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    Default finger/hand signals on serving:)

    me and my partner uses a variety of hand signals, used while serving, we got it from the team china, they have a wide variety of finger signals while they are serving, we find it very useful, cause the other one is prepared on the next shot to opponent will give,

    i just want to know, what are the PRO's and CON's (advantage & disadvantages) of that tactic

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    Well, the pros and cons are quite obvious really. The pros are that you and your partner can anticipate the response to the serve and that it is less obvious that speaking to each other and is harder to overhear.

    However, if the opponents can work out the signals, they will easily be able to anticipate the serve or realise what you think they're going to do and play a completely different shot. Also, you must make sure that your partner can understand the signals completely and there is no confusion and you can only use the signals with your main partner so if you get paired with someone else in a more social match, you want be able to use them.

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    It is a very bad idea and for pro players, it is not really necessary. The decision for what kind of serve you do, should be taken at the very last moment, E.g. if the opponent goes very early to the net, it is sad if you promised your partner to do a short serve, and thereby resctrict yourself to do a flickserve.
    There is plenty of time to get in the correct places AFTER the serve, which you need to do anyway, so you don't really gain anything! Instead use your energy to analyze your opponents.

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    Notice how CHN players do it behind their back. This makes it clear, yet impossible for the opponents to read.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikael View Post
    It is a very bad idea and for pro players, it is not really necessary. The decision for what kind of serve you do, should be taken at the very last moment, E.g. if the opponent goes very early to the net, it is sad if you promised your partner to do a short serve, and thereby resctrict yourself to do a flickserve.
    There is plenty of time to get in the correct places AFTER the serve, which you need to do anyway, so you don't really gain anything! Instead use your energy to analyze your opponents.
    Well, some top-class professional players use hand signals (Cai and Fu, I believe), so I don't think we can dismiss the idea completely.

    I think that the hand signals are most useful to indicate different types of low serves: are you serving straight, wide, or directly at the receiver (a semi-wide serve)? Unlike a flick serve, your partner has little time to react before the receiver hits the shuttle.

    Serving wide or towards the receiver's front foot often results in a different set of service returns. For example: if you serve wide, your partner may wish to move out slightly to cover down-the-line replies.

    This would be a sensible tactic if your wide serve is accurate and the receiver is skilful (he can play good straight shots). If your wide serve is a little loose, or if the receiver is less skilful, then the likely return is a cross-court drive "reaction shot", and so your partner may want to move the other way.

    If you want to develop a system of hand signals, it's worth thinking about which serves actually benefit from a signal. If you tried to invent a signal for every serve, your system would become very complex and hence difficult. I suggest that the flick serves can be left out, because your partner has more time to see what's happening. So really, you only need two active signals:

    • A wide low serve
    • A semi-wide low serve


    You might even decide that you don't need the second signal.

    With this system, your partner will get ready by default for the straight low serve. If you signal a different angle of low serve, he will be primed for the likely replies. If you play a flick serve, he has plenty of time to adjust.

    Note that signals should be made behind your back, so that the opponent cannot see them. This means that you must place your hand behind your back every time, not just when you are giving a signal! Otherwise, your opponents can deduce that "hand behind back" = "wide or semi-wide low serve".
    Last edited by Gollum; 12-09-2008 at 05:41 AM.

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    Sometimes pro's do thing that is theorectically wrong. In this situation you need to change the system every time, because otherwise the opponent can have a friend to sit at your side and figure out the signals.

    Alternative it makes more sense to learn your partners serving technique, and then you will still have plenty of time to get in the correct position (Hence: Low Wide and semi-wide, takes more time to travel). Further more for a low T-serve, isn't it normal that the server then takes care of the net and then your partner have even time to drink coffee if a lift becomes the answer!

    For mix-double you might argue it is relevant, otherwise I don't really see the need.

