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  1. #1
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    Default Correct doubles tactics

    Hi,

    I have recently started playing Badminton again after 12 years of absence. I used to play competition badminton in my late teens, but stopped during and after university (1991-2004).

    I have now joined a club again, but I'm having trouble with two of my occasional doubles partners.. they appear to be playing to other "standard" double tactics as myself. Now I am unsure whether they have got it wrong or I have been taught wrong or have simply forgotten.. I'll let this forum be the judge of what "standard double tactics" are really like.

    Here is the situation:

    The shuttle is in play, the other team have the offensive. My partner and I are defending our respective sides of the court. The offensive player clears to my side, I go back, take a big back swing to put the opponents off and play a fast drop to the middle.

    Option 1: My version of what ought to happen

    My partner goes forwards towards the net to cover us against a counter drop or low lift. I stay at the back, ready to smash/drop, etc.

    Option 2: My partner's "standard doubles tactics"

    I should go forwards, following my drop because my partner can't know that I am going to play a drop. "You _always_ follow a drop."

    Who is right?

    I have similar doubles problems with another person at the club. They are both Danish. Could that be the explanation? Do Danish clubs teach the "always follow your drop to the net" tactic?

    It sounds dodgy to me, because isn't the great thing about a double's attack that you don't have to worry about getting back to the net if your opponent drops!?

    Best regards,

    Frank

    ---
    Frank Reiff
    publispace.net

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    Hi,

    I think its basically a lack of understanding between you and your partner. If the lift is right to the back, then the partner should automaticaly follow in because now you are on the offensive, once you are at the back, you are assigned to the back, partner covers the net area.

    If the lift is mid-court, then drops tend to be followed in by yourself, and the partner comes round the back of you. Think about it, the life is deep, you play a drop and come pelting in, your partner is un-aware and you leave ALL the back exposed.

    The rule is: Once one moves to the back, the other should cover the front, and be ready for drops, clears from yourself and drives.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Ross
    The rule is: ...
    there is no standard rule
    All there is is how you and your partner agree to play.


    Maybe if you are both defending and one of you manages to block to the net, then I would say you follow it in.
    Not from an overhead shot from the rear court.
    (unless it's part of an agreed rotation strategy, say, where if you go smash, smash, smash, drop, then you follow the drop in, so that your partner goes back for the next lift and does some smashing)


    The top 2 Danish Mens Doubles pairs don't play how your partner describes.

    It is complicated, I'm sure we've had discussions about this sort of thing before on here, somewhere...

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    this is interesting. as Neil says, there is no one rule. as there are many types of clears, and many types of drops, and many types of drop returns!

    as Matt says, if the clear is 1/2 court, then it is usually the dropper who follows up. as he has the forward momentum. but you should also take into account the pace of the drop, a slow drop will allow the opponent more time to plan his placement. if you move forward before he does, then he may do a trick lift, catching your partner with the backhand rear court return.

    also, it depends on the placement of the drop. a drop to the mid-court is by definition ambigious. perhaps a better return will be to the sideline. furthermore, if your opponent was attacking, then his partner will be in the front court near the center, he will have plenty of time to react to your drop.

    if there is one rule, then badminton will be mightly boring, wouldn't it?

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    Guys....what's this talk about playing drops from half court, half court lifts or clears should be smashed, you won't get a better chance of winning a point, the only time I could imagine anyone playing a drop shot from half court would be against strong deep based defenders and even then it would have to be deceptive. So who plays these drops and why ????

    I believe if you Smash from 1/2 or 3/4 court then you should follow it in, from the deep rearcourt you shouldn't.

    Maybe if you are both defending and one of you manages to block to the net, then I would say you follow it in.
    Definetly, as long as it's a decent shot and not just a pop up for the other net player to kill. That probably goes without saying !!!
    Last edited by gerry; 02-10-2005 at 05:15 PM.

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    i agree with option 1 assuming the clear from your opponent is deep enough. furthermore, since you played a baseline drop to the center of the net, any counterdrop is clearly for your partner.

    remember tho that the so called rules in strategies can vary depending on the situation. the follow your drop thing is better applied if the exchange is fast and low. once a high clear or a lift comes in, the front back position should be in effect.

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    I agree with option 1 also. I always thought that for playing defence (ie. sides) you should imagine a piece of string tied between you and your partner and anchored to the tee at the front. As you go back you pull your partner forward and vica versa, regardless of what shot you might play. Therefore while you're standing in the back court making your shot, you should have pulled your partner forward so all he really has to do is move sideways and there should be no "following in" required. Of course, if you played a clear instead then you would move forward back to your base and your partner would be moved back to his base.

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    Thanks for all the good advice. I think it makes good sense to follow a drop in from close to the T as long as your partner is not already at the net. Certainly if I played a defensive drop off my opponent's backcourt drop or mid-court drive I would come in to the net and let my partner go around me (on the imaginary string) to take up position at the back.

