We'll just mention the  most important ones.


1.    Service Terms


  • Server and Receiver - The person who delivers the badminton serve is called the ‘server’ while the person receiving the serve is called the ‘receiver’.

  • Long, Short and Wide - During a badminton serve, if the shuttle falls outside the boundaries AT THE FRONT of the court we call it ‘short’ and if the shuttle falls outside the boundaries BEHIND the court we call it ‘long’. If the shuttle falls outside the boundaries at the side of the court, we call it ‘wide’.


  • Service Over - If you made a serve and lost the rally, it will be called ‘service over’. It’s now your opponent’s turn to make a service for the next rally.


  • Let - This is given when the receiver is not ready but the server has already performed the serve. When a ‘let’ is given, no points will be offered to both parties for that particular rally. The umpire calls for the rally to be replayed when a ‘let’ is given.


2.     Badminton Terms for Scoring


  •  Love – In badminton, 0 points is called ‘love’.


  • All – If both sides’ scores are level, we say ‘all’ behind the points. For example, if the score is 2 – 2, we say 2 ALL. 

  • Deuce - If the score reaches 20-20, the game will be ‘deuce’. This means that either one side must lead by 2 points to win the game 

3.    Badminton Terms for Court Lines and Areas

There are 3 common areas on the badminton court.
  • Forecourt- Front area of the court
  • Mid-court- Middle area of the court
  • Rear court- Back area of the court


4.    Badminton Match Terms

  • Rally- A rally starts as soon as the server performs the service. The rally ends when the shuttle touches the ground or a player commits a fault. Winner of a rally will be awarded ONE point.

  • Game or Set - A badminton game refers to the race to 21 points. You’ll need to obtain 21 points to win a game. Sometimes we use the term ‘set’ instead of ‘game’.


  • Match - A badminton match consists of 2 or 3 games/sets. Player wins a match if he wins 2 straight games. If both sides won one game each, a third game would be played to determine the winner.


  • Rubber - A rubber game is the third and deciding game in a badminton match. When both players won one set each, and would have to enter into a 3rd deciding game to determine the winner. This 3rd set is called the rubber.

5.    Terms for Badminton Racket Parts

Usually this is how we address the different parts on a badminton racket.
  • Racket Head
  • String Bed
  • Racket T-joint or Throat
  • Racket Shaft
  • Handle

6.    Terms for Badminton Techniques and Shots


  • Badminton Strokes - Swing motion of your racket. Strokes are not shots. You’ll need to perform strokes to hit badminton shots.

  • Singles Footwork Base - Usually around the middle of the court. When playing singles, you’ll need to return to your ‘base’ after hitting every shot.

  • Lunge - Lunging refers to stretching your feet as far apart; usually towards the front to retrieve the shuttle.

  • Follow Through - Simply means completing your swing/stroke after you hit the shuttlecock. Following through with your swing usually produces better quality shots.

  • Clear Lob - Hitting the shuttle high up towards your opponent’s baseline. 

  • Drop Shot - Soft shot hit from your baseline and travels steeply to your opponent’s forecourt.

  • Smash - Offensive shot hit from your baseline. Travels down fast and steep towards your opponent’s side.

  • Half Smash - Smashing without full power.

  • Full Smash - Smashing with full power.

  • Baseline Smash - Smash hit from your baseline.

  • Drive - Fast and furious shot hit horizontally towards your opponent side.

  • Push - Push is a shot hit horizontally and aims to land around your opponent’s mid-court area. It is similar to the drive, except there is less pace in your shot.

  • Tumbling/Spinning Net Shot - This shot is taken at your forecourt. It is called the tumbling/spinning net shot because the shuttle tumbles and spins towards your opponent’s side.

  • Net Kill/Tap/Brush - Net kills are shots taken from the forecourt. It travels down steeply towards your opponent's side. Usually net kills are used to counter weak net shots from your opponent. In most Asian countries, we use ‘Tap’ instead of Net Kill. ‘Brushing’ is another term that refers to Net Kill. However brushing is slightly different. It has the same objective as the Net Kill, but different technique. Brushing is used to kill tight net shots from your opponent.

  • Net Lift - Net Lifts are defensive shots taken from the forecourt. It travels high up towards your opponent’s baseline.

Related tags :