Squash & Racketball
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If you are looking for a great way to get fit, meet new people, and have fun, Squash and Racketball could be the sports for you. To get started all you need is a ball, a racket, and a wall (preferably four of them though!). Squash is played by more than 500,000 people in England every month, from the elite players like World No.4 Nick Matthews all the way down to the thousands who take part in local leagues and events. If you are looking to improve your fitness, Squash provides an intense cardiovascular and muscular workout – perfect for burning calories.
Racketball is very similar to squash, but is played with a slightly larger racket and a bigger, bouncier ball, making it easy to get a rally going. This ensures a good workout for both players, so if you have never picked up a racket before, or the old wooden racket is gathering dust, grab a friend and get on court.
Rules At A Glance
The basic rules of squash are fairly simple. First the winner of the toss gets to choose which side they want to serve from and alternates sides until they lose a point. The toss is typically done by spinning the racquet, with one player guessing whether the racquet will land up or down based on the direction of the logo at the end of the grip. The ball can hit any number of walls (i.e side wall, back wall) but must eventually hit the front wall before bouncing on the floor. A rally (the exchange of shots) ends when one of the following occurs:
- The ball bounces twice
- The ball hits the tin
- The ball is hit outside the out lines
- Interference resulting in a stroke, i.e. point to the obstructed player
The serve is done by having at least one foot in the service box, then hitting the ball to the front wall, above the service line and having it bounce in the opposite quarter-court. The receiver can stand anywhere as long as they do not interfere with the server. Only one serve is allowed. There is no second serve as in tennis.
Your opponent has the option of volleying return your serve before it hits the ground. After hitting the front wall first, the ball may hit any other number of walls before landing in the opponent’s quarter court. However, a serve is illegal if it hits any side wall before hitting the front wall! Following the serve, the ball can hit any number of side walls before hitting the front wall.
The red lines mark the out of bounds of the court. So all shots must be below the lines. If the ball touches the line it is considered out!
Scoring is to 11 or point-a-rally (PAR), where every rally is a point, regardless of who served. So if you serve and lose the rally, then your opponents get a point and gets to serve. The professionals play best of five games, PAR scoring to 11. Where the score reaches ten all, the game will be won by two clear points (which will be expressed as 11-10, irrespective of the actual score).
You also have traditional English scoring to 9 points, where only the server can win a point. This means if you serve the ball and lose the point, then your opponent gets to serve and the score does not change. If you win the point, then you get a point and get to serve from the next side. When service changes it is often called 'hand-out'. When hand-out you can pick which side to serve from, after which you alternate sides if you continue to win points. The first player who gets to 8-8 chooses 9 or 10, called set 1 or 2.
The 11 point scoring is now the official scoring for squash so one should only use this to avoid confusion.
What Kit Do I Need
- A racket (Squash and Racketball rackets are different but if you have 1, you could play both games).
- A ball (the balls are also different. Racketball balls are a bit bigger and bouncier so better for beginners)
- Non-marking trainers (most clubs make this compulsory in order to maintain the court surface)
- Shorts, T-shirt (almost all clubs have air-con but you’ll still get warm!)
England Squash & Racketball
Email: email@example.com / 0161 231 4499
Paul Fennell – Regional Manager – London:
Kirstie Thompson - Regional Administrator - London and South East: