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Squash Only

Squash Rules

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BASIC SQUASH SINGLES RULES AUSTRALIA

Here at Squash Only Australia, we get a number of squash rules questions from our customers, so we thought we would add some of the most popular World Squash Federation Squash Rules below as a quick reference. Happy reading..... 

TWO MAIN SQUASH PRINCIPLES

SAFTEY: Players must always place safety first and not take any action that could endanger the opponent.

FAIR PLY: Players must respect the rights of the opponent and play with honesty.

THE GAME

  • Singles Squash is played in a court between two players, each holding a Squash Racquet to strike the Squash Ball.
  • Each rally starts with a serve, and the players then return the ball alternately until the rally ends. Play must be continuous as far as is practical.

SCORING

  • The winner of a rally scores 1 point and serves to begin the next rally.
  • Each game is played to 11 points, except that if the score reaches 10-all, the game
  • continues until one player leads by 2 points.
  • A match is normally the best of 5 games, but may be the best of 3 games

THE WARM-UP

  • At the start of a match the players go on court together to warm up the ball for a maximum of 5 minutes. After 2 1⁄2 minutes the players must change sides, unless they have already done so.
  • The players must have equal opportunities to strike the ball.

THE SERVE

  • The player who wins the spin of a racquet serves first.
  • At the beginning of each game and after each change of server, the server chooses from which service-box to serve. While retaining the serve, the server must serve from alternate boxes.
  • If a rally ends in a let, the server must serve again from the same box.

A serve is good, if: 

  • The server drops or throws the ball from a hand or squash racquet and strikes it correctly on a first or further attempt before it touches anything else; and
  • At the time the server strikes the squash ball, one foot is in contact with the floor inside the service-box with no part of that foot touching any boundary of that box; and
  • The Squash Ball is struck directly to the front wall, hitting it between the service- line and the out-line, but does not hit the front and side walls at the same time; and
  • The Squash Ball, unless volleyed by the receiver, bounces for the first time in the opposite quarter-court without touching any line; and
  • The ball is not served out.

A serve that does not comply is a fault and the receiver wins the rally.

  • A serve that hits the service-line, or the short-line, or the half-court line, or any line bounding the top of the court, is a fault.
  • If the server drops or throws the ball, but makes no attempt to strike it, this is not a serve, and the server may start again.
  • A let is allowed if the receiver is not ready to return the serve and does not attempt to do so. However, if that serve is a fault, the server loses the rally.

THE PLAY

  • If the serve is good, play continues as long as each return is good, or until a player requests a let or the ball hits either player or their clothing or the non-striker’s squash racquet.

A return is good if the ball:

  • Is struck correctly before it has bounced twice on the floor.
  • Without hitting either player, or their clothing or squash racquet, hits the front wall, either directly or after hitting any other wall(s), above the tin and below the out-line, without having first bounced on the floor; and rebounds from the front wall without touching the tin; and is not out.

INTERFERENCE
After completing a reasonable follow-through, a player must make every effort to clear, so that when the squash ball rebounds from the front wall the opponent has:

  • A fair view of the ball on its rebound from the front wall
  • Unobstructed direct access to the ball; and
  • The space to make a reasonable swing at the ball; and
  • The freedom to strike the ball to any part of the entire front wall. Interference occurs when the player does not provide the opponent with all of these requirements.
  • A striker who believes that interference has occurred may stop and request a let, preferably by saying “Let, please.” That request must be made without undue delay.
  • Normally, only the striker may request a let for interference. However, if the non-striker requests a let for lack of access before the ball has reached the front wall, that request may be considered, even though that player is not yet the striker.
  • If the striker strikes the ball and the opponent then requests a let, but then the ball goes down or out, the opponent wins the rally.
  • If there was neither interference nor reasonable fear of injury, no let is allowed.
  • If there was interference but the striker would not have been able to make a good return, no let is allowed.
  • If the striker continued play beyond the interference and then requested a let, no let is allowed.
  • If there was interference, but it did not prevent the striker from seeing and getting to the ball to make a good return, this is minimal interference and no let is allowed.
  • If the striker would have been able to make a good return but the opponent was not making every effort to avoid the interference, a stroke is awarded to the striker.
  • If there was interference that the opponent was making every effort to avoid and the striker would have been able to make a good return, a let is allowed.
  • If there was interference and the striker would have made a winning return, a stroke is awarded to the striker.

Fair View - Fair View means enough time to view the ball and prepare to strike it as it returns from the front wall. If the striker requests a let for lack of fair view of the ball on its return
from the front wall, the provisions of 8.6 apply.

