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Is this serve legal?

Discussion in 'Rules / Tournament Regulation / Officiating' started by timeless, May 6, 2003.

  1. timeless

    timeless Regular Member

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    This thought came to me while writing in JChen's thread about an altercation regarding illegal service.

    Several players at my club use a particular service preparation method which I find very annoying and would consider it illegal. However, I'm not positive that I'm correct, so perhaps some of you can clear it up for me before I approach these players (if ever).

    I will try to describe their method as clearly as possible and in order of execution...

    Backhand service style

    1. They pull their racquet back (and/or downwards).
    2. With the non-racquet hand, place the shuttle on the racquet stringbed.
    3. Together in unison they swiftly move both racquet and shuttle forward to their final service preparation position.
    4. Pause and hope for a tell-tale reaction to their balk while they decide where to place their service.
    5. Pull the racquet back, forward, and contact with the shuttle for actual service.

    Since they place the shuttle on the stringbed so early in their preparation, and then move it together in unison, I think one could contest that their racquet was never moving towards the shuttle and thus their service had not started yet.

    Personally, I feel once the racquet moves forward in the direction of the shuttle (regardless of whether the shuttle was moving at an uniform pace and distance with the racquet) that the service has begun. Thus stopping the racquet motion at any time before contacting the shuttle would be a fault.
     
  2. blckknght

    blckknght Regular Member

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    good topic!

    An excellent question, i think. that would really annoy me too... i look forward to hearing whether or not it is legal.
    g
     
  3. Majin Legacy

    Majin Legacy Regular Member

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    Well, I'm not going to say that this is pure fact, but isn't it true that the stringbed of the racket may only touch the bird once? Otherwise it would be a double hit, resulting in a fault?
     
  4. dlp

    dlp Regular Member

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    Well the first foward movement of the servers racket head defines the start of the service and the serve must be in one foreward move so this sounds like an illegal serve.
     
  5. Derek S-H

    Derek S-H Regular Member

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    Sounds dodgy to me!

    Hi!

    I haven't had masses of coaching, but everyone I've ever spoken to has said that the service action should be one continuous movement.
    I remember playing a match once and the guy I faced used to wave his racket at the shuttle before serving! I couldn't believe that no one in his club had said anything, and I actually ended up being virtually level with the net having rushed a serve that had yet to happen! I felt such a fool!
    You have every right to say something - just because everyone is doing something it doesn't automatically make it right. Perhaps someone else will actually post the correct serving regulation that you can print and show to the people in your club.

    Best Wishes
    Derek.
     
  6. timeless

    timeless Regular Member

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    You're most likely right. However in this case, they don't necessarily have to actually touch the shuttle to the stringbed to pull off their deception.
     
  7. timeless

    timeless Regular Member

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    Re: Sounds dodgy to me!

    The service laws can be found on the IBF website. However, the specific case I described seems to ride the border of legal and illegal. That's why I want to make certain what they are doing is illegal as to avoid potential altercation.

    When I was first faced the players of said "dodgy" serves, I too twitched when I thought they were going to serve but actually didn't. Even though I had not physically moved, when they saw that I broke my focus they promptly flicked it over me. Sooooo bloody annoying.
     
    #7 timeless, May 6, 2003
    Last edited: May 6, 2003
  8. Winex West Can

    Winex West Can Regular Member

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    Depends on when you define the start of the serve.

    This is really border line as the server could be getting ready (steps 1 to 4) and the actual start of serve is step 5. But the laws do state that the receiver has to be ready to receive so you can stall be not getting ready until step 4 is almost complete :D

    Personally, in official tourneys where you have line judges, umpires, service judge, etc., I would think that the serve is considered illegal as law 9.4 states that the start of service is the forward movement of the racquet towards the shuttle (no mention of whether the shuttle has to be stationary or not).