    If you absolutely think it is fun to make signals, I would recommend something like your foot, as the opponent normally is concerned about your upperbody. Hmm, Maybe all the pro players have some signs, that we have just not discovered...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikael View Post
    Sometimes pro's do thing that is theorectically wrong. In this situation you need to change the system every time, because otherwise the opponent can have a friend to sit at your side and figure out the signals.

    Alternative it makes more sense to learn your partners serving technique, and then you will still have plenty of time to get in the correct position (Hence: Low Wide and semi-wide, takes more time to travel). Further more for a low T-serve, isn't it normal that the server then takes care of the net and then your partner have even time to drink coffee if a lift becomes the answer!

    For mix-double you might argue it is relevant, otherwise I don't really see the need.

    If you absolutely think it is fun to make signals, I would recommend something like your foot, as the opponent normally is concerned about your upperbody. Hmm, Maybe all the pro players have some signs, that we have just not discovered...
    To be honest, I think the pros play with each other so much, they know what each other is going to do before they actually do it. I may be wrong, but spending that long practising with each other, you must get used to your partner and what they do in different situations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikael View Post
    Sometimes pro's do thing that is theorectically wrong.
    Whose theory? Yours alone? Do you have any other sources to back up your theory?

    I don't suggest that every pro is perfect, but you need a damn good reason for saying they are "theoretically wrong". If you play them in a match, your theory won't mean much as they stomp all over you.

    If world-class players (such as Cai/Fu) do something, then I think it's a bit silly for us amateurs to say, "they are wrong, and we are right".

    Moreover, Badminton England recommend that you should communicate your service intentions to your partner. So now we have Cai, Fu, and Badminton England who are all "theoretically wrong". And presumably Li Yong Bo too.

    Since this communication seems to be practised only be a few professional players, I'm not yet convinced that players ought to adopt it. But equally, I don't think there's anything wrong with adopting it.

    If you don't like it, don't use it. No one is forcing you.

    In this situation you need to change the system every time, because otherwise the opponent can have a friend to sit at your side and figure out the signals.
    I don't think that's a realistic concern. They would need to be well organised for this, and they would have very little time to communicate. You would also probably become aware of this communication -- and if so, you could really mess with your opponents by deviating from the system (playing a flick serve instead of the wide low serve). Wheels within wheels.

    As with many tactical ideas, it's all about situational awareness.

    Alternative it makes more sense to learn your partners serving technique, and then you will still have plenty of time to get in the correct position
    If your partner has good serving technique, then it should be difficult for the opponent to guess his serve. From your position behind him, it should be even harder.

    Further more for a low T-serve, isn't it normal that the server then takes care of the net and then your partner have even time to drink coffee if a lift becomes the answer!
    Only when you're playing against people with a very limited range of returns. As well as the lift, the partner needs to be ready for drives and pushes to the midcourt. A good receiver will be able to hit these shots too.

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    Gollum:
    1) Please be aware that I have not yet concluded that it is thereotically wrong - I will let you write the theories .

    I just wanted to state that for me, to refer to what professionals do, is not by itself a good argument, but of course it would be wise to consider pro, cons and arguments for their acts. Indeed I try to argue that it is a bad idea.

    2) Probably you are right, it is not that realistic!

    3) Of course it depends on exact technique, Position/stance and angles? Anyway, thats also why I suggest the foot or heel as an indicator, if you want to make some signals. Or can somebody explain me how to serve with your hands behind the body???

    4) I mean you don't plan to do a bad low serve, that is so high that they can return with drives, or do you??? But if the situation will occure, of course you would quickly position yourself for that, but if you do it before the serve the opponent knows you are up to something.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gollum View Post
    Whose theory? Yours alone? Do you have any other sources to back up your theory?

    I don't suggest that every pro is perfect, but you need a damn good reason for saying they are "theoretically wrong". If you play them in a match, your theory won't mean much as they stomp all over you.

    If world-class players (such as Cai/Fu) do something, then I think it's a bit silly for us amateurs to say, "they are wrong, and we are right".

