Have you ever wondered where the junior squash players go to play there college squash? If you have, we have you covered.
So you’ve been playing squash for a bit, and in the lounge you begin to hear conversations about a new game. You see two players giving high fives to each other, which you’ve never seen done after a battle with an opponent. Then you begin to hear players talking about their strategy on the court together, and you ask your buddy what they are talking about and he mentions they are talking about “doubles squash.”
Let alone strategy, you’ve never even stepped foot in the doubles court. But if you are curious and adventurous enough, doubles squash is one of the most exciting games you can play.
How to Play Doubles Squash
Doubles squash is a fantastic game to play. Similar to other racquet sports like tennis, doubles squash is played with two teams of two players.
But, with squash all four players are mixed together in a single court area. The actual court area is larger than a singles court, but with a hard ball traveling very fast and bodies constantly moving, this sport can make a very exiting game.
Playing doubles squash
The basic principle of how to play doubles squash is to have two teams that are made up of two players each. The teams are split between a left wall player and a right wall player. It is the responsibility of each player to cover their side of the court. However, you do not have to remain on one side of the court and can freely move across to the other side to help your partner if necessary. In the fast-paced action there is a high chance of switching court sides while playing a point.
Taking a shot
In doubles squash the striking of the ball alternates between the teams. As long as the two teams take it in turns taking a shot it does not matter which team member is playing the shot. For instance, it is perfectly acceptable for two players from different teams to play out a rally on one particular side of the court. The other two players won’t simply be standing still but jostling for position in the event of the squash ball falling to them.
The process of scoring in doubles squash is based on playing the best 3 out of 5 games. Each of the games played is up to 15 points. If the game reaches 13-13, the first team to arrive at 13 has the option to select one of three numbers – 2, 3, or 5. The chosen number will be the extra points needed to win. For instance, if a team picks 2 points then the game continues until one team wins the extra two points.
In the event of a 14-14 tie, the team to arrive at 14 first is given the option to win by either 1 or 3 points.
Squash is unlike other racket sports, there is no need to continue playing until one team gains a two point advantage.
Lets are likely to be a common occurrence in a game of doubles squash. In most casual games, the preferred option is simply to repeat the play in the event of the unintentional interference. With four players in the confined space of a squash court, the play can get frantic and there is always the risk of a player getting in the way.
Surprisingly, squash players seem to forget the importance of a serve as it relates to overall doubles squash strategy. While it is nowhere nearly as important as serves in tennis, varying them always keeps your opponent off-balance. Even if you have a great serve, it becomes more effective when mixed with a few variations.
When playing doubles squash, how you start the serve and how you return the serve can set the tone for the game. Properly executing either of these fundamental shots can help set your team up for a successful outing. Sometimes, this is enough for you to win the game.
There are four different attacking serves.
- Lob to corner – when executed correctly, this shot is difficult
- Crisscross serve for a sharp angle
- Chip serve to the side wall looking for a nick
- Hard serve straight to the back-wall nick.
Vary your serves so your opponent does not get into a groove. By keeping them uncertain, it allows you to execute your strategy.
When returning the serve, be cognizant of the shot placement because you do not want to leave your teammate out of position!
- To return serve, stand one step’s reach to the side wall.
- Volley all service returns.
- Any returns of the serve hit down the wall should be hit really low or really high. This is so the opponent cannot block you out and attack the front corners.
- Always have the racket up and stand with your weight on your toes and with knees flexed. That way, gravity helps you go to the front wall with a quick first step.
Then, play your game!
Solo Squash Doubles Practice
So, you can’t round up 3 other people to get in the court with you. We’ve all been there. After texting and emailing all your friends (and the jerks too), you are left to what you had always hoped for: solo squash doubles practice!
Squash provides the ability to achieve meaningful practice on court by yourself. You can practice all the shots you might hit in a match in almost the same conditions and at the same pace and energy you’d normally hit them.
For hardball doubles, there is a misconception that you always need four players to play. But, there is a lot you can do on your own. Solo practice is a critical part of improving your doubles squash strategy and game, just like it is for your singles game.
Go to the T and try hitting volleys to yourself. Aim high above the service line and hit soft enough so the ball comes back to you at shoulder height. First get comfortable doing straight volleys, then move across the T with crosscourt volleys.
Try hitting straight deep drives to yourself on your regular wall. Aim for the back nick. It’s harder than you might think. A good goal is to hit 40 in a row. Mix in a few low kill drives as well, keeping the ball tight to the wall and bounce it twice before the short line.
