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    Default Service question for you clever umpires

    OK. I played a tournament and was a bit cheeky.

    It was singles.

    Prepared to play backhand serve.

    Then switched body around to forehand side and with a continuous motion played a foreahnd high serve.

    My opponent just stood there wondering what was going on.

    The umpire called a let

    I asked for the point(!) but got waved away.

    Asked another umpire at the end of the match who said I should only used two movements. I said I did but withdrawing the racquet was across my body and forward in one continuous motion.

    Legal or illegal serve?

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    I'd say that's legal, if you moved your racquet in one continuous motion as you say, and if your feet didn't move.

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    How did you switch from a backhand serve to a forehand serve by switching your body?

    Not having seen it but based on what you described, I would have to say that it is a fault since your feet are probably not stationary (according to law 9.1.3, your feet has to remain in contact and stationary during serve).

    The question becomes more of when did your serve stroke starts. Did it start when you prepare to serve backhand or when you switch your body around to serve forehand.

    If it is the latter, it could be a let probably because the receiver can be considered not having been in a ready position to receive.

    Regardless, that's pretty cheeky of you to do that in a tournament

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    I'm not an umpire, but I would refer to rule 9.4:

    "Once the players have taken their positions, the first forward movement of the server's racket head is the start of the service."

    and 9.1.7:

    "The movement of the server's racket must continue forwards after the start of the service (Law 9.4) until the service is delivered..."

    As I interpret the rule, the actual serve doesn't start until there is forward movement of the racket from the serving position. Therefore, assuming you made no forward movement with the racket from the backhand position or during your switch, anything would be technically permissible--including movement of your feet--until you actually initiated the forward swing. "Forward movement" is subjective, however, and would depend on the ruling of the service judge or umpire.

    I don't see any advantage to doing this.

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    it is a touchy call. If cheung had prepared the BH serve position but DID NOT start to serve but in continuous motion switch to a FH serve, then i would see it as legal. However, in a BH serve, the service foot is usually in front and by going to the FH serve, the normal one have to move the racket foot to the back . If the foot moved while doing the switch than the serve is illegal in my opinion.

    A let call was fair, legal or not, as the receiver can alway declare that he wasn't ready.

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    Originally posted by cooler
    ... However, in a BH serve, the service foot is usually in front and by going to the FH serve, the normal one have to move the racket foot to the back . If the foot moved while doing the switch than the serve is illegal in my opinion...
    Saw players, when using bk service in doubles the non racquet foot is in front. Don't remember clearly but a few from UK doubles team (during the early 80's) adopted this stance.

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    Cooler,

    Definately I agree, you can't get a perfect FH serve in the position you stated.

    But was able to play a forehand serve without my body position in the proper stance using wrist and fingers.


    However, it was mainly the surprise factor that counts.

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    Here's another question about stationary feet

    9.1.3 some part of both feet of the server and receiver must remain in contact with the surface of the court in a stationary position from the start of the service until the service is delivered (Law 9.6);


    Now for forehand high serve, the racquet foot maybe planted on the floor. Then, with the follow through, the back of the foot lifts off and only the toe remains on the floor (like the toe of a ballerina). Is that a fault?

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    Perhaps not. Your foot is still in contact with the floor, via your toes.

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    The point that is confusing me is as follows:

    "some part of foot......stationary position"

    So if one does the forehand serve, the backfoot comes up on to the point of the toe area and that might be considered a fault.

    Also the back foot may rotate as well whilst still in contact with the ground....technically a fault right?

    Not sure about it myself..

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    Originally posted by Cheung
    The point that is confusing me is as follows:

    "some part of foot......stationary position"

    So if one does the forehand serve, the backfoot comes up on to the point of the toe area and that might be considered a fault.

    Also the back foot may rotate as well whilst still in contact with the ground....technically a fault right?

    Not sure about it myself..
    I've observed many A players and have noticed that many of them do rotate their back foot as they contact the shuttle. I myself do that myself (just doing the serving movement to see if I was a culprit of this rule) as it seems like a natural "habit".

    I guess it technically would be a fault if you think about it, but I would think it's a rule that's a bit eased off.

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    I think it means that the parts of your feet which remain in contact with the floor must be stationary. Not that the whole foot must be stationary.

    So you can lift part of the foot because the toes remain in contact and stationary.

    But you could not let that foot slide on the floor because then no part would be in contact AND stationary.

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    Neil, what about the tip of the front part of the shoe?

    That isn't initially in contact with the floor but might be so when in contact with the shuttle. i.e. the foot rocks forward that the sole no longer is in contact with the floor, but the tip of the shoe is. (assuming the foot doesn't slide).

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    I was thinking about that just after I posted, and I would say that technically that it would be a fault, if you do it before you hit the shuttle.

    But it is hard to tell whether the foot rolls up on the tip of the shoe between start and delivery of the service, or whether it happens in the follow through after you have struck the shuttle. I think it happens more in the follow through, so it would be legal.

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    At least a part of the foot should remain in-touch with the floor during the serve, therefore there is no fault if you raise your heel during the serve. You just canít move or raise the whole foot. In practice service judges hardly watch your feet and they concentrate rather on the racket head, waist and racket motion.

    In the Cheungís example from the tournament I find the decision pretty difficult. Frankly, I cannot imagine how you were able to switch from backhand serve to forehand serve without starting the serve (moving the racket forward)Ö If you were able to do this without starting the serve, then its correct and assuming that the shuttle hit proper half of the court you should score.

    I think the reason of announcing the let by the umpire could be his judgment that your opponent was not prepared, because he waited until you finish switching to forehand serve and get ready for delivery.

    Anyway, difficult decision.

    regards
    dzgdz

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    Originally posted by Cheung

    9.1.3 some part of both feet of the server and receiver must remain in contact with the surface of the court in a stationary position from the start of the service until the service is delivered (Law 9.6);
    until the service is delivered I think is the key. The moment you strike the bird is when the serve is delivered. Any follow through is after the delivery and therefore not subject to the rule, IMHO

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    I believe your backhand to forehand serve would be considered illegal because it consists of two motions. Regardless if your feet move, you would require one motion to bring the backhand to a forehand cocked position, and then a second motion to swing forward into the shuttle.

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