The Rules of Squash [Our Ultimate Guide]

rules of squash

The game of squash is undoubtedly one of the fastest growing ball sports of the decade. With so many more people of all ages and capabilities taking up the challenge, squash is finally getting the accolade and attention that it deserves.

However, for many coming to this sport, the concept of squash can instantly seem quite daunting. What may appear on the surface as two people simply hitting a ball against a wall is, as all experienced and regular squash players will know, a fast-paced and high-speed game that not only demands a certain level of fitness but crucially, a high skill level.

If you’re looking to get into this game but have no idea where to start, or even whether it’s the one for you, fear not – for here we offer you the ultimate guide to those rules of squash that you need to know.

These are the rules which will help you improve your gaming experience from the very first time you step foot onto that squash court – and offer you more clarity into this fabulous ball sport in the process!

The Principal Rules When Playing Squash

At its very basic level, the point of a game of squash is to continue hitting the ball against the front wall of the court. This is for the purpose of doing so until your opponent can’t get it back anymore.

To do this, though, a few steps must be followed, including:

  • One foot must be kept in the service box when serving
  • The ball has to hit the front wall but doing so between the service line and the out line
  • The ball needs to land in the area that is the short line and on the courts opposite side
  • When continuing the rally, the wall must be hit above the board as well as below the out line

Furthermore, there are also a few rules that exist regarding the bouncing of the ball itself, including:

  • The ball can only hit the floor once and this is before each shot
  • The ball can, however, hit the wall as many times as a player wants to do so!
  • A player will lose the rally if they fail to hit the ball before bouncing twice, if they hit it outside the line, or if they hit the ball to the floor before hitting the front wall
  • If the ball hits a player or touches their clothing before they strike it, then they will lose the rally

How the Game of Squash Is Scored

Scoring in squash is referenced using the traditional and time-served British system. This means that points are only scored when a player is serving:

  • The best of five games is a match
  • A player needs to reach nine points if they are to win
  • For a score of eight all, the player not serving can decide whether to play for those nine or even ten points
  • A let is something the player can then ask for if they are trying to play their next shot but are impeded or unsighted
  • If the player receiving wins the rally, they will then become the server – but the score will not change
  • To register a point when facing a serve, players need to win two rallies

Tactics Are Key in the Game of Squash

Those most experienced and indeed professional of squash players will tell you that to stand a better chance of winning your game, you need to make your opponent do all the running!

There are also some other above-board tactics that you can employ for greater chances of success here, including:

  • Keeping the ball low. This will reduce the chances your opponent has to reach it before it bounces twice.
  • Aiming towards the T brings you to the centre of the court. This means you’re in a better position of control and, therefore, better poised to win the game.
  • Remembering that the join between wall and floor is a place where the squash ball doesn’t bounce that well!

The Lines on a Squash Court Must Always Be Observed

Finally, if you are new to playing squash, it’s an excellent idea to familiarise yourself with the court you’ll be playing on.

The squash court can be the most daunting of places for those not used to playing in such confined spaces. The lines running through these places though all have significant meanings, including:

  • The out line is the one that runs across the top of the court back wall. It also runs down the sides of the side wall. Thus, if the ball hits outside of these areas, it is classed as out, and a point is then awarded to your opponent.
  • The net of a squash court, as such, is the board running along the bottom of the back wall. Should the ball hit this, it is classed as a foul.
  • The service line is the board, which is three feet above the service line. To have a serve classed as legitimate, it needs to be hit above this line.
  • Two rectangular sections at the back of the court are split to indicate where players must start from before each point.
  • In each rectangular section, there is a service box in which players must have one foot in to serve or when waiting to receive the serve.

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