Feed & Shoot
Position yourself to either side of the T, just in front of the short line. Hit the ball to yourself just above the service line, then hit a reverse corner to the opposite front corner. The ball should hit the side wall then the front wall just above the tin. If you hit it right, the ball should roll or bounce back close to you. Feed again and repeat. Also, try the same exercise hitting the front wall first and aiming for the nick.
Feed & Boast
Start off in the back corner of your normal side. Hit a deep drive that bounces off the ground just in front of the back wall. Hit a three wall boast (side wall close to you, front wall in opposite front corner, and then hopefully close to the nick). Again, the ball should roll back close to you and repeat.
Tips for Doubles Squash
The game of doubles squash can be a fun-filled sport that is very action-packed and exciting.
Here are a few doubles squash strategy points that are worth considering:
Good Partner – a basic rule of playing doubles squash is to pick a partner you are familiar with. Plus, it benefits to get involved in regular practice sessions with your partner to learn how they work and the type of shots they prefer to play. Once you understand your partners play and movements you are in a better position to know where to place yourself on the court to receive the counter-shot.
Corners – the squash court has four corners and only two players per team so this makes it difficult to cover all areas. The ideal strategy is to attempt to split the opposing team and look to strike the ball in the direction of one of the open quadrants.
Setup shots – try to take the deep shot before you look to take the short shot. Try to attack cross court to improve the ability to open up the court area.
Target the weaker player – make sure to play the shots that target the weakest member of the opposing team and be ruthless in your actions.
Minimize unforced errors – If you watch the pros play, you will realize that there are very few unforced errors in a game. They don’t serve out of court, nor do they hit tin after setting up a perfect kill shot. You may have to remind yourself that keeping the ball in play is half the battle.
Use attacking shots – one of the favored attacking shots in doubles squash is the reverse corner . This will make the opposing team play a shot cross-court to your teammate who should be really and waiting to return with a volley. It isn’t possible to put a shot down the line because this can lead to a stroke call.
Go for the volley – a simple doubles squash strategy is to go for the volley whenever possible. This is a basic rule for winning a game of doubles. Many opposing teams will attempt to push you to the rear wall, but don’t willingly let this happen.
Cover multiple shots – if you are defending you want to consider a range of shots. Don’t just think about the shot that will continue play, but also the shot that could potential beat you.
Vary the game play – change up the game play every so often and attack down the middle of the court on occasion. Also, you can look at varying the direction and height of the ball.
Blocking the ball – in the event of the squash ball being struck directly at you, the best action is simply to block the ball using a fore-swing. There is no need to take a full swing or a back swing.
Warm-up – before getting into a match, it is essential to do the basics. This means preparation and warm-up, such as practice serves, speed volleys and stretching.
Communication – a simple doubles squash strategy is to communicate and talk with your partner. It helps to plan and be aware of the type of shots that you intend to cover for each other. A team with a plan in place is certain to be that much more successful.
Call your lets – It takes you awhile to realize that you can actually win points in a squash game without actually hitting the ball. Not calling your lets would simply mean that you are playing from a point of disadvantage – like playing a shot with only half the front wall available to you.
The Right Racquet – if you get serious about playing doubles, you will also want to have the gear the pro’s use. A round, heavier racquet is preferred for doubles play. A great option is the Harrow Vaporor the Harrow M-140. If you don’t like the price point, the Dunlop Force Rush racquet is a great option too.
The Right Gear – With the fast-paced action on the squash court it is worth investing in a decent pair of shoes and goggles. For shoes, consider the Salming Kobra Shoes or the Head Sprint Pro. Goggles are even more important to wear during a doubles match when a lot more is going on. There is plenty of movement on court and with the ball constantly moving fast you want the necessary protection in place to protect the eyes. A great option is the Tecnifibre Absolute Eyewear that provides a little extra comfort on the court or the HEAD Pro Elite Eyewear.
Additional Doubles Squash Strategy
This builds upon the above with some additional points on doubles squash strategy from Peter Briggs, with an infographic we have made of his points as well. Here we go!Doubles- Squash- Strategy
Doubles Squash – Shot Strategy
- Always hit deep before you shoot short. Play at least five length balls before going short.
- Volley every ball you can touch! This is the Golden Rule of Winning Doubles. If the opposition’s strategy is to push you to the back wall, don’t go willingly. VOLLEY!
- There are four corners in the court and only two people on a team. The simple goal is to split the team on the diagonal and hit to one of the open quadrants.
