Doubles play

Doubles play in badminton is men's doubles, women's doubles and mixed doubles. This fragment is about men's and women's doubles, and partly mixed.

In talking about playing badminton, doubles play is often placed against singles play.
The similarity between doubles and singles play though is very great, which can be seen on a first glance at a match.
Similarities are the clear and obvious appearances like the court with net, the shuttle steered from the one side to the other, the players moving and hitting and paying efforts. Opponents are being tried to out-place by well placed or fast strokes. The own side has to be well defended constantly.

Badminton techniques and physical condition are just adapted to the kind of play. Quicker and subtler techniques and condition are used in doubles.
Tactics are just adapted too. Placing more along the whole court in singles, quicker and more forcing in doubles.

Similar to singles, but just adapted, is also the vision on playing doubles.
As in singles, should a player in doubles keep the oversight over the whole court, that is over his own half court together with the opponents half court.
And for playing the shuttle then, it's important to see the positions and stance of the oponents. Are they efficiently sharing their defense of their side?

Sharing the defense of the court by two partners leads to many discussions.
As a spectator, from outside the court, the doubles pair is seen as a team which shares their court in an organized way, and therefore take certain positions. And that team-feeling might arise to the players also when playing with a good understanding and empathy from both partners.
But a team consists of two individuals. During play, each of them has to look around, choose positions and place the shuttle.
To share his court, an individual doubles player bears in mind the oversight over the court and then chooses his positions as he thinks they are efficient.
Within this oversight over his half court, a doubles player chooses a position reckoning with some tactical advanteges.
-Best is to take the shuttle early when it returns from the other side, to be able to place it again as difficultly as possible.
-The own court is shared. An estimated part of the space is left to the partner. Control of the whole court stays nevertheless.
-Positions are changing constantly. They are being adjusted to the partner's position, and anticipating on the returning of the shuttle from the other side.
-A doubles player reacts very consistently with his partner. He moves exactly together with him.
-The shuttle arrives from the other side and will be hit back there. Being aware of that helps a player to position himself. Can he go to the net, leaving his partner the rear-half, or can he better get back from the net and aside, leaving then the other side-half to his partner. It depends how the shuttle might return from the other side, controlable at the net or not.

An almost same position on court can be a very different tactical position; for example, from the middle of the court must sometimes be covered the front area with a part of the rear court, and sometimes the rear area with a part of the net area. It depends on the corner in which the partner is difficultly positioned.
Anticipation is very important. When the shuttle has been struck into the other side, to catch the shuttle well and early, an efficient sharing of the court is needed. And when the partner is going to strike the shuttle, already an anticipating position is taken by the player. A good habit is to constantly cover the whole court, and not to wait with moving till it appears to be really necessary.

Several systems have been developed to cover the cout efficiently. For example, side by side positions when playing the shuttle high into the opponents' rear court and front and back positions when playing the shuttle downwards into the opponents' court.
These rules are taken from practice. They might a little help to organize the play. But they should not substitute for the own spontaneous play by looking around, constantly reacting on the situation and developing insights.