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    Question Laws of Badminton Question: Service

    Laws of Badminton (2006)

    9.1.6 the shaft of the serverís racket at the instant of hitting the shuttle shall be pointing in a downward direction;
    Laws of Badminton (2002)

    9.1.6 the shaft of the serverís 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 discernibly below the whole of the serverís hand holding the racket as in Diagram D;
    Is there a change in the rules pertaining to drive serves? Is a serve with the racket shaft almost horizontal now allowed?
    Last edited by jdcastro; 10-08-2007 at 01:00 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jdcastro View Post
    Is there a change in the rules pertaining to drive serves? Is a serve with the racket shaft almost horizontal now allowed?
    NO.

    As mentioned by you in Law 9.1.6, the racket shaft must be pointing downward. This will then not allow the racket to be higher than the hand holding it at impact. If the shaft is horizontal, the racket will be higher than the hand.

    This makes the second part of the old law redundant:

    "to such an extent that the whole of the head of the racket is discernibly below the whole of the serverís hand holding the racket as in Diagram D; "

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    I, too, am in agreement that the old (stricter) rule should apply. But it seems that by removing the second part and Diagram D, there is no rule stopping someone from serving with an almost horizontal racket shaft. Refer to Diagram D below, it seems that based on the new rule, the two faults are now allowed since essentially the racket shaft is pointing downward, albeit the racket head is not discernibly below the server's hand (proscribed in the 2nd part of the old law).
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    Quote Originally Posted by jdcastro View Post
    Is a serve with the racket shaft almost horizontal now allowed?
    Yes, it is as you thought.

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    Does it mean we can serve above the waist?
    It is easy to serve completely VERTICALLY, but with the racket head held in front of the face, and the hands up high.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Loopy View Post
    Does it mean we can serve above the waist?
    no
    law 9.1.5 (2006)
    the whole shuttle shall be below the server's waist at the instant of being hit by the server's racket. The waist shall be considered to be an imaginary line round the body, level with the lowest part of the server's bottom rib

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    Quote Originally Posted by jdcastro View Post
    I, too, am in agreement that the old (stricter) rule should apply. But it seems that by removing the second part and Diagram D, there is no rule stopping someone from serving with an almost horizontal racket shaft. Refer to Diagram D below, it seems that based on the new rule, the two faults are now allowed since essentially the racket shaft is pointing downward, albeit the racket head is not discernibly below the server's hand (proscribed in the 2nd part of the old law).

    I was dismayed to see the wording of 9.1.6 changed last year. Like you, I prefer to see the older, stricter rule enforced. Players are using to new wording as license to hit questionable, offensive drive serves. The serve in badminton was never intended to be the offensive weapon it is in tennis. While a deceptive, well-executed flick serve can rightly be used to neutralize an aggressive receiver, horizontal-shaft (or near-horizontal shaft) drive serves are just plain wrong -- counter to the intent & nature of badminton serving.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SystemicAnomaly View Post
    I was dismayed to see the wording of 9.1.6 changed last year. Like you, I prefer to see the older, stricter rule enforced. Players are using to new wording as license to hit questionable, offensive drive serves. The serve in badminton was never intended to be the offensive weapon it is in tennis. While a deceptive, well-executed flick serve can rightly be used to neutralize an aggressive receiver, horizontal-shaft (or near-horizontal shaft) drive serves are just plain wrong -- counter to the intent & nature of badminton serving.
    I completely agree.

    Personally, I see even more argument regarding serves, in club / local tournament level of playing these days. In the old days, if someone try to apply a "drive" like serve, at least s/he needs to step further away from the T joint. Now, many ppl simply swing their racket all around, and shoot a canon ball on the serve.

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    I have the opposite reaction.

    First, the old law was strictly redundant. It's easy to play a drive serve that complies with the old law. Grip tightening is sufficient for power; you can even use a completely vertical racket. The limiting factor is, and always has been, the law about hitting the shuttle from below your waist.

    Adding more power to the drive serve is useless. If you add power, it will go out.

    Second, I no longer see drive serves as an annoying violation of the rules. I see them as a perfectly legitimate serve: a challenge to receive, and an opportunity for serving. I enjoy receiving drive serves, because it gives me practice.

    Rather than get wound up about it, take on the challenge.

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    Since 9.1.6 is the rule controlling drive serves and with the rule change, I guess the authorities think that a more offensive service is the way to go. Who pushed for the change? Did they issue an advisory to the umpires re: the allowing of this offensive drive-serve? And are the international players taking advantage of this new freedom?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jdcastro View Post
    Since 9.1.6 is the rule controlling drive serves and with the rule change, I guess the authorities think that a more offensive service is the way to go. Who pushed for the change?...

    Rally scoring was the impetus for the change in serving rules. Under the old rules, a player or team could only score points on their own serve. Hence, it was advantageous to serve. With rally scoring, serving is no longer inherently advantageous. In fact, it is something of a disadvantage since the serve is primarily a "defensive" shot. This is why BWF decided to offset this shift in advantage by changing the serving parameters.

    According to Badminton.TV and another source (I'll see if I can dig it up), the liberalizing of the service laws concerning shaft orientation was meant to make it easier for servers to execute a flatter short short serve -- not really intended to facilitate drive serves.


    Quote Originally Posted by jdcastro View Post
    ...Did they issue an advisory to the umpires re: the allowing of this offensive drive-serve? And are the international players taking advantage of this new freedom?
    Don't know the answer to advisory question. I'm sure that many international players probably have changed their service to take advantage of the flatter short serve. Don't know if any (or many) of them have used the rule change to execute (questionable) drive serves.

