Does a spin of the racquet or toss of a coin determines who starts first in badminton?

by Anonymous


Question: A spin of the racquet or toss of a coin can determine who goes first, is this true?

Hi, thanks for the question.

There are many ways to determine which side delivers a serve first. When it comes to casual games, different people in different countries have their own unique way to determine who goes first.

Let me address how it is done in official tournaments first.

Official Badminton Tournaments

According to official badminton rules, a toss of a coin is used to determine who serves first.

The standard procedures are as follows:

  1. Each side picks one side of the coin (heads or tails)
  2. Umpire tosses a coin

The side who wins the toss will have to choose only ONE of 2 choices:

OPTION 1: Start the game by delivering the serve OR receiving the serve
OPTION 2: Choose which side of the court to start

For example, a player chooses HEAD and won the toss. Then he chooses OPTION 2. That means he gets to choose which side to play. He chooses Side B (refer to picture below).


His opponent will then get OPTION 1, that is, to choose whether to deliver to receive the service.

Casual/Social Badminton Games

Interestingly, different people have their own ways of determining who goes first.

You can follow official rules and toss a coin to see who serves first.

As you mentioned, it can be done with a spin of the racquet.

Alternatively, you can hit the shuttlecock really high up. When it falls to the ground, see which side the head of the shuttlecock is pointing at.

If the head is pointing towards your side of the court, you go first.

You don’t have to follow the official badminton rules if you’re playing at a social badminton session.

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