What is a balk in badminton?


Balk is a term used to describe any deceptive maneuver that is used to confuse an opponent before or during service; it is also known as a “feint.”

Most competitive sports that require manipulating an object (a shuttlecock) while the players are on the move have feints and fakes. In order to win, players employ a variety of strategies to deceive the opposing players. To go past the defender(s) and create an opportunity for a shot or a pass, they may use a hesitation motion, a shoulder fake, or other similar moves. Fakes and feints contribute to a game’s overall quality, and no sport, in my opinion, has as many different forms of feints and fakes as badminton.

Characteristics and Strategies

Badminton has some unique characteristics, such as the lightness of the game and the ability to hit with both sides of the racket, as well as factors like timing, spacing, power, speed, and decision-making, as well as the net that serves as the dividing line in the middle, that make feints and fakes so prevalent. Balks can be used for nearly any hitting action, including serves, which are carefully regulated, but trickery can still be used as long as the movement is within the rules or the referee’s tolerances. The feint is a key component in badminton that adds to the enjoyment of watching and playing the game.The “classic” strategies employed by players to deceive the competition are listed below.

I) Balks during the service

In badminton, there are both forehand and backhand serves. It’s simpler to use trickery in the forehand serve because the racket has more room to manoeuvre and a longer stroke.

II) Balks when receiving serves

Returning the serve is crucial because the outcome of the rally can be determined by the return. Making a strong return to a serve will allow your side to go on the offensive and make it simpler for you to get service back, whether you’re playing singles or doubles. I can only list some of the more popular feints and fakes for receiving services because there are so many. To make these strategies work, you’ll need good decision-making abilities, quick reflexes, and strokes that don’t expose your genuine intentions to your opponent.

III) Balks at the net

When you’re close to the net, there are a variety of techniques to hit the bird. To get the bird back over to the other side, you can slice, roll, hook, push, or utilise another technique. Because of the wide range of hitting motions, there are numerous ways to fool the opponent, and these tactics aren’t difficult to pick up.

IV) Balls for mid-court shots

Most people would attempt a smash or a leap smash to finish off the opponent when they make a high return to the mid-court, but there are several fakes and feints that can achieve the same goals while needing less physical exertion. These strategies will also keep your opponents from putting themselves in a solid defensive position to counter your strikes.

Mid-court fakes need you to keep your overhead strokes consistent until the very last second. What I mean is that the start of a drop, clear, or smash should all appear the same so that your opponent doesn’t know what shot you’re going to make until the very last second. Your wrist and forearm are in charge of the majority of these fakes and feints.

V) Balks in the backcourt

When you are pushed towards the backcourt by an opponent, you will be the one under attack, and your opponent(s) will most likely be waiting for openings at mid-court. You usually only have two options: clear or drop, but if you can incorporate some fakes and feints into your backcourt shots, you might be able to flip the tide in your favour.

Break and Learn

The majority of people who watch badminton are impressed by trick or feint shots, which are even utilised by elite players like Lin Dan, former Taufik Hidayat, and Peter Gade, but find them tough to understand and execute, even in training. The video below depicts a real-life example of how trick shots in badminton can be taught.

It’s generally easier to acquire complex abilities by breaking them down into smaller chunks. Badminton feints (also known as deception shots) may nearly always be divided into two components. Part one is the actual action, in which the opponents are deceived into another corner or their footwork rhythm is disrupted, and part two is the actual shot, which is placed someplace on the Badminton court. The fient in action one could be made up of various sections or movements. It could be a single stroke or even two, but it could also be a separate move taken by the player to deceive the opponent.

It is much easier to study trick shots if you break them down into these pieces. The only thing you can do as a coach, but most importantly as a player, is deal with the actual time pressure that exists even in the feeding – learning situation. Simply put, the player must perform two or three actions, although most gamers are just used to performing one. This is a key aspect to remember because most beginners and even more experienced players who are unfamiliar with trick shots will be stressed. As a coach, it’s critical to urge players to execute the first element of the trick shot as well as possible before moving on to the second component.Working in the opposite direction will not produce satisfactory results because the main goal is to create a deceit.


There are so many more incredible fakes and feints in badminton that I can’t possibly cover them all. Here are some crucial tips that can help you succeed in fooling your opponents with fakes and feints, no matter what strategies you’re trying to use:

1. Make sure all of your strokes in one place are identical. For example, until the very last second, all of your overhead shots (clears, smashes, and drops) should appear the same, so the opponent doesn’t figure out your strategy ahead of time.

2. To make fakes work, you must be able to reach the proper position on the court before the shuttle arrives, giving you time to ponder and employ techniques.

3. Continue to practise the strategies, learn from your mistakes, and improve your fitness.

4. Evaluate your progress and work on improving your badminton “intelligence.”

In a badminton match, anything may happen. The beautiful and marvellous skills in the badminton sport are feints and fake shots. Trickery techniques can be used in a wide range of pictures. Badminton is a fun sport to play because of the fast-paced and ever-changing nature of the game. You will undoubtedly be the winner if you master all of badminton’s skills and tactics.