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Whilst watching a Badminton tournament, I noticed these peculiar-looking equipment in front of one of the umpires.

I presume this is an officiating aid, but what are they called, and what are they used for / how are they used?

Image taken from behind a Badminton umpire showing some form of equipment

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These are prosaically called Service Height Measuring Device.

From the laws of badminton:

§9.1.6 In a correct service, the whole shuttle shall be below 1.15 metres from the surface of the court at the instant of being hit by the server’s racket.

The devices are not used by the umpire, but by the service judge, and thus positioned in front of the service judge.

The device has two layers of transparent plexiglass, with a line embedded in each layer. The device is set up so that the if the two lines intersect, the line you're seeing is at 115cm over the floor where the servers are standing.

If the service judge sees that a part of the shuttle is over the 115cm line at the moment the shuttle is hit during service, they will call out Fault and hold their right arm out horizontally to indicate that the shuttle was over the line. The umpire will say Service Fault called, too high, and award a point to the receiving team.

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