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    Default Doubles: when do YOU change positions?

    There are two "schools" of rotation of attacking formation in level doubles: what is usually called the European method, and the Asian method. In short, the European method is about avoiding rotation, by keeping the same smasher at the back and the same net guy at the front for as long as the attack is maintained. In contrast, the Asian method means that the smasher follows up his smash to the net, and the net guy goes back to take over the role as a smasher, and so on.

    If one looks at the top pairs today, they usually use a mix of both methods, but often one method dominates. Which one they use most seems to correspond to how they are built: tall, far-reaching (but comparatively slow) players favour the European method while short, explosive (but energy-wasting) players favour the Asian method.

    It is well-known that both methods have their pros and cons, but let's put those aside for a while. What I want to know is: which method were you taught? And which method do you actually use today?

    And are there other principles? One that I've come across is that you should swap places when you receive a deep cross-court lift. How does that fit into the European vs Asian method?

    And please, only players who have had proper training need answer... I'm sorry, but I'm not interested in what all you autodidacts have learned in this case.

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    I have never tried the asian method. Normaly i see it as the person who is at the back HAS the shots that go to the back, but now i've seen the Asian method it seems a fantastic idea. Aparently if your partner plays a smash to from, say, your right hand corner (as you face the net) you go off slightly to the left, preparing to take the roll of the smasher as they lift it to the left corner. Is this right?

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    Default Re: Doubles: when do YOU change positions?

    Originally posted by Mag
    It is well-known that both methods have their pros and cons, but let's put those aside for a while. What I want to know is: which method were you taught? And which method do you actually use today?

    And are there other principles? One that I've come across is that you should swap places when you receive a deep cross-court lift. How does that fit into the European vs Asian method?
    Well, I was trained and coached by national level players about 20 years ago when I was active in inter-state (or is it inter-provincial?) and there was neither European method nor Asian method mentioned. But for the sake of this discussion, I will use them then.

    Since I was coached in Asia, I was trained using the "Asian method" and occasionally use the "European method" to confuse our opponents and dependent on our opponents' return shot. Since now I am in North America playing, people are more comfortable playing the "European method", at least that is what I observe. Thus I've to adjust playing with my new double partners. This is especially prevalent in the mixed-double, since I was only playing mainly men single and doubles only.

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    Default Clarification

    The terms "European method" and "Asian method" are sometimes used in coaching here in Europe. I'm not suggesting that the names are global, but the principles are. I use the terms in lack of better. And of course, all this only applies to level doubles.

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    Indeed, the principle is universal; that is why I recognized it.

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    The Coaches strictly teach u European method!The Asian method is what u learn by watching and working out with ur partner! It also depends on the kind of smash played and also the position from which u smash! If the smash is not dipping too much then we rotate! I guess this is a lot to do with coordination and ability to read opponent wrist!

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    You are absolutely right Yogi. The world isn't black and white, so in reality it is a little more complex than what I described! On an advanced level one would, as I said before, use a mix of both methods. But coaches always seem to preach one of them! And I think it is worth acknowledging the difference, as the philosophy behind them is so different. One says "don't rotate unless you have to" and the other says "rotate at your every opportunity"...

    It is interesting that you, coming from India, were taught the "European" method. Could it be due to the historic British influence?

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    i notice some 10 yrs ago, players tend to follow the "european method". But i also notice that today doubles are much more dynamic. fast and lotsa drives which makes the "asian" variation more practical as it can at times catch your opponent off guard. i personally use the european method more cause i was taught that way. like u said, it's for tall, far reaching players and comparatively slower.

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    Default We were trained to use both

    However it is easier for pairs that aren't used to playing together to use the European method as it requires less understanding between the partners. For more experienced pairs there's a fair bit of mixing it up, however it is fair to say that we use the Asian method a lot more on the backhand side. Ie if the person smasher is a long way in the forehand court and smashes straight, and your opponents clear to the back AD court, the net player will often move back and become the back court player. This reduces the chance of the initial smasher having to play a backhand, this would probably be better with a piccy).

    Note this only works with reasonably well trained players who can move well to their backhand side and play nice forehands.

