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Squash Vs. Racquetball

By J.S. Copper

Despite the similarities at first glance, squash and racquetball are two different sports with different rackets, balls, courts and rules. Both sports have similarities to tennis but are more intense, faster-paced and provide one of the best full-body workouts.


Racquetball rackets are shorter and wider in comparison to squash rackets. Racquetball rackets have a maximum allowable length of 22 inches and look like a small tennis racket , while squash rackets are up to 27 inches long and are similar in looks to a badminton racket.


Squash balls are much smaller at 4 cm in diameter versus the 5.7 cm ball used in racquetball. The racquetball is made of rubber and carries momentum as it bounces around the walls, while the squash ball is denser and does not bounce as much.


Racquetball is played in a fully enclosed court where all four walls, the ceiling and the floor are playable surfaces. The enclosure is 40 feet long by 20 feet wide by 20 feet tall. There are no restrictions as to where the ball can hit on the walls. Two red lines parallel to the front wall line cross the center of the floor designating the serving area. Squash is in a similar enclosure though its dimensions are 32 feet long by 21 feet wide. The front wall of a squash court holds a "tin" line that is 19 inches off the floor. The ball must hit above the tin, much like a net in tennis. Above that, halfway up the front wall, is another red line called the service line. The back half of the squash court is divided by a red line, with two smaller rectangular boxes at the center line designating the serving areas. Squash courts have an out-of-bounds area at the front of the court, while racquetball has no such unplayable areas. The squash court also has red lines along the tops of the walls. If the ball is hit above those areas, it is out of play.


In squash, the server is allowed only one serve while the racquetball player has two, much like tennis. In squash, the server alternates serving into the two serving boxes designated on the floor and the ball must land in the opposite quarter after hitting the front wall below the service line and above the tin line. In racquetball, the player stands anywhere within the serving area and the ball must hit the floor anywhere in the back half of the court after hitting the front wall first.


A squash game goes to nine points or 11 in tournaments. Racquetball games go to 15 points. In both games, a player must win by two points.

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