[Updated on 1 July 2023] The Beginner’s Guide to Squash video was made by a student who does a great job explaining the basics of squash for a beginner. He covers all the basics from how to hold the racquet to the mechanics of a squash rally to the different kinds of shots you can execute on the court.
Beginner’s Guide to Squash Summary
- When you grip the racquet, you should hold it firmly, see a V with your thumb and index finger and have a cocked (steady) wrist when swinging
- Squash has rally scoring and you win a point by returning a ball to the front wall and having the ball bounce twice before your opponent can hit the ball back to the front wall
- The calls a referee can make are let, no let and stroke. The most common call a referee makes in squash is a let call, where the player is interfered with on the path to hitting the ball
- The 3 basic shots in squash are the straight drive, cross-court, and drop shot. The drop shot is used to attack, while the drive and cross-court are used to move your opponent away from the T
Beginners Guide to Squash Transcript
Squash originated in the mid 19th century in England and grew in popularity around the 1920s. Now, squash is a world-renowned racquet sport played in an enclosed court. There is a front wall to side walls and a back wall, the center area is known as the key as you can see the lines that intersect at the “T”.
Traditional games are best-of-five games and played between two flames and the aim of the game is to win three out of five games. Each game the points go up to 11 and if both players make it to 10, the game continues until somebody wins by 2 points (like 12-10, 15-13).
First, you need to know how to hold a racket, in racket choose one that is comfortable and isn’t too heavy or too light. A racket from brands such as Prince Dunlop and Tecnifiber is what a squash player will use.
Holding the racket firm around the grip, it looks like the front side your thumb wraps around it and the edge of the racket is aligned with the area between your thumb and index finger and on the back side of your index finger wrapped around it like a hook while the rest of your fingers wrapped around the grip. Keep in mind here when hitting the ball the wrist should not move and stay firm.
The squash ball is a tiny rubber ball with a diameter of four centimeters. There are different variations in squash ball, some of them are bouncy which are helpful for beginners until you get the hang of hitting it. The common training and competition ball is a double yellow ball one with the two yellow dots on it.
Points and Scoring in Squash
Now, back to winning and earning points. Each point consists of a rally in which two players take alternating turns set the ball. The ball must hit the front wall before the next player can perform the shot. In each turn, players are allowed a maximum of one bounce of the ball on the ground before they play their shot. If the ball bounces on the ground twice then the player who hit the ball earns a point. The referee will call the rally over, and therefore, a point will be awarded.
A rally starts by a serve from the player who won the last point. To serve the ball, the player serving must have at least one foot within the service box. The serve must first hit the front wall, it must be above the service line and pass the short line on the opposite side of the half-court. Initially, the first serve of the ball must hit this area where your opponent will be and that will initiate the rally.
If the player was serving from the opposite side and the serve touches the service line or below, or if it doesn’t make it past a short line in the opposite of the half-court line, the referee will call a foul and awards a point to the opposition. However, the area above the side wall line is considered out and if the ball touches above the line the ball is out. Therefore it’s a point to the opposition. This is not just within a serve but anytime during a rally, if the ball touches the outline or above it will be a point to the opposition and if the serve hits the tin the ball is down and it’s a point to the opposition. This is also not just within the serve but any time during a rally if the ball hits the tin it will be a point to the opposition.
Squash Referee Calls
A couple of important referee calls are a let, no let, and stroke. These calls are in regard to interference where your opponent is interfering with your path towards the ball. If there’s a slight interference from player one as player two is moving towards the trajectory of the ball, then player two would not hit the ball and call for a let by saying “let please.” When the referee says “yes let” that means the rally restarts again. Keep in mind that if you’re calling for a let you need to show a sufficient amount of effort in getting the ball.
A no let call is basically the opposite of a let call when your opponent has no interference with your path towards the ball here. Player one has hit a tight ball against the side wall and has cleared the path for player two. Player two may say “let please” and the referee will say “no net”, therefore, it will be a point for player one player.
A stroke is when there is complete interference between your opponent and your path towards the ball or if your opponent’s completely in the area of your swing. If player one intended to clear out of the path but was not clearing properly and fast enough, then player two would appeal to the referee. When the stroke is granted, there will be a point for player two. The stroke is only granted if player two shows a sufficient amount of effort to play the ball.