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    I`ve been coached in both methods, but the " Asian " method was taught as the main idea since about 10years ago in Scotland I think. I was taught it when I was about 19 or so ( 8 years ago!!). It works well as long as you have good communication between partners and that you choose the right moment to make the switch ( no point rushing to the net off your first smash, or you`ll leave an open invitation for a high return to the position you just came from!!). I disagree with Mag a little when he says that in the Asian method you try to " rotate at every opportunity " - it`s a little more subtle than that, and the back and front players have different responsibilties. The back player should decide to make the switch and has to make the move off a sensible smash/drive ( at the body of the opponent or the middle of the opposing pair ). There doesn`t need to be any verbal communication of this switch, as the front player can sense his partner moving forward. The front player is looking for weak returns as usual but is also aware of the need to move back carefully if his partner moves forward.
    Here in Japan it`s taught as the main method to most juniors, but most of the senior players don`t use this a lot - you have the traditional back and front combo a lot. A little strange as most people will know this I think, but only the better pairs can put it into action well. As well as watching out for the flicked reply to the position the foreward moving smasher just came from, the cross court soft reply off the smash can also catch out the attacking pair - the front player will be moving back and the smasher moving straight forward so their could be some confusion there.
    Last edited by Steplantis; 05-21-2002 at 06:06 PM.

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    Mag,

    I thought Frost Prac with Prakash for sometime! I am sure some of it could have seeped in and i think the European method as such is simpler and can be taught easily to kids! The Asian method requires a lot of coordination and training together. U should also realise that most plp's dreams are to become singles players!If they dont quiet make it to the top then the try their hand at doubles..

    AS steplantis said it is abt the kind of shot played! If u watch u can see K.D Moon playing more drives from the back court than his partner.He rotates at the first available option and that is simply because Moon is a better player at the net and also the need to play a mixed doubles match prob in the same day.

    We should also see the rise of strong drives and parallel game in doubles. I am sure that the game of drives have become stronger and stronger as it is abt sheer wrist power and reflexes! This is due to the amazing growth in defense! Just like the NBA (Why did Mike develop Fadeaway jumpers?)

    The defence in the past decade or so has grown so much that the need to play diff strokes have arisen and thus the finer tuning of Asian method.If the European method continued to exist then most back court players will tire! It is very essential that at the top level a good mixture of Both is used. We have also seen the International players running after balls due to bad communication or misunderstanding.

    I would suggest every one to watch the Chinese Women's doubles team to see the beautiful execution of the Asian method! They execute this way better than the men. It could be dry if u are really looking for fire power but then the new 7 Point system has brought abt some amt of smashing into the ladies game!

  12. #12
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    Originally posted by Steplantis
    /.../ I disagree with Mag a little when he says that in the Asian method you try to "rotate at every opportunity " - it`s a little more subtle than that, and the back and front players have different responsibilties. /.../
    Yes, I admit to oversimplifying, but it was in order to illustrate the fundamental difference between the two approaches. The phrase "at every opportunity" should perhaps be read as "at every practical opportunity".


    Anyway, thanks for the replies. It's always interesting to see how coaching methods differ between countries. Here in Sweden, you'd definitely be taught the "European" method as a junior, but most senior pairs, at least at any higher level, will use the "Asian" method, or a mix of the two.

    Maybe we should invent new names for these principles? It is clear that the terms "European" and "Asian" no longer are valid, if ever they were... I still think it has to do more with body build which method one prefers (and this applies at top level too I think).

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    Originally posted by Matt Ross
    I have never tried the asian method. Normaly i see it as the person who is at the back HAS the shots that go to the back, but now i've seen the Asian method it seems a fantastic idea. Aparently if your partner plays a smash to from, say, your right hand corner (as you face the net) you go off slightly to the left, preparing to take the roll of the smasher as they lift it to the left corner. Is this right?
    That is correct so long as your partner is smashing 3/4 court length or 1/2 court length lifts.

    it doesn't have to apply to crosscourt lifts either. It can apply to straight lifts with the smasher running in to cover the net area commitedly without worrying about the back and the partner covering the rear court replies.

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    Default Cheung

    Cheung, I have understood that you have had a lot of formal training. Which method(s) were you taught?

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    I haven't had so much training in doubles but from my experience, the Asian method is commonly taught.

    when I did a little mixed doubles training, we also did some rotation as well. Albeit, not as much as in level doubles. We had to divide the covering-court-responsibilities diagonally so some net shots the man will take and a larger proportion taken by the lady. The proportion varies according to the court position.

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    Had learnt both methods but never mentioned as to European or Asian. Is was part of normal training. Which method to use predominantly in a game/training depended mostly the combinations. If one of the players is a better smasher most of the times this will the the person who will spend more time at the back. If both are are good then will try to rotate more.

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    I'm more of a smasher than a net reciever, so I would usually play the rear in doubles. What me and my teammate would do is when defending, we would stand side to side. However, on offence, if I'm in front, what I would usually do is push the shuttle low into one of the rear corners of the court, to give enough time for me and my teammate to switch places, for me to start smashing. However, if I'm already at the rear, there's no need for me to do all that extra work.

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