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Serving below the waist

Discussion in 'Rules / Tournament Regulation / Officiating' started by Pokla, Jul 29, 2005.

  1. Pokla

    Pokla Regular Member

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    The rules of badminton says one can only serve below the waist, but then when I watch professionals playing, they almost always serve just below their chests (levelling the lower part of the ribcage).

    I'm wondering what they mean by "below the waist". When they say serving below the waist, does it mean anywhere below the chest? Or is it that the professionals are just being cunning, trying to deceive the judges and taking a bit of an advantage in serving whenever they can?

    Would be very grateful if someone can answer my queries :):):)
     
  2. loverush

    loverush Regular Member

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    Its the point of contact with the birdie and the racket that has to be below the waist. Since the contact point on backhand serve is usually on first 4 strings at the top of the racket, the racket will look really high up even though the contact is still below the waist.
     
  3. 2wheels04

    2wheels04 Regular Member

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    serve and waist, revisited

    Allow me to split some hairs, Pokla -
    (a) I figure you meant serving "from" below the waist?
    (b) Watching professionals play, was this on court? If not, most camera angles will mislead the viewer unless the cameraperson has the position fixed.

    Legalese, from Laws of Badminton:
    9.1.5. the whole shuttle shall be below the server's waist at the instant of being hit by the server's racquet.

    Now for these are the practical considerations:
    The interpretation of "shuttle on serve must be hit below the waist" will vary (1) according the service judges - USAB trained umpires consider the waist to be at the level of the bent elbow, rib cage and other anatomy notwithstanding. I have seen this practice applied consistently within USAB, but not by umps from other organisations. The World Juniors come to mind.
    (2) the whole shuttle must be below the waist when being hit by the serving racquet. The player can hold the shuttle above the waist or at chest level, wherever.
    (3) as a player, one wants to figure out how much one can get away with. Unless armed with high speed resolution, which is possible of an adult human eye to the extent of 1/10 sec, it will be difficult, well nigh impossible, to fault a server.
    (4) does not matter a bit what we from outside the court think, it is the fellow in the chair who makes the call. As a player, we have a right to question the decision and understand the clarification. After this, we must accept it and play on.


    Having written these, an umpire will only fault when certain, any doubt, and no fault will be called. This is a cardinal rule in any umpiring decision, along with promptness and fairness. It would be disasterous if one umpire calls a fault when it was not. It is traumatic for all concerned. During examination, one of the criteria from IBF and its constituent orgs is "Calls that should not have been called" and "not called"

    Pokla, now if you show the same service privately to more than one service judges, ideally, you should have unanimity, and most of the time this will be true. Would it not be great ( :rolleyes: ) if we were all machines with very consistent response to an event!

    Personally, as long as an umpire is fair to the players, the play should be allowed to proceed.
     
  4. Pokla

    Pokla Regular Member

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    Thanks loads loverush and 2wheel04. Am having a better sense in where I should serve "from" :)eek: ) now.
     
  5. digler_78

    digler_78 Regular Member

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    Just thought I'd shed my bit of knowledge on this....

    This topic has come up several times in the forum I believe but only last year I set about finding a clear explanation to this myself!

    I have approached this question with a couple of top players and coaches now and even Lee Jae Bok who is now the England coach! The out come is that the position of the serve is a bit of a grey area! I'll try and explain.

    The IBF rules state the whole shuttle shall be below the server's waist at the instant of being hit by the server's racquet.

    The dictionary definition of the 'waist' is 'the part of the human body between the waist and the hips'. The bottom rib falls roughly inline with the elbow. So technically you should be able to serve as high up as your bottom rib!

    I do believe however, and totally agree with 2Wheels04, that this will always be governed by the umpire and as long as you have a fair umpire and you serve in a sensible position you should be ok. By all means serve as high as you can get away with but don't go over the top!

    Hope this may have helped.
     
