What Does Yellow Card Mean in Badminton? Basic Rules You Need to Know Before Playing Badminton

Yellow Card Mean in Badminton

If you are watching a Badminton game in action and suddenly see a player presented with a yellow card, you might wonder what is going on. What is a yellow card and what does a player have to do to get one? Is it a serious offense or does it just cost the team money? If you are new to Badminton or have never played a game before, it is normal to be confused when you suddenly realize there are actual penalties involved. Let’s make sense of the basic rules.

What does yellow card mean in Badminton? In Badminton, a yellow card is given when a player breaches the official game laws. When the card is given, a monetary fine is imposed. When players receive two yellow cards, they receive a red card, and a point is awarded to the opposing team. When a player is given a yellow card, the umpire calls the offender to his side and loudly announces the player’s name and “Warning for misconduct” while holding the card above his head with the right hand.

Okay, so a yellow card means that a player is accused of misconduct. The player can query the yellow card if he feels that it is not fair, but this very rarely ever happens. If you read the rules of Badminton, you will understand that the laws strictly dictate what ‘misconduct’ really is on the Badminton court. If you want to learn more about the kind of misconduct that leads to a yellow card and the basic rules of play that makes it possible to yellow card a player, read on. Below you will find out everything you need to know about yellow cards in Badminton.

Basic Rules/Laws to Avoid Getting a Yellow Card

What does a player have to do to get a yellow card? Above, we have mentioned that a player gets a yellow card in Badminton for misconduct. Misconduct can be defined as:

  • Throwing the Badminton racket into the opponent’s court.
    This seems to be a point of confusion for many Badminton players, but the BWF law clearly states that: “It is a fault, if in play, a player invades an opponent’s court over the net with a racket or person except that the striker may follow the shuttle over the net with the racket in the course of a stroke after the initial point of contact with the shuttle is on the striker’s side of the net.”
  • Sliding under the net.
    If you have watched a Badminton match before, you might have noticed that some players, when they have a break, move to the other side of the court by sliding their racket under the net. This is not considered polite or acceptable on the court.
  • Obstructing, distracting, or suspending play.

Obstructions and distractions are officially described as follows:

    • When a player stops an opponent making a legal stroke when the shuttle is followed over the net.
    • When a player makes gestures or shouts to deliberately distract the opponent.
    • When a player pushes their racket in the way when the opponent is following a shuttle over the net. If your racket then hits theirs, you win the rally.
  • Unauthorized exit from the court.

When a player wants to leave the court for any reason, whether it be an emergency or just to get something (water, hair band, etc.) or consult with the coach, the umpire needs to give express permission to do so. If you exit the court without permission, you or your team will get a yellow card.

  • Walking around the court.
    When players walk around the court unnecessarily, it causes distraction and will be viewed as such. When the game is in play, other players must stay in their designated areas.
  • Modifying or damaging the shuttle for an unfair advantage.

This does not happen very often, but there are instances where players spend time enhancing or damaging the shuttle to change its speed or flight. This is to result in an unfair advantage.

  • Coaching is being provided from the side of the court.
    A coach is to sit in the assigned coach area and only be on the court at permitted intervals. If any coaching is provided during play, a yellow card will be presented.
  • Being offensive on the court.

In some instances, players can become irritated, aggressive or frustrated on the court. Some payers curse or throw their racket in annoyance. This type of behavior is not acceptable and a penalty in the form of a yellow card will be given.

In Badminton, a yellow card can be presented to a single player or even to a team which is usually a doubles pair. This is done when a player or players breach the basic Badminton laws. The yellow card is only given out when the match is in progress.

The Basic Rules: What Happens When a Badminton Player Misbehaves on the Court?

Learning about the yellow card is quite important. In fact, it is important for players to know the basic rules before they get started. A yellow card is easy to understand, but there are actually a few things that an umpire can do when a player misbehaves on the court, before even giving a yellow card.

First and foremost, cards are actually quite rare in Badminton, but there are times when they are handed out.

One of the first things that an umpire can do when a player misbehaves is to issue a verbal warning. Verbal warnings are most popular in Badminton and yellow cards are typically used if an umpire feels that verbal warnings just aren’t being effective.  If a player is guilty of misconduct, the umpire will announce a warning. If the offenses continue, the umpire will ask the player to come over to their area to have a world. It is common to hear the umpire saying things like “do not delay the game” or “obstruction” when a player is misbehaving in that way. Usually, if the player continues to offend and the umpire is not happy, he may warn that a yellow card is possible by gesturing to his cards.

Thereafter, if the umpire is not happy with the player’s on-court behavior, the umpire will hold up the yellow card and announce the reason for it. The consequence of a yellow card is often a fine (cash), but if a player gets 2 yellow cards, the next is a red card which results in the opposing team getting a point.

What is the Red Card for? 1 (Yellow Card) + 1 (Yellow Card) = 1 Red Card!

To understand the yellow card and how it fits in with the basic rules of Badminton, you also need to understand the red card. 2 yellow cards result in a red card and that’s not something you want to earn for your match as a single player or a team of double players. The red card is also given if a player is at fault or is guilty of misconduct. When a player or team receives a red card, the opposing team receives a point. Causes for red cards are similar to that of yellow cards. Once both yellow cards are given, red cards can be given if:

  • A player throws a racket on the court,
  • Swearing at the umpire or opponent,
  • Not returning from the interval,
  • Leaving the court without permission.

Along with a red card, players or teams are faced with a hefty fine. Local games have a lower fine attached than international games.

What happens when a player continues to commit offenses after receiving a red card? The umpire and referee will confer about the situation and decide if a black card is necessary.  Black cards lead to disciplinary action.


If you wish to avoid a yellow card, you need to be able to control your temper on the court and play by the rules. Remember that 2 yellow cards can result in a red card which means the other team is awarded a point as if they won a rally. Learning the basic rules about yellow and red cards is important if you want to ensure wins and avoid penalties on the court.







Hey! I’m Steven. I've been playing badminton for over 10 years and working as an assistant badminton coach for kids. This website is created to share my passion and knowledge of badminton as well as discuss relevant and useful topics in the world of badminton.

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