Rules of the Game of Squash

By Kyera Giannini , last updated December 19, 2011

The rules of squash resembles tennis in that they involve a ball, racquets, and serving courts, but squash plays at a much faster pace and without a net. Squash provides an excellent workout and improves hand-eye coordination through the use of a rubber ball inside an enclosed space. Furthermore, only once bounce is allowed. Read up on the rules of squash below before your first match or when watching a game.

The Court

Two players or two teams of two meet inside a small room and face the front wall. The wall has three areas marked out with boundary lines. The bottom horizontal line is the tin or board, and it is considered out of bounds. Above that is the service or cut line; players must hit their serves above this line for it to played. The floor of the court has two quarter courts next to each other on the back half of the room (farthest from the front wall). The horizontal line in the middle is called the short line. Each quarter court has a service box in the upper outside corner, in which the players stand to serve. Players decide who serves first by spinning the racquet, with one player calling if the logo on the grip will land up or down.

Scoring

Games typically play up to 11, or point-a-rally (PAR), in which every rally results in a point no matter who served. If you lose on serve, the other player gains the serve and point. Tournaments play the best of five games, each game to 11 PAR points. Each game must be won by two points, but the score will be expressed as 11 to 10 no matter the actual score. In England, the game is play to 9 with only the server able to score.

Game Play

The server stands with at least one foot in the service box and attempts to hit the front wall above the cut line. The ball needs to bounce into the opposite quarter court, hitting the back wall first before any sidewalls below the red lines. The returner may stand anywhere so long as he/she does not interfere with the server. Players get one serve per rally. The receiver may hit the ball as a volley before it touches the ground. He does not need to get it back into the server’s court and may hit any sidewalls and the front wall. Play continues in this manner until the end of a rally. Rallies end when the ball bounces twice, hits the tin, hits outside the lines, or interference occurs.

Interference

Due to the small playing space, every player must give his or her opponent the greatest opportunity to hit the ball. Players cause interference by obstructing the view to the front wall, standing where the player might hit him or her with the ball, not trying to get out of the way, or being distracted by something off court. If a player calls interference, it is called a let, and the resulting point is called a stroke. The player will not receive a stroke if he would not have made a good return without the interference.

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