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  1. #1
    Regular Member diverdan's Avatar
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    Default What are the first 5 shots?

    Hi BC,

    I have a question about shot selection and tactics in level and mixed doubles. I have heard people saying that the first 5 shots are the most important.

    What are they? I am assuming it is basically like this 1) service 2) service return, etc.

    So what are the best shots to play?

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    I think it's the first 3 shots that are most important (service, service return and third shot) in doubles.

    The first 3 shots in doubles are so important because you want to be in the attacking position and not in the defending one. If you watch Kido/Setiawan during '08 Olympics for example they were so damn good at the first 3 shots. This way they were attacking most of the time. So what you want to do is pressure your opponents that they are forced to lift.

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    Regular Member diverdan's Avatar
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    So something like this

    1) Low serve
    2) Low return
    3) Low counter

    Basically keeping it below tape height until someone lifts or it gets cut out?

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    Regular Member diverdan's Avatar
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    So a passage of play could go something like this in level doubles.

    Serving from the right

    1) low serve to the T
    2) Straight net shot or push over front courts head dropping just behind.
    3) Lift (Bingo!!)

    or

    If you're not a pro something like this.

    1) low serve out wide
    2) mid court push
    3) cross court or straight drive depending on position of front court player.
    4) series of drives
    5) net shot
    6) net shot return
    7) lift

    Can anyone suggest a sequence for the first 3/5 shots?

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    i think the most important shot is the last one

    you wanna be the guy that makes the final winner or receive an error of the opponent

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    As someone already mentioned, the most important tactic in double is too keep it low to maintain the attack. My former coach said that we should always involve net play as much as possible. Most of the normal club level or lower skilled player don't have the awareness of tactic and already give the lift away with receiving the service. One of the best tactical game was the 2001 World champion final between Tony Gunuwam/Halim Haryanto VS Kim Dong Moon/Ha Tae Kwoon. You can see how the indonesian pairing maintain the attack and played one of the best tactical game. Ha & Kim was known for heavy smashes but lost with 0-15 in the first set.

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    you can go beyond 4 shots?

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    Regular Member Tadashi's Avatar
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    There is an PhD study (in German) on the first 5 in int'l doubles finals from the 1990s , the candidate analysed over 40+ unique 5-shot-sequences and has published an interactive CD-ROM. Based on his findings and combined with "game theory", the sequence is A-B-A-B-A (with A the server, B the receiver) and must be thought by backward induction, or from the last shot to the first (5-4-3-2-1), not from the first to the last (1-2-3-4-5). So, this 5-4-3-2-1 goes like this:

    (Hope this helps. Don't be confused, read it twice. It's a forward thinking and backward decision making after all (difficult even for graduate and PhD students). Any suggestions or corrections are very welcomed.)


    A (5th shot)

    The orginal server plays a smash or a drop in his 5th shot, if this situation happens, the rally progresses into and continues as the classic attack/defense phase of smash/high defense. By this time, the shuttle has crossed the net multiple times. The original server only can initiate this attack/defense phase in the 5th or in the 3rd shot; the 3rd shot determines the likelihood of the attack in the 5th shot, in other words: screw you, if the opponent can smash before you can.

    B (4th shot)

    The original receiver has the fourth shot and either plays the defensive clear/lob or an aggressive smash/drop, depending on the 3rd shot. The rally progresses into the classic attack/defense phase from now on. What happens from now on, depends on the 3rd shot.


    A (3rd shot - the return to the return)

    This seems to be the most important shot in the whole sequence, the receiver wants to determine this 3rd shot by the return while the server wants to determine this shot by his original serve. Everything aggressive like pushes and drops increases the likelihood of a defensive shot by the opponent, thus gaining the attack with the 5th shot. Loosing it, however, implies nothing worse than having to lift the shuttlecock as a return to the return, inviting a smash in the 4th. Whether you, the original receiver and hitter of the 3rd shot, can play aggressively depends on the 2nd shot and 1st shot.


