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Thread: legal/illegal serve
09-07-2008, 04:04 PM #1
wasn't too sure if i should start a new thread or continue with one that dealt with someone else's problem with a serve.
anyway, there's this guy's serve i've been questioning since 4 or 5 years ago, and i ran into the same guy recently. i discussed it back then with my partner and a few other team members and we're still a big foggy.
so say, a normal serve, a person positions the bird in front of their racquet. pulls the racquet back and goes forward and hits the bird. however, this guy has a significant pause after he moves his racquet back and before he moves it forward to contact the bird.
the only thing i can consider this 'illegal' with the rule book is that it almost seems like 2 strokes, where, i believe, the serve has to be a smooth motion.
the pause is so significant that i and some other players i've discussed with in the past, pretty much naturally move before the player contacts the bird. maybe we're just too much of the 'prediciting' players where we anticipate the contact time. i'd say there is a clear 1 or 2 seconds AFTER he moves his racquet back, and before he moves it forward to serve.
cuz other people's serve would be a smooth motion back then forth and contact. for this guy, it'd be 'back', 'pause', 'forward', 'contact'.
is this legal?
if it's still unclear i can try posting a video, does anyone know of a free video hosting site (other than megaupload)?
09-07-2008, 04:10 PM #2
1-2 Seconds is not that long. I have played a player who waits 5-8 seconds. It seems like an age.
As regards to legal or illegal, providing there is no forward movement after moving back it is not legal. Technically the service motion doesn't begin until the server moves to hi the shuttle.
09-07-2008, 04:17 PM #3
service has to be made in 5 seconds (around there), iuno how you encountered 8 seconds without complaining
but yes, now that you mention it, i remember the rule about the motion forward is the initiation as well. but what is the pause breaches the 5 second rule?
09-07-2008, 04:29 PM #4
09-07-2008, 05:05 PM #5
I think there are 2 aspects here, time and motion. Basically his motion to strike the shuttle must be one motion, his backstroke doesnt count. So, he can pause after bringing his racket back, but once he starts forward motion for his serve he has committed to service. 2nd part is time. As long as his total time from drawing his racket back to service contact is less that 5 seconds than its legal. Ive honestly had way more complicated calls such as a set up that starts similar to backhand and ends up forehand and vice versa. Also services where the player makes huge motions before releasing the birdie...what a complicated sport this can be.
09-07-2008, 05:21 PM #6
lol yeah, there was a female varsity player i once saw that had an illegal serve but was hard to catch.
it was a singles serve, her racquet was pretty high when it started, when it comes around, before striking the bird she cocks her wrist/forearm back and hits it. it looks like one big motion but some can notice that there's a second motion involved. but no one wanted to be bitchy about it cuz she would've won the match aynway.
09-07-2008, 09:30 PM #7
According to the Badminton Laws on Service pertaining to our discussion:
Law 9.1 - In a correct service:
9.1.1 - neither side shall cause undue delay to the delivery of the service once the server and the receiver are ready for the service. On completion of the backward movement of server's racket head, any delay in the start of the service (Law 9.2), shall be consdered to be an undue delay;
(No mention was made as to how long such a delay is allowed, whether 5 seconds or 8, unfortunately. I suppose it depends on the discretion of the umpire, but I guess a warning is warranted if the delay or the unorthodox movement of the server's racket before it moves forward to hit the shuttle becomes a distraction. )
9.1.7 - the movement of the server's racket shall continue forwards from the start of the service (Law 9.2) until the service is delivered (Law 9.3).
(So the server cannot stop his forward-moving racket midway during service without being penalised.)
9.2 - Once the players are ready for the service, the first forward movement of the server's racket head shall be the start of the service.
(So it seems that whatever the server does with racket on his backward movement before moving it forward to hit the shuttle is acceptable, so long as there is no undue delay, and distraction perhaps.)
Last edited by Loh; 09-07-2008 at 09:33 PM.
09-07-2008, 09:42 PM #8
09-07-2008, 10:24 PM #9
BWF's website is:
09-07-2008, 10:38 PM #10
09-08-2008, 04:14 AM #11
Previously, it was unclear what constituted an "undue delay". Now, the rule spells it out: any delay on completing the backswing is a fault. Your backswing must immediately move into a forwards swing.
So to answer the question: until recently, his service was legal. Now, it's a fault.
09-08-2008, 04:18 AM #12
Stump the Ump
Question: I have a question regarding the doubles service. My doubles partner frequently delivers his stroke in a manner in which he does a normal back-handed backswing, pauses, then delivers the forward motion of the stroke.... Read More The entire service is typical of anyone's usual backhand serve except for the pause between the backward-forward transition. This is very effective in throwing off opponents and has been called illegal by many other players. I was wondering if this is in fact legal or not. I noticed in my rulebook (rule 9.4 i believe) that it states " Once the players have taken their positions, the first forward movement of the server's racquet head is the start of service." This seems to give evidence for my partners argument that a pause is ok, what is the rule on that serve???
Mike M. Regina, Sk. (14 June 2006)
I'm afraid that your partner has been getting away (and so have I, for that matter) with pushing the rules and disrupting (fairly effectively) the timing of the receivers. This was legal, or at least very v... Read Moreery very seldom called.
However, at the last IBF meeting in Japan (held in conjunction with a fantastic Thomas/Uber Cup Finals experience by the way), the following clarification was adopted:
9.1.1 Neither side shall cause undue delay to the delivery of the service once the server and the receiver are ready for the service. On completion of the backward movement of server's racket head, any delay in the start of the service (Law 9.2), shall be considered to be an undue delay;
You'd better tell your partner to adjust his serve, or to expect services judges to catch up to him. And don't forget that, under the rally point system, losing your serve (even on a service fault called by the service judge) means also losing a point.
09-09-2008, 08:08 AM #13
I'm not too sure about all of the rules and technicalities, but i believe as long as his pull-back is slow then he is allowed to briefly stop.
A quick pull back followed by a pause is not a smooth motion.
Anyway if thats wrong then he loses power on his forward motion so he should have a weak flick serve that you can capitalise on.
09-09-2008, 09:43 AM #14
and i dont get how you would 'lose' power. i find that i get more power if i DONT pause. it's like jumping up and down, compare 'crouching on the ground then jumping up as high as you can' with 'landing from a previous jump, your legs are still contracting then jump up again'.
in terms of physics, you have energy stored to change directions.
his pause is so long that the energy would've been dispersed to simply stop the racquet in position after the back swing.
09-09-2008, 03:18 PM #15
i had someone call me on slowing down my serve in MS, yet it still was 1 fluid motion. i just had faster racquet speed at the beginning and a slower at the end, yet i didn't change directions or even come to a stop. none of the rules state it's a fault, but i've been told by a few coaches that it is a fault. can someone confirm that?
09-09-2008, 03:30 PM #16
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