How Does Squash Compare to Other Racket Sports?

[Updated on 1 June 2020] Many people believe that racket sports date all the way back to ancient times. There are some references in literature that may indicate the use of a racket to hit a ball but there is no real physical evidence. However, the racket does go back to the 1500s when a racket was used to hit balls that were covered in cork.

Some racket sports, such as tennis and badminton, have ancient origins and others, including racquetball and squash, were offshoots of other games. Either way, different racket sports have developed with different courts, equipment, and play but they also have common characteristics that hold them together.

Squash Vs. Tennis

Many people debate whether squash or tennis is better but the reality is that both are great. Squash can complement a tennis game and vice versa. Which one a person prefers is really just a matter of personal choice.

Both sports use a racket, a ball, and a court and both require special clothing. Many of the concepts are the same but the way that the game is played is different. They each require different skills and different techniques. So while either of these sports can make a player more well rounded, they do have distinct differences.

1. The Rules and the Court

Tennis matches tend to last longer because each set is made up of six games and most people play the best of three sets. Each game has four points but the winner must lead by two. In squash, it is also necessary to win by two points but each game goes to 11 points and there is only three games total.

TennisVSSquashAs a general rule, squash games last from thirty minutes to an hour and tennis matches usually last an hour and fifteen minutes or more.

Another major rule difference involves the serve. In squash, the serve will alternate with one player serving until he or she loses a point. In tennis, one player serves for the entirety of each game.

Tennis is played on a much larger court with a net separating the two sides. The ball must stay within the lines or it is called out. There is no hitting off the wall in tennis. Squash, on the other hand, is played in an enclosed court that is much smaller. The ball can be strategically bounced off the walls.

The size of the courts requires fitness and agility for both sports; the smaller size of the squash court does not make it any less challenging. The different strategy of hitting the ball off the wall creates a very fast-paced game that demands fitness and agility.

2. The Equipment

TennisVSSquashEquipmentBoth sports use a racket and a ball but that is where the similarities end. The squash ball is smaller and lighter than a tennis ball. In addition, tennis rackets are bigger and designed differently. Players cannot use the same racket for both sports.

This difference means that players cannot hit the squash ball as they would a tennis ball. In tennis, players make power shots designed to get past the opponent but in squash, this same kind of shot would be out of control. When changing between these two sports, it is important to learn the strategy and rules for the new game.

Squash requires the use of eye protection or squash goggles. This is very important as squash can be dangerous with the ball traveling fast speeds in a small enclosed space. In addition, the two sports are played on different surfaces and have different footwear requirements. In fact, squash clubs can be very strict about wearing the correct shoes because some shoes can ruin a squash court.

3. The Game

Squash is a faster-paced game and it is important for players to quickly get to the T in the center in the ready position. Tennis players also get into ready position but they have more time. Squash players need to be able to move from their swing follow-through right to ready position without any delay.

The foot position is also different in these two sports. Tennis requires players to face forward and turn to the side for a shot but tennis players never need to hit a ball from behind them. In squash, the feet face the wall and the back while waiting to hit the ball.

The racket position is also different between these two sports. In squash, players often need to scoop a ball from the wall and they use an open face. In tennis, this may send the ball out. These games are different in terms of their play and it takes some time to learn to switch between them.

Squash Vs. Racquetball

People who do not play either squash or racquetball have a hard time distinguishing between the two of them but they have several differences that make each sport its own game. The courts, the equipment, and the scoring are unique to each one.

1. The Rules and the Court

These courts for racquetball and squash may look similar but they are different. Squash courts are 32 by 21 by 15 feet while racquetball courts are 40 by 20 by 20 feet. This makes a big difference in play.

RacketballVSSquashIn addition to the size, the courts have different boundaries. Squash has areas that are designated for serving and out of bounds. Racquetball has a serving area that is between two lines but the ball can bounce anywhere, including the ceiling. This creates different strategies between the two games.

The scoring is different as well. Squash goes to 11 points with a player needing to win by two. Racquetball is the first player to 15 but players must win two rounds to win the game. In addition, in squash, either player can score on each play but in racquetball, only the serving player can score a point for that play.

The rules around serving are also different. In racquetball, the ball must bounce once before the serve can be returned. In squash, the ball can be hit right away. However, squash does have a rule that the ball must land in the service box after hitting the wall and it must hit below the service line and above the tin line. Racquetball does not have this rule.

