What is the rule for racquet collision in badminton?

Badminton is a racquet sport that is played in both the singles and doubles discipline. The sport is highlighted by intensified rallies at the net, many of which take place in close proximity to the net.

In doubles, it is not an uncommon scene where the racquets of two teammates clash against each other. This often happens as a result of a confusion or the lack of clarity between the players who are unable to decide whose shot would it be. When the racquets collide, it is important that the shuttle makes contact with only one racquet before being sent to the other side of the net. Should the shuttle make contact with both the racquets it results in a foul.

When a singles player tries to hit a shot near the net and swings over the net, it might lead to a collision of their racquet with their opponent’s racquet. This is a hindrance as per the rule books and a let is called out. The point is then replayed. The reason behind the hindrance being called out is that the collision would create an interference to the opponent’s shot.

This is further emphasised in the rule books when the collision is deliberate. To be precise, Law 16.2.1 states that, “A player commits a fault if a player deliberately hinders an opponent from making a fair return of a service or a return of the shuttlecock.”

Thus, racquet collisions in badminton can either be intentional or unintentional, based on which a decision is made to whether a let should be called out on the point or whether a foul is committed.

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