Serve advantage in the modern mixed doubles game

Discussion in 'Techniques / Training' started by Ruffle, Sep 7, 2012.

  1. Ruffle

    Ruffle Regular Member

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    I've been watching the Olympics (no comment, please, about match throwing :mad:) and as a previous Scottish Badminton Coach I've noticed something different when it comes to mixed doubles court positioning - at least, different from the days when I did a rotten job of coaching players and coaches. Isn't it interesting that all these old mantras about how to play Badminton have been totally discredited? I really wish that I could go back and do a better job, and shoot my coach instructors at the same time (except that most of them are probably dead by now - see, I'm old) - and there will be coaches out there who feel that about me too: it's really embarrassing.

    In "the old days" in the mixed game, the toss winners would choose "serve" and their lady would do the honours, always serving to the opposing lady. In level doubles, in my experience, you always placed your strongest player in the right court, and I've always found that difference to be strange.

    However, now that we have rally point scoring (which all clubs at all levels have apparently adopted, despite the sad lack of TV cameras in the vicinity, despite the fact that TV coverage was the reason for this change) it seems that a tactical modification of player position is now the norm. That modification is that, on first serve, the toss winning lady (no comment :)) will serve to the opposing gent, rather than to the opposing lady. I assume that this is because the initial receivers want to ensure that, once they have acquired service rights (in which case the serve will come from the left court), it will be the lady to serve.

    Why do they want that?
     
  2. alexh

    alexh Regular Member

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    I always assumed it was because they wanted the man to return serve first. The men, being generally taller, are usually able to play a more aggressive return. In the Good Old Days (?), the man would usually cover the rear court after they returned serve, making it difficult to step forwards and play an attacking return. With the faster paced modern game, the women are more prepared to cover the rear, and therefore the men are more prepared to step forward and attack at the net when they get the chance.

    (Just my own thoughts. I've never asked a stronger player or a coach about this.)

    (For what it's worth, there's still one club here in South Australia using the old scoring system.)
     
  3. MSeeley

    MSeeley Regular Member

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    I believe you are correct: they want the lady to serve. Why? They will already thus be in their strongest aggressive formation, with the man at the back/midcourt and the lady looking to dominate the forecourt. I know this can still be achieve on the mans serve, but in general its a bit more tricky/at risk from a good return.

    As a slight aside, Kim Dong Moon is the best male player of mixed doubles I have ever seen. Watch the 2003 Mixed Doubles World Championship final - its a cracker!
     
  4. bbirdman

    bbirdman Regular Member

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    So in mixed you can choose before a game commences who goes right and left.
    I always thought it was a rule, not a tactic, that at the beginning women served to women.
     
  5. MSeeley

    MSeeley Regular Member

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    It is the same as in level doubles - whoever wants to serve first serve to whoever wants to receive first. However - whoever serves will pick the woman (because of the advantage I spoke of) and the receiving side will often pick the man.

    I will say that I don't think there is an advantage in who returns - its just who serves next that is important i.e. the return of serve of the man and woman are equal - the man probably has better "reach" on return so may be able to take the shuttle earlier, but will then have to retreat from the net to get into the favoured formation. The woman however would be in the forecourt after her return, which is an advantage because she can impose herself on the net.

    These are just my thoughts on mixed - I am sure others have differing opinions!
     
  6. Staiger1

    Staiger1 Regular Member

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    ok, lets not get too carry away. So if I win the toss, I always want the lady partner to serve first as they will be in a more ready position at the front. But if I loss the toss , I want to recieve first as I will be more aggresive with the return ; In addition, she will serve first
     
  7. MSeeley

    MSeeley Regular Member

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    Exactly :)
     

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