The rules of Palm Rules Badminton begin with the official rules of badminton. The "Palm Rules" provide a few changes to the standard rules:
Rule #1: Boundaries are for sissies. Essentially, the net defines a plane dividing the universe into two halves. To keep play within the realm of sanity, the usual rule is that the birdie must pass over the net and between the net posts, but either or both of these rules may be omitted or overlooked. In the heat of competition, plays have been considered acceptable when the birdie passed under the net, and even through the net!
Folks, a badminton birdie will only go so far, no matter how hard you hit it. The lack of boundaries does less for expanding the area the game requires than for eliminating technicalities of whether a shot was "in" or "out".
Rule #2: Multiple hits on a side are allowed. Rules similar to those of volleyball may be adopted to maintain sanity (maximum 3 hits per side, no two successive hits by a single player), but usually these limitations are not imposed unless a player takes to "dribbling" the birdie -- bouncing it on his racket as he walks up to the net, where he spikes it.
Rule #3: It is acceptable to hit the birdie on the first bounce. This rule adds two subrules:
Rule #3a: No gravedigging. The birdie must still be moving when you hit it.
Rule #3b: No divots. If any grass or dirt flies, the point is lost.
Yes, the birdies do bounce, even on grass. But they only bounce a couple inches, so you have to time your swing perfectly. If you just missed swinging at the birdie in the air you are unlikely to be in a position to catch it on the bounce, so you usually have to intend to hit it on the bounce to begin with.
Rule #4: The birdie is still in play until it is motionless on the ground or someone has violated a rule. In general, there is no such thing as interference -- the birdie can bounce off of trees, players, the net, whatever, it is still in play. As a specific clarification: if the birdie is hit directly at a player whose instinctive reaction is to protect his face by catching the birdie in his hand, the birdie is still in play provided the player immediately releases it and it is hit with the racket while falling.
Rule #5: It is acceptable to reach over or under the net with a racket. However, as in the official rules of badminton, it is illegal to contact the net itself with the racket; the equipment simply cannot take the punishment. It is also frowned upon to contact an opposing player or his racket directly with a racket.
Return to the Palm Rules Badminton Introduction.
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