The Badminton Court: Lines, Size and Everything Inbetween

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A grey badminton court

Although many people play badminton outdoors in places such as on a beach or in a back garden, if you want to take badminton seriously, the only place to play is indoors on an actual badminton court. Playing indoors on a Badminton World Federation (BWF) regulation size court has many advantages. Firstly it stops interference from the wind, which even the slightest of breezes can affect the flight of the shuttle. And secondly, it also enables a player to learn and feel the trajectory of a shot to know whether or not it is heading out-of-bounds.

The dimensions of the badminton court are as follows:

A regulation size badminton court is a rectangle, 13.41 m (44 ft) long by 6.1 m (20 ft) wide, which is divided in half by a net with a height of 1.55 m (5 ft 1 in) at the poles.

The net is 760 mm in depth and a minimum of 6.1 m wide. The top of the net from the surface of the court is 1.524 m at the centre of the court and 1.55 m over the side lines. The net posts are placed on the outside line of the court, even when playing singles.

The Ins and Outs of a Badminton Court

There are two aspects to the badminton court, the dimensions of the court and its boundaries. The boundaries refer to what is in and what is out of the court and these change depending on whether you are playing doubles or singles, but courts are marked for both.

On each side of the net, the badminton court is made up of a short service line, the service court and the tramlines.

A serve must pass the short service line, which is 1.98 m (6.5 ft) from the net. Beyond the short service line, there is a line which runs down the centre of the court which splits the left and right service courts.

The court then differs slightly depending on whether you are playing singles or doubles. When serving, the shuttle must pass the short service line for both singles and doubles. But in doubles, the shuttle cannot go past the long service line; which is the first line at the back of the service court and is 0.76 m (2.5 ft) in from the baseline. Whereas in singles, the service boundary is the baseline, giving you an extra 0.76 m to serve into. In, doubles, after the serve this extra area comes back into play. It is only out during the serve.

Another difference between singles and doubles is the width of the court. The “tramlines” are the area of the court between the two outside lines on the side of the badminton court and are out when playing singles. This makes the singles court narrower than the doubles court and only 5.18 m (17 ft) wide.

A schematic demonstrating the areas that are playable during a singles and a doubles badminton match

The lines marking the badminton court are 40 mm (1.6 in) wide. When playing, if the shuttle hits a line, this is classed as in.

Outside and Around the Court

Interestingly, there is no minimum ceiling height above the court mentioned in the Laws of Badminton. However, you will find most badminton courts will have a suitable ceiling height. If the shuttle does hit the ceiling, this is often a fault and you will lose the point. If there is hanging down from the ceiling depending on the distance from the court, it will either be a let or a fault.

The space around the court is also key. Generally speaking the space should be:

  • 1.2 m (4 ft) between courts

  • 1.5 m (5 ft) between the court and the sidewall

  • 2 m (6 ft 6 in) between the court and the back wall

Summary

Court dimensions

  • The badminton court is 13.41 m (44 ft) long by 6.1 m (20 ft) wide.

  • Singles – 13.41 m (44 ft) long by 5.18 m (17 ft) wide.

  • Doubles – 13.41 m (44 ft) long by 6.1 m (20 ft) wide.

  • The diagonal full length of the full court is 14.366m.

Posts

  • The posts are 1.55m high.

  • Posts are placed on the double side lines irrespective of whether singles or doubles is played.

Net

  • The net is 760mm in depth.

  • The net is a minimum of 6.1m wide.

  • The top of the net from the surface of the court is 1.524 m at the centre of the court and 1.55 m over the side lines.

  • There must be no gaps between the ends of the net and the posts.

Lines

  • The lines are 40mm (1.6 in) wide.

  • The lines of the court are in.

Space Around The Court

  • No minimum ceiling height.

  • 1.2 m (4 ft) between courts.

  • 1.5 m (5 ft) between the court and the side wall.

  • 2 m (6 ft 6 in) between the court and the back wall.
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