    Moreover, Badminton England recommend that you should communicate your service intentions to your partner. So now we have Cai, Fu, and Badminton England who are all "theoretically wrong". And presumably Li Yong Bo too.

    Since this communication seems to be practised only be a few professional players, I'm not yet convinced that players ought to adopt it. But equally, I don't think there's anything wrong with adopting it.

    If you don't like it, don't use it. No one is forcing you.



    I don't think that's a realistic concern. They would need to be well organised for this, and they would have very little time to communicate. You would also probably become aware of this communication -- and if so, you could really mess with your opponents by deviating from the system (playing a flick serve instead of the wide low serve). Wheels within wheels.

    As with many tactical ideas, it's all about situational awareness.



    If your partner has good serving technique, then it should be difficult for the opponent to guess his serve. From your position behind him, it should be even harder.



    Only when you're playing against people with a very limited range of returns. As well as the lift, the partner needs to be ready for drives and pushes to the midcourt. A good receiver will be able to hit these shots too.
    Sorry, but I have to disagree. If pros use hand signals, no matter how complex, there is a (tiny) risk that these can be interpreted and once that happens, they are in huge trouble. Hand signals behind the back might solve this, but again, perhaps some sort of pattern would emerge or someone from the crowd could get involved in revealing what they were going to do. However, most pros just communicate subliminally, they have practised for so long with each other, they know what each other is going to do.

    Theoretically, Mikael is right. Whether Cai and Fu would stomp over me and Mikael in a match or not is not the point, I don't know Mikael's skill level but I think I can safely say that we would struggle against Cai and Fu. The point is, that pros have flaws. The hand signal method is a huge flaw in itself. Myself and Mikael probably couldn't capitalise on this, but a good enough pair who were able to work out the signals could and this would become a huge advantage for them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Danstevens View Post
    Sorry, but I have to disagree. If pros use hand signals, no matter how complex, there is a (tiny) risk that these can be interpreted and once that happens, they are in huge trouble. Hand signals behind the back might solve this, but again, perhaps some sort of pattern would emerge or someone from the crowd could get involved in revealing what they were going to do. However, most pros just communicate subliminally, they have practised for so long with each other, they know what each other is going to do.

    Theoretically, Mikael is right. Whether Cai and Fu would stomp over me and Mikael in a match or not is not the point, I don't know Mikael's skill level but I think I can safely say that we would struggle against Cai and Fu. The point is, that pros have flaws. The hand signal method is a huge flaw in itself. Myself and Mikael probably couldn't capitalise on this, but a good enough pair who were able to work out the signals could and this would become a huge advantage for them.
    The thing is they're done behind the back. It doesn't even matter if the coaches know what the signals mean and how to interpret them; the key thing is that the reciever cannot see them at the instant they are made. There is no way that you as a reciever could work out what the signals mean because you cannot see it, and so even if you knew, you wouldn't even know what was coming because you're not there to look at their hands.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikael View Post
    It is a very bad idea and for pro players, it is not really necessary. The decision for what kind of serve you do, should be taken at the very last moment, E.g. if the opponent goes very early to the net, it is sad if you promised your partner to do a short serve, and thereby resctrict yourself to do a flickserve.
    There is plenty of time to get in the correct places AFTER the serve, which you need to do anyway, so you don't really gain anything! Instead use your energy to analyze your opponents.
    thats why no matter what we do, when i promised/signal my partner that ill go for a short serve, both of us are ready on what ever shot the opponent will give us, will it be an attacking one? or will he give a lob shot? we'll still play the game, and cant easily reverse the status quo, but its like were ready on what ever the opponents response is,

