What Are the Fouls in Badminton?

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Badminton is a great sport to play. You can do it in the comfort of your backyard just to get some calorie-burning activities. However, if you want to pursue badminton competitively, you should know the rules and fouls related to it. In this article, we’ll discuss what are the fouls in badminton so you can avoid doing them. 

What Are the Fouls in Badminton? 

You can categorize badminton fouls into 5 categories. Each foul category relates to different areas of badminton. They are:

  • Over the Net area fouls
  • Contact fouls
  • Double hits
  • Service fouls
  • Service receiving fouls
Man determining what are the fouls in badminton

We’ll expound on the details of every foul so you can practice and perfect your badminton game. 

Over the Net Area Fouls

Over the net fouls are commonly related to plays done over the net area. This type of foul is the most occurring among fouls you’ll encounter when playing a badminton game. 

The most common net area foul is players touching the net during the game. Most badminton players know that touching the net is a foul. This means that your body and even any part of your racket should not touch the net. 

You should also not hit the shuttlecock before it reaches your side of the court. If you happen to hit the shuttlecock before it passes over the net, then you will be called for net area foul or over the net foul. If you happen to hit the shuttlecock on your side of the net and your follow-through went over to the opposite end of the net, it’s not considered a foul. 

Contact Fouls

Contact fouls are related to you making contact with your racket. You should only hit the shuttlecock with your badminton racket. Making contact with anything not part of the badminton racket is called for contact foul. 

You should also avoid touching the net with your racket or any part of your body because it’s also called a contact foul. This is applicable throughout the whole rally. Even if you managed to land the shuttlecock to the opponent’s side of the court, the point will still be awarded to your opponent regardless. 

Badminton net

You should practice and train with your flexibility to avoid committing contact fouls. Even making contact with your shirt, shorts, or shoes will result in a contact foul.

Double Hits

If you fail to hit the shuttlecock over to the side of your opponent and you hit the shuttlecock for the second time in vain, then you are called for double hits. Hitting the shuttlecock twice in a row is illegal and will be called for a foul. 

You hit the shuttlecock once to pass it over to your opponent and also applies in doubles badminton. If you and your teammate hit the shuttlecock at the same time, you will be called for a foul or double hit. 

Service Faults

Keep your feet on the ground at all timesLift or drag your feets
Do one single movementStop your movement
Prepare your shotDistract your opponent

When serving in badminton, there are plenty of rules to keep in mind to avoid committing a service fault. The most basic thing to keep in mind is that your badminton serve should always swing in an upward direction while the shuttlecock should be hit below the waist. 

Badminton also uses the term “service area” which refers to the area from which a player will serve. A server hits the shuttlecock to the alternate side of the opponent’s court. For example, if you are at the left service area, then you should hit the shuttlecock in the right direction. If you fail to do so, you will be called for a service fault. 

Here are some pointers you can follow to avoid committing a service fault:

Badminton racket with shuttlecock
  • Your feet should be firmly planted to the ground. Dragging your feet while serving is called a service fault. 
  • You should not do any double action. Once your racket swings, it has to be continuous and consistent in direction. Failure to follow results to a service fault. 
  • Always serve above the net and towards the diagonally opposite side. 
  • Delaying your service may also lead to the referee calling you for a service fault.

Service Receiving Fault

If you are at the receiving end of a service, you can still commit a foul. These are the few things to remember to avoid referees calling you for a foul. 

  • You should never move before your opponent has made the service. If you even move a single foot before the service, referees will call you for a fault. 
  • You should also avoid doing anything that may serve as a distraction such as making gestures. 

Related Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about fouls in badminton.

Is Carry a Foul in Badminton?

Yes, accidentally or intentionally carrying the shuttle with your racket is considered a foul. If you do this, you will lose the point and the right to serve. Therefore, you need to be careful not to repeat this mistake many times.

How Many Fauls Can You Commit in Badminton?

Unlike other sports, there is no limit as to how many fouls you can commit in badminton. If you commit a lot of mistakes, you will simply lose a lot of points. This will ultimately, make you lose the game.

However, if you break the rules of conduct and endanger your opponent, you might lose the game right away and get suspended.

What Happens When a Foul Occurs in Badminton? 

The opposing player who did not commit the foul will receive a point. Most badminton rallies end with a foul by one of the players. If the server committed the foul, the service is also changed.

This is why it is important to be aware of the consequences of committing a foul. After all, you can lose the match if you commit too many.


Committing a foul is the common way players earn a point in badminton. Make sure you know every one of them and learn how to avoid making them. You should also learn the badminton rules before you start a game of badminton. 

Tim Frechette is an avid athlete, having played sports like soccer and basketball his entire life. He brings a wealth of athletic knowledge to his writing.