    Has anyone noticed if more drive serves are attempted by the pros? Are most umpires allowing it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gollum View Post
    I have the opposite reaction.

    It's easy to play a drive serve that complies with the old law. Grip tightening is sufficient for power; you can even use a completely vertical racket. The limiting factor is, and always has been, the law about hitting the shuttle from below your waist.

    Adding more power to the drive serve is useless. If you add power, it will go out.

    This is true. I've been playing backhand drive serves for nearly 6-7 years. Possibly the most annoying thing to face on a club night.....ever.

    Now with the relaxation of the laws, more people are trying them, so others will develop better ways to counter them and they will (to some extent) become nullified.

    The novelty factor will be there for another year or so, until they become ineffective or there's another rule change.

    Gordon

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gollum View Post
    I have the opposite reaction.

    First, the old law was strictly redundant.....
    I didn't see the old wording as all that redundant. To my mind, the wording was only slightly redundant -- enough to make it very precise, yet still fairly concise. It did require careful reading (and a graphic) to fully discern the intent of the somewhat wordy wording. On the other hand, I view the wording of the current law to be too vague -- what exactly is meant by a downward direction?

    According to a serving law explanation in one of the instruction vids on Badminton.TV, a serve that is executed with the shaft that is nearly horizontal will likely be disallowed. Unfortunately, this explanation, like the new law, is somewhat vague.


    Quote Originally Posted by Gollum View Post
    ... It's easy to play a drive serve that complies with the old law. Grip tightening is sufficient for power; you can even use a completely vertical racket. The limiting factor is, and always has been, the law about hitting the shuttle from below your waist...
    Hmm... In my nearly 30 yrs of playing, I'm not sure that I've ever seen a drive serve executed with a vertical, or near-vertical racket shaft -- a flick serve perhaps, but not a drive serve. Do you happen to have any vids or links that show the technique you describe?

    I'm fairly certain that most of the thousands of drive serves that I've ever witnessed was done so with the shaft horizontal, or nearly horizontal. The only drive serves I've seen that appear to be legal (according to the old wording), were executed with the server standing 1 or 2 meters back from the T (as suggested by LazyBuddy).


    Quote Originally Posted by Gollum View Post
    ...
    Second, I no longer see drive serves as an annoying violation of the rules. I see them as a perfectly legitimate serve: a challenge to receive, and an opportunity for serving. I enjoy receiving drive serves, because it gives me practice.

    Rather than get wound up about it, take on the challenge.
    Receiving the drive serve is definitely less troublesome for some players than others. It helps immensely to be young/quick and not too tall. As a somewhat taller player (with longer arms), I generally shy away from engaging in drive wars with shorter players -- they usually have the advantage in such an exchange. The same applies to receiving a drive serve.

    Perhaps if I was 25 yrs younger & quicker (now in my mid-50s), I could more readily rise to that challenge. I put up with it against lesser players -- it does provide an extra challenge. However, when execute by better players, I consider it more of a nuisance. I'm forced to receive further back in the court in a unnatural crouch (too offset my height). This re-positioning severely limits my receiving options and does not allow me to punish a short serve that is a tad too high.

    If I am bested by a well-executed flick serve, I feel that the server's advantage was justly gained. However, if the server gains an unfair advantage by questionable drive serves, I feel cheated by the server.

    The real nuisance is that players that use a lot of drive serves, cheapen the game -- too many points are won on the serve outright, without a rally. I would much rather play a good cat-and-mouse game with o lot of decent rallies rather than one where numerous points are won with service aces.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FlashGordy View Post
    ...The novelty factor will be there for another year or so, until they become ineffective or there's another rule change.

    Gordon
    I suspect that the serving rules will undoubtedly change, perhaps after the Olympics. It is my hope that the 9.1.6 Law will revert back if the old, standard scoring is restored.

    Not played very many tournaments in the past 20 yrs. Most ppl in the open gyms (and college classes) in this area (SF Bay Area) still play the old 15-point game. Only current tournament players use rally scoring much at all. The rest of us try to ignore rally scoring with its most of its serving rule changes. As I mentioned in a post above, the new serving rules were meant to be part of the rally scoring package, not part of the classic 15-point game.

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    Actually, I should have said that both old and new rules are redundant. I see no reason to restrict the angle of the racket head at all, provided that the shuttle must be hit from below the waist.

    I expect that this rule will disappear completely in the future.

    Most players, however, do require a near horizontal racket for executing drive serves. This method is easier.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gollum View Post
    ... I see no reason to restrict the angle of the racket head at all, provided that the shuttle must be hit from below the waist.

    I expect that this rule will disappear completely in the future...

    Gawd, I hope not. While receiving drive serves may be fine for quick, young bucks like you, many of us will be see a lot of points won without rallies at all if the drive serve becomes the norm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SystemicAnomaly View Post
    Gawd, I hope not. While receiving drive serves may be fine for quick, young bucks like you, many of us will be see a lot of points won without rallies at all if the drive serve becomes the norm.
    ...but since club players often cheated anyway before the rule change, the practical difference may be small.

    I agree that drive serves can be very damaging to rallies. Although I try to relish the challenge instead of moaning about it, I'd be happier with a ban on drive serves. Sometimes I impose a ban on my junior students, because the excessive use of drive serves ruins their serve/receive skill development.

    What really annoys me is blatant cheating by serving the shuttle from well above the waist.

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