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  1. #1
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    Question serving fault verification

    I was playing a game the other day, and someone pointed out to me after the match that my serve was a fault. He said that I cannot stop my swing once I start my serve. He claims that I stop just to throw off the opponent. I admit that I do stop, but not when I swing forward. When I serve, I swing my racket back and stop for a split second (this is the only time I have a stop), then swing forward. Once I start swinging forward, there is no stop in motion though. So I want to know, what swing is considered the starting motion of a serve? I've heard from other players that it doesn't matter what you do before, but once you start your forward motion, that's when you can't stop. I already corrected my serve once he told me, but I still want to know what the official ruling is. Does anyone have the official rules for this?

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    It should just keep on going and not stop, not even for a split second.

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    You can stop when you move your racket back.

    Unless there was some inadvertent foward motion before you moved back that given the impression that you were going to serve, that would probably be called.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt View Post
    You can stop when you move your racket back.
    That used to be true, but not any more. A new law has been added that makes this clear:

    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 the server's racket head, any delay in the start of the service (Law 9.2), shall be considered to be an undue delay

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    How about Lin Dans' serve? He kind of have a double motion to it, but you never see the service judge call fault on it.

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    Well, they are pros, so why would they need to do unnecessary move to trick their opponents? I guess he's just use to it like that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gollum View Post
    That used to be true, but not any more. A new law has been added that makes this clear:
    I mean moving the racket back to get into the proper form before getting ready to perform the serve. This is within the rules.
    Last edited by Matt; 12-04-2008 at 02:16 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt View Post
    I mean moving the racket back to get into the proper form before getting ready to perform the serve. This is within the rules.
    Yes, although it's best to do this before you put the shuttle in front of the racket:
    1. Place racket into position (shuttle held out the way)
    2. Place shuttle in front of racket
    3. Serve


    This way, it's completely clear when you are serving, and so there's no chance of being faulted under those rules (and no chance of distracting your opponent with an extra motion).
    Last edited by Gollum; 12-04-2008 at 04:27 AM.

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    The 3 steps in the order you described is what I do normally.

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    *jokingly*
    you should just announce every step of your serve as in:
    "moving racquet back!" - proceed to do so
    "swing commence!" - proceed to do so
    "service!" - done

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    Serving must be one smooth motion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jwu42 View Post
    *jokingly*
    you should just announce every step of your serve as in:
    "moving racquet back!" - proceed to do so
    "swing commence!" - proceed to do so
    "service!" - done
    lol!

    "Get Ready"
    "Set"
    "Go!"

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    In conclusion, best to have your racquet head cocked backwards before bird placed infront so that the only remaining step is to bring the racquet head forward.

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    I think the reciever has the right to complain if he get's confused of his opponent's service. Otherwise, if it's just okay for all parties, I guess they could just go on with the game. Still, I would still advise one fluid motion.

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    Arrow Please remember: The receiver has the final say

    Quote Originally Posted by bad_fanatic View Post

    How about Lin Dans' serve?

    He kind of have a double motion to it, but you never see the service judge call fault on it.

    .
    Please remember: The receiver has the final say.

    The receiver is allowed to not accept any Service that he/she is not ready to reply.

    So if Lin Dan was to do that to me, I would not have accepted it.
    .
    Last edited by chris-ccc; 12-04-2008 at 11:10 PM.

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    There is one thing about backhand services that I still do not fully understand and that is addressing the service. During this process the rackethead and the shuttle are brought together before the start of the backward movement. This is something we never used to see with forehand services, neither in singles, not in doubles. I assume it has something to do with finding the correct point of impact and also finding the correct position in which to hold the shuttle.

    Before the change of the Law there was no mentioning of this backward movement as a legal part of the service action and therefore under the old Law, it would have to be called as a fault. However, unless there was a very good reason to do so we never did and that caused the backward movement to become more or less accepted as legal.

    The next step in the development of the backhand service pratice was the extention of the transition time used for the backward movement to change into a forward movement. Consequently it became neccesary to keep this aspect of backhand serving under control and that is the underlying reason for the change of the service Law as Gollum quoted above.

    From a fysiological point of view one can argue that changing any movement of any body into a direction 180 degrees opposite to the original direction would automatically involve a stop in movement immediately prior to the change of direction. It is therefore that we do not intend this new Law to make a stop after completion of the backward movement illegal. Rather than seeking to interfere with a natural service action, the new Law has been introduced to define an unduely long stop between backward and forward movement as illegal. Servers must still be given time to complete a natural service movement including both a backward and a following forward movement with an acceptable transition time between the two.

    In the umpire´s / service judge´s assesment of the service action under this new Law this remains a judgement call.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik L. View Post
    Servers must still be given time to complete a natural service movement including both a backward and a following forward movement with an acceptable transition time between the two.

    In the umpire´s / service judge´s assesment of the service action under this new Law this remains a judgement call.
    Not really. If you look at the law that Gollum posted you'll see it uses the words "any delay", not "undue delay" or "noticeable delay". The transition between backswing and forward swing has to be imperceptibly short, or instant.

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