In badminton, it is not uncommon for someone to accidentally hit the net either with the racket or with the body. If that happens, a question arises. Can you hit the net in badminton?
The answer is no, you are not allowed, under any circumstances, to hit the net in badminton whenever the shuttle is in play.
Now that the short answer is out of the way, let’s look a bit more into why is it.
Can you hit the net in badminton? The in-depth answer
As I said in the short answer, you cannot hit the net in badminton under any circumstances. If you do so, the umpire will call a fault and you will lose the point. In to the Laws of Badminton, the following is the specific part of the document where this is explained:
if, in play, a player:Laws of Badminton
13.4.1 touches the net or its supports with racket, person or dress
So, as you can see from the extract above, you cannot touch the net with the racket, body or even dress. That means that if, for example, your T-shirt touches the net, even if your body does not, a fault will be called.
So, when you are playing nearby the net, you need to be very careful because you could lose the point if you touch the net by mistake.
What happens if you hit the net after the shuttle has hit the court?
One doubt can arise if you hit the net after the shuttle has hit the court. If that happens, the rally is considered finished when the shuttle hits the floor and, as a result, you hitting the net would not be a fault.
The same happens if a different type of fault is committed before you hit the net. If, for example, the shuttle hit your opponent before you hit the net, then the point would go to you.
So the summary is, the first fault that is committed is the one that counts so if you hit the net after another fault is committed, it will not mean losing the point.
What are other faults that can be committed near the net?
Apart from hitting the net itself, there are also other faults that you can commit when near the net. They are as follows:
- Invading your opponent’s court over the net, except in the circumstance that the invasion is due to a follow-through of a stroke where the initial contact was on the striker’s side of the net
- Invading your opponent’s court under the net with the racket or body in such a way that the opponent is obstructed or distracted
- Obstructing the opponent in a way that prevents the player from making a legal stroke where the shuttle is followed over the net
This can be a bit too much to understand, so let’s break them down and explain them a bit more.
Invading your opponent’s court over the net
I answered this question in much more detail in a different post titled “Can a Badminton Racket Cross the Net?“. The short answer is no unless the racket passes through the other side of the net as a follow-through of a movement where the striker hit the shuttle on his side of the court.
So, for example, invading the court to hit the shuttle before it crosses to your side will be a fault. Also, invading the court over the net without having hit the shuttle would be considered a fault.
Invading your opponent’s court under the net
Invading your opponent’s court under the net is only a problem when the umpire understands that the invasion has obstructed or distracted your opponent. This becomes a subjective matter, so it is better to avoid doing it at all.
However, it is good knowing that, in principle there is nothing wrong by invading your opponent’s court under the net. It is only a problem when that invasion obstructs or distracts your opponent.
In the video below, you can see how these fault are played out in a audiovisual format.
Obstructing your opponent
Obstructing your opponent, even if you are on your own court, can be considered a fault. If, for example, you hold your racket in front of your opponent in a way that he or she cannot make a normal shot, then that would be considered a fault.
In the video below you can see how this plays out. In the first example, the player only puts up the racket at the last moment so the umpire understands that she has not obstructed the opponent. In the second example, though, the player is holding the racket up all the time and you can see how that doesn’t let the opponent make a normal shot with a follow-through, hence the fault.
Can the shuttle hit the net?
Another doubt that can arise is what happens if the shuttle hits the net. In this case, there is no problem. The shuttle can hit the net and the point continues as normal after that.
So, if the shuttle hits the net and then it passes to the other side of the court, the shuttle will still be in play. If your opponent manages to return the shuttle, then the rally continues.
If, instead, the shuttle hits the net and then it stays on your side, then it will be a fault, not because it has hit the net, but because it has not passed to the other side of the court.
And with this, we have arrived at the end of this post. If you liked this post, be sure to check our Badminton Rules guide for an overview of all the rules for badminton.
If you have any doubts about what I have explained here, please let me know in the comments below.
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