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    Default Doubles, Rearcourt - Drive or Clear?

    All the four players are right handed. Your side is in side-by-side defense formation (postion biased towards the rear court) . Your opponents are in side-by-side attacking formation (position biased towards the net). You receive the shuttle on your forehand side, just above the net height.

    My question: what factors should be considred in deciding whether to drive back or clear?

    I often get caught in this delemma and choose to perfrom an attacking clear (from the right half court) or defensive clear (from the left half court) to the opponets backhand rear corner. Not sure this is the best approach.

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    since you receive shuttle at or above net height, there is no reason to lift unless you are very sure you will get an advantage from playing the shot. This should not be likely...

    As you are on the defensive, you should be under a bit of time pressure for your shot. I can't think of a situation where this is true and it is easier to lift (and lift well) than to give a short snappy drive back that should be at worst flat.

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    Depending on their weaknesses, drive to the rear backhand to get a weak reply, drive to the middle to confuse, even drive cross court at the player diagonal to you. The last one is very effective if you put enough pace into it and go across his body.

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    why not just block the shuttle (behind the net) and follow through to get into attacking position?

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    because op says there are two guys already at the net waiting for a block!

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    op says:
    "Your opponents are in side-by-side attacking formation (position biased towards the net)."

    which means they stand somewhere in the midcourt and smash. (if they stand at the frontcourt, the question is senseless, as you won't be able to control the smash anyway, save point for the opponent...;-))

    if possible, it's often the best thing to do to find the open space at the net and play a block there. especially for lower level doubles...

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    Quote Originally Posted by vinod81 View Post
    Your opponents are in side-by-side attacking formation (position biased towards the net).
    They're not really in attacking formation if they're side by side. Depending on how good these players are, and their exact positioning, I may be tempted to play a drop to get the attack back. If they are both close to the net, I may play an attacking clear rather than a drive.

    As they are in side by side formation, the only drive I would consider (if there is space) is down the line. You're asking for trouble driving it back anywhere else given they are covering the net and mid court area.

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    If I'm in this situation, and receives such a shot you described on my forehand side, I'd tend to drive it back, mostly straight down the line. This gets to the backhand of my opponent straight ahead. Alternative is to the middle. Probably won't drive cross-court unless I see them bias more to my side, leaving enough opening on that other side.

    A block, which is a slower shot, could be dangerous if your opponents can read it well. They can probably get to the net earlier than you do, since they're biased towards the net, and your side is biased towards the back.

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    If the bird is taken early and high enough, this is the best situation to drive cross court at the player diagonal from you, assuming everyone is right handed. Reason is several fold.

    One, that is the most powerful direction for your forehand stroke especially if sone pronation is also added to angle it down.

    Two, you're shooting across the court diagonal so you have enough length and don't have to worry about it going out if you hit it really hard.

    Three, if you aim at the player's chest or body, there is no time for him to react and even if he does you know it's gonna be an easy kill to followup.

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    Thank you everybody for the dicussion and comments. I already drive occassionally to opponents backhand alley and middle if I find a decent gap. It seems, based on the discussion, I need to be more aggressive and do more drives and reduce the percentage of clears especailly the defensive clears.
    Last edited by vinod81; 11-22-2012 at 08:19 PM.

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    If you are confident with smash returns and court covering, you can do defensive clears. The opponents will either likely to smash and drops to give them advantage in offense. With advanced players, it's better to drive because it will give them less time to ponder on their options. They will likely have more tricks up their sleeve.

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    as a general advice:
    clearing in doubles is very often the worst choice. always search for better options: a drop, a block, a drive, a slow and flat push to the mid-court.
    especially as you get better, you see less and less (unnecessary) clearing, the game becomes faster and faster and people only clear when there's really no alternative!

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    Clearing in doubles, esp. mid-level doubles is still OK as long as you n yr partner have SOLID defense. However, I don't and NEVER use attacking clears in doubles unless the opponents are on back to back formation which is rare or they are not very good doubles players.

    Attacking clears are very dangerous in doubles because it can easily be intercepted. Only deep clears and lifts are advisable in doubles.

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    Am in a somewhat grumpy mood, so I apologise in advance:

    Firstly, if you are receiving the shuttle in a rear-court corner, your partner should move to a more central position to support your (hopefully attacking) shot. If your partner has not done this, any attacking shot from you has to be an outright winner or it will be blocked into the large hole in your forecourt.

    Secondly, taking the shuttle just above net height in your rear-court is rather late. That your opposition are both positioned towards their forecourt would suggest that you're losing this particular 'drive rally'. You can continue, but (again) your shot needs to be special not to place you in even greater difficulty. To go cross-court would be even harder. You need to evaluate whether this would be preferable to defending a good clear.

    Another key factor is how good your opposition are. Remotely competent opposition will intercept (and probably net kill) a drive from the rear court early, especially the cross-court. By all means, look for an attacking option, but recognise when there isn't a viable one.

    Finally, as numerous others have said, your clears have to be defensive enough to avoid being intercepted early. You may think that driving slightly upwards is still quasi-attacking, but you're just giving your opposition an early intercept to put away. If your opposition has both feet ahead of their rear tram-lines when they hit the shuttle, you've either not hit it deep enough, or high enough to avoid the intercept.

    Hope that helps.

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    A slightly different scenario, but occurs quite often. You are attacking from back court, slightly around the center. Your partner is covering the net, looking for an easy kill. Your opponent do the usual, half lift your smash/drop, where the shuttle past your partner, but drop down 3 - 4 feet before reaching you, either at your forehand or backhand side (mid-court). By the time you moved forward, the shuttle is already too low to smash (still slightly at or just above the net).
    Do you -
    A. just block it back straight, like a short drop,
    B. just block it back cross court,
    C. Drive down the line hard, either backhand or forehand,
    D. Drive cross court either to the middle or cross court
    E. Give out, lift it.
    c.

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    Anything between A to E, depending on yr opponents positions n how ready are u.

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    Quote Originally Posted by captaincook View Post
    A slightly different scenario, but occurs quite often. You are attacking from back court, slightly around the center. Your partner is covering the net, looking for an easy kill. Your opponent do the usual, half lift your smash/drop, where the shuttle past your partner, but drop down 3 - 4 feet before reaching you, either at your forehand or backhand side (mid-court). By the time you moved forward, the shuttle is already too low to smash (still slightly at or just above the net).
    If this happens a lot then it means your partner is sleeping at the front, or they have poor positioning and need educating.

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