Idea for Solution to Service Faults

Discussion in 'Rules / Tournament Regulation / Officiating' started by lawrenca333, Jun 11, 2016.

  1. lawrenca333

    lawrenca333 New Member

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    Hello all,

    I have been playing and watching badminton for a number of years and have grown very frustrated with inconsistent calls by service judges. I believe I come up with a possible solution.

    Get the tallest badminton player out there and measure the height of his waist. Voila! That is now the maximum height that ALL badminton players can serve at.

    Get an apparatus for the service judge that consists of 2 parallel bars at a distance from each other, perpendicular to the service judge's line of sight. The bars are calibrated to the aforementioned maximum height. Then make the service judge sit at or adjust himself so that his eye level allows the 2 parallel bars to line up with each other. That way, the service judge can clearly see whether the shuttle is struck above or below this line that ALL badminton players must adhere to. Tall guys don't get an advantage and short guys aren't at a disadvantage. Lastly, have a high speed camera calibrated at the same height so service calls can be challenged.

    There are too many bad calls, missed calls etc. that really ruin the game. That one service judge, Fritz whatever, is particularly bad for this.

    I hope the BWF does something about this problem soon.
     
  2. phihag

    phihag Regular Member

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    First of all, I don't agree with your premise that there are many bad calls. Again and again, when reviewing footage, I struggle to find any at all. Would you mind listing, say, 5 calls you believe to be bad? Having read RTTO 1.3 and 4.4, service judges at international levels definitely err on the liberal side of not calling faults one can easily identify in a video replay. Also, as of May 2016, there is no service judge named Fritz at international levels; the closest name would be Freek Cox. I did not focus on his calls, but the calls I remember from him were exceptionally accurate.

    I see the problem more in lack of communication of the laws to fans (for instance, you mention the waist, which in the context of Badminton laws is a technical term unrelated to what most people may assume - it's really the lowest rib) and (totally unfounded) mistrust in the technical officials, but let's look at your suggestion anyways:

    What you are suggesting is a variant of the BWF Fixed Height experiment, conducted in 2012/2013. The idea of calibrating for the tallest Badminton player seems rather arbitrary to me - do you want new rules for every tournament? What if some country enlists a giant just to have him enter a tournament? I'd rather have a reasonably round value that befits most players; that's what the BWF height experiment did as well.

    There are some downsides of fixed height. For one, the technique would differ for players based on height; Nozomi Okuhara would learn a serve totally differently than Vladimir Ivanov. In addition, the rule does not really work for young children, where we could see overhead serves. In general, I don't think it would be good for the development of youth players if they had to relearn their serve with every growth spurt.

    I am not sure I understand your idea of two bars - is one for the left and one for the right side for the service judge? A simple line on the net strikes me as a more elegant solution.

    Lastly, I fail to see how your suggestion of automated reviews differs from the current BWF plan - that's precisely how I understand KRA1 §2 KPI2 of the BWF Strategic Plan 2016-2020.
     
    #2 phihag, Jun 12, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2016
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  3. craigandy

    craigandy Regular Member

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    Yeah there are certainly no bad calls, basically a service judge could call any serve anytime and would be right. What would be more interesting to show would be to find any md player that does serve legally.
     
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  4. lawrenca333

    lawrenca333 New Member

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    Please reread what I wrote. I did not say there are, "many bad calls". Rather, I said that the calls are inconsistent. Sometimes they are faulted, and sometimes they are not. Sometimes they are strict, and other times not.

    Curiously, you affirm the accuracy of service judges, yet you concede that service judges, "err on the liberal side of not calling faults one can easily identify in a video replay". I'm puzzled as to why you believe that not calling an obvious fault is NOT a bad call? Certainly not calling a fault serve is just as bad as calling a non-fault serve, no? If not a bad call, certainly it would be an inconsistent application of the service rules, yes?

    Yes, his name is Freek Cox. We will simply have to agree to disagree on the accuracy of his service calls as there is no way to prove it one way or another.