Basic Shots in Squash
Next, are the shots such as a straight drive, a cross-court, and a drop shot. The drop is a basic shot and it’s a straight line down to the back wall either on the back end or whore inside of the core on the forehand side.
From the forehand side, you have your left leg in front of your right leg with both legs about shoulder width apart. When you swing the momentum will cut onto your left leg, therefore, your stance will be stable and you won’t fall and your body should be facing the side wall. The swing starts with your racket up so that the grip is around ear level in order to generate power in the shot.
Then the swing starts with the elbow bent in a v-shape upon impact of the ball the arm extends then you hit it and then it’s the follow through all the way back up to the opposite side of the ear. This will generate maximum power in the swing and is important to get it right because it’s the base of the whole game.
On the backhand side, the right leg would be in front of your left leg and the swing starts from your ear level and you follow through once you get the hang of it.
You can try the volley drive show next. With a coach or player to feed your volley, you hit the ball and same way like a normal. A straight drive would be the first choice but the second shot would be the cross-court shot with the ball going from one side of the court to the other. Ideally, it should land in the back corner to put more pressure on your opponent. For this shot, you need to open your body a little more and get the right angle. The swing is exactly the same except you’re just hitting the ball in a different angle in a different place on the wall.
As you can see previously with the drive you hit the ball in this area of the wall. However, with a cross-court, you should hit towards the middle of the wall. The backhand cross-court is just the opposite from the forehand: right leg in front as usual and you’re aiming the ball around the middle area of the front wall.
The third shot is the boast. The boast will hit the side wall first and then the front wall. On the forehand side your stance is the same but you position your left-hand shoulder towards the sidewall and aim the ball around here on the sidewall. If you aim higher the boast will go higher and this will allow more time for your opponent, which is not ideal. But if it’s too low it will hit the tin and you lose a point due to your mistake; so you need the practice to get it right. Aim for this area in the side wall and hit it towards the direction on the backhand side.
It’s the opposite on the backhand position stance with your right leg in front and your right shoulder should be facing the wall and hit the ball around the middle height area of the sidewall.
For the volley shot, it’s the same but you’re hitting the ball at a higher point. You can aim lower on the sidewall so it will cause the ball to be quicker and allow for a lot less time for your opponent.
The fourth and final shot is the drop shot. It is a soft shot with backspin towards the front corner. It’s like a slight push of the ball into the front corner however there’s a cut down on the ball as you hit it. You can hear the sound of the cut and this provides backspin on the ball and causes the ball to travel faster as well as have a sharp drop towards the ground. Also, the follow-through is shorter than other shots because there is more technique than power in the shot.
Squash Safety and Fitness
Squash is a fast-paced racquet sport that requires agility, endurance, and quick reflexes. While it offers numerous health and fitness benefits, it is important to prioritize safety when playing the game. Here is some information about squash safety and fitness:
- Warm-up- Warming up your muscles and joints is essential before beginning a squash session. To improve blood flow, loosen your muscles, and lower your chance of injury, engage in light aerobic and dynamic stretches.
- Proper equipment- Use appropriate equipment to ensure safety. Invest in a good-quality squash racket that suits your playing style and skill level. Wear comfortable, non-marking indoor court shoes to maintain traction and prevent slips.
- Eye protection- Squash is a high-speed game with small rubber balls flying around. It is strongly advised to use protective eyewear made specifically for squash to shield your eyes from potential harm. These goggles provide impact resistance and safeguard your eyes from accidental hits.
- Court awareness- Be aware of your surroundings on the court. Monitor your opponent’s movements and ensure a safe distance between players to avoid collisions or accidental contact during gameplay.
- Hydration and nutrition- Stay adequately hydrated before, during, and after your squash sessions. Drink water or sports drinks to replenish fluids lost through sweat. Also, maintain a balanced diet to fuel your body with the nutrients for energy and muscle recovery.
- Injury prevention- To minimize the risk of injury, practice proper technique and footwork. Focus on maintaining a good balance, using correct body positioning, and avoiding sudden movements that could strain your muscles or joints.
- Fitness benefits- Squash is an excellent sport for improving cardiovascular fitness, strength, and endurance. It offers a full-body workout, engaging the legs, core, and upper body. The constant movement, lunging, and quick directional changes provide intense aerobic exercise, helping to burn calories and improve stamina.
