Can I Use A Red Dot Ball In Squash Solo Drills?

There is a lot of confusion regarding the colour of the dots on squash balls and their use. This confuses is NOT your fault – it is the major manufacturers and the World Squash Federation (WSF).

25 May 2022 / 3-Min Read / Translate↗

They designate the dots as speeds: Fast (blue), Medium (red), Slow (single yellow) and Super Slow (double yellow). Over the years those dots have changed, as have the actual colour of the balls, but the way they were and are promoted is the same.

Two gentlemen playing squash

As a beginner, isn’t your natural thinking to avoid the fast ball and player with the slow one? I know mine would be. Those manufacturers and the WSF also promote the fact that different balls should be used on courts with different temperatures.

So for example, on a very very cold court, even a pro might use a single yellow dot. That’s the theory at least, but honestly, the court would need to be almost zero degrees for that to be true.

So where does that leave the average club and recreational player? Simply put, use the ball that you have the most fun with. Honestly, anything else is just confusion.

There exists a group of players within squash that I call “Ball Snobs“. These players believe that because advanced players and professional squash players use a double yellow dot, that is the only ball that should be used, irrespective of age, standard or experience.

They insist that juniors play with this ball as “it is the ball they will eventually have to play with, so they might as well get used to it now“. Idiots! That’s like say a child must use an adult bike because that’s what they will eventually use.

A professional squash player reaching for a ball

Yes, you can without a doubt use ANY colour dot squash ball you want when solo drilling. Ideally, your objective is to build up enough skill and power that you can use a double yellow dot, but even then there are times a red dot can be useful.

For example, hitting soft, short shots or practicing boasts alone. Even a hot double yellow dot would get cold quickly unless hit hard. But don’t think you can only use a red dot if you are hitting soft shots. A red dot could also be used for practice deep drives that come off the back wall. For many players, hitting the ball hard even, with accuracy so a red dot is perfect for this situation too.

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One thing I do advise though is that if you are able to hit a double yellow hard and consistently enough to get it very hot, you can alternate the types of solo drills you do. For example, so very hard side-to-side shot (1 minute), followed by some soft drops or boasts (1 minute), then back to the hard side-to-side shots etc.

Not only will this keep the ball hot enough to have realistic practice when hitting soft shots, it will also accustom you to varying the pace.

One last point: If you use a red dot to practice your skills, not because you are a new player, make sure the red dot is the same size as the standard yellow and double yellow. Dunlop make their blue and red dot balls larger than the others, which is fine for beginners and new players, but not good for experience players.

Final Thoughts

Don't be a ball snob, a red dot is perfectly fine for most solo drills.

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I am a squash coach with nearly 40 years experience, teaching complete beginners through to professionals.

Currently, I call myself an "online squash coach" as I rarely coach on court.

I enjoy working with club players and strive to present information in an entertaining and engaging way.

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