How to judge whether a shuttle will land inside or outside the court?

by Bharath

(Hyderabad, A.P, India)

Scenario A

Scenario A

Scenario A

Scenario B

Question: How to judge the birdie that is going to land outside or leave the out shuttlecock? How can we exactly know the birdie will go out?

Hi Bharath, thank you for the question.

There is no instant solution to this. This has to come with experience.

However, there are some tricks you can use to judge whether the shuttlecock will land inside or outside the badminton court.

First let’s try and decide whether the shuttlecock will land inside or whether it will be “long” (fly pass the baseline at the back of the court)

There are usually 2 instances where you will need to decide whether to leave the shuttlecock.

Scenario A: Smash and Drive

Your opponent drives or smashes the birdie to you and it could potentially go “LONG”. See the picture above.

In order to judge whether the shuttle will go out, one way is to take note of the speed of the shuttle.

In most instances, a drive or smash that is too flat, that is, it flies horizontally towards you, it most likely will fly out.

If the shot direction is too high and fast, there is a high chance that it will go outside.

This will require practise to judge.

Scenario B: High Clears or Lifts (Click on the picture at the top of the page to enlarge)

When your opponent hits a high badminton clear, how are you going to judge whether it lands outside your baseline?

This is easier to judge compared to the straight and horizontal shot mentioned above.

Before you play your game at that court, move forward and backwards on the court while looking up into the ceiling. Imagine that the shuttle is above you.

Take note of what you see on the ceiling.

As you move to your baseline, see what is on the ceiling around your baseline and use that as a benchmark.

During the game itself, you will be looking upwards to the shuttle.

If you see the shuttle flying pass your ‘benchmark object’ on top of the ceiling, leave the shuttle as it is most likely out.

If you are unsure whether the high clear will go out, there’s another way… Quickly move to the baseline and step your dominant foot on the baseline.

Look up to the shuttle and determine whether the shuttle will fly pass you as it lands.


Again, these judgments require experience.

It is not something that you can learn overnight.

In terms of the shuttle possibly flying wide (flying to the sidelines), you’ll really need to judge it based on experience.

A small tip I can give you is to move early to the sidelines on the court, you’ll be able to make better judgment.

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