In badminton, rally scoring is a scoring system where a point is awarded on every rally, regardless of which side serves. Under rally scoring, both the serving and receiving sides can win or lose points.
Rally scoring ensures that each rally is significant, and the score advances with every successful rally. It adds a fast-paced and exciting element to the game, as every rally has the potential to impact the match’s outcome.
And over the years, the game of badminton has gone through three scoring systems, that we will discuss below.
So let’s dive in:
Types of scoring system in badminton
The badminton game has evolved across three different scoring systems since its inception. And these are as follows:
1. The traditional scoring system
Since the 1870s, badminton has used a traditional scoring system. The traditional scoring system in badminton is known as the 21-point rally scoring system. Under this system, a match is typically played in a best-of-three games format, with the first player or team to reach 21 points winning each game.
Here are some key points about the traditional scoring system in badminton:
- Rally scoring: In this system, players can score points regardless of whether they are serving or receiving. Every rally that is played results in a point being awarded to the winning player or team.
- Games: A match is usually played as the best of three games. This means that the player or team who wins two games out of three will be declared the winner of the match.
- Points: Points are scored by hitting the shuttlecock over the net and into the opponent’s court in a way that the opponent is unable to return it successfully. Each successful shot results in a point.
- Scoring system: To win a game, a player or team must reach a score of 21 points before their opponent. However, there is no requirement for the winning margin; a game can be won by a single point.
- Deuce: If the score reaches 20-20, it is referred to as “deuce.” At deuce, a player or team must score two consecutive points to win the game. The first to reach 21 points with a two-point lead is declared the winner.
- Setting: In some competitions or informal matches, a third game may be played to 15 points instead of 21.
It’s worth noting that badminton has undergone some rule changes in recent years, and different variations of the scoring system, such as the 11-point system, have been introduced for certain formats and events. However, the traditional 21-point rally scoring system remains widely used in many badminton competitions around the world.
2. The 2002 scoring system of 5 x 7
The 7-point system, also known as the 7 x 5 scoring system, is an alternative scoring format in badminton. It was introduced by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) in 2006 as a quicker and more exciting alternative to the traditional 21-point scoring system. However, it was not widely adopted and is no longer in use in major international competitions.
Under the 7-point system, a match is typically played in a best-of-five games format, and each game is played to seven points. The first player or team to reach seven points wins the game. If the score reaches 6-6, a player or team must score two consecutive points to win the game. The side that wins three games out of five is declared the winner of the match.
The objective of the 7-point system was to reduce the duration of matches and increase the intensity and competitiveness. However, it did not gain widespread popularity and was eventually replaced by other scoring formats, such as the current 21-point rally scoring system.
3. The modern scoring system of 3 x 21
The modern scoring system in badminton is commonly known as the 3 x 21 rally scoring system. It is the standard scoring system used in most official and competitive badminton matches.
Under the 3 x 21 scoring system, a match is played in a best-of-three games format. Each game is played to 21 points, and the first player or team to reach 21 points wins the game. However, there are a few specific rules to consider:
- Rally scoring: Similar to the traditional scoring system, rally scoring is used in the 3 x 21 system. This means that players can score points regardless of whether they are serving or receiving.
- Setting: If both players or teams reach a score of 20-20, it is referred to as “deuce.” At deuce, the game continues until one player or team achieves a two-point lead. For example, if the score is 20-20, the game can be won by reaching 22 points with a two-point lead.
- Games and match: A match is typically played in a best-of-three games format. The player or team who wins two games out of three is declared the winner of the match.