2. The Equipment

RacketballVSSquashEquipmentThe racquetball racket is significantly smaller than the squash racket. It measures a maximum of 22 inches in length. The squash racket has a longer neck and can measure up to 27 inches. In addition, the squash ball is smaller and it is not as bouncy as the racquetball ball is. These differences really make each one a unique game.

3. The Game

The game is played similarly while taking account of the different rules. One big difference is that in racquetball, it is possible to go for the kill shot more frequently because there is no out of bounds. In squash, the goal is to outmaneuver the opponent.

Otherwise, the two games play very similarly, In fact, some people say that playing both improves each one individually. Each has particular nuances to focus on and this improves play all around.

Squash Vs. Padel

Padel tennis was actually created on a squash court. It is similar to tennis but it is played on a court that is three times smaller and the court is enclosed. Another name for it is platform tennis because it is played on a court that is centered on a deck and surrounded by a screen. Squash and padel are two different sports.

1. The Rules and the Court

Padel is played on a court that is 44 feet by 20 feet. It is on a raised platform that is surrounded by a screen. The court is split in half by a net in the middle. Squash is played in an enclosed court that is 32 feet by 21 feet and 15 feet high and both sports can have courts indoors or outdoors.

PadelVSSquashThe scoring in the padel is the same as tennis. Each game goes to four points, a set is six games, and they play two out of three sets. Squash plays each game up to 11 points and the match is the best of three games.

In padel, players only have one serve and they can choose whatever style serve they prefer. In squash, players can also choose their preferred style of serve and they also have only one serve. Both of these racket sports differ from tennis in this way.

2. The Equipment

PadelballVSSquashEquipmentThe racket and the ball are different in squash and padel ball. In squash, the racket is strung and in padel ball, it is solid with perforations across the face. The ball in padel ball is rubber and it is similar to a small tennis ball. Squash balls are smaller and lighter.

3. The Game

Squash is a very fast-paced game that requires agility and fitness. People play squash as singles or as doubles. Padel is only played as doubles with four people. Padel allows for two attempts at a serve whereas squash allows only one. Both sports have rules about where the ball can land and how it can be played. These rules are different for each sport. The strategy, as with most racket sports, is to win points. Padel tennis and squash have some similarities but the biggest difference is that padel is played as doubles only.

Squash Vs. Badminton

Squash and badminton have a lot in common. They both use courts and players wear similar clothing and shoes. In addition, the rackets look alike. However, squash uses a rubber ball and badminton uses a shuttlecock, which means that these two sports are different from one another in how they are played.

1. The Rules and the Court

The courts are very different from one another. In squash, the court is enclosed with walls and a ceiling. Badminton is played on an open court. In squash, players share the entire court and must stay out of each other’s way whereas in badminton, players have their own side, just as in tennis.

BadmintonVSSquashBadminton courts are a little bit larger than squash courts as well. A badminton court is 20 feet by 44 feet whereas a squash court is 21 feet by 32 feet. Squash courts have a ceiling with a 15-foot height but badminton courts do not have any ceiling regulation as long as the players are able to make lobs.

2. The Equipment

BadmintonVSSquashEquipmentThe squash racket and the badminton racket are very similar. They both have strings and a longer neck. However, the difference between the ball and the shuttlecock truly separates these two sports. The rubber ball in squash is hollow and it absorbs speed when it hits the wall. The shuttlecock has flight but it slows because of its drag. The result is that badminton is more of a high shot game with most shots hit above the head.

3. The Game

The biggest differences in how the game is played have to do with the differences between the squash ball and the shuttlecock. Badminton calls for flicking the wrist when taking a shot to generate power and disguise the shot. In squash, players keep the wrist firm to improve the accuracy of the shot.

Another difference is that in badminton, players are jumping to reach the shuttlecock or hit it over the net whereas, in squash, lunging is more common so that players get to the ball. These two games are different and they require different strategies and techniques.

The Final Verdict

Squash and other racket sports are widely popular throughout the world. They may have similarities but the reality is that they are each distinct and different game. Playing more than one racket sport can help people to improve their skills as all of these sports require keen hand-eye coordination. These sports use different courts and equipment and they have different rules so the strategies will vary. was started with the goal of being your go-to resource for all things squash. The team of squash enthusiasts are avid club players and have represented their communities in running nationally-sanctioned squash tournaments and sit on their respective state squash association boards.

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