  6. meeya

    meeya Regular Member

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    this may not be the correct thread to post but it's a bit related i think :) anyway, i noticed some players who have been faulted on their service ask the service judge why the service was a fault and the umpire tells them to ask him (the umpire) instead of going to the service judge. why is that?
     
    #6 meeya, Aug 8, 2005
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2005
  7. 2wheels04

    2wheels04 Regular Member

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    Umpire is Court Czar

    Good point!
    The Umpire is the charge of the match and the court and its immediate surroundings. More to the point, the Umpire is also the only person who shall give the decision on any point of dispute, be that why was my serve faulted. The Umpire will know from the Service Judge's signal what the fault was. There are five possible signals.

    The SJ is assigned the duty of making sure the service is delivered according to the laws of the game. To put it simply, the Service Judge "calls" a fault. This is all s/he can do. It is not the SJ's duty to "explain" the fault to the player.

    A SJ may be assigned other duties as well, and the umpire will inform the players at the beginning of the match. These other duties might include keeping score, mop-control, etc. NB: A good umpire will [also] call a service fault when the SJ is unsighted as to a foot fault (mostly in doubles play).

    So take your bone of contention to the Czar in the High Chair. Good players will almost always do this. A similar situation is when the shuttle is called out by the line judge. Do not talk (or worse, approach the line judge) to the line judge. Take the matter to the Umpire. With the new experimentation, the Umpire could overrule on a point of fact.

    If you are keen in finding out the roles of each technical official, check out this link click on Laws of Badminton, then goto section 17. You may also see the hand signals a SJ would make by checking the Recommedation to Court Officials. Both are downloadble pdf files.
     
  8. meeya

    meeya Regular Member

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    thanks! very clearly explained :)

     
  9. CoolDoob

    CoolDoob Regular Member

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    I am getting more comments from those play worst than me about my service being too high than from those who play better than me.

    Should I ignore the weaker players, or tell them they are wrong, or serve lower to avoid the comments ?

    Basically, from serching I can find 2 very similar but different rules concerning the service, depending on where you look.

    Rule A: The shuttle must make contact with the racket below the server's waist.

    Rule B: The service is a fault if the shuttle makes contact with the racket above the server's waist.

    From my oxford dictionary, waist is defined as the area between the hips and the ribs. If rule A is valid, the point of contact must be made on or below the server's hips. If rule B is valid, the point of contact must be made below the server's ribs. Clearly the actual contact height allowed by the rules vary by a huge margin.

    Which of these rules is right ? Are players justified to dispense bush justice (or law of the jungle) by saying the rules they read is better than the rules I read ? I probably make shuttle contact slightly above my hips from time to time and certainly never at my rib level.
     
  10. CoolDoob

    CoolDoob Regular Member

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  11. MeanGreenMachin

    MeanGreenMachin Regular Member

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    This thread cleared almost my doubts. Still, I can't find my bottom rib. The floating rib is hard to find sometimes, especially if you've gained weight as I did :D

    Is it navel height?
     
  12. amleto

    amleto Regular Member

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    #12 amleto, May 11, 2012
    Last edited: May 11, 2012
  13. CantSmashThis

    CantSmashThis Regular Member

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    I can still find my bottom rib and I am definitely overweight. But for MOST people, their bottom rib is roughly where the elbow is when you have your arms straight down by your side.
     
  14. AlanY

    AlanY Regular Member

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    it doesnt matter if you can find your bottom rib or not as by rules it has to be covered by your top and unseen.
    just the way to give the power back to the service judge to victimize the server at will.

    i cant even remember once that a service above waist fault called by the service judge been overruled by the umpire as he/she cannot be 100% certain of the hidden rib underneath the top.
     
  15. visor

    visor Regular Member

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    Good point about the navel. It is very close to the bottpm rib. This would be more visibly determined. Now the next step would be for the players to wear shirts that expose their mid riffs, making the service judge's job much easier.
     

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