If your only concept of squash is a winter vegetable suitable for hearty soups or a concentrated syrup that adds flavor to water, then we’re here to tell you that it is also the name of a popular racket sport.
To give you an idea of what the sport is, it’s very similar to racquetball with a few minor differences. If you haven’t heard of racquetball either, then imagine a game of tennis played inside a room of four walls, and you’re almost there.
One of the main reasons for the sports’ popularity is the fast-flowing nature of the games. Squash isn’t for the faint of heart; it can provide an incredible cardiovascular workout if you’re willing to chase down every ball.
In this article, we will go over the basics of squash, including the rules, where and how it is played, and what you need to get started.
The rules of squash are simple, yet the sport is a difficult one to master.
Much like tennis, squash is a sport that requires either two players or four, which are called singles and doubles games, respectively.
A fundamental grasp of the rules is essential if you wish to give squash a go, so here is a brief overview of what you need to know before hitting a ball.
One player starts the game by serving the ball, which must land above the service line and below the out line.
For it to count as a real serve, the ball will then need to travel to the back corner where your opponent will be standing.
On the way to the back corner, the ball may hit the side ball, too.
During each rally, the ball must hit the front wall, but that doesn’t mean it can’t bounce off the side or rear walls before it does.
In fact, a good strategy in squash is to mix up your shots by playing them off different walls, ensuring that each will strike the front wall at some point during its journey.
In order to stay in a rally, you must return the opponent’s hit or serve before it bounces twice.
How to Win
To be triumphant, you will need to win more rallies than your opponent.
Each game lasts for 11 points, with each rally equalling a single point. If the game reaches a moment in which there is a draw, it’s necessary to wait until one player is 2 points ahead.
There are typically five games in a match.
A squash court is more often than not a room of four walls located within a gym or sports center, but it’s possible to find enclosed outdoor courts too.
The floor is hard, and there are red lines across the front and side walls, as well as on the floor.
The court’s lines are essential as they tell you where you need to serve from and where you can hit the ball.
You will find two service boxes in any squash court, as well as an out line, a service line, and a tin line.
The service boxes are where both players will stand, and where you must remain for each serve.
The out line and tin line determine the upper and lower limits of play, while the service line indicates that you should serve above it.
In squash, like most racket sports, you will need two pieces of equipment: a racket and a ball.
While you can buy specialist footwear and clothing, these aren’t necessary, especially when you’re just starting out.
There are many options for the racket, and your best bet is to find one that suits your experience level and your playing style.
Some rackets will be weightier and more suited to powerful shots, while others will have lighter frames which is better for deft flicks of the wrist and trick shots.
The ball is important too, as there are several different types, each with its own characteristics.
For a beginner, the best ball is the one with a single blue dot, as it is larger, which makes it easier to hit and has enough bounce to stay in the air for a long time. The bounce increases the ball’s hang time, which gives you more time to react and return the ball.
However, if you want to play like the pros and build confidence in your skills, you should go with the ball with a single yellow dot or two yellow dots. These are much smaller and much less forgiving, with little bounce and barely any hang time.
How to Start Playing
If you are curious about getting started with the action-packed sport, then you have several options.
Here are some of the best ways to get started with squash:
Your first port of call if you’re interested in playing squash should be your local gym.
While not all gyms will have squash courts, many do.
This is a great way to get into the sport without having to pay extra, provided you already have a gym membership, and the gym has a squash court.
Even if your gym doesn’t have a squash court, it’s worth enquiring at reception as they may know of somewhere nearby you can go.
If you’re lucky, there might be a dedicated squash club nearby that has a team, lessons, and facilities you can use to get started out with the sport.
Squash clubs are great for beginners and advanced players alike because you’ll find a community of others interested in the sport, which can help fast track your progress in the sport.
Learning about a new sport can be both extremely rewarding and incredibly daunting at the same time, so here are some useful resources to make your life easier:
Finding a Squash Court or Club:
Participate | US Squash (USA)