What are the four types of serves in badminton?

A serve in badminton is made in the box diagonal to the server’s box on the returner’s side of the court. In a previous article we have already covered the rules and regulations that must be followed to land a legal serve. This article details the four basic types of serves that professional badminton players use.

Low serve
The low serve or a short serve is a neutral serve wherein the shuttle narrowly passes over the net and land near the short service line. It forces the opponent to hit a defensive lofted shot and helps the server gain a commanding offensive position. However, one needs to remember the fine margin of error involved in this type of serve. This serve gained popularity in the men’s singles game where high serves are often returned with strong smashes.


High serve

The high serve or the long serve is projected in a manner that the shuttle lands in the back court of the receiver. This serve is exclusive to the forehand wing and hence makes it a predictable for the returner by simply seeing the stance of the server. A high serve is challenging as the player needs to generate considerable strength to make an effective return from that far from the court. It is more commonly used in women’s singles. Coaches recommend that this serve should be opted for when the returner is exhausted or has to be forced to play with more power in order to drain him or her.


Flick serve
A flick serve is done by combining the best elements of the low serve and the high serve. While the stance of the low serve and the flick serve are similar, the pace of the shuttle is more than the high serve. It takes a lot of wrist work and proper thumb positioning on the racquet to generate an effective “flick” of the shuttle. This serve is more commonly used in doubles than in singles.


Drive Serve
A drive serve is targeted at the body of the opponent. It is used as a surprise tactic when the opponent has got well adapted to the low serves. The drive serve does not allow the opponent any room to get into a commanding return position. Thus, it results in a mishit or ineffective return. The goal of this serve is thus to not allow the returner any time to execute a return.
The four fundamental serves are dexterous in their own and must be tactically used during the course of the match.

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