Racquetball is a racquet sport which is played with a rubber ball. It can be played in indoor and outdoor courts as well. The game was developed by Joseph Sorbet who invented this game with the idea of adding a stringed racquet to paddleball in order to increase velocity and control. It is different from squash, tennis and badminton because there is no net to hit the ball over and no tin (out of bounds area at the bottom of the wall).
Some believe that this game is very similar to American handball which is played in many countries. Astonishingly, there are currently around six million racquetball players all around the world. These figures suggest that by no means this is an ordinary or less popular sport.
Object of Playing Racquetball
The object of the game is to win points by winning rallies. Rally means to force your opponent to play a wrong shot or make him miss the ball.
Matches are played as the best of two games, the one with more points after 2 sets is declared winner. Each set ends whenever a player scores a specific number of points. In case of tie, another set is played and the winner is chosen after the end of 3rd set’s scores. In some cases, the first to win 15 points wins the game.
How to Play?
Racquetball is played with a rubber ball and a racquet which is used to hit the ball in the opponent’s court. It has a similar kind of playing court to Squash and points are scored in the form of rallies. Racquetball can be played in singles and doubles but for doubles, you would need more space to ensure smooth play.
Racquetball involves quite unique scoring ways, also, you need to learn what are rallies before you start playing. In the section below, you’ll find out all the important rules you need to learn to play Racquetball like a professional.
General Rules of the Game
- To serve the ball, the ball is bounced and then it is hit against the front wall and after which it can hit one side wall before hitting the floor again. The ball must hit the front wall first.
- Similarly, there is a back wall and if the ball directly hits the back wall after hitting the front wall, it would be considered as a foul.
- In case of 2 wrong serves, the opponent is given the serve.
- The opponent must wait behind the receiving line during the serve.
- Once the service has been done, on the next shot, the ball can be hit against any combination of walls and ceiling as long as the ball comes after hitting the front wall without bouncing.
- If a player causes obstruction in the way of his opponent, it is called let and the point is replayed. However, if the player is deprived the chance of a point-winning shot, the non-offender receives a point or win back serve.
With the help of a toss, it is decided which player will take the first serve. For the second game, the alternate player takes the serve. If the criteria to win the game is based on most number of sets instead of points, then the tie breaker serve is taken by the player with more cumulative points.
There are no time limits. The game goes on until a certain number of points have been scored by one of the players. Normally, Racquetball games are short and might not last for more than 30-40 minutes.
The equipment required are a racquet and a ball.
Ball: The balls used in it are hard and bouncy, made of rubber. They are normally 2.25 inches (57mm) in diameter, significantly bigger than a regulation squash ball.
Racquet: The racquet must not be longer than 22 inches.
The court in which Racquetball is played is similar to a squash court. It is in rectangular shape, 20ft high and wide and 40ft in length.
Short line: A short red line running the court’s width parallel to the front and back walls at a distance of 20 feet indicates the service box. It is also called a short line.
Receiving line: A parallel dashed line 5 feet behind the short line is called the receiving line.
Scoring in Racquetball
To make the whole thing easily graspable, I’m breaking down the scoring methods. In a racquetball game, if you win a point on the opponent’s serve, you get a serve but no point. You can only win a point on your serve. You lose a point:
- If the ball hits the floor multiple times before you play your return.
- If the ball does not hit the front wall without bouncing on your shot.
- When the ball goes into an out-of-bounds area from your shot.
- When the ball hits you instead of your racquet.
- If you carry or throw the ball with a racquet, also known as double hit.
- If you fail to serve properly in 2 chances.
International Racquetball federation is the international governing body of the game which sanctions all the international events.