- The number-one attacking shot is the reverse corner. Your opponent usually has to play the ball back cross-court to your partner and they should be ready to attack on the volley.
- To open up the court, attack cross court.
- For cross-court shots, aim high and hard at your opponent’s shoulders. The second spot is at there knees.
- Vary the height, speed and direction of your shots on the front wall.
Doubles Squash – Court Strategy
- Move laterally on the red line, not in a box step, when rotating with your opponent. This allows you to not get blocked out.
- When rushing to the front of the court, play less drops and more lobs to allow you to get into position as well as attack a corner your opponent is not in.
- If you are defending, cover the shot that beats you, not just the shot that continues play.
- When defending a ball hit hard at you just block the ball with a fore-swing, do not take a back swing or full swing. If you do you will hit the ball out of the court or miss altogether.
- Don’t use a singles racquet on the doubles court!
The leading racquet maker for doubles is Harrow, with a great option being the Harrow Vapor racquet. If you don’t like the price point, the Dunlop Force Rush racquet is a great option too. We also have our own guide to racquets that are available.
Lastly, this is the Tim Bacon “Egg Model of Squash Tactics”.
Doubles Squash Skill Levels
In doubles squash, the variability of play can be dramatic. Playing requires a good partner, shot selection, court positioning and footwork to contribute to your strategy. This, in turn, impacts your doubles squash levels.
Doubles Squash Levels – C Players
The biggest thing C players can do is to play defensively and work on getting their opponent in a position of weakness, versus going for an early point in the rally. They should also focus on fundamentals: cross courts that hit the side wall, using the height of the court to lift the ball over their opponents, and hitting to the front court when the other team is behind them. C players should also start being more aggressive with their first serve, and get in the habit of volleying the serve return to avoid getting into trouble with the back corners.
Players learn positioning on the court and when to rotate with the other team so they are in position to play the correct shot. This is also time to experiment on both walls, getting more comfortable as you gain experience.
Doubles Squash Levels – B Players
B Players begin using the reverse corner and the three-wall more effectively. They are able to adjust to different styles of play, such as high-pace or shot-making. B players should look to use their serve and return as a weapon, as they are confident to volley at anytime. Crosscourt shots for B players are difficult for opponents to hit before hitting the side wall.
Players are more efficient with movement by allowing the ball to come to them instead of over running. B players start to think strategically, like isolating a weaker opponent on the opposing team. Players naturally cover for their partner when in trouble and even change sides if necessary.
Doubles Squash Levels – A Players
A players volley easily and can make drop shots deceptive because they don’t change their racquet speed and use different spins on the ball. They let a wide ball pass them for their partner to hit, and then cross over to the side wall comfortably when a ball goes to the back.
They defend and anticipate their opponent’s attacking opportunities due to positioning (technique and footwork), along with their shots (lobs and skid boasts). Crosscourt shots will break on the side wall at different heights, speeds and angles.
They have a clear understanding who will play a ball in the middle of the court without verbal communication. They have an advanced court sense and are generally aware of the positions of the other three players. Thus, points are earned by moving opponents out of position.
Doubles Squash Further Reading
It wouldn’t make sense to use a cheap racquet on a game you play a lot, especially when you pay a hefty gym membership fee already! You want the best squash racquet available for your game. And a lot has changed since this guy played the game!
With that being said, there are a lot of racquet makers who are very good and have there own specialties depending on the type of squash you are playing, specifically if you are playing singles or doubles squash.
Considering that there are differences in a singles and doubles squash racquet, some coaches and professionals insist that the racquet you use does not matter, as a “pure” squash player can play with any racquet. While that generalization may be true for playing leisurely, playing at a consistently competitive level requires an optimized racquet for your game and style.
Choosing the best squash racket to match your skill-level and game play can be a difficult process, especially for players just starting out. Luckily, we’ve done the work for you – let’s see what we have.
Best Squash Racquets
|Harrow Vapor (Editor's Choice)||Both||140|
|Harrow M-140 (Doubles Choice)||Both||145|
|Technifibre Carboflex 125||Singles||125|
|Harrow Bancroft Executive||Doubles||155|
|Black Knight C2C nXS||Both||140|
|Head Microgel 125||Singles||125|
|Head Graphene Xenon||Singles||135|
|Head Graphene XT Cyano 110||Singles||110|
Squash Racquets Comparision InfographicSquashRacquets2018
Harrow Vapor – Best of Both Worlds, Premium Racquet
The Harrow Vapor gets its name because of the vapor trail seen after the swings from this racquet. Just kidding, but this is one of the best racquet around.
