All You Need to Know About Squash

8 min read

Squash is a racket sport that is played by two players in a confined space, especially at a high speed. It is one of the few sports in which the surfaces of the four walls is utilized.

Squash can be imagined as the confined variant of the Tennis, with many similarities between the two sports. For starters, the ball used in Squash is a lively inflated ball that is roughly the size of a tennis ball. Like tennis, Squash too requires great speed in anticipation and turning.

Did You Know?

Forbes magazine has voted Squash as the healthiest sport to play based on cardiorespiratory endurance, flexibility, muscular endurance, muscular strength, calories burned, and risk of injury.

Squash- A Brief History

Squash was invented in Harrow school, the UK in the 1830s. It was discovered by the pupils there that a punctured racketball “squashed” on impact with the wall This produced a game with a rich variety of shots and needed many additional efforts on the player’s part.

As a result of this, the new sport proved to be popular in the coming decades. It was only in 1864 that the first 4 Squash courts were constructed in the school arena, with Squash being officially declared as a sport in its own right.

The first officially recorded reference to the term “Squash”, other than in the Harrow school, appeared in 1890 in an English book titled “The Badminton Library of Sports and Pastimes” by the Duke of Beaufort.

In 1933 the great Egyptian player F.D. Amr Bey won the first of his five British Open Championships followed by a long Pakistani domination that lasted over 5 decades.

However, the players who probably had the most impact on the development of the sport were Geoff Hunt of Australia and Jonah Barrington of Ireland. They dominated Squash from the late 1960s to early 1980s thus capturing the imagination of sportsmen and women around the world. They are thus credited with starting a boom in the sport that raised the number of courts to 46,000 globally and the number of players to over 15 million by 1994.

Today, Squash is played by more than 25 million people with over 50,000 courts around the world in 185 countries.

Dimensions of Squash Court

A Standard Squash Court (Credits WSF)

A standard Squash court is rectangular in the area and is bounded by 4 walls. The front wall, 2 side walls, and the back wall. It has a clear height above the court area and a level floor. The back wall of an international court is made of glass so that spectators can watch the play.

The dimensions for Squash are mentioned in the World Squash Singles Rules handbook by WSF.

  • The length of the court between the playing surfaces is 9750 mm
  • The width of the court between the playing surfaces is 6400 mm
  • The diagonal length is 11665 mm
  • The height over the floor to lower edge of front-wall line is 4570 mm
  • The height over the floor to lower edge of back-wall line is 2130 mm
  • The height over the floor to lower edge of service-line on front wall is 1780 mm
  • The height over the floor to upper edge of tin is 480 mm
  • The distance to the nearest edge of short-line from back-wall is 4260 mm
  • The internal dimensions of the service-boxes is 1600 mm
  • The width of all the lines is 50 mm
  • The minimum clear height over the floor of the court is 5640 mm

Dimensions of a Squash Racket

Squash KreedOn
A Standard Squash Racket (Credits QuickSilver)
  • The maximum length of a Squash racket is 686 mm.
  • The maximum width, when measured at right angles to the shaft, is 215 mm
  • The maximum length of strings is 390 mm
  • The maximum strung area is 500 sq. cm
  • The minimum width of any frame or any structural member (when measured in the plane of strings) is 7 mm
  • The maximum depth of the frame or any other structural member (when measured at right angles to plane of strings) is 26 mm
  • The minimum radius of the outside curvature of the frame at any given point is 50 mm
  • The minimum radius of the curvature of any given edge of the frame or other structural member is 2 mm
  • A standard Squash Racket should have a maximum weight of 255 gm.

Although not mandatory for the singles, the players are recommended to wear protective eyewear. Protective eyewear is mandatory for Doubles and Junior Squash events.

Rules

Safety: The Players should always place safety first and not take any action that could endanger the opponent.
Fair play: Players should respect the rights of the opponent and play with honesty.

The Game

The Singles Squash is played in a court between two players, each striking the ball with a racket.

