Squash is often referred to as one of the most dangerous sports of all, and it can result in certain injuries as explained below. If you take the proper precautions, you can enjoy a game with minimum risks attached.
Squash is a very fast-paced sport, and one that requires the player to be fit and able. It can be extremely strenuous and requires very sharp focus and concentration.
But, is it a dangerous sport? Any sport that includes physical exertion – which squash does to a great degree – will be potentially dangerous to players who are not in adequate physical condition.
There are also other dangers that come with playing squash, not all of them unique to the game. Let’s have a look at the possible dangers involved in squash, and what you can do to minimise them.
A Dangerous Sport?
Many people will tall you that, among racquet sports and those played on a court, squash is the most dangerous of all. Don’t let this put you off what is a rewarding and exciting game to learn, practice and play! So, is it true?
If we’re honest, there are reasons why squash is, in fact, dangerous, and the first is that it is played in a limited space on an enclosed court.
The second is that the ball itself moves very quickly indeed. This is not to say you are risking your life every time you step on the squash court, but being in such close proximity to a fast moving ball that bounces off the walls – and not to mention another player – the recipe for injury is clear to see.
Before we go on, it’s also said that squash is one of the healthiest sports. This is also true, as it is perhaps akin to a quite strenuous workout! Below we list some of the most frequently seen injuries in squash players:
- Eye injuries
- Muscle injuries
- Bodily injuries
- Heart attack
While the latter is unlikely, if you a player is not fit and ready to play a game of squash, they are putting themselves in some danger of inducing a heart attack. You MUST be fit to play squash, as it involves greater exertion than perhaps any other racquet sport. Let’s give each of these possible injuries some thought.
About Eye Injuries
A squash ball travels very fast indeed, as it is propelled by a highly-stressed racquet exerting some serious force. The fastest recorded speed of a squash serve is 176mph! That was a professional, of course, and it is unlikely that such speeds will be seen on your local court. However, speeds of in excess of 100mph are not unusual.
When you consider that the ball in play bounces of any of four walls, and at such speeds, it is easy to see that if it were – by chance – to hit you in the eye, it is going to cause some damage – perhaps even broken bones which can be very problematic.
There is protective eyewear that is designed specifically for squash players, and is approved by the relevant bodies that govern the sport. We recommend strongly that you check this out with your club, ask other players for advice, and wear protective eyewear whenever you play. The risk of a ball hitting your eye might be slight, but it happens surprisingly often, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
One common complaint with squash players is that of muscle strain and injury, particularly in the wrist. This is because of the way the racquet is held and used when in play. If you have a racquet that is too heavy for you, you risk this sort of injury even more, so it is essential you choose your racquet carefully and take expert advice.
You will also be running about a lot, and changing direction quickly and often; this can easily lead to muscle strain in various parts of the body, especially if you are not as fit as you think you are!
To alleviate the possibility of muscle injury in the wrist and elsewhere, always limber up before a game. Perform a few stretches and loosen up your limbs, relax while you are playing – try not to get the muscles too tense – and above all, make sure your fitness level is adequate. It’s worth talking to a trainer about this, as you may want to enhance your overall fitness in order to play a better game of squash.
When you play squash, your focus will be mostly on the ball, and not the other players! It’s quite likely that, at least once in a while, you will be involved in a collision with someone else on the court and – depending on the point of impact and their weight and size – this can cause painful injuries. You may also get bruises from the ball itself, especially if it hits you in the chest, but there is little that can be done about these two problems. Serious injuries are rare, but be ready for some bruising on a regular basis!
It’s a bit alarming to read that a game of squash can lead to a heart attack, but it’s no different to playing any other sport or game that requires physical exertion. We say again, you need to be physically fit to play squash as it is one of the fastest of all games, and takes a lot of effort and energy.
To minimise this risk, you should do as you do with all other sports, and know where your limits are. Talk to a personal trainer about improving your fitness should you need to, and you’ll be able to find a workout routine that means you are up to the game.
Squash is an exciting game to play, and a great social activity, so make sure you follow the above advice, talk to experts about protective clothing and eyewear, and you’ll enjoy your game with minimum risk.