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I know that when serving I must serve diagnally, but my opponents have a habit of catching the shuttle in midair when they think its going to land in the wrong section. It feels especially unfair when they catch it when it's very close to the line, but it seems to me that if they catch it at all, even if it's obviously going to be a fault, then it should be their fault.

I'm pretty sure that they shouldn't catch it, but I've been unable to prove it, and we don't have anyone around who knows for sure. I couldn't find a definitive answer in the rules, either, but that might be because I'm unfamiliar with the game. Does anyone know for sure?

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From the (June 2016) Laws of Badminton, Law 13:

It shall be a "fault":

[...]

13.3 if in play, the shuttle:

[...]

13.3.4 touches the person or dress of a player

And from Law 15:

A shuttle is not in play when:

[...]

15.2 it hits the surface of the court

The shuttle is in play because it has not yet hit the surface of the court, so it touching a player is a fault.

That's tournament rules, obviously. If in casual play, the serve is obviously going to miss, catching the shuttlecock may speed play up a bit - but doing it on anything remotely close to the line is bad form at best and cheating at worst. I'd politely ask your opponents not to catch the shuttlecock, and hopefully that will be the end of it.

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