The Harrow Vapor is a top-rated racquet for the intermediate players and its qualities come at a top-end price. It gives the ability to deliver great power, control and responsiveness on the court.
The one negative with the racquet is concerns over it’s durability. It is susceptible to breaking and seems to be a little fragile. Many players do complain that for the price, they expect the racquet not to break as it gets expensive to replace.
Overall, this squash racquet has an amazing feel, great control and a top-end option for squash players.
Harrow M-140 – Editors choice for doubles, best doubles squash racquet
The Harrow M-140 is one of Harrow’s top selling doubles frame of all time and is the preferred racquet of several SDA pro tour players, and current world #2 team of Scott Arnold and John Russell.
The larger head size provides a larger sweet spot for off center hits. While perfectly suitable for a bigger hitting singles player as well, the new graphics on the Harrow M-140 highlight a stiff and powerful frame providing you with all the game you need to carry your partner to victory.
This racquet is evenly-balanced which provides great touch on when playing. It is on the lighter end of doubles racquets, which provides power through your forehand or backhand swing.
One thing that some players may have some adjusting too, especially when playing hardball doubles for the first time, is the speed of play, and thus the control from this racquet. If you need more control, a heavier racquet may be more suitable for beginning doubles players.
Tecnifibre Carboflex 125 – Best for Singles Squash
The weapon of choice for PSA World Number One squash player Mohamed El Shorbagy, the Tecnifibre CarboFlex 125 is a formidable squash racquet for a wide range of players with varying play styles.
The Carboflex 125 is especially ideal for players who favor long volleys and aggressive play styles, but it can be utilized for all sorts of strategies. With excellent precision and control, the Tecnifibre Carboflex is a great racquet for making precise and deadly shots from any place on the court.
The Carboflex is heavy enough to provide powerful and controlled shots while remaining light enough to ensure that you don’t get worn out too quickly into the match. The head weight on the Tecnifibre Carboflex 125 is perfectly balanced for both control and power, which is why it is an excellent racquet for players whose play style leans towards longer volleys.
The Carboflex boasts a strong sweet spot, and if you figure out how to consistently make contact with it, you’ll be sure to hit explosive shots time and time again. This racquet also has an Isomorph Shaft, which increases power by around 25% as compared to the standard mono shaft.
The Carboflex does have a bit more vibration to it compared to some other racquets of similar caliber, but not nearly enough to cause any real damage to your game. Taken in combination with the balanced weight, you’ll hardly even notice.
Harrow Bancroft Executive Racquet – Doubles only, heavy weight
Looking for a strong, sturdy, and reliable squash racquet? Look no further than the Harrow Bancroft Executive.
The #1 female squash player in the US, Natalie Grainger. You don’t get to that level without a great racquet. Not only does Grainger use the racquet, she actually helped design it. This is the kind of racquet fit for a professional.
The Harrow Bancroft Executive racquet is heavy enough to pack a punch, and while still remaining light enough where you won’t wear yourself out too quickly into the match. With that being said, this racquet has fantastic precision and control. The Harrow Bancroft Executive Racquet will keep your opponent running back and forth across the court, game after game.
While this racquet can surely be used by all types of players, it is worth considering that this racquet may not be exactly what you are looking for, especially if you play a lot of singles squash. Weighing in at 155 grams, this racquet is heavy for singles play. Most singles racquets are 140 grams or less.
Black Knight C2C nXS – versatile racquet, moderate price
The Black Knight C2C nXS is a great racquet for singles or doubles players, and reps Black Knight’s Canadian roots with a maple leaf design. Even as an American who cannot stand seeing Canada hockey beat the Americans, this racquet design is awesome.
The Black Knight C2C nXS is well balanced and maneuverable with its large hitting surface, moderate stiffness, and lightweight construction. Plus, the weight is just about right – not too heavy, not too light. Black Knight racquets are known for their durability. This racquet will be a weapon for battle for many years.
The factory grip on this racket is fantastic, although it is different than most because of it’s distinct ridges. It is very grippy and comfortable which is less likely to lead to minor blisters after a long game.
A negative with this racquet is the teardrop design for doubles play. Typically doubles racquets sport a shorter, but wider head. Using this racquet for doubles play is possible due to the weighting and durability, but the teardrop design lends itself to a smaller sweet spot.
Head Microgel 125 – singles only, best price
The Head Microgel 125 is built with plenty of innovative features such as the Metallix, Flexpoint and Microgel technology. This is a great racquet for beginning players that is hoping to quickly advance the playing skill and all-around game play. The larger head size makes it easier to play for the beginner with great control and power.