    The game situation that kept re-occuring in our match was that I went to the back to smash and occasionally drop (to mix things up), but my partner did not really "take" the T, but instead moved only slightly towards the middle T, but stayed around half way down the court and mostly on "his side". This left the opposite side open. Clearly when I then played a drop shot, the opponent would counterdrop to the open side (remember I am at the back; my partner is still mostly on his former defensive side) resulting in almost certain point loss.

    My partner expected me to come rushing in after my drop to defend "my side" and himself staying on his side (effectively getting back into the defensive position). I, on the other hand, expected him to take the T and attack the return. Since neither of us expected to play the counterdrop things kept going badly for us until I just stopped dropping altogether.

    While I agree that there is no such thing as "standard" double tactics, I do feel it to be natural to let your partner at the net take care of a counterdrop off an attack from the backcourt; that's why he's there in the first place, isn't it? In any event if your partner really has taken the T aggressively you can't follow your drop to the net because you would have to run through your partner :-)

    I think the basic problem of our play together was that my partner never really took the T, but stayed more or less anchored to his defensive side (where he stood during the serve). In my new club there are very few people who smash a lot and a great many players who rely on more defensive play. I guess you get into a mindset where you privilege defense over attack and are thus more reluctant to move fully into the offensive position. If your partner plays the same style, it may actually make sense to play this way too.

    I, personally, am more of the "never lift in doubles if you can help it" and "if in doubt smash" school of thought. Perhaps the real issue is that I am the only real attack player in the club and that my double's tactics don't match the more defensive tactics of my fellow players.

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    And on the note that your "attacking style" doesnt match their "deffensive style", I think that's a bit of a misnomer... from the situation described, it seems to me that your partner is the one who is not playing deffensive enough.

    If you are the one dropping, you've reversed the situation and have taken the offensive initiative for your team. In general, I say that whoever is further forward has the "leading" role, since he can chose where to go, but he cannot always see his partner... thus whoever is in back will have to cover the space left open by the frontman.

    However, when you are in the back and you initiate the attack, your partner's job should be to enhance your attack by being ready to follow up on weak returns, and, most importantly, being ready to deffend the holes opend up by your offensive shot.

    From the sound of it, your partners seem to have some sort of aversion to playing "front and back"... or perhaps they don't go to center net because they are not sure that you will cover rear center?

    Since you are in the back, your partner in front should be the one "commanding" by making a choice to cover the best possible position, (and letting you compliment his position since you can see him, but he can't necessarily see you...) however, just because he's the leader doesn't mean he should do whatever he wants. I feel it's his responsability to *chose a statistically strong position*-- meaning, he has to maximize the efficiency of the coverage of both your positions, and that means that he has to go out into the void where there is no coverage and assume that you'll cover his holes.

    The situation you describe seems to me makes me feel that your partner is not willing to trust you to cover your end of the deal, so it's turning out into this sydrome of "doubles players playing singles positions"....

    Unless, perhaps, you both decide you want to play deffensive as a consistent gameplan, maybe then you can agree to always return to side by side. in that case, perhaps you should move up to center on your side and he would go center on his... although I consider your own option 1 to be a much better plan than this... after your drop, you've gained the offensive initiative, why would you want to assume a deffensive spread and give it up? it strikes me as totally inefficient to expect a backed up partner to follow to the net (this isn't singles, after all) ... in general, I say that as soon as my doubles partner dissapears from my latereral view, I must necessarily move up a bit.

    "the best offence has a good deffence, and the best deffense is a good offence".

    Quote Originally Posted by frankrei
    I, personally, am more of the "never lift in doubles if you can help it" and "if in doubt smash" school of thought. Perhaps the real issue is that I am the only real attack player in the club and that my double's tactics don't match the more defensive tactics of my fellow players.

  10. #10
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    I'm having a similar problem with my partner too.. he seems to go into "defensive mode" after a while.. while I'm more of a opportunity taker...

    I've already spoken to him about it, and he has changed his style a bit, but after some points he goes back into lifting/clearing. He does this even after we have driven both opponent to the long service line, or even when opponents have done a poor dorp.. you know the kind that you chase down and killed.. During my short serves, when the opponents lift, he clears even if lifts are going down at mid court.. the problem is his clears aren't that high and deep, and I always have a very short time to get into a defensive position.. it killing me and my 46 year old knees.. LOL!!! He is a big guy, and has a strong smash, but he seems uncomfortable using it..

    last tournament we joined, we won the first set 15-6, was leading 10 - 1 in the 2nd set.. and we lost the match.. It was all I could do to keep a smiling face...

    am really considering an alternative partner..

    regards
    Last edited by Pball; 02-14-2005 at 02:27 AM.

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