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  1. #1
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    Default Doubles play and lines

    When I was playing doubles last night it just struck me when I was asked by a beginner that I have absolutely no idea why the back line is moved one step further in to the court during service. My only guess would be to make it more aggressive right from the start but I really have no idea, any else do?

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    My guess is since you are using the outside line on the side for double, having a long and wide service area to defense, it would be pretty tough. Having said that, one can also argue why not using the same service area for single and double. I guess that is possible to do but it would change the philosophical intent of the game, where single is a more of a forward-backward game and double is more lateral game.

    I am curious if anyone has ever tried using the single service area for double. That could be interesting to see if the game plays differently.

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    Using the back boundary line as a long service line for doubles is something which will probably be experimented with within the forseeable future. This experiment will then also include an experimental change to the service law. This experimental service law will involve the shuttle to have to leave the racket in an upward flight as the main item of the service definition and probably all references to foot faults, delay, feathers and continuous forward movement of the racket will remain, but all the rest might be eliminated for the duration of the experiment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik L. View Post
    This experimental service law will involve the shuttle to have to leave the racket in an upward flight as the main item of the service definition and probably all references to foot faults, delay, feathers and continuous forward movement of the racket will remain, but all the rest might be eliminated for the duration of the experiment.

    And that is different from the current rules how? As of now unless you being like 3m tall the shuttle travels in an arch over the net leaving the servers racket in an upwards angle, isnt this a rule today?

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    The current rules involve a limmitation of how high the shuttle can be helt and under what angle the racket must meet the shuttle. These rules do not apply during the experimental stage. The purpose of this experiment is to define the service by using fewer parameters and to reduce the scale of different service faults. We are looking for a less complicated definition of a correct service in order to diminnish the chance of rallies being decided by outside interference (= a service judge giving serive faults).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik L. View Post
    The current rules involve a limmitation of how high the shuttle can be helt and under what angle the racket must meet the shuttle. These rules do not apply during the experimental stage. The purpose of this experiment is to define the service by using fewer parameters and to reduce the scale of different service faults. We are looking for a less complicated definition of a correct service in order to diminnish the chance of rallies being decided by outside interference (= a service judge giving serive faults).
    Sounds like an attempt to simplify but yet further relax the service rule. Don't like it. Most people have the net at their chin. If the rule is for the shuttle goes upward, you will serve at your neck height.

    On the other hand, I would love to see experiments with the service line. Hopefully, a consistent single/double line or same during serve/play. Many beginner, or even occasional players get confused by the various lines. Anything to make the game easier to learn/play is good.

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    I am inclined to agree, certainly with Fan's remarks aboput the lines. We will howeverjust have to wait and see how this service thing works out. I am not really optimistic.
    BAsically I think I would prefer things to stay as they are.

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    I have often had difficulty explaining to beginners that the double service line is in fact just that, and not a permanent out line. It is not intuitive like the short service line, which obviously keeps the server from gaining an immediate offensive. I think that the game would be better if the long service line was removed altogether. It's almost obsolete already, because a long serve is suicidal playing against anyone who knows what they are doing. Eliminating the long service line would certainly result in more long serves, as well as what i see as a more interesting game.

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    Quote Originally Posted by drop2it View Post
    It's almost obsolete already, because a long serve is suicidal playing against anyone who knows what they are doing.
    Er, no.

    The flick serve is used at the highest levels of doubles play. It's not "suicidal"; an occasional flick serve is necessary to prevent your opponents from murdering your low serves.

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    Quote Originally Posted by drop2it View Post
    It's almost obsolete already, because a long serve is suicidal playing against anyone who knows what they are doing.

    Well, I was watching a WC game between CY/FHF and TG/CW the other day. FHF scored the last point, using a surprising flick serve, which made CW stunning and did not even move. I am pretty sure CW "knows what he is doing" than 99.9999999% of us.

    Yes, it's much better to use short serves in double, but saying long serve is suicidal is way too much. Effectively mix the serves, will make your opponent think twice between taking for granted to attack your serves.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LazyBuddy View Post
    Well, I was watching a WC game between CY/FHF and TG/CW the other day. FHF scored the last point, using a surprising flick serve, which made CW stunning and did not even move.
    Was it this game? It happens at 8:05.