    You say that calibrating for the tallest player is arbitrary, but I do not see that as a valid point since, "below the waist", in general, is just as arbitrary. I do not want new rules for every tournament and I do not quite understand how you deduced that that would be necessary using a fixed height approach. If anything, it standardizes the rules more than they currently are. I'm not suggesting that a different height be set for each tournament depending on who enters. I'm suggesting that a single height be determined that will be standard for all tournaments and all players.

    Yes, this will mean that shorter players are allowed to serve higher up on their body, while taller players serve lower, relative to what part of their body lines up with the standardized fixed height. However, children cannot, as you suggest, serve overhead since the other service rules still apply, (racket pointed in downward direction, for example). I do not see why different players having varying service strike points along their body relative to the proposed fixed height is necessary considered a downside. Please explain.

    Let's take table tennis as an example. The service height is effectively fixed. You can serve as high above the table as you like, but you cannot serve below it. It would be the same in badminton but in reverse. You can serve as low as you like, but you cannot serve above a certain height. I do not think your comment regarding how young players having to relearn their serve with every growth spurt holds, since they will have to relearn it anyway even under the current service rules. As you grow, your, "waist", becomes higher, and your serve can be effectively flatter. The more you grow, the flatter your serve can be. You have to relearn your serve as you grow either way.

    So to sum it up, I do not see what you listed as downsides to be actual disadvantages. On the flip side, there are certainly some benefits. Firstly, the calls can be objectively determined and therefore, consistently applied, AND challenged if a player feels an incorrect call, or non-call, has been made. Secondly, there is no advantage that taller players have over shorter players, because everyone is allowed to serve at the same height, whereas under current service rules, a short player is at a disadvantage since their serve must travel in more of an upward direction, whereas a taller player can play a flatter, faster, serve.

    Two parallel bars are at the same height with one is in front of the other by a short distance. When you bring your eye-level down the correct height, the two bars will line up with each other. Then you can see exactly whether the shuttle is above or below the bars. The parallel bars can be on both right and left sides of the net so the service judge can determine the correct service height for both players/pairs. I don't think a line on the net will work because the service judge is sitting inline with the net and will not be able to see the line across the players while they are serving.

    I haven't read the BWF's plans for automated review of service calls, so maybe it doesn't differ. But as long as the height is not standardized, any automated review is going to be subjective at best.

     
  5. phihag

    phihag Regular Member

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    Oh, I'm sorry, in that case I do agree that calls are inconsistent - but virtually no fault calls are wrong, it's just that some service judges are extremely liberal. However, this can and historically has been "solved" by referees instructing the umpires to be more strict at a given tournament. What did often follow were numerous complaints by fans and players alike.

    Incorrectly calling fault is way more damaging than letting an incorrect serve slide, for a number of reasons:
    • The flow of the game is disrupted by the fault call, especially if both sides are equally close to the line (compare RTTO §1.3)
    • As a fan, I prefer to see rallies, not fault calls. The immediate effect of a stringent policy would be dozens of fault calls per match or even game, and that would be detrimental to the enjoyment of the game (of course, players will likely adjust their serves).
    • Incorrect fault calls will damage the trust of fans and players in technical officials.
    • Incorrect fault calls open up the service judges to allegations of partisanship, whether justified or not
    • The service judge would most likely not have followed RTTO §4.4

    Actually, there is - why don't you post, say, 10 instances of photos where you think he wrongly called and we look at it? With modern technology - even smartphones are good enough - it is quite easy to take excellent pictures. Even the official video stream (especially the BEC ones) sometimes has pictures from service judge eye height.

    Oh, I though you wanted to measure the height of the tallest player entering each tournament. But the tallest player ever is surely a giant. How would you define player in the first place? Somebody with a BWF ranking? The tallest human ever to pick up a Badminton racket?

    While I don't oppose a fixed height approach per se, I'd rather see where most players are serving now, and get to some nice round number? The previous fixed height experiment just said 110cm, which feels about right. Even if it could be determined who the tallest player and hist waist is, and even if that would be somewhere near where we are now (i.e. not 150cm or something crazy like that), I wouldn't want the laws to state a height of 129,52cm, as that would be quite hard to measure as well as hard to explain.