    Again, in non competative play, I wouldn't worry too much about it and even if you are playing a serious game, take it in stride and recognize that the player is probably not cheating intentionally although who knows :)
     
  9. timeless

    timeless Regular Member

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    I actually tried doing that. You know what they did? Once they realized I wasn't ready, they dropped their hands and began their entire serve preparation process over again! I guess next time I'll just "unready" myself again too... keep the cycle going until I annoy them to hell too hahaha~ :p

    Well what's funny is that one particular person that does it seems to pride themself on the fact that they took lessons from a professional and thus everything they do is representative of that professional. As if that made them good by osmosis or association. What pissed me off was that this particular person actually poked fun of my wife and insulted her service technique. At the time, my wife was just learning to serve so she didn't really know the particulars aside from the general form. Luckily for this person, I wasn't present when this happened... :mad: :mad: :mad:
    Hmmm... I'm actually going to meet up with the pro tonight, that this person took lessons from... I think I'll ask him if said serve is illegal or not. As I've taken lessons from the same pro, I certainly know he didn't teach this person to serve like that! ;)
     
  10. LazyBuddy

    LazyBuddy Regular Member

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    Well, this one is really hard to argue. Agree with WWC, and I think it's really depend on which one is to be defined as "start / ready". Both sides will get into endless argument here and there.

    However, I think in offical event, this move will most likely be considered as "illegal". Not just a penalty for "serve", but also possible for "delay of game", if they keep doing this even more than once.
     
  11. nSmash

    nSmash Regular Member

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    I've come across my fair share of players who are so proud of their
    "winning" (i.e. illegal) serves. I think if there's one rule that should
    be printed out with a big diagram and plastered on the wall of
    every badminton gym, it should be the serve rule.

    Which brings to mind... what if the server doesn't move the shuttle
    or the racquet but sways his upper body back and forth like "ok
    here's the serve... opps not yet... haha... now here i go..."? Is that
    legal?
     
  12. timeless

    timeless Regular Member

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    HAHAHAHAHAHA~ :D
    I've seen a lot of players do similar things too. So funny. Usually I'm more concerned with keeping my laughter in check than their service! :p
     
  13. bigredlemon

    bigredlemon Regular Member

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    Re: Re: Sounds dodgy to me!

    I hear that.
    A couple people I play with would sometimes start to serve, stop just before hitting the bird, and then restart to serve again. There's been times in which I've lost my balance and fell forward in anticipation. I never realized that was illegal until now...

    but sometimes when I serve tip-toe, I lose my balance mid-serve and fallover the sides. (No jokes please :eek:) I then re-position myself to where I was and re-serve. From the definition then, what I did was technically illegal as well? That is, once I start serving I must finnish even if I lose my balance?
     
  14. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    For timeless' original question, I don't think it can be considered legal.

    secondly, I use it as an opportunity to practice how I can 'adapt' to a different serve. For sure, the first couple of serves are bound to catch me out. But hopefully by the 3rd time, I'd have a pretty good idea of what's going on and negate his advantage.

    The other variation is the person who serves quickly, just as you settle down into position. Ohh, I hate it when I get caught out like that. If you don't move and was looking at the opponent when serving, I doubt any umpire is going to call for a re-serve.

    But it's a fair game and occasionally I use this tactic as well!!
     
  15. viver

    viver Regular Member

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    When playing, being it in tournaments or just club/community centers recreational play there is always bound to have players using and abusing the serves - illegally that is. I've played many players, and often the older ones serving at chest level. I've never complained especially against the older folks. Not sure if I will do the same when I reach their age.

    When there are service judges, service laws are also interpreted according to their understanding. Where service stars is up to them. So my coach lay down, at that time the motions we had to go through when serving:
    - position racquet for serve; racquet head below waist and wrist level;
    - position shuttle for serving, do not touch the shuttle and do not move racquet;
    - start serve, racquet moving forward motion ONLY.

    Using the backhand serve, most of the times there's a backward motion and then a forward one to strike the shuttle. According to my coach (learning from his experience), in doing so, may result a fault called by the service judge. Even if you are certain you did not commit any fault, arguing the situation with the officials would only distract you from your game. In my opinion, the best way is to ensure that us do the serve the correct way. As for others, there's no way to change them unless they are willing to accept there's something they could improve.
     
