If you’re looking for an exciting sport to play, I’d suggest you play squash. It’s a great game for everyone, no matter the age or the size. In fact, when it comes to size, it is one of the few sports recommended for those seeking to shave a bit of it. Sound interesting? Good, let me show you some of the basic rules of squash to get you started.

Basic Squash Rules of Play

The rules of squash can be quite complicated, especially if you’re just starting out. It is advisable to get a squash rule book, to familiarize yourself with as many rules as you can. The basic squash rules beginner’s need to understand involve the layout of the squash court and the lines of play. The areas of the court you need to be most familiar with are the 2 halves of the court, the service boxes, the service line, and the out lines. 

Once you are familiar with these lines, playing a game of squash is as easy as, well, as hitting a ball to the wall. The basic way of playing squash is by taking turns hitting the ball to the front wall, making sure to strike the wall above the service line and below the outline. The ball should not bounce before it hits the front wall, but it is allowed to hit the other walls on its way to the front wall. The back and forth of hitting of the ball between 2 players is called a rally.

Squash Service Rules

To select the server, a toss is done using the racket. You have to guess whether the racquet will land facing up or down based on the placement of the logo at the end of the grip. Not your typical coin toss but it works just as well.

If you are selected to be the server, you serve by having at least one of your feet in the service box and hitting the ball to the front wall, making sure to place it in such a way that it hits the wall above the service line and bouncing in the opposite quarter court. As for the receiver, they can stand anywhere on their side of the court as long as it doesn’t interfere with your serve. Unlike in tennis, only one serve is allowed.

Although the ball can hit any wall before getting to the front wall during play, this is not allowed during the serve. The ball must hit the front wall first during the serve, otherwise, the serve is illegal. If the ball touches the out line, the tin, or the short line during a serve, the ball is considered out.

Once in Play – Squash Rules Continued

Once in play, the ball can hit any wall as long as it hits the front wall above the service line and the side walls below the out line. The ball is not allowed to bounce before hitting the front wall but it is allowed to bounce once on its return and before you can hit it again. If it bounces twice in your court, the ball goes out of play and the rally comes to end – with the player who fails to return the ball losing the rally. If, as the server, you lose the rally, you also lose the right to serve and your opponent takes over serving.

Rallies are played consecutively until one of you win the game. Which brings us to…

Squash Rules for Beginners – Scoring

There two basic ways of scoring in the game of squash, the PAR and English scoring methods.

Point-A-Rally Scoring (PAR)

With the PAR system, every rally is a point, regardless of who served. If you serve and lose the rally, your opponent gets a point and gets to serve. In professional squash games, players play best of 5 games scoring to 11. If the score happens to be tied at 10-10, you will have to get 2 points ahead to be declared the winner. Despite this, the score will be expressed as 11-10, no matter the actual scores.

English Scoring

When you use the English scoring system, only the server can win a point. If as the server you lose the rally, your opponent doesn’t get a point, only the right to serve. If they lose the rally, serving reverts back to you, but from the other side of the court. If, however, as the server, you win the rally, you get a point. Usually, English scoring is played up to 9 points.

To avoid confusion, the PAR scoring system has been adopted as the official scoring system.

Let’s Play Squash

There you have it. Those are the very basic rules of squash to get you started playing on of the world’s most famous racket sports. The rules are not as confusing as they may seem once you are on the court so don’t let them discourage you. It’s time to gear up and play. See you at the court.

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