2023 Badminton…One More Thing….

Thanks to videotape (or more technically recording) I was able to breakdown more details in the doubles state championship match. Specifically, I was looking at where the racquet contacted the bird. I divided the space between right and left plus a rough measure of height—like upper (above the shoulders); middle (between shoulders and midthigh) and lower (below midthigh). In the middle the racquet face would be towards the net; on the lower range the racquet face would be towards the ceiling.

So here is the raw count:

Area Total Winners errors %W %E
Right Upper 126 41 13 32.5 10.3
Right Mid 61 10 19 16.4 31.1
Right Lower 43 3 11 7.0 25.6
Left Upper 35 2 1 5.7 2.9
Left Mid 65 3 14 4.6 21.5
Left Lower 36 2 6 5.6 16.7

The obvious and clear winner is shots taken from the upper right. 32.5% of the time it would lead directly to a point. All the winners (41) dominated the other five locations by better than two to one (20). It is obvious that one should not put the bird in a position where the opponent can utilize this shot. The area that seemed to suffer the most was the middle zone with right and left combining for 33 points. That is two more points than the lower and upper combined.

What about the teams? I just used Johnson and Edina and did not break it down specifically to the individuals. Fortuitously the numbers for the right upper came out exactly the same—63 each. That is where the similarities end.

School Total W E %W %E
Johnson 63 25 4 39.7 6.3
Edina 63 16 9 25.4 14.3

As you can see the Governors pounced when presented with juicy birds on the upper right to a score of 39.7%, 14.3 ahead of the Hornets. A word about the error portion: perhaps there was no contact—a no go—I extrapolated from the recording on what a player in the proper position would use and then tag that team with the result.

The currency of badminton is the upper right corner. Teams at the top of the pyramid have that skill down. It is a matter of sending the bird to the mid-section or lower that will provide more success.

What about the shot right before the upper right? Any clues on what will be coming, or what sets up the “winner.”

Area Total Set up %
Right Upper 126 10 7.9
Right Mid 61 5 8.2
Right Lower 43 7 16.3
Left Upper 35 3 8.6
Left Mid 65 7 10.8
Left Lower 36 9 25.0

Here the resounding answer and preferred strategy would be to send the bird to the opponent’s lower left. 25% of the time that would lead to an opportunity to use the upper right which would lead to a score. The next best would be the lower right. Teams that can master this and take advantage of this information will rule the state.

It must be noted that this is just one match analysis. My guess is it would hold up if there were a bigger sample. Maybe even the numbers would skew higher. Remember this was a championship match between #1 and #2 teams. Would this also hold true in singles?  My guess is yes. It would take video to verify.

One other item…I looked at movement timing. We are talking the difference of 0.2 seconds prior to a move resulting in a loss of a point. Awareness would help. Playing more badminton would cure any lag time.

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