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View Full Version : How do you signal to your doubles partner?


NE1for10is?
01-29-2012, 07:58 AM
Partner you have never played with:

Normally I don't use signals at all with a new partner, because I have found that unless I know the partner it can be too complicated and get in his head when he's serving, however during a USTA playoff match yesterday I realized it would have made me more effective at net if I had at least been able to know in advance where the serve was going.

Partner you are used to playing with:

What hand signals do you use for direction of the serve, poaching, faking?

Who does the signaling the server or the net man?

If the net man does the signaling how do you signal, but still allow the server to call his own shots?

NE1for10is?
01-29-2012, 08:24 AM
I'm not one to answer my own post normally, but I just found this after I started the thread:

http://capecodtennislessons.blogspot.com/2009/07/doubles-hand-signals.html

It's what I used to use with my previous doubles partner, except he didn't like getting the middle finger for a body serve...

goran_ace
01-29-2012, 08:55 AM
Just a personal preference, but I prefer verbal communication over signals to avoid miscommunication, especially since I don't have a regular doubles partner right now. Obviously nothing said loud enough for the other team to hear, but for example if I'm at the net and my partner is serving, I'll usually hand the balls to my partner (instead of bouncing or throwing it to him) or give him a fist bump and just tell him, e.g. 'out wide, look for the fake' or 'down the T, I'm going'

papa
01-29-2012, 05:34 PM
Serve signals can become rather complicated/complex depending on the players involved. Verbal signals are effective but can waste time/irrate the oponents.

I like the two part behind the back type signal (net man does the signals and the server, says ok or no (if he doesn't want that plan - locationor poach intention). Anyway, first signal can be whether the net man intends to poach while the second signal can be location (left, right down the middle/jam). So, on each set of signals (each serve) you have two acknowledgements - like ok, ok. If server doesn't like the plan, he might say ok, no - net man gives him a different location.

Signals use various fingers but you have to be aware if signals are being stolen and quickly signaled back to receiving team. In these cases, verbal signals are the only answer.

One basic thing on signals is that the server has to make sure he acknolodges with the same words - remember a situation once when the net man answered with a different word depending on whether they were going to poach which we quickly picked up on. Server and net man also have to be careful not to give away their intentionn by changing their respective positions even a little or holding the racquet a little differently - opponents pick up this stuff quickly.

LeeD
01-30-2012, 10:36 AM
Server cannot signal his netman.
Reterner cannot signal his netman.
Only the netperson can SIGNAL the baseliner. Use your oft hand behind your back.

papa
01-31-2012, 04:33 AM
Server cannot signal his netman.
Reterner cannot signal his netman.
Only the netperson can SIGNAL the baseliner. Use your oft hand behind your back.

Well, it can also be verbal & there are a few that prefere to turn around and signal - the majority signal like Lee says. At higher levels the quick "face to face" chats work well - often both serves are discussed.

Whatever system you use make sure you fully understand the intentions & location instruction being signaled. Nothing quite like playing a match and discovering you and partner wern't on the same sheet of music - so, review them prior to hitting the court.

Some don't like to signal partner & feel more comfortable that way - don't agree but you'll see it.

LuckyR
01-31-2012, 03:56 PM
Partner you have never played with:

Normally I don't use signals at all with a new partner, because I have found that unless I know the partner it can be too complicated and get in his head when he's serving, however during a USTA playoff match yesterday I realized it would have made me more effective at net if I had at least been able to know in advance where the serve was going.

Partner you are used to playing with:

What hand signals do you use for direction of the serve, poaching, faking?

Who does the signaling the server or the net man?

If the net man does the signaling how do you signal, but still allow the server to call his own shots?

For first time partners, a conversation before the match about preferences and tendencies when poaching and in the match conversation about serve location is the max I will usually do in a match I care about.

