How to Play the Sport of Squash
A variation of a racquet and ball sport, squash was invented in the mid 1800s after pupils from the Harrow school discovered that “squashing” a rubber ball against a wall provides players with a more engaging experience. Since then, the sport has gained popularity on both an amateur and professional level -- with many intramural college leagues as well.
How to play Squash
The object of squash is simple, return the ball off the wall enough times in a way your opponent cannot keep up. Through enough points, a player wins a set -- and through enough sets, a player wins the game.
Aside from a racquet (similar to ones used in tennis, just lighter in mass) and a regulation hard rubber ball, there isn’t much equipment used in a game of squash. To be an effective squash player, one will have to be light on their feet and have a great forehand and backhand to return quickly.
Rules of Squash
- Squash can be played singles or doubles, with an 11 point scoring system. Traditional squash only went up to 9 points and players could only score on their serves. The new scoring system allows for points to be scored on both possessions -- speeding up the pace of play.
- There are five different types of balls that can be used, each signaling a level of difficulty: Double yellow balls are the slowest and are used in professional games, yellow are super slow, green or white are slow, red is medium, and blue is the fastest.
- There are many variables to a squash court. They are just over 32 feet in length and 21 feet in width. The front wall stands at just over 13 feet high with the back wall at about 6 feet -- meaning the ceiling is slanted. There is a half court line separating the player’s sections, and a serving box in which they have to serve in. Squash courts are always hardwood.
- There are three lines on the front wall signaling where the players have to hit the ball. Players can also hit the ball of the side walls.
- Players can score four different ways: If the ball bounces twice before it’s returned, if a player fails to return, if a ball is struck out of bounds, or if there is any player interference.
- Games are typically best three out of five sets. If a game comes down to 10 - 10, than a player must win by a clear two points.
Squash is actually one of the fastest growing sports in the U.S., seeing an 82% growth between 2007 and 2011. On college campuses the sport is growing even faster, at an 18% rate each year. Squash is also considered one of the best cardio workouts you can fit within an hour -- burning anywhere from 600 to 1000 calories!
Written by: Devin Pickell