11-Point Sets: The Key to Revitalizing Badminton or a Risky Endeavor?

Score board with 2 sets won
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Last Updated on 10/05/2023 by Kriss

Badminton has undergone numerous changes and adaptations throughout the years. One of the most significant debates surrounding the sport today is whether or not to switch from the current 21-point scoring system to an 11-point set system. In this blog post, we will look into the history of badminton’s scoring system, the advantages and disadvantages of the proposed change, and the potential impact on the sport.

A Brief History of Badminton’s Scoring System

Badminton’s current scoring system traces its roots back to the 19th century when the sport was played in British India. The initial scoring system used a 15-point system, with games often extending over an hour. In this system, points could only be scored by the serving player or pair, and the winner of a rally would gain or retain the serve. This often led to long, drawn-out matches with fewer points scored, as players would rally back and forth without necessarily earning points. In 2006, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) introduced the 21-point rally scoring system in an effort to make matches more exciting, dynamic, and spectator-friendly.

The 11-Point Set Proposal

In recent years, there has been growing support for an 11-point set system. In May 2021, the BWF vote on the 11-point scoring system narrowly missed the required two-thirds majority, as 66.31% of voters supported the change. Proponents argue that this change could create more tension and drama in matches, as well as make the sport even more accessible to a wider audience. Let’s explore the advantages and disadvantages of this proposal.

Score five to zero

Advantages of the 11-Point Set System

  1. More excitement: Shorter sets create more opportunities for comebacks and upsets, which can add excitement and drama to the sport. With a smaller margin for error, players will need to be at their best from the start, making every point crucial.
  2. Shorter match duration: Reducing the number of points per set would result in shorter matches, which could help maintain spectator interest and make the sport more television-friendly.
  3. Increased accessibility: A simplified scoring system could make the sport more accessible to new players and casual fans, who might find it easier to follow and understand.

Disadvantages of the 11-Point Set System

  1. Potential for inconsistent results: With fewer points per set, the outcome of a match could become more reliant on luck, rather than skill and strategy, leading to inconsistent results.
  2. Resistance from players and fans: Many players and fans have grown accustomed to the 21-point scoring system and may be resistant to such a drastic change.

The Impact on the Game

Switching to an 11-point set system would undoubtedly have a significant impact on badminton. It could alter playing strategies, as players would need to prioritize scoring points early in the set. Additionally, coaches would have to adjust their training methods to accommodate the shorter sets. Shorter sets might benefit punchy aggressive players that would fatigue at some point in a 21-point set. On the other hand, less room for errors might also promote a more conservative play style that focuses on consistency and not going for the riskiest shot early on.


The debate surrounding the potential switch to an 11-point set system in badminton is complex and multi-faceted. While there are clear advantages to the proposed change, such as increased excitement and accessibility, the disadvantages, including less time for skill exhibition and the potential for inconsistent results, cannot be overlooked. Ultimately, the decision should be made with the best interests of the sport, its players, and its fans in mind.

What do you think about the 11-point set? Do you watch a whole 3 set badminton game that takes over 90 minutes?

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