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Squash: Basic rules and playing methods

487   //    19 Jan 2016, 16:11 IST
Awareness and Placement are the key things for a squash player

If you are a fitness freak and are looking to change your regime to include something more dynamic, this is the sport that you need to start. Squash is a fairly simple and immensely enjoyable game. 

Squash is also a physically demanding game which pushes your stamina and endurance to the limits. It improves your motor skills and hand-eye coordination. It tests and improves each and every aspect of a fit body from strength to stamina and agility to flexibility. The game is very dynamic and an extremely fun way to improve your health.

It is an indoor racquet game played between two individuals or two teams (2 players in each team).  The court is a four-walled room with red lines on each wall signifying different things. There are different kinds of balls which differ according to the speed required for the game. Before starting the game, the players are advised to warm-up by hitting a few shots.

The floor is marked with the red lines too. Those markings on the floor have a definite meaning. The front line separates the front and back of the court.  The half court line separates the back half in left and right back half. In each of the back halves, there is a small square marked called the serving-box.

The top most red line flowing on all the four walls is called the out-line. The players must strike the ball below the line. The front wall consists of two more lines. The one in the middle is the serve-line and the one on the bottom is the other out-line.

To start the rally, the players must stand in each bottom half. The server should keep one foot inside the serving box and one outside, in the bottom half. He/she must directly strike the ball above the service line and bellow the out line and the ball must land in the opposite bottom half. The ball can land directly or indirectly. If the server fails in any of the following respects, he/she looses the point and the opponent gets the serve.

Once the ball is served, the opponent must try to hit the ball on the front wall without letting the ball bounce twice. He/she can hit the wall directly or can direct the ball towards the front wall by using any of the other three walls. If the ball is hit at any of the side wall or the back wall, it must hit the front wall directly. If the ball falls on the floor before reaching the front wall, the player looses the point.

If the ball hits the wall outside the red line during the rally, the player loses the point.

After striking the ball, the player must make sure that they do not block the path of their opponent. If the opponent cannot complete his/her shot because of the player, the rally starts again. Generally, the player returns to the centre of the court after striking the ball while making sure that they do not hinder the movement of their opponent or at least make way for them.

The scoring system can be chosen according to your needs and can be played over sets of three or five games. There are various types of shots and tricks to win a point. A player can adopt any kind of strategy and evolve their game with time.

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