LeeD
01-31-2012, 04:07 PM
HOW indeed.
Netman uses his oft hand to point to a poach, fist for staying.
Backcourt player cannot signal to his netman, unless you go into complicated dances and motions to disquise and confuse...them and your partner.

papa
02-01-2012, 05:42 AM
HOW indeed.
Netman uses his oft hand to point to a poach, fist for staying.
Backcourt player cannot signal to his netman, unless you go into complicated dances and motions to disquise and confuse...them and your partner.

Well, as net man, if I indicate with server that I'm going and he says NO, then he is communicating with me and I have to give him another signal - even if he acknowledges/approves and says OK, he is still comunicating.

The intention to poach should/can also include location which is important.

LeeD
02-01-2012, 08:32 AM
Netman can always acknowledge, since opposition doesn't know what netman signaled.
Server should not SAY OUTLOUD, "do not poach". He can say no, he can say yes.

BaboFan
02-01-2012, 03:31 PM
For placing serve (left hand):
pinky only: serve where pinky points
thumb: serve where thumb points
middle finger: body serve (HIT THE GUY!)

poach/no:
1 finger/ all fingers: poach
2 finger/ shake all fingers: fake
fist: no poach

LeeD
02-01-2012, 04:04 PM
Too much info, too little time, for anyone not a librarian. Consultation before serving is better.

papa
02-02-2012, 04:24 AM
Too much info, too little time, for anyone not a librarian. Consultation before serving is better.

Well, the bottom line is that your probably right. I watched a pro match yesterday and a combination of the two (verbal & hand signals) were constitently used.

Larrysümmers
02-02-2012, 06:29 AM
rock is stay, paper is poach, scissors is fake poach but stay. this is our hurry up offence or if things are going smoothly. when things arnt looking so good, we verbaly communicate to discuss tactics.

sphinx780
02-02-2012, 07:18 AM
New Partner: I ask if they're comfortable with signals. If so, great because it does cut down time between points and personally keeps me more aggressive at net. If not, then we just talk it out.

Old Partner: I play with different guys on the same team and we keep it 1,2,3 (T, body, wide) and open hand, fist (poach, stay), fake at will.

We always talk about which side of the player to locate the body serve though, most players that's backhand but it's about finding which one will lead to our best point position.

Usually use changeover to discuss any changes to the plan but if a game's going bust up, then it's time to have a little chit chat and get the server working to his wheelhouse.

wings56
02-02-2012, 07:27 AM
i use the signals from the link posted by the OP. with the addition of waving fingers to signal a fake. also, middle finger and thumb to signal body/backhand for a right handed player. signal made with left hand

Nellie
02-02-2012, 08:01 AM
I play that the net person calls the play - when I am at the net, I use:

(1) An open hand means I am poaching. If I am poaching, server needs to aim down the T or at body.

(2) A closed fist means I am staying- server can aim anywhere

If I indicate for the poach and the server aims wide, the server better be moving his/her ***** to cover the return down the line because I am sprinting across the court and have no chance to come back. If you cannot aim down the T, you better call me off the poach.

If I indicate that I am staying and fake, the server better continue to cover his/her angles.

papa
02-03-2012, 05:35 AM
I play that the net person calls the play - when I am at the net, I use:

(1) An open hand means I am poaching. If I am poaching, server needs to aim down the T or at body.

(2) A closed fist means I am staying- server can aim anywhere

If I indicate for the poach and the server aims wide, the server better be moving his/her ***** to cover the return down the line because I am sprinting across the court and have no chance to come back. If you cannot aim down the T, you better call me off the poach.

If I indicate that I am staying and fake, the server better continue to cover his/her angles.

Well, you might try using location signals also and if the ball isn't deliveredclose to that spot the poach is off. If you indicate that your poaching, you just don't wildly charge over - if you are in the habit of doing this, your going to be caught too much. Wait for the ball to land or until the opponent starts his swing - both will indicate where the ball in landing. For instance, if your playing the duce court and have indicated a poach to your partner (server), you would call off the poach if the serve was hit wide (I know but it happens to all of us).