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Pulled up on my serve
October 10, 2014
1:00 pm
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evilchap
Devon
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I am fairly tall, and on my toes I guess taller still.

I understand the rules/laws require that I make contact with the shuttle below my waste, as defined by a line from the bottom of my bottom rib.

I also understand the shaft of the racket must be angled down.

Is there a third requirement that the serve must go upwards in direction? I believe it does, as I am not a giant, and it’s going over the net…

With this in mind I believe I can still do a fairly flat flick serve and stay within the rules, but somebody did say I rolled my racket over one a bit, and it was borderline. If somebody has seen this once, it’s safe to assume it must happen more than once…

Is there a good way to double check myself that all is above board? I do not want to be breaking any rules at all, and do not want to be perceived to be breaking any rules either.

Backhand serving is relatively new to me, I never took the time to learn in my early days, but have it down quite well now, it’s just this flick that’s causing me the worry.

Thanks

Ben

October 11, 2014
10:58 am
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Roger
West Midlands UK
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Hi Ben
Whether serves are hit above the waist or not is an ongoing debate at all levels of the game.
It’s interesting that at the recent Commonwealth games quite a few players had their serves called particularly when flicking.
Credit to you that you are concerned at an early stage and not, like quite a few players, braving it out until the evidence is overwhelming.
The serve is like any other stroke in that small nuances can creep in over time without us really noticing.
Because of infrequent use players can get a bit anxious, tighten up and subconsciously modify their technique with flick and particularly drive serves.
Paul calls the serve, quite rightly, the most important stroke in badminton so it pays to practice.
You’re almost right on the rules.
The flight of the shuttle shall be upwards from the servers racket.
The shaft of the racket shall be pointing downwards at the moment of impact.
What a lot of people don’t realise is that the WHOLE shuttle should be bellow the waist defined, as you said, by the lowest part of the bottom rib.
If only the base is bellow your waist when you strike the shuttle then the the serve is illegal.

Everybody develops their own service position and action and,as long as it’s legal and effective, that’s fine.
When I’m teaching the backhand serve I get my learners to place the shuttle onto the strings of their downward facing racket and then extend both arms making sure that the shuttle is bellow the waist. They then look at the target area then down at the shuttle until impact. By looking at the shuttle when delivering the serve they can check that their shuttle and racket arms are in the correct positions and don’t wander during the serve.

Hope this helps
Roger

October 13, 2014
6:26 pm
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AlexLaw
Canada
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If you look at top level play, there’s a high percentage of drive/flick serves that are called illegal. Which I think indicates you can’t really do an effective drive/flick serve without it being borderline. You’d have to stand a bit back away from the service line, and your opponent might smell a drive coming…

For checking, I think simply extending your left arm (checking) before you serve and not moving it until you hit the shuttle should suffice.

October 16, 2014
9:37 pm
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Paul Stewart
Cheshire, UK
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I see this a lot at club. Being one of the more experienced players on court, I don’t have the speed to toe the line any more. Players choose to flick me more often than serve low. It does make me laugh when a shuttle whistles past my shoulder and they consider it’s a perfectly legal serve. I smile and move on to the next point.

If this was a tournament then I’m the one who will benefit most from receiving serves like this as a service judge would most certainly call a fault.

Roger is correct with his comments (thank you Roger). Players in general do not know the service laws and therefore have no idea whether their serves are legal. Credit to you Ben for asking and querying your serve.

If you watch some of the international players I’m amazed how they get away with some of their serves as they clearly rise towards the shuttle rather than push straight through it.

What many players forget is where to stand and what to do with their racket immediately after they have served. The more they practice raising their racket to net height after the serve, the greater chance of intercepting a return.

The serve and return is a topic we could debate for weeks, if we go deep enough.

Paul

October 18, 2014
10:12 am
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Woody
Sheffield, England
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Was watching a men’s doubles match from the denmark open last night cai yun and partner against Ashan and Setiawan.
Out of the first eight points the service judge called seven faults, it looks as though thd authorities are at least trying to sort it out.
Wood

October 21, 2014
12:24 pm
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evilchap
Devon
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Thank you for all of the replies!

I have been putting some serious effort and thought into my serves recently, and have not been pulled up again.

I am making sure I am fully above board, and can confidently use my flick on occasion and often get a winner from it which is always nice!

Last nights match was something of a struggle though, playing in a astrange hall with very yellow lighting and new to me shuttles, I could not make my smash count! They just kept sending it back up to me, and my partner, who were player 1 and 2 in our team of 4 men. After we took the pace off, and started dropped and clearing to mix it up we completed the match with only 1 game going to 3 legs…

I have never noticed such a difference from playing in 1 place to another, and changing shuttles at the same time – it was almost like the pace was totally gone. This was probably also not helped by our opponents being very adept at returning smashes as well, but still, what a frustrating evening!

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