Each rally starts with a service followed by the players returning the ball alternately until the rally ends. Practically, the play is continuous until a rally ends.

The Play

If the serve is good, the play continues until each return is good, or as long as a player does not request a let or makes an appeal, or until one of the Officials makes a call, or as long as the ball hits either player or the non-striker’s racket or their clothing.

A return is good if the ball:

  • has been struck correctly before bouncing twice on the floor; and
  • without hitting either player, or their clothing or racket, hits the front wall, either directly or after hitting any other wall(s), above the tin and below the outline, without having first bounced on the floor; and
  • rebounds from the front wall without having touched the tin; and
  • is not out.

Scoring

The winner of a rally is awarded 1 point with the right to serve the next rally.

Each game is played to 11 points. However, if the score reaches 10-all, the game continues until one player takes a 2 points lead.

Ideally, a match is played on a best of 5 games basis, but it may also be the best of 3 games.

The Intervals

A maximum of 90 seconds is allowed between each game and between the end of the warm-up and the start of play.

Players should be ready for the play at the end of any interval, but play may resume earlier if both agree for the same

A maximum of 90 seconds is allowed to change the damaged equipment. (This may include the glasses, protective eye-wear or a dislodged contact lens.) The player should complete the change as quickly as possible.

During any of the intervals, either player may strike the ball if they desire to.

The Officials

A match should normally be officiated by two officials: a Marker and a Referee. Both these match officials keep a record of the score, the correct box for service, and which player is serving.

In case there is only one Official, that Official serves as both the Marker and the Referee.

A player may make an appeal against any call or lack of call made by the Official as Marker to that same Official as the Referee.

The Officials is seated at the center of the back wall as close to the wall as possible but just above the outline. When addressing players, Officials should use the family name, wherever possible.

The Marker

  • should announce the match, introduce each game, and announce the result of each game and of the match;
  • should call OUT, DOWN, FAULT, NOT UP, or STOP wherever needed;
  • should make no call, if unsure about a serve or return;
  • should call the score without delay at the end of a rally, with the server’s score first, preceded by “hand out” when there is a change of server;
  • should repeat the Referee’s decision after a player’s request for a let, and then call the score;
  • should wait for the Referee’s decision after a player’s appeal against a Marker’s call or lack of a call, and then call the score
  • should call “Game Ball” when a player needs 1 point to win a game, or “Match Ball” when a player needs 1 point to win the match;
  • should call “10-all: a player should win by 2 points” when the score reaches 10-all for the first time in a match.

Federation

WSF

WFS KreedOn
World Squash Federation Logo (Credits WFS)

The World Squash Federation (WSF) is the international federation for the sport of squash. The federation is recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the International Federation (IF) for Squash. It is also a member of the Association of the IOC Recognised International Sports Federations (ARISF) and the SportAccord.

WSF is based in Hastings, England. It has 149 member federations. The federation is bidding for squash to be inducted in the Olympic program for the 2024 Summer Olympics having failed with the Tokyo 2020 bid. The International Squash Rackets Federation (ISRF) was formed in 1967 before its name being changed in 1992 to the current World Squash Federation (WSF).

Squash Rackets Federation of India (SRFI)

SRFI KreedOn
The SRFI Logo (Credits SRFI)

The Squash Rackets Federation of India or SRFI is the apex body of Indian government for the sport of squash. It conducts the annual National Squash Championship and is involved in promoting the game through the different state-level squash bodies. SFRI provides training facilities and selects the squad for the Indian team. Cyrus Poncha and Major S. Maniam are the current coaches of the National team.

SRFI has created many squash facilities including the ICL-TNSRA squash academy, which had the chance of hosting the World Team Championship in 2007.

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Monish Gadiya is a Pune-based sports author and designer at KreedOn. He is a thorough tech-enthusiast and believes that innovation is the answer to the problems prevalent in the society. Monish graduated from University of Pune with a degree in civil engineering before pursuing a post-graduate diploma course in intellectual property rights. A die-hard football fan, he has represented his college at various football competitions.

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