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Olympics guide: Badminton


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When? 11-20 August 2016

Golds up for grabs: 5

Olympic presence: Badminton was a demonstration sport in 1972 and 1988, and became a full Olympic sport in 1992.

Olympic Format: There are five events: men’s singles and doubles, women’s singles and doubles, and mixed doubles.

Past Champions: China: 16 | South Korea: 6 | Indonesia: 6


The basics

The game begins with a serve. Serves must be made from below the waist, with the racquet head below the hand and with both feet on the ground. Serves that are not touched by the receiver must land in the service area to win the point. If they touch the net, and land in, a let is called and the point replayed.


Rallies are won when the shuttle touches the floor of a demaracted area on the opponent’s side of the court or if it goes out of play. Shuttles that land on the line are considered in play. Shuttles that clip the net but go over it are considered legal. Whoever wins the rally gets the next serve; points are won whether one is serving or receiving (a change from original practice).

Games and matches

Games are won by the first player to reach 21 points. If the score is tied at 20-all the game continues until someone is two points clear. If the game reaches 29-all, then the next point decides the game. Matches are the best of three games.


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