    B (2nd shot - the return)

    Pushing and killing account for 60% of returns, if shortly served, not necessarilly prohibiting aggressive play in the 3rd shot, but all attempts have this purpose: preemption of the attack and gaining the attack for yourself. the remaining 40% of shots goes to dropping and driving and almost never to lifting. If, however, server plays a flick, there is a 80% chance of a smashing return, thus absolutely prohibiting the server to gain the attack in the 3rd and having gained it to yourself by the gratitude of the badly chosen serve. If smash, the original server already has lost the attack. Thus, the consequence of a flick serve equivalent to loosing the attack early on---good for the receiver. Drops and clears are the alternatives played 20 in 100 returns to a flick in int'l finals. Whatever the serve, the receiver usually plays aggressive according to situation: killing and pushing is highly recommended as a return. The catch word here: pre-emption.

    A (1st shot - the serve)

    The short serve versus the flick usually can be seen in 80/20 proportions, virtually no one does the drive serve. You stand ready either for a short serve or a flicking serve. You play a short serve 80 in 100 times. Why? You, yourself, want to pre-empt the pre-emption of the receiver, making it difficult to kill effectively, thus decreasing the likelihood of a bad chance in the 3rd to determine the 4th and 5th shot as you wish.

    All this happens within less than two, three seconds.

    Here is a typical thing you're likely to see when FHF/CY play LYD/JJS, or any other doubles match, in forward progression (12345): In favor of the original server: Short serve. Unsuccessful killing attempt. Push-drive return to the return. Shuttle too low for the rear player thus having to clear it. Exploitation of the gained attack by smashing and dropping. In favor of the original receiver: Short serve. Kill and push attempt. Shuttle too low to push, drop impossible for net is covered, thus being forced to lift/clear. Original receiver exploits the gained attack and smashes.

    -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
    Hash: SHA1

    Yes, this has not been published anywhere else than here.
    -----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
    Version: GnuPG v1.4.11 (MingW32)

    iEYEARECAAYFAk/AtNAACgkQYXfN4uRaxYPOPQCfUwJhF7eSzZOT8ew1x23kPFnP
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    =81HZ
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    Last edited by Tadashi; 05-26-2012 at 05:47 AM.

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    excellent post Tadashi! any study done on Mixed Doubles?

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    Regular Member diverdan's Avatar
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    Yes. Very good post. Thank you Tadashi for taking the time to write it. So to summarise the idea is to get your opponents to lift it above tape height enough to gain an attacking shot, to play a winning net or push shot or to force a mistake?

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    That was really interesting! Pity we don't have access to the PhD. Would be very interesting to know if which matches were selected and is there any change with present day doubles.

    The big change from 1990's is the new scoring system.

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    Regular Member Tadashi's Avatar
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    Default Critical Issues

    FAQ:



    # What tournaments had been analysed? (Cheung)

    The study had them all in, like the Sudirman Cup, Thomas and Uber Cups, Olympic finals, thus pretty much the best of the best of their time - so people who dominated the time back then, now may be leading cadres of today's national associations.




    # Is the PhD study still relevant in 2015? (Cheung)

    The question whether something has changed overtime is a good one, for sure the study covered enough time of the 1990s to eliminate changes occuring in the 1990s.

    Test for yourself and watch a recording: You could hit the stop/play button right after the short serve and bet that a kill attempt was coming. After the return, you, then, hit the stop button again and bet on a push as the return to the return (3rd shot) ... and guess what, the trailing team played clears, the leading teams pushed. Try it.





    # Does these sequences also apply for Women's and Mixed Doubles? (pcll99)

    The numbers include women's doubles, for sure. Variations between men and women is that the option of playing clears may be less dangerous in women's doubles than in MD, thus the numbers of women playing clears early on may be higher, for it is less dangerous for them.

    The overall freqencies are not set in stone, but reflect the tactical abilities and success rates of the opponent, as a game theorist would claim. So, the higher the success rate of a particular shot ... like the smash or a smash sequence, the more important it becomes for the opponent to avoid smashes in the first place, so the lower the chance of the opponent playing clears in the previous shot.

