In Tennis, as well as in squash and table tennis, this is the standard. In most other racquet sports, serving overhand is quite acceptable. In racquet sports, a successful service can be decisive.
When learning how to play Badminton, most people’s first inclination is to try serving under their arm. Since the shuttlecock must travel across the net, an underarm serve seems to make the most sense.
It does pose the question, though: It Is Illegal To Use Overhand Shots in Badminton? Since the BWF updated the rules in 2018, players can choose between two different sets of regulations. the novel and competing set of norms.
With the new set of rules, overhand serves are completely out of the question. While it is technically possible under the new ruleset, doing so is not advisable.
In that case, where exactly do you look in the Badminton regulations to find the prohibition on overhand serving? And how do these new rules compare to the others? Come on, let’s take a better look.
In Accordance With the Serving Guidelines
The BWF statutes include information on how to serve in Badminton. The regulations may appear daunting to a first-time player, but in practise, they prove to be intuitive.
Both the server and the receiver benefit from a level playing field, thanks to a set of rules that govern the serving process. Only those that are directly relevant to the matter at hand, the reasons why you can’t serve overhand, will be discussed here.
The BWF now offers two separate rulebooks detailing the regulations for the sport of badminton. Both the current collection of regulations and a proposed set of new rules. There was a change in the laws regarding service in March of 2018, which led to this.
It used to be that the full shuttle had to be below the server’s waist when the racket made contact, but that was modified in 9.1.6.a. A server’s waist is defined as “an imaginary line circumferentially drawn at the level of the server’s lowest rib.”
First and foremost, the shuttlecock must be below your waist when serving, which means you cannot do so overhand.
Second, law 9.1.6.b was left out of the revision, which stated that “the shaft and the racket head of the server’s racket at the instant of hitting the shuttle shall be oriented in a downward direction.” Because of this regulation, overhand serves are no longer permitted.
These two regulations are now part of the Badminton alternate set of rules. The rest of the Laws of Badminton remain in effect, and only the provisions herein that directly relate to those issues are null and void.
As of the moment the shuttle is struck by the server’s racket, the whole thing must be no more than 1.15 metres above the court surface, under the new Rule 9.1.6. Since 1.15 metres may be measured, the validity of the rule is now in question. The fact that everyone has a distinctive waist size is a source of contention in contests.
The law that specifies “the flight of the shuttle shall be upward from the server’s racket to pass above the net so that, if not intercepted, it shall fall in the receiver’s service court (i.e. on or inside the boundary lines)” remains in effect.
Another difficulty with overhand serving is that the shuttlecock must first move upward. To serve overhand and not break this rule is nearly impossible.
Whence Come Such Stifling Regulations?
These regulations are aimed to ensure that both the server and the receiver have an equal chance to win the first point of the rally. In the absence of such safeguards, the server would constantly have an unfair edge and effectively destroy the game.
If a player is not allowed to serve overarm, for instance, they cannot use the unreturnable smash as their serve from the net. The server directs the shuttle upwards in accordance with the legislation, but the receiver decides when and how to fire a response.
Providing good service should make it challenging, if not impossible, to return. And if the service is unsatisfactory, the customer has the opportunity to take charge.
The S-serve was created by the Malaysian brothers Rashid and Misbun Sidek in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Both as players and instructors, they have earned a place in Badminton folklore.
The two created the S-serve, which was subsequently outlawed by the BWF for being unfair. The shuttlecock’s feathers, not its cork, were used to deliver the serve.
The shuttlecock would spin wildly and act unpredictably as it approached the net if this happened. As a result, it was quite difficult to go back. As a result, the BWF instituted a regulation requiring players to first hit the shuttlecock’s base.
It Is Illegal To Use Overhand Shots in Badminton
Only at the highest levels of Badminton do the serving regulations differ. The alternate set of regulations stipulates that the head and shaft of the server’s racquet must be visibly facing downwards during service.
Simply put, that rules out an overhand serve. On the other hand, the new set of rules does not include that particular regulation.
As a result of this omission, serving overhand is now technically allowed provided the shuttle is struck at a height of less than 1.15 metres from the ground.
Since sitting or lying down is required for an overhand serve, it is easy to see why this regulation was overlooked. Taking the photo from above would be a viable option. The concept seems good in theory, but when put into practise, it looks absurd and offers little benefit to the shuttle’s upward journey.
As a result, technically, you could, but I highly doubt anyone actually does.