What is a spin serve and why did BWF ban it?


May 29 2023
Badminton Spin Serve

The Badminton World Federation believes the spin serve has far too many similarities with the ‘Sidek’ serve.

BWF has announced that it has banned the much-discussed spin serve, proposing an experimental variation of the Laws of Badminton forbidding the use of spin in service of any kind. The law also compulsions the server’s racket to hit the base of the shuttle. Failing to abide by the two laws will result in a fault declared.

So, what is this new spin serve, and why is it banned? Let’s try to understand:

What is a spin serve?

The spin serve in question was first said to be implemented by Denmark’s doubles player Marcus Rindshoj in the Polish Open 2023 last month. The service, as shown in the YouTube video, needs a right-handed player to hold the shuttlecock in a certain way and hit it in a certain way to get the maximum advantage out of it.

A player will need to hold the shuttlecock by the cork in between the thumb and middle finger of his left hand and spin it anticlockwise while serving. Without giving the shuttlecock much time to fall, the server has to hit it with the racquet, thus, giving it a rotation while on its path towards the receiver.

Why has the BWF banned it on an interim basis?

This service falls very close to the net, thus leaving the receivers with only two options, as explained in the YouTube video. The receiver will either have to return it short as soon as possible, which requires a high skill set. Or they can wait for the shuttlecock to stop spinning and hit it low.

The problem in both these instances is that the receiver will have no control over the trajectory of his return, thus, conceding points far too often than he or she would like. The quicker returns frequently meet the net. And the returns that need the receiver to wait for the shuttlecock to stop spinning, in most instances, land out of the court. This makes the service unplayable and gives an unfair advantage to the server.

Indian Sports Live Coverage on Khel Now

What did the BWF say?

BWF believes the service has far too many similarities with the ‘Sidek’ serve or the S-serve, a service made popular by the Malaysian badminton superstar brothers in the 80s. Acting quickly on the matter, BWF put a temporary pause on the use of the service, ensuring it doesn’t disrupt the competition.

BWF President Poul-Erik Høyer said of the decision: “BWF welcomes players creating innovation in our game and experimenting with techniques to create competitive advantage on the court.

“However, we have received several points of feedback from within the badminton community, including the BWF Athletes’ Commission, expressing that this ‘spin serve’ could have a negative impact on the game.

“It’s also been observed internally that this ‘spin serve’ has many similar characteristics to the ‘Sidek serve’, which is not allowed.

“An expert panel, therefore, recommended disallowing the ‘spin serve’ until further consultation could take place with the membership at the upcoming BWF AGM on 27 May 2023.

“BWF also wanted to avoid a scenario where the upcoming TotalEnergies BWF Sudirman Cup Finals 2023, and other international tournaments, could be platforms to test the new ‘spin serve’ and ultimately disrupt the competitions.

“As such, BWF Council felt it best to impose this experimental variation to disallow the ‘spin serve’ until BWF Council convenes again on 29 May for further discussion and deliberation.”

For more updates, follow Khel Now on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram and join our community on Telegram.

Khel Now Logo
© 2023
Agnificent Platform Technologies Pte. Ltd.