For years, I’ve been playing badminton, but only in Mindoro. I’ve never competed outside our province. However, I didn’t know that there are hand signals to be followed in the game. Because when we play, the umpire only shouts when the game occurred an in, out or fault while pointing the side or court who scored. My friends in Manila who plays badminton also have the same situation. Perhaps, we are not just experts that’s why we don’t know the hand signals. But I realized that we should also be aware of the badminton umpire hand signals because it is the communication in this sport. Thanks to the badminton coach that taught us these hand signals that I will teach you. Let’s start with the service faults followed by the line signals.
Feet not in the service court
This is done when badminton player’s one or both feet are stepping the service line or outside the service court upon serving. A badminton service rule says that both feet should be in his service court. When this happen, you will see the umpire’s right hand pointing her right feet, which is also extended.
Service not below the waist level
Badminton service rules states that the racket, while it was struck during serving, should be below the waist level. If this is not followed by the players, the umpire will have a hand signal like this – placing her right hand in front of her abdomen with palms facing the floor.
Shaft of the racket not facing downwards
When the umpire half raised her right hand with palms facing the opposite direction, it means that the player violated a badminton service rule which says that the handle of the racket must be facing down or the shaft of the racket when hitting the shuttle was not below the level of the wrist serving.
Server fails to hit the base of the shuttle
This takes place when the first point of contact of the racket was not the shuttle’s base upon serving. The umpire will have her both hands in front of her abdomen with right palm facing her with fingers touching the left palm with fingers pointing downward. It’s quite hard to explain but the photo will show.
Undue delay of service
Another fault in badminton is undue delay of service. According to Badminton Bible, on completion of the backward movement of the server’s racket head, any delay in the start of the service shall be considered an undue delay. The umpire will swing her right arm to the left when this happens.
People who is aware of the game knows that when the shuttle is outside of the opponent’s court, the score will go to the opponent. The umpire will shout “out” while her arms are extended side-ward indicating that the shuttle has fallen outside.
We also know that when the shuttle is inside of the opponent’s court and not hit by the opponent, the score will go to player who last hit the shuttle. The umpire doesn’t have to shout anything anymore and instead of stretching both hands, she will point her right hand on the line.
The umpire can also be unsure or has the chance not to see where the shuttle fell because of some hindrance to the view like the player blocking it. If this takes place, all the umpire have to do is to cover her both eyes with both hands.