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Pick up the pace. Fans of racquet sports such as tennis and badminton may enjoy the energetic sport of squash. Squash is a racquet sport played by two players (or four players for doubles) in a four-walled court with a small, hollow rubber ball. Usually the courts are internal, making this a sport popular in large sports centres and gyms.

How does it work?

Squash is a fast paced game where players are required to hit the rubber ball with the racquet. Rubber balls come in a variety of 'speeds' indicated by the coloured dots on the side of the ball, which indicate the speed the ball will travel.

Players compete to hit the ball against the walls, floor and racquets, without going outside the 'out line'. The ball can only bounce once on the floor before hitting the walls.

The decision of who to serve first is decided with a spin of the racket. Should the server win a point, the two players switch sides for the following point.

Points are gained in the game if:

  • The receiver fails to strike the ball before it has bounced twice
  • The receiver hits the ball out (either on or above the out line, or on the tin)
  • The receiver fails to hit the front wall with the ball before the ball has bounced
  • Stroke: where the receiver obstructs the server during the point

There are a variety of shots a player can use, including the straight drive, volley, drop shot, and 'kill' where the ball is hit hard and low on the front wall so that it travels no farther than half court.

Games are played to 9 points usually, and the final win is usually decided in a best-of-five situation.

Due to the nature of the game, players should wear comfortable sports clothing and robust indoor sports shoes. It is also recommended that players wear polycarbonate lens goggles as they might be struck with a racket or ball.

Players should also be prepared to book a squash court, as they are often in high demand.

Is it for me?

If you enjoy other racquet sports, and want to take it to a more energetic level, this is the sport for you. It is a competitive sport and great for a cardio workout. This is best for those well practised in racquet sports and with a good level of fitness, and good co-ordination. It's a great sport to tone up your arms and legs and to train your co-ordination skills.

Good to Know

Squash players and associations have campaigned for many years for the sport to be accepted into the Olympic Games, but have unfortunately been unsuccessful so far. Squash narrowly missed being instated for the 2012 London Games.

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