Squash Etiquette

In the past, squash came from an upper-class game called Squash Rackets, which was played in public (private) schools.

30 May 2022 / 3-Min Read / Translate

The people who played squash tended to be well-educated and professional people, so there could have been quite a lot of formality surrounding the sport. As squash became more popular, more types of people started playing. At first everybody was expected to wear completely white clothes (well, maybe a navy blue or green stripe was allowed here and there, but generally white or cream) and people were expected to behave in certain ways.

Two people shaking hands

I don’t want to keep the old traditions alive simply because “that’s the way we have always done it“! Compared with many other sports, squash seems to have a reputation for being as fair and as honest as the complicated and “open to interpretation” rules allow.

So, what modern squash etiquette is there? Nowadays, you can wear almost any colour clothing that you want and almost any style, as long as it doesn’t interfere with your opponent. You can bounce the ball as much as you want before a serve – yes, they actually stopped players from doing it in the past, as well as stamping your feet when you hit the ball. Fortunately, we don’t seem to have an “grunters” like they do in tennis.

Two men playing squash in coloured shirts

Players generally try to avoid each other on court, and sometimes off it too, but occasionally you will find the odd Neanderthal whose seemingly sole purpose in life is to bump into you at any and every opportunity. We should always say “Let, please?” even if we think it is a stroke. We would also have shaken hands with our opponent, but since the pandemic, some just touch rackets and to be honest, I prefer that. In some important matches, players were expected to shake hands before playing too.

The choice of who serves is still decided by a spin of the racket, but I prefer the idea of a mini-skill challenge. Next is the idea of opening and allowing the loser of the game to exit first, but some players take that to the extreme and ALWAYS want you to go first – that’s a kind of mind game in my opinion.

When knocking up (the first few hits before you start scoring), it is generally caused polite to not hit more than 3 shots back to yourself at any one time, although juniors seem to ignore that concept nowadays.

“When in doubt, play a let” is a good phrase to agree to, just be careful somebody isn’t trying to cheat you. Keep you swing as compact as you can, especially on the follow-through (that’s after you have hit the ball), but that’s when etiquette merges into safety.

I suppose that last thing I want to say today about etiquette is use the right ball – the right ball is the one where squash is the most fun and generally that means a bouncy ball. What are your squash etiquette thoughts?

Final Thoughts

In general, squash players are very friendly and fair group of people. Let’s keep it like that!

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