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  1. #1
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    Default Serving violation

    I believe that a drive serve is virtually impossible to execute legally. Do not confuse this with the flick serve (which IS possible to execute legally). I've had tons of arguments with people about this matter. Have you had the same experience?

    The problem with the drive serve is NOT that contact is above the waist. The primary problem with the drive serve is that the racket head is (almost?) always too high with respect to the serving HAND.

    From the wording and pictures in the rules, if you can't tell if the racket head is completely below the hand at contact on the serve then the serve is not legal.

    Check out the illustration at: http://www.intbadfed.org/laws.html#11. SERVICE


    The wording in Law 9 (Service) is as follows:

    (9.1) In a correct service:

    (9.1.6) the shaft of the server's racket at the instant of hitting the shuttle shall be pointing in a DOWNWARD direction to such an extent that the whole of the head of the racket is DISCERNABLY below the whole of the server's hand holding the racket (as in Diagram D).


    Note that it says that the 'shaft is pointing in a downward direction'. Also note the use of the phrase 'discernibly below'. In every drive serve that I've seen, the shaft of the racket is ALMOST horizontal at shuttle contact and is definitely NOT discernibly below the serving hand. In this situation you often cannot tell if the racket head is actually below the hand or not. However, from the wording of Law 9 & the diagram included, it should be obvious that it is not legal (if you can't tell).

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    Default Re: Serving violation

    I agree with you completely. Unless a player is >2.2m high, I don't think a drive server can be legal.

    I read the rules pretty thoroughly some months back and started calling service faults on drive and drop serves like this in my leagues and in a tournament. It gets a surprised (often unpleasantly so) reaction from a lot of people and has not gone over too well. For some reason, people seem to treat this as such a minor technicality that it can be ignored, but I see it as just as much of a service fault as an overhead serve, a serve that lands short, long or wide, or a serve in which the server was standing too close to the net. There is no distinction in the rules between levels of importance of one set of rules versus another, so I think we have to play by all of them. In the last tournament I played, one player (a pretty good one too) was consistently serving drive or drop serves with his racquet completely parallel to the floor - illegal every single time. I told my teammates to call his serves illegal (no umpires), but none of them would do it and I didn't think I had the right to call a point if I wasn't playing. Luckily we won the two games against him.

    I tend to relax the rules a bit now in the league and only call a service fault if the hand is obviously too high. With beginner players, I usually tell them about the rule after the point, without calling a fault.

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    Default Re: Serving violation-corrections

    First paragraph "serve" not "server. Last paragraph, I meant "if the racquet head is obviously too high"

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    Default Re: Serving violation

    This can be quite a sore point in a tournament and may lead to conflicts if the opposing team keep calling a fault when the serving team is convinced their own serve is not a fault serve.

    To avoid such conflict, the most appropriate solution would be to get a service judge.,

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    Default Re: Serving violation

    That's usually the standard and best advice for any disagreements about points in a tournament. However, the thing I found frustrating (although not very, since we won against this player and it ultimately didn't matter) wasn't the reaction of the opposing players, it was the reactions of my teammates who refused to enforce the rule.

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    Default Similar responses

    Yeah, I tend to get the same sorts of reactions form people when I inform them that they are serving illegally. At first they'll insist that they are OK cuz they are contacting the shuttle below there waist. When I inform them that this is not the problem, they'll often still argue the point or ignore the feedback completely. Quite often, after being informed of this aspect of a correct service, they will serve OK for a while but eventually will resort to getting cheap points by hitting illegal drive serves later in a game or match.

    I usually only make an issue of this aspect of serving if a player is continually hitting drive service winners. I carry around the diagram in my racket bag to show people who are ignorant of the rule. Even then, a majority of the offenders tend to disregard the rule. They rationalize it, saying that we are not playing professional badminton. Many will make no attempt to develop a legal serving style.

    Unlike tennis, the badminton serve is not intended to be an offensive weapon. (This is why the rules were written the way they are). However, if doubles serves are well disguised and executed (with the occassional flick), they can be a great equalizer w/o being overtly offensive.

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    Default Diagram?

    Note sure if this will work, but here goes...

    <img src="http://www.intbadfed.org/images/serve.gif">

  8. #8
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    Default Eureka!

    This diagram from the IBF site is a little crude but it gets the point across (pun shamelessly intended). In hitting a drive serve, players usually have their racket in a position characterized by either the top or middle illustrations. FAULT!

    I've heard that even elite players try this and get penalized.

  9. #9
    Phil
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    Default That's ingenious!

    Why didn't I ever think of carrying the rules around with me! (Don't answer that) You see, there are some people I play with sometimes who will make a poor service return (into the net, for example), and then say they weren't ready and call for a re-service. I just read the rules now and it says that if a return of service is attempted, then they are considered to have been ready. Well, I just printed out section 9 on serving and the diagram to put with my Badminton stuff so whenever one of those idiots says they're right about the serving rules, I'll just pull out the trusty serving rules. Hehehe....

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