Squash is an interesting and fast-moving game that demands speed, skill, and supreme fitness but still instills a lot of fun in the players involved. The game started in the early 19th century and is well distinguished from the rest of the racquet games. The main objective of the game is to hit the ball off the back wall until the player manages to get the opponent to fail to return the ball. Every time a player wins, he receives points, which make up sets, and in turn determine the winner of the game.
How to Play Squash: Getting Ready for the Game
Before starting the squash game, it is mandatory to get some warm-up, both for the player and the ball, as warm balls bounces better. The best way to warm up for the game is to bounce it for about five minutes against the wall to help warm up both the ball and the arm.
Try wearing light clothes with sports shoes, that are preferable white soled. Have water and energy drinks handy and carry your equipment as much as possible. However, equipment is available for hire at the court as well.
Players and the Equipment
Squash is generally played between two people in a room that looks like a box. The game is played with the help of a squash racquet, that resembles a tennis racquet, with small head size and a squash ball. The ball for the squash game is 2 ½ inches in diameter and is composed of rubber. These balls are generally low bouncing, making it tough to return the balls. There are five different types of squash balls and players can choose them depending on their skill level.
- Blue balls are very fastballs with ambient bounce,
- Red balls have medium bounce,
- Green and white balls have slow bounce,
- Yellow balls have super slow bounce and
- The double yellow balls are extra super slow and are of competition grade.
Check out: Best Squash Racquets
The squash game is played in an enclosed room, against the wall. The length of the court is about 9.5m and the width of the court is about 6.4m. Its diagonals are measured as 11.665m. There are many lines on the squash court. The first line is the outline that runs across the top of the back wall and also down the sides of the sidewall. Any ball that hit outside this area is considered as out and the point is awarded to the opponent.
A broad line runs along the bottom of the back wall that is technically termed the net. If the ball hits back to the board, then it is considered a foul. About three feet above this board is called the service line. All the serves should hit above this line to stand legitimate.
The back portion of the court has two rectangular sections, from where the player starts before each point. There is a service box in each section and the players are required to have one foot out as they serve and while waiting to receive the service as well.
General Rules of the Game
- Games are generally played between two people in a singles match or four people in a doubles match.
- The basic principle is to hit the ball against the front wall until the opponent cannot get it back anymore.
- Players should keep one foot in the service box while they serve.
- The ball should hit the front wall between the service line and the outline.
- The ball should land in the area behind the short line, on the opposite side of the court.
- For the remainder of the rally, the players should hit the wall above the board and below the out-line.
- The ball should hit the floor once before each shot, but it can hit as many walls as the player decides.
- If a player fails to hit the ball before it bounces twice, or if he hits the ball into the floor, or hits it outside the outline, then he ends up losing the rally.
- The player can also lose the game if the ball hits them or their clothing before they strike it across.
The players can score their points, only when they serve. When the player who receives the serve wins the rally, then the score doesn’t change, but he becomes the server. Thus, the players who are facing the serve should win two rallies, to score a point. The best of five games make up a match. A game can go up to 11 points if the score is 10-all, the game continues until the player wins by two points.
To win the game, the player has to reach the required amount of game sets, as determined before the start of the match, generally, the match includes five games.
Techniques for a Good Serve
For good service, the player has to stand with one foot in each of the service boxes. They have to hit the ball at the front wall landing it above the service line, and below the out-line. The ball should then travel from the front wall to the opposite back corner, which is behind the short line and on the other side of the half-court line. The ball can either rebound off other walls or can also be hit on the full volley.
One important tactic to win the squash game is to get the opponent to do all the running. If the player stays at the ‘T’, then they are at the center of the court and are generally in great control. Their chance of winning the game is also excellent. Also, keeping the ball low decreases the chances of the opponent to reach it before it can bounce twice. To win the game, the player has to take control over the back two corners of the squash court, which helps to gain tremendous control over the rally after the initial serve. Also, players should consider the joints between the wall and floor, where the ball doesn’t bounce much.