    So the best serve in U11 competitions would now be some kind of drive with the racket arm stretched really high. Players and coaches would have to decide whether they want early good results (say, U13 world championship) or lay a better foundation for their future. I don't think these two goals should ever be in conflict any more than necessary. As it stands now, players use essentially the same technique from U11 to O19, with the added benefit that in the younger classes the serves are not as deadly, thus balancing out the lower reach, slower speed, and worse game knowledge of the receiver. The only aspect that changes as players grow is the angle of the serve shot, something that's quite easy to adjust. In contrast, the drive serve with a very high outstretched arm and hitting the shuttle at head height is very artificial and totally useless for taller players.

    Who would evaluate such a challenge? If you think of an automated system, I'd like to see how accurate an automated system would be able to determine waist height (again, in the context of Badminton a technical term, unrelated to the medical definition of waist).

    How would that work? Surely the rally has to be finished first, and you would not want players to challenge while the shuttle is in play. Who would challenge a rally they won anyways?

    I concur that that is perhaps the most important advantage of a fixed height system. On the other hand, athlete size has always been a factor - taller athletes have other disadvantages.

    I think I can approximately visualize how it would look, but I'm still not sure exactly how it looks and works - especially in Mixed, where the angle is different. Can you post a photo of this contraption? Have you tried/measured it?

    All in all, I still think there are advantages as well as disadvantages of any fixed height, especially when fixing it to who happens to be the tallest player at the moment instead of just saying 110cm. Surely there must be a number of reasons why the previous fixed-height experiment was abandoned. Unfortunately, I did not follow BWF at the time. Does anybody know the final conclusions of the previous experiment?
     
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  6. lawrenca333

    lawrenca333 New Member

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    Yes, and this is the very problem that I mentioned, that the rules are applied inconsistently. I suggest that the main reason for the inconsistency is a lack of objectivity. If the height were standardized then fault calls or non-calls can be objectively determined and service judges can feel more confident that they made the right call and thus, make calls more consistently. I agree that virtually all service fault calls are "correct" given the definition of "waist height", but that is not the problem. The problem is that a lot of the time, many serves that are even higher up on the body are not called, and suddenly the service judge decides to call a lower, (albeit, still too high), serve.

    1) Either the serve is fault or not. If you are suggesting that service judges should let some faults slide because they do not want to disrupt the flow of game or the enjoyment of the fans, then that is what contributes to the inconsistency and distrust of officials. The distrust doesn't just come from nowhere, and in badminton, the problem is systemic.
    2) There have already been cases under current rules where dozens of fault calls were suddenly enforced, in a recent men's doubles match for example. The exact match escapes me, but I believe it was between korea and china where suddenly every other serve was being faulted and the crowd was audibly agitated. It is under current rules that you are more likely to see inconsistencies in service calls.
    3) I still do not agree that non-calls are less damaging. It really depends on who's perspective you are taking. From the players' perspectives, if your fault serve didn't get called, then it's good. But if you were on the receiving end up a, "drive serve", and lost the point as a result, then it is certainly very damaging to your match. Even for the fans, non-calls are very damaging if you were supporting the player(s) who were victimized as a result of a non-call. Everybody ultimately wants fairness above all else.
    I don't have the time to comb through the internet for pictures that could pass for proof or evidence of Freek Cox's service call accuracy. If such photos/vidoes even exist, certainly 10 examples are way too many to ask for. I have, however, personally witnessed him as a service judge at a recent Canadian Open Grand Prix in Richmond (maybe 2012, 2013?) where in the final of men's doubles, he repeatedly called faults, more than any other match all tournament, so I started carefully observing the server. I went through a mental checklist of service rules and they all seemed to be being followed, and sure enough, he called another fault. The crowd got very upset as a result of the repeated fault calls, and to the best of my ability, it did seem as though the serve was legal. It's subjective of course, which is exactly the problem I am bringing up that I believe fixed height would solve.

    I am suggesting, "fixed height", as you call it, not changing the height each tournament depending on who enters. It can be the average height of players with BWF ranking or the highest waist of any player, either is fine, as long as it's fixed height. 110cm? Sure, let's go with that. Just make it consistent.

