Winning a game of badminton doubles is no easy feat. With four players on the court, you’ll need incredible speed, skill, and teamwork to protect your side from lightning-fast attacks.
This is why it’s so important to have a solid understanding of badminton doubles positioning. But if you’re new to the world of doubles, you might be wondering, “What are the best ways to defend my court? And where should my teammate and I stand when we’re being attacked?”
Below, we’ll cover five badminton positioning tips to improve your doubles defense — from basic placement to other factors that can help you win the game.
Badminton Positioning Tips for Doubles Defense
When your team is on the defense, your exact positioning will depend on a few things — like the pace of the rally, your opponents’ playstyle, and your starting point. So, how exactly can you and your partner work together to best protect your court?
Here are the five best badminton positioning tips to keep in mind:
1. Adopt a Side-by-Side Formation
You might already know that the doubles attack formation involves one player standing closer to the frontcourt, and one person closer to the back. But when your opponents are on the offense, you’ll need to adopt a side-by-side position.
The offensive front-and-back position can leave wide open spaces on the left and right sides of your court, making it much harder to protect your tramlines and side court areas.
On the other hand, side-by-side placement can make it easier to defend against attacking shots. Whether your opponents choose a drop shot, smash, or clear, this positioning gives you the best odds of reaching the shuttle before it hits the ground.
2. Know When to Shift Your Position
Although you’ll be side-by-side in a defensive formation, your precise location will depend on the situation at hand. For example, if your opponent is setting up for a potential crosscourt attack, you’ll want your team to be able to protect the most vulnerable court areas.
In this scenario, the straight-across teammate would want to stand closer to their tramline. At the same time, the crosscourt teammate should move slightly closer to the centerline — and perhaps a step or so closer to the net. This formation gives you the best chances of defending against a drop shot or smash.
Of course, it could leave a gap open for your opponent to attempt a far crosscourt smash. But because their shot would need to cover so much distance, you’d likely have plenty of time to defend against it.
3. Assume Defensive Positioning After High, Weak Shots
So, when should you get into your defensive badminton positioning?
In general, you’ll want to get into your defensive formation right after hitting a weak shot, like a lift or high clear. These are the times when you can expect your opponent to move in for a smash — and by anticipating their attack ahead of time, you can give yourself more time to protect your court.
4. Remember That Defense Is Teamwork
All parts of badminton doubles require an immense amount of collaboration, and it’s no different when it comes to your defense. So, remember to move as a team, covering the court in a way that complements your teammate’s positioning.
For example, if your teammate moves closer to their tramline, you’ll want to move up and slightly towards the middle to cover their open areas. And if you move further back and towards the side, they should do the same.
Beyond that, remember that communication is key. Be sure to talk with your partner about potential strategies before a match, encourage them while you play, and trust that they will do their part.
5. Master Your Defensive Stance
Finally, don’t forget to jump into your defensive stance once you’re in formation. This will help you be better prepared to protect against smashes and other attacking shots.
Here’s what the stance looks like:
- Bend your knees slightly, with your legs spaced a bit further than hip-width apart.
- Stand with your feet in line with each other, and your toes pointed slightly outward. This front-on stance is the easiest way for beginners to start learning doubles defense, but you may need to adjust your foot placement depending on the situation.
- Hold your racket in front of your body using your backhand grip, with your hand high up on the handle. This will give you better control when hitting a block, lift, or drive.
More Ways To Improve Your Doubles Game
Doubles can lead to some of the most intense, rewarding badminton matches out there — and if you’ve been looking for ways to improve your doubles skills, you’re not alone.
Luckily, we have resources that can help. Check out our complete guide on the best badminton doubles strategies today, or subscribe to the Badminton Justin YouTube channel for tips, tutorials, and more to level up your game.