The MicroGel™ is a special type of silicone-based material that is combined with strong composite fiber to create a racquet that delivers well on responsiveness. This technology has the ability to evenly distribute the impact load across the frame to give the best possible touch and feel in the game.
This squash racquet is particularly good for players that like to play a lot of drops and volleys. It is easy to handle because of its lightweight construction at just 125 grams. Plus, this racket is able to give a stiff performance with little to no vibration.
The negative of this racquet is that it isn’t a great two-way option. This racquet is definitely made for singles squash. Another point of concern for some players is the construction of the handle and grip. Rather than a traditional “square” handle, this racquet is more “rectangular” which can feel different in your hands.
Head Graphene Xenon – Large Sweet Spot
The Head Graphene Xenon is one of the premier racquets on the market in 2017. As the chosen racquet of 2008 world cup runner-up Karim Darwish, you know this racquet has what it takes. This is one of the best high quality racquets you can get and is durable enough to last for years.
Weighing in at only 4.76oz the Graphene Xenon is a light and lethal machine that will help you step your game up to the next level. Not only is it light, the Graphene Xenon is weighted unlike most other racquets.
The Head Graphene Xenon Squash Racquet is head heavy, which may take some players some getting used to, but once you’re comfortable with the weighting and balance, you’ll see the true power of this racquet.
All in all, the Head Graphite Xenon Squash Racquet is a great racquet for players all across the spectrum. There are some aspects of it that some players may not find to their liking but, hey, everyone is different, especially when it comes to squash. If you’re looking for a great gift or are just looking for an affordable way to step up your squash game, look no further than the Head Graphite Xenon racquet.
Head Graphene XT Cyano 110 – Singles Power Player
The Head Graphene XT Cyano 110 is an ultra-light squash racquet for singles players. This racket has an affordable price, lightweight construction, ease of control and ability to generate power.
The graphene technology called Graphene XT. Graphene XT technology uses the world’s lightest material to enhance weight distribution, power and swing speed. This enables a lighter weight without sacrificing the racket’s power. Compared to previous versions, the large head and head heavy balance stayed the same, but now the frame is even lighter.
This racquet is definitely a singles-focused racquet and many reviews on the web note the brittleness of the frame, as it is susceptible to breaking. Just don’t hit the wall!
Best Squash Racquet – Buyers Guide
Some players may look to buy a low-cost racket while others will look to spend a significant sum to get the highest quality equipment possible. Also, there are many brands – Tecnifibre, Head, Dunlop and Prince – that offer a wide range of squash gear.
Here are a few things to consider in the process of deciding on the best squash racket:
Squash Racquet Price
A great place to start is the price range of the squash racket. They vary in price from the very cheap to the extremely expensive. Simply base your decision on how much you can comfortably afford to invest in your gear. While it benefits to go a little above the most basic options, there is no need to start out with the most expensive or highest quality racket.
A beginner can easily invest $30-$50 on a starter racket, but the best value is going to be a racquet around $100-$150 if you are serious about the game. The most expensive racquets are over $200.
Squash Racquet Quality
There are plenty of factors that can impact the characteristics and behavior of the squash racket, including the material, shape of head, size, balance and weight. Try out and handle a few rackets to see which is most effective for your game play.
Always go with the squash racket that matches your skill-level. Also, the highest quality racquet is built with better qualities and will last longer.
There are two primary types of composition in a squash racquet, the Open throat design and the Closed throat construction.
- An open throat will help provide control and stability due to the shorter main strings.
- A closed throat has a larger sweet spot and normally generates more power.
In Squash there are three different categories of balance in a racquet. Head light racquets, head heavy racquets and evenly balanced racquets. Each plays very differently and has different benefits to the player.
Squash racquets range in weight from 110 grams to 170 grams. The appropriate weight of the racquet typically depends on personal preference. With that being said, there are advantages to both a lighter racquet and a heavier racquet.
Squash racquets come with a standard handle size, but the handle shape can change among manufacturers. The shape that you decide to use is going to come down to personal preference.
Rounded Handle: Think of this as feeling like a baseball bat
Rectangular Handle: Think of this feeling much more like a tennis racquet
Racquets can last years if they are properly maintained. What consistently needs to be replaced is your strings, which should be replaced on an annual basis.
As you can see, there are several factors that go into making a racquet “best” for you as an individual player. Depending on your play style and physical attributes, one racquet may suite you better than the next player.SquashRacquets2018