Racquet Swing - A reasonable swing comprises a reasonable backswing, a strike at the ball and a reasonable follow-through. The striker’s backswing and follow-through are reasonable as long as they do not extend more than is necessary.

Excessive Swing - If the striker caused the interference by using an excessive swing, no let is allowed.

BALL HITTING A PLAYER
If the ball, on its way to the front wall, hits the non-striker or the non-striker’s racquet or clothing, play must stop; then:

  • If the return would not have been good, the non-striker wins the rally.
  • If the return was going directly to the front wall, and if the striker was making a first attempt without having turned, a stroke is awarded to the striker. 
  • If the ball had hit or would have hit any other wall before the front wall and the striker had not turned, a let is allowed, unless the return would have been a winning return, in which case a stroke is awarded to the striker. 
  • If the striker had not turned but was making a further attempt, a let is allowed;
  • If the striker had turned, a stroke is awarded to the non-striker, unless the non-striker made a deliberate movement to intercept the ball, in which case, a stroke is awarded to the striker.

If the ball, on its return from the front wall, hits a player before bouncing twice on the floor, play must stop; then:

  • If the ball hits the non-striker or the non-striker’s racquet t, before the striker has made an attempt to strike the ball and no interference has occurred, the striker wins the rally, unless the striker’s position has caused the non-striker to be hit, in which case a let is allowed.
  • If the ball hits the non-striker, or the non-striker’s racquet, after the striker has made one or more attempts to strike the ball, a let is allowed, providing the striker could have made a good return. Otherwise, the non- striker wins the rally.

THE SQUASH BALL

  • If the Squash Ball breaks during a rally, a let is allowed for that rally.
  • If a player stops play to appeal that the Squash Ball is broken, and it is found that the Squash Ball is not broken, that player loses the rally.
  • If a Squash Ball has been replaced, or if the players resume the match after a delay, the players may warm up the Squash Ball. Play resumes when both players agree
  • The Squash Ball must remain in the court at all times.
  • If the Squash Ball becomes wedged in any part of the court, a let is allowed.
  • No let is allowed for any unusual bounce of the Squash Ball.

PROTECTIVE EYEWEAR

  • The WSF recommends that all squash players should wear protective eyewear, manufactured to an appropriate National Standard, properly over the eyes at all times during play, including the warm- up. It is the responsibility of the player to ensure that the quality of the product worn is appropriate for the purpose. See our approved collection of protective eyewear and goggles here

SQUASH DEFINITIONS

  • ATTEMPT - Any forward movement of the racquet towards the ball. A fake swing is also an attempt, but racquet preparation with only a backswing and no forward movement towards the ball is not an attempt.
  • BOX / SERVICE-BOX - A square area on each side of the court bounded by the short-line, a side wall and by 2 other lines, from where the server serves.
  • FAIR VIEW - Enough time to view the ball and prepare to strike it as it returns from the front wall.
  • FAULT - A serve that is not good.
  • FURTHER ATTEMPT - A subsequent attempt by the striker to serve or return a ball that is still in play, after having already made one or more attempts.
  • GAME - A part of a match. A player must win 3 games to win a best of 5-game match and 2 games to win a best of 3-game match.
  • GOOD RETURN - A return that is struck correctly and that travels to the front wall either directly or after hitting another wall or walls without going out, and that hits the front wall above the tin and below the out-line.
  • HAND OUT - A change of server.
  • LET - The result of a rally that neither player wins. The server serves again from the same box.
  • MATCH - The complete contest, including the warm-up.
  • NOT UP - A return that: A player does not strike correctly; or bounces more than once on the floor before being struck; or touches the striker or the striker’s clothing.
  • OUT - A return that: hits the wall on or above the out-line; or hits any fixture above the out-line; or
  • hits the top edge of any wall of the court; or passes over a wall and out of the court; or passes through any fixture.
  • RALLY - A good serve followed by one or more alternate returns until one player fails to make a good return.
  • STRIKER - A player is the striker from the moment the opponent’s return rebounds from the front wall until the player’s return hits the front wall.
  • TIN - The area of the front wall covering the full width of the court and extending from the floor up to and including the lowest horizontal line.
  • TURNING - The action of the striker who strikes, or is in a position to strike, the ball to the right of the body after the ball has passed behind it to the left or vice versa, whether the striker physically turns or not.
  • WINNING RETURN - A good return that the opponent could not reach.

For the complete World Squash Federation Squash Rules, click here