    Just shows you how good a deceptive flick serve can be. It was also a brilliant psychological tactic, because Chandra had tried to get the shuttle changed immediately beforehand but was refused by the umpire. Fu, knowing that Chandra was unsettled, chose exactly the right moment for a surprise flick serve.

    Notice that the serve was unusually flat -- indeed, it's more a drive serve than a flick. At that level of play, this would normally be very risky; but with Chandra rattled and distracted, it turned out to be a savvy gamble.
    Last edited by Gollum; 01-19-2009 at 07:49 AM.

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    I guess i'm just not good enough to use it effectively against better players. I agree that it has it's place, perhaps I just haven't found it yet. Being curious, how often does everyone use their flick serve? I'm probably under 5 percent, or once per game. I use it as gollum says, when my opponent crowds the net looking for and easy kill. But it's always a defensive serve used to get out of the above situation. Perhaps I'm not deceptive enough to use it offensively...

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    I find that certain players are very strong attacking the low serve, and are also annoyingly fast moving backwards for an "obvious" flick serve. These players have learned to read the opponent's service accurately, and are savvy in exploiting this information.

    However, if the flick serve is deceptive, the same players fail to attack it and often leave it, hoping that it will go out.

    It's often stressed that accuracy of the low serve is important. Don't forget that the accuracy of the flick serve is important too: for good results, you need to be able to deliver a consistent height and angle, while using a service action that is hard to distinguish from your low serve.

    I find that the best angle for flick serves is almost always to aim for the corner, not straight. If you can establish a consistent, unreadable flick serve to the corner, at just the right height, then you have a powerful weapon.

    Against some players, I will use multiple flick serves in a row -- because they show no signs of adapting. If I'm winning points outright from my flick serve, then I'll keep using it.

    If they adjust their receiving position, however, then I can return to low serves, safe in the knowledge that their service returns will be weakened.

    Of course, some players are just too damn good, and it's hard to find a weakness.
    Last edited by Gollum; 01-20-2009 at 07:16 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gollum View Post
    I find that the best angle for flick serves is almost always to aim for the corner, not straight. If you can establish a consistent, unreadable flick serve to the corner, at just the right height, then you have a powerful weapon.
    Question: When you say serve long to the corners, am I to assume that you mean the outside corners? I find it difficult to believe this is effective because then the flight pattern of the shuttle would be directly above the reciver's head. This doesn't make much sense to me, unless the serve is high enough to completely clear the reciver's potential smash. But then wouldn't this leave enough shuttle air-time for the reciever to move back and smash anyways?

    The only time I use a long serve right now is if I can serve down the centreline to a backhand. This tends to force the reciever to take a backhand shot that has already moved past them - very difficult to pull off, considering that I'm standing at the net waiting for it.

    Note that I haven't actually tried serving to the outside corners, it may work very well. I'll try it out tommorow night...

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    Quote Originally Posted by drop2it View Post
    Question: When you say serve long to the corners, am I to assume that you mean the outside corners?
    Yes.

    I find it difficult to believe this is effective because then the flight pattern of the shuttle would be directly above the reciver's head.
    This only matters if he is able to reach the shuttle at that moment (in which case, make it slightly higher next time). Your aim is to play a serve that travels higher than his immediate upwards reach, and forces him to play his shot from somewhat behind the body.

    But then wouldn't this leave enough shuttle air-time for the reciever to move back and smash anyways?
    Note that the distance to the corner is longer than the distance to the back T. Although it takes more time for the shuttle to travel the longer distance, it also takes more time for your opponent to travel it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gollum View Post
    Was it this game? It happens at 8:05.

    Just shows you how good a deceptive flick serve can be. It was also a brilliant psychological tactic, because Chandra had tried to get the shuttle changed immediately beforehand but was refused by the umpire. Fu, knowing that Chandra was unsettled, chose exactly the right moment for a surprise flick serve.

    Notice that the serve was unusually flat -- indeed, it's more a drive serve than a flick. At that level of play, this would normally be very risky; but with Chandra rattled and distracted, it turned out to be a savvy gamble.
    Yes, that's the game.

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    Okay, I think I understand the concept now. The difficulty will lie in getting the flick to look exactly like my short serve. I can see where I'm going to be spending alot of time practicing by myself!

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