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Skppr05
09-27-2005, 06:04 PM
When it comes to doubles, i've been seeing some teams do what they call an "I" formation. Can anyone tell me what this is useful for and how is it executed?
thanx

golden chicken
09-27-2005, 06:35 PM
I formation means the net person crouches in front of the net on the center line and the server serves from near the center hash mark, like in singles. this requires that the server is able to place his serve down the T, body serve, or out wide at will and that the net person knows where the serve is going. this also requires that the net person communicate to the server which side he is going to cover as the return is being made.

this puts tremendous pressure on the returner to try for the low percentage return up the line because the center of the court is covered by the net man. combine this with the returner's uncertainty of where the net man is going to head and the "I" can be extremely effective. then, combine an effective first serve either up the T or into the body and your net man has easy pickings.

it's basically the net person is poaching either left or right on every serve. it tries to take away the "safe" crosscourt return that a standard doubles formation allows.

Rickson
09-27-2005, 06:39 PM
When it comes to doubles, i've been seeing some teams do what they call an "I" formation. Can anyone tell me what this is useful for and how is it executed?
thanx

The I formation is great if you and your partner have strong serves, but it can be a major liability if your serves are weak. The I F is used to cut off the crosscourt return of serve. The I F gets you a lot of volleys on the return but as I said before, the serve must be strong or the receiver will go to a wide open shot dtl.

jeefreak
09-27-2005, 06:56 PM
When will the I F be a disadvantage beside's a weak serve?

Mahboob Khan
09-27-2005, 07:08 PM
Those who understand Geometrical angles, I formation is good for them. For example:

-- If you serve with pace and up the T, the return ball will pass over the center (middle) of the net;

-- If you serve with pace and wide in deuce court, the return ball will pass between the central strip and left doubles side line;

-- If you serve with pace and wide in ad court, the return ball will pass between the central strip and right doubles side line.

The person sitting on the central service line (server's partner) and the server should cover these possible return angles! Basically, you track your opponent's return angle from the spot where your serve landed! And if you cover the net, the entire court is covered!

Rickson
09-27-2005, 07:15 PM
When will the I F be a disadvantage beside's a weak serve?
The I F would be a disadvantage anytime you face a receiver who is good at changing the direction of the ball. The cod would be a low percentage shot against strong serves, but some people are so skilled at cod on even fast serves that it can turn the I F into a useless position.

Burt Turkoglu
10-05-2005, 11:45 PM
.....I have used this formation with much success....you are right that the serve must not be weak....I can poach much better off of a weak serve with the traditional formation......the serve should be either relatively fast or a heavy spin serve that has good movement.....one of the keys is that the net player OR the server do not move sideways too early.....if one of these players move too early, then the gig is up.....also most serves are up the middle or right at the body....look at Louis Cayer's Tennis Doubles Tactics.....this book shows how and where you need to move for each location of serve.....it's all geometry....

Bungalo Bill
10-06-2005, 05:32 PM
When it comes to doubles, i've been seeing some teams do what they call an "I" formation. Can anyone tell me what this is useful for and how is it executed?
thanx

The main reason for the I formation is the extra pressure it places on the returner IF and ONLY IF the returner doesn't reposition himself to go against the formation. Most returners when the I formation is used will adjust their positioning by moving back to give them that extra time to see where the netman will move. Still yet, a confident returner is going to accept the I formation as a challenge and will not be dissapointed if he guesses wrong and his return goes to the netman. The netman still needs to demonstrate he can handle the return!

The I formation is a formation you can use all the time. It is not like the Australian which is strickly a poaching formation and one that will increase risk to the team that uses it. The I formation allows versatility and is more conservative.

You need a good server and you need a pretty good netman to execute the I formation. The server needs to have a very good to excellent DOWN THE T serve. The I formation along with the Australian is a DOWN THE T formation. It is where almost all your serves will go. Serving wide and covering court, especially when you are switching, makes it real difficult to defend a good return.

You shouldnt care too much if the returner knows you are going down the T on your serve since doing so gives him a low chance to burn you anyway by keeping the ball between you while taking away the sharp angles. Obviously, if you use the I formation a lot you should serve out wide to keep the opposing team honest. But the staple serve is down the T.

It is not so much the serve that makes the I formation tough to defend for your opponents, it is the movement your team will be doing that applies the pressure. The serve obviously needs to be strong up the T, but it is the "guessing game" that really creates the pressure on the returner.

The server needs to be able to spin or serve hard in various vertical places in the box up the T. He needs to hit a serve short in the box with topspin so it is high in the strike zone for the returner, he needs to serve deep with spin, deep with no spin, and vary his spins.

The first serve percentage in using this formation is critical. You need a server that has a consistent first serve. The quickness of your teams movement, and the consistency of the servers first serve makes the I formation tough to go against.

So, down the T is staple to this formation. Vary the serve depth and spin. Make sure you do it on the side of the court that the server is more consistent in getting his first serves in (duece side, ad side, or both). Make sure your movement from both of you is quick and certain. Do not get overly concerned on the returner knowing "where" you will be serving. It is the movement of this formation that puts the main pressure on the returner more than anything else.

Burt Turkoglu
10-09-2005, 12:10 AM
....I have seen 2 types of "I" formations being used in the pros.....one has their net player within a few feet of the net....this player must squat down real low as to not get hit by the serve....the advantage is that being so close to net you can cut off more angle of the returner plus your angle of hitting down and putting the ball is great...however, you must have real quick hands if the returner is cracking it hard or on the rise....I like this style against returners who are great chip 'n chargers....lobs are taken by the server.....the other style has the net player standing a few feet inside of the service line....the net only needs to bend over some to avoid being hit by the serve....at the sound of the serve, the net player advances forward and when the returner completes his backswing, the netman cuts at a 45 degree angle toward the net....where he cuts is, of course, decided before the point.....I find this style more effective against returners who are hitting hard....the net player has more time to "see" the ball and the returner who hits harder cannot find the extreme angles that chips can.....

Bungalo Bill
10-09-2005, 12:09 PM
....I have seen 2 types of "I" formations being used in the pros.....one has their net player within a few feet of the net....this player must squat down real low as to not get hit by the serve....the advantage is that being so close to net you can cut off more angle of the returner plus your angle of hitting down and putting the ball is great...however, you must have real quick hands if the returner is cracking it hard or on the rise....I like this style against returners who are great chip 'n chargers....lobs are taken by the server.....the other style has the net player standing a few feet inside of the service line....the net only needs to bend over some to avoid being hit by the serve....at the sound of the serve, the net player advances forward and when the returner completes his backswing, the netman cuts at a 45 degree angle toward the net....where he cuts is, of course, decided before the point.....I find this style more effective against returners who are hitting hard....the net player has more time to "see" the ball and the returner who hits harder cannot find the extreme angles that chips can.....

Very good observation Burt! The I formation can be used in many situations including the ones you mentioned above.

The critical things you need for running the I or the Aussie is (as you know):

1. A very good consistent serve up the T

2. A netman that volleys well.

3. Good quick movement from both players.