    Yes, the serve will change as the player grows. This is no different in Table Tennis, where younger players serve with a virtual overhead motion, and yet they all adapt just fine.

    [
    QUOTE="phihag, post: 2471775, member: 115949"]Who would evaluate such a challenge? If you think of an automated system, I'd like to see how accurate an automated system would be able to determine waist height (again, in the context of Badminton a technical term, unrelated to the medical definition of waist).[/QUOTE]

    A camera, or automated review system, as you call it, would review the challenge. It would not need to determine, "waist height", because I am proposing a fixed height service rule change. If it sees the shuttle above the height line, then it's fault. It seems very simple to me. I am saying that it is only with an objective fixed height rule change can challenges to service calls even be possible.
     
  7. lawrenca333

    lawrenca333 New Member

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    This is exactly what happens in tennis as well. Just do what they already do in tennis. Of course no one would challenge a point that they won. I never said that. Of course challenges are for players who have lost a point as a result of a bad call or non-call. My point is that currently, there is no system for such a challenge to even take place, and there should be, because matches have been won and lost as the result of bad calls or non-calls.

    Great, glad we agree on something.

    I have used this technique for leveling in landscape construction. Mythbusters also used this technique for aiming their archimedes death ray. The principle is very simple. If the bars line up, then you are seeing a straight line between those 2 bars, and if both bars are at the same height, then you are effectively seeing a level line. I don't understand what you mean by the angle is different in mixed. Remember, I am proposing a fixed height for ALL players. I am against the subjective and variable, "waist height". The angle would never be different for what I am proposing. Ironically, it is under current rules that the angle of the service judges eyes are always changing depending on the height of the player who's serve is being assessed.
     
  8. phihag

    phihag Regular Member

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    Badminton is different to tennis, where rallies are shorter and the scoring system is totally different. Sorry, I should have been more verbose: I think it is a problem if players can play out the rally and then challenge. For instance, having lost the last rally of a game, players would always challenge - if they're right, they get a point and the game goes on, if they're wrong, they get time to recompose themselves. Also, it would be extremely confusing to the audience if after a long and hard-fought rally the eventual winner is not the one who managed to put the shuttle on the floor.

    Therefore, I am strongly against allowing to challenge a non-fault call. Instead, if the system is automated anyways, why not inform the service judge or umpire in a timely fashion about the system's decision so that they can call fault based on that?
     
  9. lawrenca333

    lawrenca333 New Member

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    I would suggest that the receiving player can challenge the non-call if they stop play and request a challenge before they strike the shuttle a second time, since the first strike is oftentimes instinctual. If they strike a second time, then play continues. There is a rule in tennis that is very similar to this.

    They cannot always challenge if they lose a point since they have a limited number of incorrect challenges. That wouldn't change.

    Regarding the automated system, it would only be reviewed if a player challenges the call or non-call, exactly the same as line calls.

    So far in this discussion, I have been referring to them as "non-calls", but technically speaking, they are also calls. By not calling fault, a service judge declares that s/he has deemed it a legal serve. I actually feel that non-calls should be able to be reviewed as well since games have been won and lost because of them. At 9:35 of this video for example:



    If the service judge was correct, then no one would complain, but if the judge was wrong, then one player(s) would have been robbed of the match. I think that's pretty important. It's multiple incidents like those shown in the video that rightly or wrongly, make players and fans question the officials' decisions. All that can be solved with fixed height coupled with a service call review system. I do think it's a bit naive to believe that service judges never make mistakes. Humans make mistakes and I would say the above video does indeed show some questionable calls and non-calls, but without an objective measure, like fixed height, everything becomes subjective, or, "academic", as Gill Clark is so fond of saying.
     
  10. phihag

    phihag Regular Member

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    Again, tennis works quite differently, not to mention at a vastly slower pace. In Badminton, the first shot is often crucial for the rest of the rally, so players would have two free rallies where they not they're in a bad position and challenge immediately. Also, this would be a nightmare to umpire - you'd probably need a challenge system to evaluate whether the challenge was in time.

