The importance of the serve cannot be stressed enough! It sets the tone for the whole game and a poor serve can give your opponent the upper hand at the start of the rally. You don’t want to do that. To gain the upper hand within the match, it’s important to start with a good serve.

Before knowing how to serve and the different types of serves in Badminton, it is important to know where to stand when you are serving. While serving, you should stand towards the center line, as close as possible. If you stand directly behind the short service line, as close as possible, then the receiver has less time to react to your serve (because it crosses the net sooner). But this also lets the shuttlecock to be rising to the highest point on the opponent’s side, which makes it easier to attack. Else, you can stand one small step back from the service line. This will help the trajectory of the shuttlecock to not take a full curve and makes the shuttlecock travel downwards when it passes onto the other side. But because you are standing farther from the net, the receiver has more time to react.

In singles, players serve diagonally from one service box to another one, alternating between the left and right side of the court as points are won.
The server always serves from the right-hand box at the start of a game and when they have an even number of points.

They serve from the left-hand court when they have an odd number variety of points.
In doubles, the player on the right always start the serve and, when a point is won, the players switch sides and the server then serves from the left, continuing to alternate until a serve is lost.

Advantages of a Good Serve

  • Ability to strategize your serve
  • Coordinate with your partner effectively to prepare for the next shot
  • Put the opponent into a disadvantaged position
  • Confidence in your game
  • Able to anticipate the next shot

Following are the Basic Serving Rules

1. Stand within a service court, not touching any boundary lines.
2. Serve from right to left if your score is an even no. & vice versa.
3. Do not lift your feet off the ground during the serve.
4. Hit each shot from below your waist.
5.Vary your serves so they won’t be predictable

Types of Serve

There are the four main types of services in badminton and most can be executed with either your forehand or backhand.

Types of serve

Low serve

The low serve is played gently to over the net to land at the front of your opponent’s service court, near the short service line. It’s important that this serve passes low over the net. A low serve is used in both singles and doubles. In doubles, the low serve is used more frequently than any other serve.

High serve

The high serve is played powerfully to upwards direction so that the shuttlecock travels high & falls almost vertically downwards direction at the back of the receiver’s service court. High serves are used frequently in singles, but never in doubles. A high serve can only be played with a forehand action. Unlike the other three serves, you just won’t get enough power from a backhand to play a good high serve.

Flick serve

The flick serve is also played upwards, but much more shallowly than the high serve. The idea is to waste the opponent of your time, forcing him to hit the shuttlecock when it’s behind his body. Flick serves are used extensively in doubles, and occasionally in singles.

Drive serve

The drive serve is played flat and quick towards the back of the receiver’s service court, passing low over the net. The idea is to provoke on a spot reaction, hoping that the receiver will mishit the shuttlecock. Drive serves are a gamble: if your opponent is too slow, then you will win the point immediately; but if he reacts quickly enough, then you are likely to lose.
Drive serves are almost never used by professional players, because their opponents are quick enough to counter-attack the serve consistently. At low levels of play, drive serves are used extensively by competitive players, because many opponents are unable to handle them.

Each of these serves can be played with different angles: Straight, Wide, or at the Receiver.

A straight serve is directed down the center line. This is especially effective for low serves.
A wide serve is directed towards the outer side of lines. Wide serving is used most often in doubles, where the court is wider and the server can aim for somewhere place in the tramlines.
Some wide serves, especially backhands, are technically difficult and require extra practice.
Serving at the receiver is mainly useful for low serves, where the receiver may be unsure whether to play a forehand or backhand reply.

Now that you have determined the type of serve you want to make, here are four tips on how to execute these serve well.

1. Keep Your Feet Still

During the services, some part of both your feet must be in contact with the ground for it to be a legal serve.

2. Disguise Your Shots

Make sure your stroke is equal up to the point of contact with the shuttle. This will make your serve possible to predict only at the last possible second. Advanced players can try to trick their opponent by making it deliberately look like you are leaning back and about to do a high serve when you are really going to do a low serve.

3. Observe Your Opponents Position

Is your opponent’s leaning towards the back already anticipating a high serve to the rear-court? In that case, you might need to execute a low serve to find him off-guard. Continuously know about the situation of your opponent. Attempt to imagine what he’s expecting and do the opposite to gain an advantage.

4. Mix Up Your Serves

Using just 1 type of service will make you very easy to predict. Make sure you incorporate at least 2 types of serves into your play. Once you have mastered the basic high and low serves, you can learn the flick and drive serves to add more dimension to your play.

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