If you are starting with badminton, you might wonder what happens if the shuttle hits a player during a rally.
If the shuttle hits a player during a rally, that is considered a fault committed by that player and the point goes to the opponent player or team.
So, now that the short answer is out of the way, let’s dig deep into why that is so and the exceptions where you wouldn’t lose a point with that.
What happens if the shuttle hits a player? The in-depth answer
As I said before, if during a rally, the shuttle hits a player, that is considered a fault and the point goes to the opponent. This comes from the Laws of Badminton as can be seen below.
if, in play, a player:Laws of Badminton
13.3.4 touches the person or dress of a player;
As you can see in the extract above, it is not only the person itself but also the dress of the player. So if, for example, you are wearing a very loose T-shirt and the shuttle touches it while you are trying to move away from the shuttle, that would still be considered a fault and, still, the point would go to your opponent.
It is worth noting that in para-badminton (a variant of badminton for athletes with a range of physical disabilities), the wheelchair or crutch is considered part of the person. Therefore, if you are playing para-badminton in a wheelchair and the shuttle hits your chair, that would also be considered a fault.
Is there any exception to the rule?
The only situation where a shuttle hitting your body or dress would not make you lose the point is if your opponent has committed another fault before that. In that case, the first fault is the one that counts and you would still not lose the point even though the shuttle has hit your body.
If, for example, your opponent did a kill on the net where the shuttle went to your body but, before the shuttle hitting your body, your opponent hit the net with the racket, then hitting the racket would be the first fault so you would win the point.
Let’s now run through a few special situations which might cause confusion to make sure the principles are understood
What if the shuttle touches a player that is standing clearly outside the badminton court, who gets the point?
In the Laws of Badminton, the reference is clear. If the shuttle hits the body or dress of a player, the point goes to the other player. Therefore, even if that player is outside the court and it is very clear that the shuttle would land out if it didn’t hit the shuttle, the player is still committing a fault and, therefore, the point should go to the striker.
What if the shuttlecock hits the opponent’s body part then goes out of the field, who gets the point?
In this case, since the shuttle hit the player, it doesn’t matter what happened next. The player has committed a fault and, as a result, the point goes to the opponent.
Now that we have looked at all the special circumstances, let’s look at other rules where the shuttle is co
What happens when the shuttle touches the net?
As far as the net is concerned, there is no problem with the shuttle touching it. As I mentioned in another post, the racket cannot touch the net, but there is no problem with the shuttle doing so.
So, the point continues as normal when the shuttle touches the net and the final result of the point depends on what happens next. If the shuttle stays in play, then there is no decision to make.
What happens when the shuttle touches the net and drops onto the other side?
If, on the other hand, the shuttle touches the net and then drops onto the floor on the other side, then the point would go to the striker. In this case, since the shuttle has landed inside the boundaries of the court and touching the net is not a fault, the point goes to the striker.
What happens when the shuttle touches the net and drops onto the striker’s side?
If, instead of passing onto the other side, the shuttle touches the net and then drops onto the floor on the striker’s side, then the point would go to the opponent. This is because not passing over the net is, according to rule 13.3.2 from the Laws of Badminton, considered a fault. So, because the shuttle did not pass over the net, the point goes to the opponent.
What happens when the shuttle touches the ceiling or side walls?
When the shuttle touches the ceiling or the side walls, according to rule 13.3.3, that is considered a fault of the striker. Therefore, the point would go to the person that was about to hit the shuttle.
What happens when the shuttle touches any other object or person outside the court?
In this case, according to rule 13.3.5, this is also considered a fault. Therefore, the point would go to the person that was about to hit the shuttle.
However, according to the Laws of Badminton, the where it is necessary due to the structure of the building, the local badminton authority may make bye-laws that deal with cases in which a shuttle touches an obstructions. That is as long as there is no veto from the Member Association.
What does that mean? Well, if , for example, the tournament was played in a sports hall where there are several beams that are lower than what you usually see in a sports hall, the local badminton authority could propose for that not to be considered a fault, but a let. Therefore, whenever the shuttle hit those beams, the umpire would call a let and the point would be repeated.
This can happen in minor tournaments since the infrastructure can be not up to certain standards. However, this would rarely happen on a major tournament since the selection of the sports hall will have these things into consideration.
What happens when the shuttle is hit twice in succession by the same player?
If during a rally, a player hit twice in a row the shuttle without the opponent hitting the shuttle in between, then that would be considered a fault according to rule 13.3.7 and the point would go to the opponent.
However, there is a caveat to this. If the striker hits the shuttle with the head and then with the stringed area of the racket in one stroke, that would not be considered a fault.
This can happen if you miscalculate your stroke and you hit the shuttle a bit earlier than you thought. Then you might hit the shuttle with the head and then with the stringed area. As long as that is one in one single movement, the umpire should consider that to be within the laws of badminton and the rally should continue normally without disruption.
What happens when the shuttle is hit by a player and the player’s partner successively?
Lastly, if, in doubles, the shuttle is hit by a player and then by the player’s partner, that would be considered a fault according to rule 13.3.8. Therefore, the point would go to the opponents.
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 lingering doubts about what happens when the shuttle hits the net or any other element, let me know in the comments below!
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