads by two points. Some games might last about 15 minutes, but competitive ones can stretch over an hour.

The duration of the game also depends on how fast it's played, the number of rallies, and the competition level.


How is a Badminton Match Scored?

In badminton, points are scored on every serve with the rally point system, no matter who serves. The game kicks off at 0-0, with the goal being the first to hit 21 points.

A point goes to the team that wins a rally, which can be by landing the shuttlecock in the opponent's court or if the opponent messes up, like hitting the shuttlecock out or not managing to return it.

At the 11-point mark, there's a quick 60-second break. Between games, players get a 2-minute rest.

If the score ties at 20-20, the game doesn't end until one side leads by two points, but it stops at 30 points.

The first to 30 wins the game, even without a two-point lead. Securing two out of three games means winning the match.

This scoring system ensures that each game is competitive and can turn at any moment, adding to the sport's excitement.

badminton rackets

Basic Badminton Rules You Need to Know

To fully enjoy and appreciate badminton, it's essential to understand the basic rules as outlined by the Badminton World Federation (BWF):

Court & Equipment

  • Court Dimensions: A badminton court is 6.1 metres wide and 13.4 metres long. The net is placed at the centre at a height of 1.55 metres.
  • Shuttlecock: The game uses a shuttlecock, typically made from feathers or synthetic materials.
  • Racquet: Players use lightweight racquets made of materials like carbon fibre or aluminium.
  • Badminton Net: The correct set-up of a badminton net is 1.52 metres high from the centre, 1.55 metres high at the posts, and 6.1 metres long.

Huck Nets' Guide to Regulation Badminton Net Height

Players & Serving

  • Players: A match can be played as singles matches or doubles matches.
  • Service Area: During the serve, players must hit the shuttlecock from below waist height and serve diagonally into the opposing service box.
  • Service Order: In doubles, the serving order rotates between partners and the opposing team, ensuring equal serving opportunities.


  • Rally Scoring: Points can be scored by either player/side, regardless of who serves.
  • Winning a Rally: A rally is won if the shuttlecock lands in the opponent’s court, if the opponent commits a fault, or fails to return the shuttlecock.
  • Winning the Game: The first side to reach 21 points, with at least a 2-point lead, wins the game; if needed, a maximum of 30 points can be scored to win.

In-Game Rules

  • Faults: A fault occurs if the shuttlecock lands out of bounds, fails to go over the net, is hit more than once by the same player, or if a player touches the net.
  • Service Faults: If the server fails to hit the shuttlecock into the correct service court, a service fault is called, and the opponent wins the point.

Intervals & Breaks

  • Mid-Game Interval: An interval of 60 seconds is allowed when the leading score reaches 11 points.
  • Between Games: A break of 2 minutes is permitted between each game.

badminton players

Badminton Court Markings

Understanding the different lines that make up the court markings in badminton is crucial for both players and officials to ensure fair play and accurate adjudication during a match.

Here's a breakdown of what each marking signifies:

Badminton Court LinesDescriptionApplies To
Baseline Marks the back boundary of the court Singles & Doubles
Singles Sideline Inner side lines define the width for singles play Singles Only
Doubles Sideline Outermost side lines define the width for doubles play Doubles Only
Service Line (Short Service Line) 1.98m (6 ft 6 in) from the net defines the minimum service depth Singles & Doubles
Centre Line Divide the service court into left and right halves Singles & Doubles
Long Service Line (Doubles) 76cm (2 ft 6 in) inside the baseline, back boundary for service in doubles Doubles Only
Long Service Line (Singles) Not present, the baseline serves as the back service boundary Singles Only

badminton court

Key Takeaways: How Long Does a Badminton Game Last?

The structure and length of badminton games, with their fast-paced rallies and the potential for long, competitive matches, make the sport highly engaging for both players and spectators. It is one of the most popular racket sports played in the Olympics.

Find out more about the rules and regulations of badminton and other court games on the Huck Nets blog.

Read More about Badminton on our Blog




How Many Rounds Are There in Badminton?

A standard badminton match consists of three games. The player or team that wins two out of the three games secures the match victory. Each game is played to 21 points, with a requirement for a two-point lead to win.

How Many Minutes Break in Badminton?

Players are allowed a 60-second interval when the leading score reaches 11 points in each game, and a 2-minute break is permitted between games. These breaks enable players to rest, strategies, and hydrate, ensuring they maintain peak performance throughout the match.

Is There a Time Limit in Badminton?

There is no specific time limit for badminton matches. The duration depends on factors such as player skill levels and match intensity. Games continue until one side wins by achieving the required points and lead, ensuring fairness and allowing for exciting, unpredictable outcomes.

Can You Serve Anywhere in Badminton?

No, you cannot serve anywhere in badminton. The serve must be initiated from within the designated service court and must be directed diagonally to the correct service box on the opponent's side. The shuttlecock must also be hit from below waist height.