- Cross-training- Incorporate cross-training exercises into your fitness routine to enhance squash performance and prevent overuse injuries. Include activities that improve agility, flexibility, and muscular strength, such as running, plyometrics, yoga, and weight training.
- Rest and recovery- Allow your body enough time to rest and recover between squash sessions. Overtraining can lead to fatigue and an increased risk of injury. Listen to your body, prioritize quality sleep, and incorporate rest days into your training schedule.
- Professional guidance- If you’re new to squash or want to improve your skills, consider seeking guidance from a qualified squash coach. They can provide expert advice on technique, strategy, and safety measures, ensuring you enjoy the game while minimizing the risk of injuries.
Non-marking Sports Shoes
Non-marking sports shoes, also known as indoor sports shoes or court shoes, are specially designed footwear for indoor sports activities that help prevent scuffing or leaving marks on the playing surface. These shoes are commonly used in basketball, volleyball, badminton, squash, and indoor soccer.
The primary feature of non-marking sports shoes is their sole construction. The outsole of these shoes is made from materials that are softer and less abrasive than those used in regular sport’s shoes. This design prevents the sole from leaving black marks or scuffs on polished wooden floors, rubberized surfaces, or indoor courts.
Shoes that won’t leave marks on the floor usually have outsoles made of rubber or gum rubber, which helps to give good grip and traction when walking on indoor surfaces. The tread pattern is specifically designed to maximize traction while minimizing the risk of slippage. This helps athletes maintain stability and agility during quick movements and direction changes on the court.
In addition to the specialized sole construction, non-marking sports shoes offer other features that enhance performance and comfort. They often have cushioning systems, such as foam or gel, to provide shock absorption and support during high-impact activities. The shoe’s upper part is typically made from breathable materials, allowing air circulation and reducing moisture and sweat buildup.
It is important to note that non-marking sports shoes are primarily designed for indoor use on smooth, hard surfaces. Using them on outdoor or abrasive surfaces may cause premature wear and reduce their non-marking properties. It is recommended to use different shoes specifically designed for outdoor sports activities to ensure durability and performance.
Selecting the right size and fit is crucial when purchasing non-marking sports shoes. Properly fitted shoes provide better support, prevent foot injuries, and enhance overall performance. Trying on different brands and models, and consulting with knowledgeable staff, can help you find the perfect pair of non-marking sports shoes.
Non-marking sports shoes are specialized footwear that offers excellent traction, support, and cushioning for indoor sports activities. They are designed to protect the playing surface while providing athletes with the necessary tools to excel in their chosen sport.
A squash ball is a small rubber ball used in squash. It is an essential component of the game, as it is the object that players hit back and forth within the confines of the squash court.
Squash balls are designed to have specific characteristics that affect the game’s speed and bounce. The type of squash ball used depends on the player’s skill level and the prevailing playing conditions. The different kinds of squash balls are categorized by their dot colors, indicating their hardness and speed.
The standard squash ball is black and considered the slowest. It is typically used by beginners or for recreational play. As players advance in skill level, they progress to higher dot colors, representing faster and more responsive balls. These range from one yellow dot (slightly faster) to two yellow dots (fastest), with each dot indicating an increase in ball speed and hardness.
Squash balls are made of a rubber compound with a textured surface to provide grip and control. They come in various sizes, but the most common size is 40mm in diameter. The ball’s small size allows for fast-paced rallies and demanding gameplay within the confines of the squash court.
It’s worth noting that squash balls have a limited lifespan due to their constant use and the natural degradation of the rubber material. As they age, they lose their bounce and responsiveness, requiring regular replacement to maintain the quality of play.
In summary, a squash ball is a small rubber ball used in squash. It comes in different types, indicated by dot colors, to accommodate players of varying skill levels. Squash balls are designed to have specific hardness and speed characteristics, contributing to the game’s dynamics.
A squash court is a specialized playing area designed for squash. Squash is a sport played with a racquet by two players for singles or four players for doubles in a small, enclosed space. The game aims to hit a small rubber ball against the front wall using a racquet, aiming to make it bounce twice before the opponent can return it.