    But is this really a fault? Here is the frame where the shuttle was hit:

    [​IMG]

    Looking at the right arm, this looks fine to me, not a violation at all.

    I'm not sure what you mean - there is currently no automated system for line calls in Badminton I am aware of. Can you elaborate which system you mean? I only know HawkEye's IRS (used in the SuperSeries and the like at the moment), and that's not automated at all.
     
    #10 phihag, Jul 3, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2016
  11. lawrenca333

    lawrenca333 New Member

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    Maybe it was, maybe it wasn't. Who knows? My point is that it's subjective. Camera angles can severely affect how heights are perceived as well. Where is his lowest rib? I dunno. Do you? If there was a calibrated review system with fixed height, then the question of whether it was too high could be definitively answered. Currently, service judges have to guess/assume where a player's lowest rib is, hardly an objective way to tell if it was a fault serve or not.

    Ok, I wasn't sure what u meant by automated system. I mean to use cameras mounted at the fixed service height that can clearly show whether the shuttle is or is not above the fixed height line for the purposes of review in the event of a challenge.
     
  12. lawrenca333

    lawrenca333 New Member

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    Regarding my earlier comment about challenging non-calls, I believe I adequately addressed your concern already. I said that a receiving player can challenge a non-call if he stops play before he or his partner strikes the shuttle a second time. I acknowledged that the first shot is instinctive, so a player can still challenge a non-call after the first receive, but not after s/he has struck the shuttle a second time.

    As I mentioned before, there is already a rule in Tennis that is very similar to this so my point is that we wouldn't be inventing anything new. It is something that is already implemented in a similar sport and we would merely be adopting it for ours, so the resistance to it should be reduced.
     
    #12 lawrenca333, Jul 3, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2016
  13. CantSmashThis

    CantSmashThis Regular Member

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    Fresh off the press this morning:

    After the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, experiments will be run on fixed-
    height serving by using technology such as HawkEye to try to resolve
    the matter.
     
    #13 CantSmashThis, Jul 29, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2016
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  14. lawrenca333

    lawrenca333 New Member

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    This is good news :) Please post updates of the experiments as you come to know them.

     
  15. Dimo

    Dimo Regular Member

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    You could resolve the whole issue by having an overhead serve from the rear tramline using a smash, drop or clear. That would make the service much more interesting :eek:
     
  16. lurker

    lurker Regular Member

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    if u guys noticed, for service faults there would be no slow mo replays
     
  17. opikbidin

    opikbidin Regular Member

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    just like Tennis
     
  18. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    What might be quite helpful would be the service judge to review with each player their defined (according to BWF) maximum height of serve at the beginning of each match.
     
  19. druss

    druss Regular Member

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    Make everyone play topless so you can see the lowest rib???
     
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  20. ucantseeme

    ucantseeme Regular Member

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    IMO I have seen sometimes decisions which were not equal with my own impression with the respect that I could also been wrong. Umpires, service judges and line judges are all humans and are prone to fail sometimes. Even the hawk eye is not the real deal of beeing 100% accurate.

    I understand all problems, but any solution without many hightech solution around the court wouldn't lead to better calls. Must we have better calls?

    I'm not a fan of soccer, but have seen that the referee always get the blame from the players and fans. That's natural and I count it in. Sometimes you are unlucky, but both players in Badminton will be unlucky nearly equal when the service judge is a bit too strictly.

    When you played at tournaments or league games, you will often have a guy or girl who do service faults on regular base. Most annoying to me was a guy who did Sidek services in a tournament or players who swip at chest height. After lecturing them nearly a douzen times, it was unsucessful to made them change their services. Also a few people run before I hit my service, which is also a fault, but at my level it is impossible to change it. I just tell them their mistakes and can't do anything than hoping they will change.

    With all respect to the pro level of badminton, we must accept that there will always be mistakes. Also we lower level players are punished by faults in a different manner. IMO it belongs to badminton in every level, just in a different manner.
     
    #20 ucantseeme, Sep 19, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2016
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