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Joaquim Fischer's double action serve illegal?

Discussion in 'Rules / Tournament Regulation / Officiating' started by visor, Oct 30, 2011.

?

Is Joaquim Fischer service illegal?

  1. ILLEGAL

    1 vote(s)
    50.0%
  2. LEGAL

    1 vote(s)
    50.0%
  1. twobeer

    twobeer Regular Member

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    If it is deceptive or not is hardly relevant..the serve should be following the rules, if it breaks the rules it should be called, otherwise the rules should be changed to allow double action as long at it is not considered to be deceptive.

    If a very tiny junior girl serves slightly above her waist I think it is less problem than a double action serve imop. I have not studied his action when flick-serving, but I assume it could make the flick more deceptive.
     
  2. Maklike Tier

    Maklike Tier Regular Member

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    You're clearly one of those literalists who have forgotten the reason for the rules in the first place. :p The rules are the first and foremost to provide an even playing field for all players, so if there is no unfair advantage in any action, then the spirit of the game is still in tact. THAT'S by far the most important issue. Rules are written by people, and people are not infallible, and rules are not inalienable, so in light of that there is no real issue here.
     
  3. demolidor

    demolidor Regular Member

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    If there was such an "advantage" you'd think one of their opponents would have complained about it by now ;). It looks more like a habit picked up as a youngster in taking aim before striking ... :rolleyes:
     
  4. twobeer

    twobeer Regular Member

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    True, but many players also does not complain about high services and other slight faults as well.. Thats what the service judges are there for, I don't think the officiating should be based on how much or little players complain :D
     
  5. Maklike Tier

    Maklike Tier Regular Member

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    I actually can't believe we're on page 2 discussing this. :) I think there's more of an issue with people's prejudices actually thinking Fischer is doing anything wrong, rather than the actual 'offence'.
     
  6. twobeer

    twobeer Regular Member

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    So you think the serve is legal? Or at least should be legal?
     
  7. Maklike Tier

    Maklike Tier Regular Member

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    I dunno, how much of a 'double movement' do you think constitutes a deceptive technique. 5mm? 50mm? It can't be absolutely no movement at all, because not only is it physically impossible, you'd have the fault most players. I mean, sometimes I do a double movement where I start to swing fast (I serve forehand in singles) as if doing a high serve but slow down at the very last minute to do a low serve. I guess this is technically a double movement too, but I don't see it any different to doing a deceptive drop shot.

    None of this is really covered in the rules, is it?

    The rule should read something like "during the serve, the racket can only be moved in a backwards movement once, unless said movement is a natural part of a players serve and not used for deliberate deception."
     
    #27 Maklike Tier, Nov 27, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2011
  8. cobalt

    cobalt Moderator

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    My take on this:

    If the players or their coaches from any opposing team were convinced his serve was illegal, I'd be very surprised if not one of them had officially complained to the tournament referee or other BWF officials. I've watched quite a few of his games over time, and as Maklike and others have pointed out, his serve is consistent in style. It's almost like he first kinda "takes aim" to make sure he has the correct swing path, and then backswings to begin the serve. Every time.

    So, why have the officials not cautioned, warned or stopped him cold if this were an illegal serve? Officials are not required to act only if they receive complaints. They act if there is a violation, plain and simple. But even (just as an example, before some of you go ballistic :D) in events played in China, with all-Chinese court officials at times, no one has ever faulted or warned him if he were in violation. I'd be interested in knowing why.
     
  9. twobeer

    twobeer Regular Member

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    9.1.7 the movement of the server's racket shall continue forwards from the start of the service (Law 9.2) until the service is delivered (Law 9.3);

    9.2 Once the players are ready for the service, the first forward movement of the server's racket head shall be the start of the service.

    I don't agree that these rules are impossible. I think most pros abide by these rules.. I don't think that Joachims serve is strictly legal by the book though..

    I think it is irrellevant if it is deceptive or not. I have seen service judges called single-services just made to put the shuttle into play that where a few cm to high or, racket pointing upwards, regardless if it was deceptive or just a very easy serve to receive.

    I have seen small thai/jap girls get called on high services that where very low compared to the tall danish opponents etc.. So I think most of the time the rules are not "interpreted" by service judges based on the "intents" or "deceptiveness". I do not see why some faults should be passed and some don't.. doesn't really seem fair and stringent imop.
     
    #29 twobeer, Nov 29, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2011
  10. visor

    visor Regular Member

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    ^^ Yep, that's my take on it too. Otherwise why did BWF bother stating the rule. And I don't think they're about to amend the rule to take into account some players who serve like JF. Probably the umpires and players haven't bothered calling him out on his serve yet because there's no malicious or deceptive intent.
     
