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Squash Rules Summary

January 12, 2011 | Comments: 0 | Views: 107

Scoring Summary

To win a squash match you must win 3 out of of 5 games. The first player to win 3 games wins the match. Games are played to 11 points. If the score is tied 10-10, the first player to go ahead by 2 points wins the game. For example, if you go ahead 13-11 you have won the game.

Either player can win a point (you do not have to be serving to win a point).

Warming Up

If you are playing in a tournament or other sanctioned match, the squash rules mandate a maximum warmup of 5 minutes (2.5 minutes per side). Sometimes you have flexibility to warm up a bit longer, but if the tournament is on a tight schedule, they might hold you to this, so you need to be aware of it.

Before you start the match, spin a racket to determine who will serve first.


Each point starts with a serve. The server decides whether they will serve from the right service box or the left service box. The server must place at least one foot within the service box, without touching the service box line.

The serve must hit the front wall first, above the service line painted on the front wall. The ball must hit completely above this line without touching it. The ball must land in the opposite back quarter of the court, unless the opponent volleys it.

If the server wins the point, they then serve from the other service box, and keep alternating as long as they are winning points. If the server loses the rally, the other player becomes the server and decides which service box they would like to serve from.

At the start of a new game, the player who won the last game serves first.


To continue the rally, you must hit the ball before it bounces twice. You can hit your shot off the side or back walls, or directly to the front wall, as long as the ball makes contact with the front wall before touching the floor. Your shot must also be played above the tin (the strip of metal or wood along the bottom of the front wall) and must stay within the outer bounds of the court. If you cannot continue the rally with a good shot, your opponent wins the point, regardless of who was serving.


During play, you are not allowed to crowd your opponent's swing or block them from retrieving the ball. If you interfere with your opponent's swing while they are striking the ball, this is called a "stroke" and you lose the point. Similarly, if you are standing in between the ball and the front wall, and your opponent is standing with their racket ready and prepared to hit their shot, this is a stroke and you lose the point. If you block the other player from moving to the ball, and don't make every effort to get out of the way, this is also a stroke.

If you block the opponent from moving to the ball, and you do make every effort to get out of the way, this is called a "let" and the point is played over. If the opponent was ready to hit the ball it would be a stroke, but if the opponent was blocked from moving to the ball, this is a let.

If you block the opponent from moving to the ball, and there was no chance for your opponent to retrieve your shot, this is called a "no let", and you win the point despite the interference.

Often these situations can be ambiguous. If the players cannot agree, it's best to play a let. Of course, in a tournament, there are often referees in place to determine the calls.

Pierre Bastien is a longtime squash player and the author of Visit us for more discussion of the squash rules and other squash topics.

Source: EzineArticles
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