- Purpose of formation
- What it means for the players and their positions
You might notice at the professional level that the majority of players use the Australian formation when they are serving. The Australian formation is when the server and the server’s partner are both positioned to start on the same side of the court.
The purpose of this formation is to make sure the player that plays on the left hand side can move to that side. For example, on the deuce court, both players would be on the right and then when the server hits the serve they move diagonally to the left side of the court for the first volley. But then when they change sides the pair would do a normal formation as the server would like to keep the left side of the court.
How does this affect the positions?
When the pair are doing normal formation the server starts from the middle of the service box and runs forward, slightly angling towards the middle line, as it is their responsibility to cover the centre.
When the pair do Australian formation, the server starts next to the ‘T’ and after the serve moves quickly across the box to cover the return down the line. The centre is the responsibility of the partner.
At the recreational level the formation does not necessarily have to be Australian, as both players might want to experience volleying from both sides. But when there is a clear preference or one player is clearly more effective from one side, this is when you would start to use this formation. The only purpose is so that the player can approach the net to the relevant side.