Here are some key points about squash courts:
- Court Dimensions- A standard squash court has a playing surface that measures 9.75 meters long, 6.4 meters wide, and 5.64 meters high. The front wall features a “T-shaped line called the “service line” or “half-court line” that divides the front wall into equal halves.
- Walls- The court consists of four walls: the front wall, two side walls, and a back wall. The walls are typically made of hard materials like plaster, concrete, or glass. The front wall has a “tin,” a metal strip positioned above the floor. They are hitting the tin, resulting in a lost point.
- Floor- The playing surface is usually made of a resilient material, such as wood or synthetic material, to allow for quick movements and reduce the impact on the players’ joints.
- Court Markings- The court is marked with various lines and markers to indicate specific areas and boundaries. These include the service line, the “out” line at the top of the front wall, and the “tin” line above the floor on the front wall.
- Scoring- Squash is typically played using a point-a-rally scoring system, where a point is awarded for every rally won. Games are usually played to 11 or 9 points; matches are determined by the best of three or five games.
- Equipment- Players use a specialized squash racquet, which is smaller and lighter than a tennis racquet. The ball used in squash is a small, hollow rubber ball that can vary in speed and bounce depending on its type. Players wear non-marking shoes to protect the court surface.
- Rules- Squash has specific regulations regarding strokes, serves, interference, and conduct. These rules ensure fair play, safety, and proper behavior during the game.
Squash is a fast-paced and physically demanding sport that requires agility, strategy, and precision. It provides a great cardiovascular workout and is popular in many countries worldwide. Squash courts are in dedicated sports clubs, fitness centers, and recreational facilities.
Someone to Play
If you’re a beginner looking for someone to play squash with, a few options are available. Squash is a fast-paced racquet sport played in an enclosed court, and finding a suitable playing partner can greatly enhance your learning and enjoyment of the game. Here’s some information to help you find someone to play squash with as a beginner:
- Local Squash Clubs- Check for any nearby squash clubs or facilities. These clubs often have a community of players of various skill levels, including beginners. Contact the club or visit their website to inquire about finding a playing partner or joining beginner-friendly sessions.
- Community Centers- Many community centers or sports complexes have squash courts available for public use. Inquire about any organized squash programs or leagues that cater to beginners. You can join group sessions or find other players with similar skill levels.
- Online Platforms- Utilize online platforms dedicated to connecting squash players. Websites or mobile applications specifically designed for finding playing partners, such as SquashMatch or Meetup, can help locate other beginners in your area. These platforms often allow you to filter players by skill level, making it easier to find suitable opponents.
- Social Media Groups- Join squash-related groups or communities on social media platforms like Facebook, Reddit, or Twitter. These groups often have members willing to play and share their knowledge with beginners. Post a request in these groups, stating that you are looking for someone to play squash with as a beginner, and you may receive responses from interested players.
- Friends and Acquaintances- Spread the word among your friends, family, and colleagues that you are interested in playing squash. Someone within your social circle might already play or know someone who does. Playing with someone you know can be a comfortable and supportive environment for learning the game.
Squash is a racquet sport involving fast-paced gameplay on a four-walled court. It is either played by two players in singles or four players in doubles. If you’re a beginner looking to learn the rules of squash, here’s a basic overview:
- Scoring- Squash is typically played in a best-of-five games format, with each game played to 11 points. However, some variations use a point-a-rally (PAR) scoring system, where each rally can result in an issue for the server or receiver.
- Serve- The server must stand within the service box and hit the ball above the service line and below the outline. The ball must strike the front wall between the service line and the outline and land in the opposite quarter court. The server alternates sides after each point.
- Return of Serve- The receiver must stand within the receiving box and wait for the server to hit the ball. Once the ball is served, the receiver can hit it after it has passed the short line and before it bounces for the second time.
- Rally- After the serve, the players alternate, hitting the ball against the front wall, aiming to make it land above the tin (bottom boundary) and below the outline (top boundary). The ball can hit any wall but only touches the floor after the second bounce.
- Let and Stroke- During a rally, if interference occurs due to the opponent’s movement or if the ball is difficult to retrieve due to interference, a let (redo the rally) or stroke (point awarded to the player) can be given based on the referee’s judgment.
- Movement- Players must move quickly and efficiently to reach and hit the ball. The objective is to keep the ball away from the opponent and make it difficult for them to return it effectively.
