Squash Rules for Beginners

A Brief Summary of the Rules and Regulations of Squash for Beginners

Squash rules are not very difficult to understand. Simply put, squash is a game played between 2 individuals who alternate between hitting the ball with a racket. Check out the article to learn more about rules and regulations regarding the playing area, scoring, and gameplay.
Squash, to put it in simple words, is a game played by 2 players with rackets. The game is played in an enclosure with a hollow and small rubber ball. An off shoot of the game called rackets, played in USA, UK, and Canada, some of the guidelines for playing squash are a bit different from that of rackets. One of the most significant differences, however, between the two is that rackets used to be played initially using non-squeezable balls. The establishment of squash as a regular sport, combining 3 games - rackets, five, and tennis was brought about in 1907. Now let's take a look at squash rules for beginners!

Rules and Regulations

Court
The basic measurement for a squash court was codified in as early as 1920s in London as 32 ft long and 21 ft wide. There is a 15 ft outline above the floor on the front wall. This line, in turn is connected by a 'raking' out line on the back wall, which is 7 feet above the floor. The front wall undoubtedly has the highest playing surface and has 3 parallel lines marked. The back wall, on the contrary has the least playing surface. Those shots which are struck above the outline are out, on any wall. The bottom line of the front wall has a half meter high area of metal, the 'tin'. If this is struck, the ball is held to be out. There are 3 boxes in a squash court amongst which there are service boxes.

Service
Rackets are flipped amongst players to decide who serves first. A rally is started by a player when he serves from either the left or the right service box. A correct serve, according to rules of playing squash is where the player does not touch any service box lines and is within the service box. This applies for the player even when he or she is striking the ball. Then, after the ball is struck, the ball should strike on the front wall above the service line and should land in the opposite quarter court. After a server wins a point, players can exchange sides for the next one. Considering all this, the service techniques need to be understood perfectly.

Play
Once the serve is in progress, the players hit the ball alternately, on the front wall, below the outline and above the tin. As long as the ball does not hit the outline, it can hit the side walls or the back wall. The ball should be hit directly on the wall. Following a ball hit on the front wall, the ball can bounce once on the floor before a player hits it. Normally, players hold their positions at the center of the court following a shot. However, they are allowed to move freely in that enclosure.

American Scoring System
Squash rules and regulations are a little different in the USA than in England. In USA the system is the point-a- rally scoring system- PARS. Here, the points are awarded based on who wins the rally, irrespective of the serve. Earlier PARS was up to 15 points, since 2008, it is 11 points. However, these are adapted variably to suit the situation and format of the game.

English Scoring System
According to the English scoring system, points are awarded on the basis of the serving system. This has a stark similarity with the tennis scoring system, seemingly. Consequently, points are awarded when:
  • The receiver is unable to strike the ball before it bounces twice
  • The ball is hit 'out' by the receiver
  • Before the ball bounces, the receiver fails to hit it to the front wall
  • During a point, the receiver obstructs the server
The usual limit for a game is 9 points. The 'Best of Five' norm is typically followed in competitions.

Referee
Last but not the least, is the referee, a certified position assigned by the concerned Squash authority. The referee is in control of the game and has the authority to deduct points or take away games from a player for inappropriate conduct and disobedience of rules.

Now these rules, even though slightly complicated regarding serves and play, can be grasped easily if you are interested in it and are already playing the game. Squash rules for beginners are not different from the regular rules.

Finally, the rules of the game never change. It is just the way a player perceives them and plays in a way that they would benefit him or her to win the game, is what matters.
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