How to Play Racquetball for Beginners


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Racquetball game is the perfect mix of fun and skill. This exciting game isn’t too complex to play! It requires minimal equipment and is a fabulous work-out option!

So, wondering how to play racquetball?

Here’s a basic guide for the beginners to get a grasp of the game. For your convenience, we have covered all the essentials- Racquetball gears, Court layout, how to serve, play and score.

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How to Play Racquetball

Racquetball: Gear Needed

Things to buy in order to play racquetball:

  • Racquet: Built-up of titanium & graphite, the racquet is about 22 inches long. The racquet’s netted part is oval shaped. A player may choose to buy an even- balance racquet or a head-heavy racquet. Those players who prefer to use more power in the game should opt for the heavy-head racquet. (Top 10 Best Racquetball Racquets to Buy)
  • Balls: Rubber balls of 2.25-inch diameter are used. They are available in various other colors, although played mostly with blue rubber balls.
  • Shoes: There are specific shoes designed to play racquetball on the slippery indoor wood floors. These shoes having gum rubber outsole offer excellent tractions during quick direction change while playing the game. (Top 5 Best Racquetball Shoes for Men)
  • Eye-wear: Eye-wear is a must for safety as the ball travels at 100mph speed.
    Gloves (optional): Gloves worn in the racquet holding hand offers enhanced grip and control while also saving from blisters. (Top 5 Best Racquetball Gloves)

Racquetball: The Court

Once you have the racquet and ball, you need to check them out at the racquetball court. You don’t need to clog your brain with rules right from the start. Just begin with racquet gripping and trying out the ball’s bounce effect.

Racquetball court is very different. Therefore, having a feel of the court will give you a better idea. Let’s give you a visual picture of the court before explaining what the lines mean!

racquetball court

A standard racquetball court looks like this. It has:

  • Walls: It has 4 walls. All the walls- front, side, back, and even the ceiling is used to play racquetball.
  • Area: The court’s length is – 40 feet, width is – 20 feet and Height is- 20 feet. The back wall has a height of about 12 feet.
  • Court Markings: The court markings in red have short lines, service lines, the service zone, drive serve lines, double serve lines, receiving line and safety zone. For the beginner’s guide, remember the 3 most important line markings of the racquetball court-

– Service Zone: The rectangular middle section marked by 2 solid red parallel lines excluding the 2 smaller sections on each side is the service zone. The player has to stand there and serve.

– Receiving Line: The receiver stands behind the broken red markings to receive the ball after the first player has completed the serve.

– Safe Zone: The 5×20 inches area bordered by the short line, the receiving line, & the side walls is the safety zone.

Racquetball: Serve Basics

Once you have accomplished proper racquet grip, forehand stroke, backhand stroke, understood the balls bounciness, and are accustomed to the slippery wood floor of the court, you are ready to learn the first rule- how to serve!

To make a correct serve, the racquetball player, has to stand in the serve zone. The ball has to be dropped to bounce once in the floor within the service zone area. As soon as the ball bounces back in the air, the player needs to hit it with his/her racquet. Remember, the ball cannot bounce a second time. The strike from the racquet should be such that the ball hits the front wall. As the ball returns after touching the front wall, it should touch the floor beyond the short line. The ball may return with or without hitting any of the side walls.

4 main things to keep in mind while making a serve are:-

  • Position: The serve position is very important in the racquetball game. The player needs to be in the service zone marked by solid red lines.
  • Stepping: During a serve, the player may step on the lines but cannot go beyond the lines.
  • Ball position: At the time of starting the service motion, the ball has to be within the service zone.
  • Front Wall: The player has to serve aiming to hit the front wall. A service cannot be made on any of the other walls except the front wall.

There are 3 Basic Types of Racquetball Serves:

  1. Drive Serve: It’s a low serve which it hit hard.
  2. Lob Serve: It’s a slow-pace high-bounce serve.
  3. Z-Serve: It’s an angular serve. In a Z-serve type, the ball first hits the front wall, then after hitting the side wall, the ball travels across the court to hit the floor & finally strike the other side of the wall.

Racquetball: Understanding the Game & Scoring Points

The game of Racquetball starts with a coin toss. The one who wins the toss gets to serve first.
The player who is to serve has to follow specific service guidelines to make a correct serve as described elaborately earlier. If the player misses or makes a wrong serve, he/she will get a second chance to serve. If the player makes a faulty serve in the second attempt then he/she will end up losing a point.

Rallying begins after the ball is served correctly. Rallying refers to the non-stop hitting of the ball by 2 players alternately. The ball can hit any walls and also the ceiling during rallying, except the ball can’t hit the floor two times in a row. The rally ends only when a player misses or makes a fault. The player who scores at the end of a rally gets the chance to serve next. This way the players continue until they reach the set point.

Racquetball is a best of 3 sets game where the points are divided as:-

  • First Set- 15 points
  • Second Set- 15 points
  • Third Set- 11 points

In order to win a set, a player has to reach the maximum point of that particular set first. The player, who wins any 2 sets, wins the game.



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