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What Happens If You Break A String Or Racket In the Middle Of A Rally?

Well, a lot depends on what happens. Let’s look at some situations and see how they affect the point.

05 December 2022 / 2-Min Read

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Just a quick article today, answering a very specific question. As I said in the introduction, a lot depends on what happens in the rally, rather than anything related to the racket itself.

A very broken squash racket

I've seen worse. In fact, I've played with worse!

You Win The Point

Imagine you play a rally and win the point. It is at that moment that you, or your opponent, realise that your racket or string is broken. Your opponent can not claim a let or say the point is their’s. There is nothing in the rules that says you can’t play with a broken racket. However, if the racket is really broken, as opposed to a small crack, like the one in the image, then that is potential dangerous – graphite shards are very sharp and can easily give you painful splinters. I know from personal experience. You won the point that is that. It’s over. You won. No arguments.

You Lose The Point

The same point applies as above. Once the rally is over, it’s over. You can’t retroactively ask for a let in this case. You lost the point that is that. It’s over. You lost. No arguments.

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You Notice In The Middle Of A Rally

Okay, now things get a little more complicated. You could stop and ask for a let and in most cases, especially at club level, people will be understanding. If the frame is broken and it looks a little dangerous, your opponent might even be grateful that you are trying to prevent an injury. However, and I’ll be honest now, I’m not sure what would happen in a competitive situation if your opponent said that it was your choice to stop, therefore you lost the point. If there is a ref, they would have to decide whether your stopping was a safety issue. I’m interested to hear your thoughts on that – email me.

Your Opponent Notices In The Middle Of A Rally

This might be even more unclear. If your opponent stops in the middle of a rally to tell you your racket is broken (or string), then again at club level a let is a fair thing to play. It really could be dangerous, depending on the type of frame break. However, it could be argued that it was their choice to stop playing – nothing to do with you. Imagine, you dropped the racket in the middle of a rally and they stopped. Technically, as long as the location of the racket wasn’t dangerous, they lose the point. Maybe they claim it was distracting, but the ref would have to decide.

The key point here is that they chose to stop. But, but, but, squash is for fun, so just play a let, unless it’s your match point in the final of a pro tournament and then hope the ref says “no let” and you can celebrate!

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