  16. unregistered

    unregistered Regular Member

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    show

    show them that u can still beat them no matter what service they do.... keep focused and concentrate hard..... Determination is what that leads to excellence.
     
  17. Neil Nicholls

    Neil Nicholls Regular Member

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    I would say that after step 2, server and receiver are in position (ref law 9.4)
    The server has prepared racquet and shuttle.
    Step 3 is the start of the service
    Step 4 is where the fault occurs.

    As already said
    9.4 Once the players have taken their positions, the first forward movement of the server's racquet head shall be the start of the service.

    It does not matter if the shuttle is stationary or moving
    e.g. Singles high service: quite often players will hold the shuttle high in the air and drop it, and hit the service while the shuttle is falling. You could legally throw the shuttle up in the air and hit it while it was falling if you really wanted.


    Cheung
    I hate that too. After being caught out a couple of times recently I have changed my receiving preparation. Get body into position and mind ready before raising the racquet arm. If they serve before the racquet is up, or before you finish getting your racquet into position, I think you can fairly claim that you were not ready.

    Over time I hadn't noticed that I was holding my racquet up while getting into position.


    Viver,
    I've had people call my backhand service a sling when I've had no backswing. If you start with the shuttle very close to the racquet it is hard for the receiver to tell though. I prefer not to have the backswing because it's a clue for the receiver. If you're not careful you start doing larger backswings for flick serves than for short serves.
     
  18. viver

    viver Regular Member

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    Like someone already mentioned, the serve starts with the racquet moving forward. And nobody can call it fault if you did not touch the shuttle and your movement is clean and sharp. Nowadays we see players (doubles) when serving emphasize the shuttle head is the first point of contact. You can do a seach - there is a post by Steplantis?? and also Cheung where the backhand serve is described in detail.

    I mentioned my coach's experience when practicing my serves. That small detail of not making the backward swing - when playing exhibition games in another country the Chinese doubles team lost the match as their serves were often faulted by the service judge. Reason was because of the backswing during service.

    The players, when doing the serve, they positioned the shuttle, then the racquet and then the backswing and hit. The service judge interpreted that once you position the shuttle, one were ready to strike. The player when making the backswing, the official said it stopped to then make the forward motion - since the movement was not continuous it was a fault under the rules.

    After this incident and avoiding possible trouble with the officials, they decided to work on their backhand serves without the backswing.
     
  19. badrad

    badrad Regular Member

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    timeless - hadn't noticed but is it a relatively small group of players thats doing this service balk? Are these some of the players who play with you in the evenings? If it's in the average club game, you can always pull a distraction and put your hand up facing them until you are totally ready to take serve. You can even interrupt them as they are going through their ritual. Take it with a grain of salt both ways... It's just recreational badminton...

    One of the ladies has a rather annoying habit to stand in a stone position holding her pose for 5 seconds upon placing the shuttle ready for service. one day mrs. badrad, little badrad and myself had a great laugh as she continued to do this serve after serve. we actually used our stopwatch function on our watches to time her, and bang on her service would be just under the 5 second mark. little badrad noticed that her lips were moving almost like she was counting down.

    I don't often play with her since she also has other rather annoying tendecies other than her service. But the times I have played against her and she pulls this slow service antic - I will ask the score just about mid-way in her delay, forcing her to restart her counter. One time I did this to her three times, before she got rather pissed off. My partner laughed her ass off... For heaven's sakes - it's just recreational badminton - not the world cup! Have fun - drive them nuts, and if they don't like you - no great loss.
     
  20. Phil

    Phil Regular Member

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    Timeless,

    The servive you describe is in my mind perfectly fine. I have seen people doing it and I don't think it is a problem. It is the receiver's burden to not balk, such as when the server pulls the racquet head back to serve and pauses. Many people will balk at this, and it is perfectly legal. I think...

    Phil
     

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