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikael View Post
    Sometimes pro's do thing that is theorectically wrong. In this situation you need to change the system every time, because otherwise the opponent can have a friend to sit at your side and figure out the signals.
    it happened to us, hahaha! our opponent sent their team mate(a mens single player) to spy on our hand signals, and obviously they figured it out, and during our interval our coach told us that the opponent has cracked our code, and on the spot we changed our signals,

    our old signals are:

    thumb-short serve(random it left or right)
    index-long serve(random if left or right)

    then our revised signals:

    thumb-short serve(left)
    index-long serve(left)
    middle-(we use it when our opponent is not yet ready then flick it up or give it to his backhand, it always turns up to a lob shot and then we'll attack)
    ring finger-short serve(right)
    pinky-long serve(right)

    then we'll experiment it up, by signaling 2 fingers at the same time)
    even the one that they sent to spy on us cant crack it)

    yeah! sometimes we cant playout the plan, cause obviously we changed it on the spot, but for now? we've practiced it a lot so now were more used to it

    its a good thing that your partner should be very aware of the situation,

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    Quote Originally Posted by migzz10 View Post
    it happened to us, hahaha! our opponent sent their team mate(a mens single player) to spy on our hand signals, and obviously they figured it out, and during our interval our coach told us that the opponent has cracked our code, and on the spot we changed our signals,

    our old signals are:

    thumb-short serve(random it left or right)
    index-long serve(random if left or right)

    then our revised signals:

    thumb-short serve(left)
    index-long serve(left)
    middle-(we use it when our opponent is not yet ready then flick it up or give it to his backhand, it always turns up to a lob shot and then we'll attack)
    ring finger-short serve(right)
    pinky-long serve(right)

    then we'll experiment it up, by signaling 2 fingers at the same time)
    even the one that they sent to spy on us cant crack it)

    yeah! sometimes we cant playout the plan, cause obviously we changed it on the spot, but for now? we've practiced it a lot so now were more used to it

    its a good thing that your partner should be very aware of the situation,
    You should have used that middle finger towards the spy as well.

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    Myself and Mikael probably couldn't capitalise on this, but a good enough pair who were able to work out the signals could and this would become a huge advantage for them.
    Don't you think Cai/Fu frequently play "good enough" pairs? So why hasn't it become a problem for them?

    Whether Cai and Fu would stomp over me and Mikael in a match or not is not the point
    You're right, and I expressed this badly. How you, me, or Mikael would perform against them is irrelevant (we'd all be thrashed).

    My point was rather that, since Cai and Fu are playing against many of the best pairs in the world and winning, their hand signal system is unlikely to be "wrong". It works for them, and they've tested it in top-class competition. That's a pretty good test!

    it happened to us, hahaha! our opponent sent their team mate(a mens single player) to spy on our hand signals, and obviously they figured it out, and during our interval our coach told us that the opponent has cracked our code, and on the spot we changed our signals
    Now that's interesting! How were they communicating the signals (I assume you were making signals behind your back)? Did you consider simply reversing your signals (low serve becomes flick serve), in order to cause maximum damage to your opponents?

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    The people claiming the code can be broken and then interpreted are being ridiculous. There are so many ways to complicate the code, plus do it behind your back, you just simply don't leave any time for a "spy" to look at your hand signals from far away and communicate it to the other team within the time that it takes for you to pull your hand back up and serve. Also people have more honor than to try and eavesdrop on your communication using third party. also if i vary the code between matches it doesn't really give you time to crack the code and communicate it to the other team before i change it for the next match. I'm pretty sure if your only complaint against behind the back hand signals is that your opponent's friend will decipher the code and communicate it to them, then you are being paranoid. The system seems pretty decent to me, and if you feel like you want your partner to know what serve you are using, then this seems like one of possibly many other legitimate ways to let him know. The only problem i can see with this system i guess is that for example if you told your partner you are going to serve left and then the opponent moves left, you better serve right and let your partner figure it out ... or just re signal :P

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    Quote Originally Posted by Plutarch View Post
    Also people have more honor than to try and eavesdrop on your communication using third party.
    lol clearly you live in a better place than me

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