- Safety- Safety is essential in squash. Players must avoid obstructing their opponents’ path to the ball and try to give them a fair opportunity to make a shot.
- Out of Bounds- If the ball hits the outline or floor before reaching the front wall or going out of the court, it results in a point for the opponent.
- Winning the Game- A player must reach 11 points or the predetermined target to win. If the score reaches 10-10, players must win by two points to secure the game.
Remember, these are just the basics of squash rules for beginners. You can learn more about specific techniques, strategies, and advanced rules to enhance your gameplay as you progress.
Q1. What is squash?
Squash is a popular racquet sport played by two players (singles) or four players (doubles) on an indoor court. It involves hitting a rubber ball against the front wall using a racquet. The objective is to make the ball bounce twice before the opponent can return it.
Q2. How do I choose the right squash racquet?
When selecting a squash racquet, consider factors such as weight, balance, grip size, and string tension. Beginners often benefit from a slightly heavier racquet with a larger head size, which provides more power and forgiveness. However, trying different racquets to find one that feels comfortable and suits your playing style is a good idea.
Q3. What should I wear for squash?
It is recommended to wear comfortable athletic clothing that allows for ease of movement. Most players wear non-marking indoor court shoes to provide grip on the court surface. Additionally, protective eyewear is highly recommended to prevent eye injuries from the ball.
Q4. How is squash scored?
Squash is typically scored using the point-a-rally system, where players can score points when serving and receiving. A player earns a moment if their opponent fails to return the ball within the court boundaries. A game is usually played to 9 or 11 points, and matches are best of three or five games.
Q5. What are the basic rules of squash?
Some fundamental rules of squash include:
- The ball must be hit above the tin (bottom boundary) and below the outline (top border) on the front wall.
- The ball can hit the side walls and back wall during play.
- Players take turns serving, and the server must stand in the service box until the ball is hit.
- Players must try to clear their shot and give their opponent a fair chance to play the ball.
Q6. How can I improve my squash game?
To enhance your squash skills, consider the following tips:
- Practice regularly to improve your footwork, racquet control, and shot selection.
- Work on your fitness and endurance, as squash is a fast-paced sport.
- Take lessons from a qualified coach to learn proper technique and strategy.
- Play against opponents of different skill levels to challenge yourself and gain experience.
- Watch professional matches and study the methods used by top players.
Q7. Are there different types of squash games?
Yes, there are variations of squash games. There are various formats of racquet sports, apart from the common singles and doubles, such as squash 57, which requires a larger ball and longer racquet to play. It is also called racketball. Squash 57 is often seen as a more accessible and beginner-friendly version of the sport.
Q8. Can I play squash if I’m a beginner or not very fit?
Absolutely! Players of all skill levels and fitness levels can enjoy squash. It’s a great sport for beginners, providing an excellent cardiovascular workout while improving agility, coordination, and reflexes. Start at your own pace, gradually increase your fitness level, and enjoy the game comfortably.
In conclusion, this Beginner’s Guide to Squash has provided a comprehensive overview of the sport, its rules, equipment, and techniques. We have explored the fundamental skills needed to excel in squash, including grip, footwork, and shot selection. Additionally, we have discussed the importance of physical fitness, mental focus, and strategy in maximizing one’s performance on the court.
Squash is a dynamic and fast-paced sport with numerous physical and mental benefits. It enhances cardiovascular fitness, improves agility, and develops muscular strength and endurance. Moreover, squash challenges the mind, requiring quick thinking, anticipation, and adaptability to outsmart opponents.
By following the guidelines outlined in this guide, beginners can lay a solid foundation for their squash journey. It is essential to start with proper technique, seek guidance from experienced players or coaches, and gradually build skills and stamina through consistent practice. Participating in friendly matches or joining local squash clubs can provide valuable opportunities to improve and enjoy the game.
Remember that progress in squash, like any other sport, takes time and patience. Set realistic goals, celebrate small achievements, and maintain a positive attitude throughout learning. With dedication, perseverance, and a love for the sport, anyone can become a skilled and passionate squash player.
So, lace up your court shoes, grab a racket, and dive into squash. Whether you aspire to compete at a high level or enjoy a fun and challenging workout, squash offers an exhilarating experience that will keep you coming back for more. Good luck on your squash journey, and may your time on the court be filled with excitement, growth, and success!