Though there have been many Badminton Rules devised by different sections during the evolution of the sport, now they have been pretty much stabilized, standardized and accepted now. Before the Badminton match starts, a decision needs to be made as to which team will hold which side of the net and which team will serve first. This is decided by the “toss” where a coin is spun in the air and the winner decides on the above two things. Alternatively, the cock is cast and side towards which it points will get the opportunity to serve first.
The teams need to mandatorily play three sets, would need to score 21 points in each set. The team that wins the majority two out of three sets will be the winners. The player who serves first is called the server and stands diagonally opposite to the receiver. The server serves the shuttle which land in the receiver’s half of the court and is returned when the receiver hits the shuttle back to the server. This rally continues till either of the players drop the shuttle or hit it out of the court boundary or when the shuttle hits the net. This player or side lose a point to the opponents whose score increases by a point. Badminton Rule states that if the serving player or team loses a rally, the service is passed on to the opposite side immediately. This continues till either team scores 21 points. However, if both teams get to 20 points each, the game is continued till either team gains a 2-point lead. For the subsequent set, the winner of the previous set gets a chance to serve first.
The Badminton Rules are slightly molded for singles and doubles:
Singles - The server stands in their right service court when their score is even, and in her/his left service court when her/his score is odd.
Doubles - if the serving side wins a rally, the same player continues to serve, but he/she changes service courts so that she/he serves to a different opponent each time. If the opponents win the rally and their new score is even, the player in the right service court serves; if odd, the player in the left service court serves. The players' service courts are determined by their positions at the start of the previous rally, not by where they were standing at the end of the rally. A consequence of this system is that, each time a side regains the service, the server will be the player who did not serve last time.
The rules further allows the players to change sides after each set. If the game reaches the third sent then they can switch sides when the leading team or player is at 11 points. The server and receiver must remain within their service courts, without touching the boundary lines, until the server strikes the shuttlecock. The other two players may stand wherever they wish, so long as they do not block the vision of the server or receiver.