    The logic itself is sound ... it may be necessary to write an ebook on the topic.

    Consequence for mixed doubles: you accomodate to the ability of the opponent, thus the numbers are results of the skill in the tournament.





    # Does this all mean nothing else than playing drops, kills, pushes and drives in the first 5? (Diverdan)

    Logically yes, empirically yes. Practically, no. It largely depends on the ability of the opponent and their accomodation to your play: if you are happened to be known as someone who never ever clears and always play attacking shots, all opponents will adjust and step forward and catch the birdies at the net. To make the aggressive stance credible, occasional and systematic exploiting cleared shots is still a necessity. If I know you never play clear, why bother covering the rear?


    Maybe, I should write an ebook on the topic so that proper references and credit and explanations and some selfhelp ideas for you is right in your pocket.

  13. #13
    Regular Member diverdan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tadashi View Post

    # Does this all mean nothing else than playing drops, kills, pushes and drives in the first 5? (Diverdan)

    Logically yes, empirically yes. Practically, no. It largely depends on the ability of the opponent and their accomodation to your play: if you are happened to be known as someone who never ever clears and always play attacking shots, all opponents will adjust and step forward and catch the birdies at the net. To make the aggressive stance credible, occasional and systematic exploiting cleared shots is still a necessity. If I know you never play clear, why bother covering the rear?


    Maybe, I should write an ebook on the topic so that proper references and credit and explanations and some selfhelp ideas for you is right in your pocket.
    There is also the unknown quantity of mistakes, mishits, shot selection of your opponents and partner and the ability of ALL the players on the court. It is an adapative system but the theory is there Tadashi.

    It's good to know and reinforce these concepts if you don't have coaching and are more into DIY.

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    Thanks Tadashi for sharing this fascinating information!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tadashi View Post
    Yes, this has not been published anywhere else than here.
    Can you name the author of the thesis and/or the university at which the study was done? Even if unpublished, it would be in a university library somewhere. Most universities keep copies of PhD theses and make them available to the public. It should be possible to get hold of it via interlibrary loan.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alexh View Post
    Thanks Tadashi for sharing this fascinating information!


    Can you name the author of the thesis and/or the university at which the study was done? Even if unpublished, it would be in a university library somewhere. Most universities keep copies of PhD theses and make them available to the public. It should be possible to get hold of it via interlibrary loan.
    across continents? I didnt know that can be done! thanks for the idea!!

    tadashi, is the thesis posted (in pdf format) somewhere on the faculty or library website?

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    Regular Member Tadashi's Avatar
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    CRITICAL ISSUES

    Can you give out references and data (alexh)

    Maybe I have mislead you to believe that the 54321-analysis you just read would be part of the PhD. That is my fault. That notion is wrong! The PhD thesis only provides data to support the analysis. The analysis itself is by this writer alone and it took some years to be able to ad hoc analyse the original question of the original poster. As you've observed: many posts here attempted to do just that analysis, most stopped at shot 3 and they frankly did it the wrong way. I also have not put too much data from the thesis out, so that it's clear that what you just read is by and large not in the PhD, for the candidate obviously lacks the knowledge about game theory at all. He even calls his concept by other name, despite that it's been widely known as extensive form representation (check it up). So, I rather would ask you to wait until I've come up with a sound article so that all numbers are correct, for the candidate violated some principles of probability theory; so that all references are correct and ... only then you may plagiarise, copy paste, critize, counter-check the argument ... etcetera. The post here gives out a clear cut information, I think the numbers in it are helpful enough. Everything else is preliminary and therefore UNPUBLISHED, while standing on giant's shoulders.
    Last edited by Tadashi; 05-31-2012 at 12:00 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tadashi View Post
    I rather would ask you to wait until I've come up with a sound article so that all references are correct and then you may copy paste, critize, counter-check the argument ... .
    We eagerly await your publication!!! But don't make us wait too long!!

    Btw, I found a good citation by BWF on sports science. Appendix C seems to have a good bibliography on German publications.

    http://www.bwfbadminton.org/page.aspx?id=19586

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