Squash is a fast-paced sport that provides plenty of excitement and a great workout, but it's important to know how to start playing the right way. Having the proper equipment, a basic understanding of the rules, and knowledge regarding some basic tactics will enable players to get the most out of their squash experience. Find everything you need to play squash through online retailers.
Understanding Squash Rules
To properly understand the rules of squash, it's important to be familiar with the layout of a standard squash court. Two players will usually be inside an enclosed room featuring a court, and four walls that include the front wall, two sidewalls and the back wall.
Much like tennis, both players will have rackets, and will be attempting to hit a particular area of the front wall between the service line and the out line. There is also a serving box on each side of the court. When serving, you must ensure the ball lands before the "short line" on the opposite side of the court or the shot will be no good.
The goal is to hit the ball against the wall until your opponent can no longer return your shots. Each time the ball is properly hit against the front wall, the other player is then responsible for returning it in what is known as a "rally." If a player lets the ball bounce twice before returning a shot, hits the floor with the squash ball before hitting the front wall, or receives a penalty, then the responsible player will lose the rally.
While there is the traditional British way of playing squash that involves 9-point scoring, 11-point squash is now used as the official type of scoring. As a result, beginners should probably stick to this official scoring version until they become more experienced and want to experiment more.
With 11-point squash, each time you win a rally you will be awarded a point regardless of who served the shot. To win, a squash player must reach 11 points, and have a 2-point lead over their opponent.
Getting the Right Equipment
Considering squash is a sport that requires fast thinking and quick reactions, having the right equipment is essential for playing this sport at an optimal level. Here is essential equipment you should have to get started playing squash and ensure you're playing right.
Having the right racket for squash will help you deliver better serves and return shots. You'll want a racket made of strong composite materials that incorporate materials such as Kevlar, graphite and titanium for flexibility and strength.
Squash balls are actually made of rubber, which explains why these balls can bounce so quickly around the court. Luckily, squash has a wide variety of balls to choose from based on skill level. The balls are colour coded and are double-yellow, yellow, white, red and blue in descending order according to the bounce of the ball. Double-yellow has the least bounce and blue has the most bounce. Blue is a good beginner ball to start with, as bouncier balls usually allow for easier shots. Double-yellow is the ball used in professional play, so it's something you want to work up to.
The Right Clothing
Wearing the proper squash athletic clothing can help increase range of movement and comfort level during competitive play. Men would do well to wear a breathable T-shirt or tank top and pair of comfortable athletic shorts while women typically wear a tank top or T-shirt and an athletic skirt. Remember, squash is an intense sport where the ball can reach speeds of 270 kilometres per hour and an hour of gameplay can burn off around 1,000 calories, so dressing right is essential.
It's highly recommended squash players wear goggles to protect their eyes from squash balls that travel at high speeds. Many squash venues and competitions require the use of eye protection, meaning squash players likely won't be able to play without a good pair of squash goggles.
One of the best strategies is to make sure you keep your opponent chasing the ball. Try to gain control of the centre of court, as the person who controls the centre is often in a better position to send their competitor scrambling in different directions, and ultimately make them reach for shots they'll have trouble returning.
Another good strategy is to hit the squash ball on one of the sidewalls before it hits the front wall, angling it so it sails over to the other corner of the court. From there, a squash player can better position their self in the centre.
Squash is ultimately a great sport that will vastly improve your fitness levels and never leave you with a dull moment. Get the right equipment and employ the right tactics, and you're sure to give your opponent a run for their money.