Match Rules

Rules as of September 2023


All matches shall be played under the rules laid down by Badminton England with the exception of the recently amended rule on serving.  The original serving rules shall apply (see section 8 below).

For the complete book of rules go to:-

2 – LEAGUE POINTS (Amended 2017)

League points shall be awarded on the basis of one point per each match game won.

In addition at the end of the match, all aces will be totaled and an additional bonus point shall be awarded to each team for every complete 50 aces scored in the match by that team.

The Match Secretary will calculate the aces for each team from the scorecard and award the points.


All matches shall consist of 18 games played to 21 points. Change of ends shall occur at the first score of 11 points, other than when pairs are playing two consecutive games against each other (when change of ends will be at the end of the first game).


The top two teams in any division other than the first division are to be placed above the bottom two teams in the higher division at the end of the season. The MC will use this order of merit to determine the division in which a team is placed in the following season, and, dependent upon the number of teams entered in the league, will decide on the number of divisions and teams in each division. In the event of a tie on points, League positions will be determined by games won, and where these are also level on aces scored. Where a club has more than one team in the League, the ‘B’ team must not be in a higher division than the ‘A’ team, nor the ‘C’ higher than the ‘B’, and so on.


Matches shall start at 7.30pm unless otherwise agreed. In cases of late arrival, clubs MAY claim the first game 15 minutes after the official start time, and at subsequent 15-minute intervals if the opponents are not ready to play.

6 – SCORECARDS (Amended 26-05-16)

The home team shall provide the scorecard and shall insert their players and order of play first, followed by the visiting team. Full names must be exactly as registered with the League on the registration form. A point will be deducted for each incorrect name. On completion of the match, the scorecard shall be signed by both captains and sent to the Match Secretary. The completed scorecard must be received by the Match Secretary within a week of the match otherwise 2 points will be deducted from the home team. Please complete the sportsmanship award on the reverse of the card. It is advisable for home teams to take a photograph of the scorecard before sending it.

7 – TEAM COMPOSITION (Amended 2018)

Each team shall consist of 6 players. which may be comprised of any combination of male and female players.

To fulfil a fixture, clubs are allowed to play a maximum of 2 players down to the immediate lower team from a higher team. These should NOT be the club’s best players.

  1. If a team plays a registered higher team player down to a lower team, there will be a penalty of the loss of all bonus points from that match.
  2. If a team plays 2 higher team players in a lower team match, 3 additional points will be deducted as well as all the bonus points.

If a team player plays an individual up to a higher team more than twice in a season, that player automatically becomes a registered higher team player unless the club explains the circumstances to the management committee.

In the case of an exceptional situation, representation should be made to the Committee in advance of the match if possible.

If a player is injured during a match and is unable to continue, the game they were playing in will be lost but a player from the remaining five players is allowed to play the remaining games for the injured player. This player will be chosen by the opposition.

Players will take part in one match at a time at one venue on any given evening.


At the request of either team, an Umpire shall be in charge of each game and shall be provided alternately by each team. In the event of players disagreeing and the Umpire being unable to decide, a ‘Let’ shall be allowed.

It is a fault if…..

1 – The shuttle is caught and held on the racket and then slung during the execution of the stroke; or if the shuttle is hit twice in succession by the same player with two strokes; or if the shuttle is hit by the partners.

2 – If in serving…..

(a) the initial point of contact with the shuttle is not on the base of the shuttle,

or (b) any part of the shuttle at the instant of being struck be higher than the server’s waist,

or ( c) if, at the instant of the shuttle being struck, the shaft of the racket is not pointing downward to such an extent that the whole of the head of the racket is DISCERNIBLY below the whole of the server’s hand holding the racket.


A good quality feather shuttlecock shall be used for matches. The home team shall be responsible for the provision of reasonably sufficient numbers of shuttlecocks to fulfill the match

A shuttle shall be deemed to be of correct pace if when a player of average strength strikes it with a full underhand stroke, from a spot immediately above the back boundary line, in a line parallel to the sidelines at an upward angle, it falls not less than 530mm (1 foot ) and no more than 990mm (2 feet 6 inches) short of the other back boundary line.


The BE system of 21 points per game shall be adopted. A point is awarded to the winner of each rally, irrespective of server. A game must be won by 2 clear points, unless the score reaches 29 all, when the next point will decide the game.

11 – LETS

The ceiling on the opponent’s side of the net, and ALL protrusions over the whole court area, shall be a let.

12 – REGISTRATIONS (Amended May 2019)

Each club shall register a list of players (in duplicate) on the form provided, giving each player’s full name and submitting it to the League Treasurer to whom the registration fees shall also be paid (copy for the Results Secretary).

Player registrations are to be submitted before the season’s matches commence.

Only those players so registered may play for each club. New players can be registered on the night of the match on the back of the scorecard and the fee forwarded to the League Treasurer. The last date for registration of players in this way is the last day of January in each year although a member of the Committee can allow new registrations after this date in exceptional circumstances and with prior warning.

A maximum of 2 players only can be registered on the night of the match.

13 – NOMINATION OF PLAYERS (Amended 25-05-16)

All Clubs must nominate all their team prior to the commencement of the season. Clubs should provide reserves for the higher team from a lower team. Up to 2 players may be allowed to play down from an immediate higher team in order to allow a fixture to be fulfilled where this would not otherwise be possible. (see section 7 above re conditions)

The Management Committee has the right to ensure that teams play the matches in the spirit of the game and to issue directions to teams where it is clear that clubs have not done so.

14 – POSTPONEMENTS (Cancellations) (Amended 26-05-16)

Officially, matches can only be postponed if a venue is unavailable. However, every effort should be made to re-arrange postponed matches. The Committee will decide on any unplayed matches at the end of the season and the team responsible for the original postponement will be deducted 10 points.

* If a club needs to postpone a match, they must give as much notice to their opposition as possible. Postponing just before a match is due to be played is not acceptable.

* The home team is responsible for informing the Match Secretary if a match is postponed. An email to the Match Secretary should be sent stating why the match was postponed and which team was responsible for the postponement.


Any transfer of players must have the sanction of the MC or the Press and Results Secretary. Transferring players should have settled their financial obligations. The last date for Registration or transfer of players is the last day of February in each year. Transfer of new or inexperienced players after this date may be allowed at the discretion of the MC.

Note:- While not forming part of the rules when pairs play each other in consecutive games the second game should be started by the serve going to the pair that won the first game.

16 Secretaries’ Meeting Attendance – new rule (Added 26-05-16)

All clubs should be represented at the pre-season Secretaries’ Meeting.

Registration fees for all clubs will be £3 per player. This will apply to all subsequent registrations on cards.


1. Registration fee per player per club (See rule 16)


4. Failure to pay all outstanding monies within 28 days

surcharge £5.00