Yellow, Red and Black Cards in Badminton

In badminton, three penalty cards are given to players for misconduct- yellow, red, and black. Sometimes, while watching a badminton match, you might have observed the umpire calling a player and raising the hand with a card of a certain color. Well, you might be wondering what do those cards mean? In this article, I have got it all answered. 

Umpire showing a red card to the player

What does Yellow Card mean in Badminton? 

A Yellow card is issued by an umpire when a player breaches the official BWF game laws. Moreover, it is a warning for misconduct. The Umpire calls the offending player and loudly announces its name and ‘Warning for misconduct’. At the same time, the umpire raises his/her right hand holding a yellow card above the head. 

Whenever a yellow card is given, a monetary fine is imposed on the player.

 The instances when a yellow card can be given to a player/team are:

  • Throwing a Racket
    A player throwing a racket into the opponent’s court or sliding under the net (and who also thereby obstructs or distracts an opponent), shall be considered a fault.
  • Distractions
  1. When a player stops the opponent making a legal stroke when the shuttle is followed over the net.
  2. When a player deliberately shouts or makes gestures to disturb the opponent.
  • Leaving the Court without permission 
    A player must not leave the court during the match without the umpire’s permission except during intervals. 
  • Unnecessary Delay
    A player must not cause unnecessary delay of play deliberately. Under no circumstances, a play shall be delayed to enable a player to recover strength or wind or to receive advice. Also, any unnecessary walk around the court is considered a distraction.
  • When a player deliberately modifies or damages the shuttle to change its speed or its flight.
  • Coaching from off the court
    Coaching off the court while the shuttle is in play is not allowed. The coaches are seated at the backside of the court except during intervals. There should be no distraction to play by a coach. 
  • When a player behaves in an offensive or inappropriate manner.
  • Mobile Phone
    If a player’s mobile phone rings on the court or its immediate surroundings, during a match, it shall be considered to be an offense and the player shall be penalized appropriately 

What does a Red Card mean in Badminton?

A red card is given to singles/doubles players when two yellow cards are given to them by the umpire. The umpire calls out loud the name of the player, followed by ‘Fault for misconduct‘. At the same time, the umpire raises the right hand with a red card and calls the referee.

As it is considered a fault, when a player/team receives a red card, the opponents gain a point. Furthermore, the players/teams are fined with a heavy fine. 

What does a Black card mean in Badminton? 

When a player continues to breach the laws after even receiving a red card, the Umpire calls in the referee with a view to disqualification. If the referee agrees to disqualify the offending player, a black card is given to the Umpire by the referee. 

The Umpire will call out the name of the player followed by ‘Disqualified for misconduct‘ and will raise his/her right hand holding the black card. When a player receives a black card, the player gets disqualified for the entire championship/tournament. 

Also read: Badminton Rules: An exquisite guide

Final Thoughts 

 A yellow card is given for misconduct on the court. Remember, two yellow cards make one red card. Persistent misconduct after two red cards can punish you with a black card.

Therefore, follows all the badminton laws and keep your temper at the right place to avoid receiving these cards.


Anushree Burad

Qualified as an MBA in Sports Management. A Sports fanatic and a passionate badminton player. My passion for sports drove me to foray into sports writing. This is my attempt at translating my thoughts into words. Looking forward to contributing to Sports through my writing.

Recent Posts