  11. twobeer

    twobeer Regular Member

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    Yeah.. I think the reason is most probably that servicejudge are so concentrated at looking at the hitting point of the shuttle and racket angle, that the focus really isn't on the other aspects.. As you have pointed out most like me didn't notice ourself until it was pointed out. For the opponents i think it is natural that they would most likely not complain if they didn't feel it is a huge advantage to JF.
     
  12. cobalt

    cobalt Moderator

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    I think that's highly unlikely. Service judges are supposed to judge the service. How exactly are they going to do that if they are not paying attention to all aspects of the service? And again, if any of the other scores of opponents found his serve questionable, how come no one has lodged an objection yet? How come no action has been taken yet?

    If we match up his serve to the rulebook, it comes up short. And yet, I don't believe the entire worldwide Umpires and service judge community have suddenly fallen in love with Joachim.:rolleyes:
     
  13. Maklike Tier

    Maklike Tier Regular Member

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    I didnt even notice it until this stupid thread came along, so I'm not surprised the service judges haven't noticed or bothered with it.
     
  14. Tactim

    Tactim Regular Member

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    @Maklike Tier

    Well I have to say that the thread isn't "stupid". It's a legitimate concern which has brought up discussion about the rules and the purpose behind the rules. You say everyone is "on drugs" and the tone of your posts are somewhat confrontational. While I do believe your points about how Fischer's serve is consistent and not deliberately meant to be deceptive, it doesn't follow the rules of how the service is legal. The main point of your counter argument is that as long as the player doesn't mean to deceive the player deliberately, you can serve in a variety of ways even if it violates some of the rules of service in some way or form. It may be part of JF's natural motion, but that doesn't make it any less illegal. Perhaps it's just that the rules need to be updated which I will not argue with, but as long as the current rules are in place, JF's serve is still illegal.

    I don't think it really affects the current top competition because they've played him so many times that the serve is normal for them, but mainly it's for newer pairs who have not "experienced" the serve before (though likely they will have watched videos of them playing long before this).

    Ultimately the point I'm trying to make is that just because something is accepted and is regularly done doesn't make it necessarily correct. In the end though I also don't think the concern is so groundbreaking that we all need to jump on JF's back on his serve. However he does need to be made to realize that he is pushing the rules a bit far with his serve.
     
  15. Maklike Tier

    Maklike Tier Regular Member

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    Cry me a river?

    Yes, it's illegal. However, the adverse effect in this instance outweighs the benefits. The damage done by enforcing the rule - destroying a players natural game, destroying the flow of the match - far outweighs the benefits of being a pedantic nazi and enforcing the rules to the letter. Umpires and Judges know this, this is why nothing has happened.

    Yes, the rule needs to be changed, because it's too absolute. I mean, look at Christinna Pedesen's bizarre serve. Technically there's two forward motions of the racket there, too. Any objectors?

    Not pulling him up is correct, the incorrect part is the rule. It needs expanding upon to implicitly read "forward motion with the deliberate intent to deceive" or something to that effect.

    Fischer doesn't need to be made to realise his serve is technically breaking the rules, the rules just need to be modified to include people's natural service motion that does not contravene the spirit of the game.

    People forget that. The OP has just jumped on a technicality here without prioritising that there are other issues that are much more pressing and by far much more important to discuss, such as the delay tactics between points, and especially earlier on in the year was embarrassingly atrocious for bad line calls.

    Me personally, both these things undermine the spirit of the game 1000 times more than the minutiae of someones natural service action.
     
  16. cobalt

    cobalt Moderator

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    Can't have that. Too open to interpretation, and subjective. You just know there will be hordes of players and coaches waiting for just such an opportunity to create total confusion. And besides, which player will admit he served funny "with intent to deceive?" :D

    IMO its much better that rules be absolute. If they are too straitjacketed, well then, that's what referees and umpires are there for in the game, to use their discretion.

    But the other point you brought up about Fischer being made aware, etc... make me wonder, if his serve was deemed illegal or questionable, wouldn't you thnk the coaches and others around him would warn him and get him to make the appropriate corrections way back when? Instead, it seems a bit far-fetched to imagine they would passively encourage his (illegal?) serve, allow him to settle into a habit, and then make it extremely difficult to wean him off that habit when most required. Something doesn't make sense here.
     
  17. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    illegal for sure.
     
  18. demolidor

    demolidor Regular Member

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    Is a serve illegal for sure if countless service judges over many, many years have never called it? Perhaps (y)our interpretation of the rules is simply incorrect ;) ...
     
  19. demolidor

    demolidor Regular Member

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    (since no officials have replied) ... or better yet the motion happening there. Only just watched that 12 sec. clip and I assume that first so called "foreward" movement is considered a continous movement towards the ready position as per bylaw 9.2
     
  20. cobalt

    cobalt Moderator

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    And yet.... not a single one of those who interpret and enforce the rules, have called him....
     

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