In this era of globalization, it is often difficult to communicate verbally during a game, particularly by the game supervisors. It is because the players' attention is primarily riveted to the game.
Moreover the players come from different parts of the world. Some of them may not know the language used and others may have difficulty in following the accent, even if they know the language. Above all, when the crowd is excited, it is often difficult to adjust scores and manage the game properly if verbal communication alone is used to regulate the game and keep track of scores.
Badminton hand signals are used precisely to overcome this difficulty. In badminton, besides participating players, there is a Referee who is in overall charge of the game, an Umpire, a service judge and a line judge. All these people use badminton hand signals to regulate the game.
Hand signals followed by the umpires are -
Raising his right hand straight above his head. When misconduct sufficient enough to apply rule 16.8 is reported about a player or the umpire witnesses it, he should call the player. He should do the above hand signal and say,"......................(player's name), warning for misconduct"
The service judges are responsible for monitoring whether a player serves correctly as per rules. Hand signals followed by the service judges are -
Raising the right arm in front slightly, flexing the elbow and keeping the palm vertically facing the opposite direction. It is done to indicate that the shaft of the racket when hitting the shuttle was not below the level of the wrist holding the racket and/or the shaft of the racket was not facing downwards when hitting the shuttle during serving.
Keeping the palm horizontally facing downwards at the level of the abdomen, followed by moving it to the left and right below the level of waist. It is done to convey that the shuttle, as a whole was not under the level of the waist while it was struck during serving.
Extending the right leg and pointing the hand towards the foot. It is done to indicate that one or both feet were not in the service court or remains constant till the serve was completed.
Resting the palm of the right hand on right side of the abdomen, keeping the palm facing the left side of the body, with fingers pointing downwards and pointing the fingers of the left hand to the palm of the right hand with the palm of the left hand facing the abdomen. It is done to show that the first point of contact with the shuttle was not the base of the shuttle.
Hand signals shown by line judges include -
Extending both hands horizontally to the sides of the body. It is to indicate the shuttle landed outside.
Pointing the hand to the line. To show that the shuttle has fallen inside correctly.
Closing both eyes with hands. To convey to the umpire that you are not sure where the shuttle landed.