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Rules

These articles have something related to rules in them.

Yes, absolutely! Each player should be experienced though, so definitely no beginners. It helps if you have a good understanding of the rules related to Lets and Strokes too.

Squash Tips, Drills and Training Advice

Doubles can be fantastic on a singles court.

Playing doubles is so much fun. I’ve only ever played on a singles court, but at the international level and in some special locations, there are proper doubles courts. Even typing the phrase “Singles Squash Court” seems weird, but the reality is that 99% of squash courts are singles squash courts. Sports like Tennis and Badminton use the same “court”, but use different lines, squash has the same lines but a different court! As I said in the introduction, if you play squash doubles on a squash singles court it is important that each player has good court awareness, a safe swing and a good understanding of the basics of Lets and Strokes. I spent many happy hours playing doubles against Abbas Kaoud and his son, plus another player and not once did we have an incident. I would recommend wearing squash goggles and being prepared to play more lets than usual though. Can It Help You Game? ABSOLUTELY. Not only is a it a great game, but being good at doubles has a direct effect on your singles game. To be good at doubles, you need to avoid hitting too many crosscourt – just like singles! You need to keep the ball tight to the side wall – just like singles! You need to use the boast as a way of getting opponents out of position – just. Like. Singles! Get the point? The skill comes from playing great shots, not from being super fit or being a fast or great mover. Using the length of a court become your main focus, and by using a variety of speed and height you can develop that ability. You also develop patience, because doubles rally rarely finish in 2 or 3 shots. lastly, even though I said you need good court awareness, I do believe that your awareness increases from playing doubles. You HAVE to be more aware of the other…

Crazy right? Asking people to take a course before playing squash. What faster way is there to kill a sport? Well, firstly, it would be optional and secondly free.

Squash Tips, Drills and Training Advice

Notice how carefully he is watching the ball

Squash is an absolutely fantastic sport. It’s great for the mind and body. It can be played indoors and outdoors, yes, outdoors – although there are currently only a handful of outdoor courts, that is going to change soon. Because it is mostly played indoors, it can be played at any time of the year, i.e. the season doesn’t matter, in fact I prefer squash in the summer! But I will admit that squash does have its issues and ignoring those is wrong. I am not affiliated with ANY organization, manufacturer, event, team, player or anything official in squash any more, so anything I say or write is just a personal opinion, but because I don’t need to worry about “keeping my job”, you know that what I say is my honest opinion. I do write for Squash Player magazine but I don’t have to worry about following any rules. Squash is not hard to learn, although racketball is probably easier. The rules are quite simple, except for Lets and Strokes, but with some guidance for most recreational and club players that issue can be addressed. The balls are a little more problematic and as I have said many times, that’s Squash community’s fault. And finally because of long rackets, a smallish space and lots of movement, safety can be an issue, especially for new players. So how do was address these issues? Well, how about a Squash License? Seriously, A Real License? Well, I mean no, not an actual license, but a course that covers the different balls, and when and why to use them, the basic rules and scoring (including strokes and lets), and finally safety. Isn’t that all covered by group coaching courses? Maybe, maybe not. But this course wouldn’t be about coaching at all. It is NOT trying to teach you how to swing a racket or how to move – well, maybe a little about…

Unlike many racket sports, squash players share the same space: the court! This means that mostly by accident, but sometimes through evil design (more on that later), players can get in each other’s way, but more importantly there is the safety aspect. Part of the reason squash has such a compact swing is the back wall, but as equally important is not hitting your opponent, both with the racket when swinging and with the ball.

What’s The Difference Between a Stroke and a Let In Squash?

Squash developed a set of rules that are designed to keep players safe and also keep things fair. The problem is, especially for beginners and new players, that interpreting the rules seems to differ widely. I recently made an opinion video about introducing a Squash License, which seemed to have upset a few people. I stand by the concept that new players to squash should have the opportunity to learn the basic rules without having to have coaching. Anyway, back to Strokes and Lets Part of the rules include something called “Strokes” and Lets”. Let’s start with Lets (see what I did there?) If you movement to the ball is hindered or limited in anyway, you should stop and call “Let, Please”. This tells the other player, and the referee if you have one, that you felt impeded. If the “let” is awarded, then you replay the point again, with the same server from the same side without the same points as before the serve. If the decision is “no let”, you lose the point. I believe Americans call this concept a Do Over. You can not say “Let, please” and hit the ball and if it was a winner, say “Oh, I don’t want a let now, thank you”. You must stop playing. It is possible to call for a let, but hit the ball to show you could have, but then the question becomes, well if you hit the ball, why did you call a let? – but that’s a whole other topic for another day. What’s The Difference Between a Stroke and a Let In Squash? I hope you are beginning to see that things are not exactly black and white, there will always be two-sides to the situation; yours and your opponent’s. The reality is that in most cases it is better to play lets than have dangerous situations. By some people, manipulate that goodwill by…

The simple answer is yes. However, the only specific mention of it I could find in the WSF Rules of Singles Squash 2020 was related to self-inflicted injuries. So it seems there is no problem with doing it, the problem comes with what happens after the dive has been made.

Is Diving Allowed In Squash?

After a player dives, their tee-shirt normally touches the floor, leaving a wet patch. This wet patch might be slippery, meaning the diving player has altered the conditions of the court. It means that any movement over this wet patch could potentially be dangerous. Technically, the diving player has altered the conditions of the court. However, players sweat all the time and leave droplets of sweat on the floor and nothing happens with that, although droplets and an area the size of a tee-shirt is very different. It seems fair to me that if a player dives, the other player has the right to immediately stop and ask for a let. In fact the PSA tour has specifically created its PSA Initiative – “Diving and stopping the rally after a dive” that addresses this. Where does that leave us for club and recreational squash though? Well, the simplest answer is to follow the PSA guidance, which is that once the player has dived the non-diving player should either continue playing or stop immediately and ask for a let. If the non-diving player continues, they can’t ask for a let related to the wet patch, and neither can the player who dived. That seems to be fair for both players. At amateur level, the chances are that once a player has dived, they won’t be able to get the next shot, but who knows, perhaps they are super fast and fit! Personally, I don’t think diving should be allowed. Maybe I am old fashioned or just old, but it seems very unfair that part of the court has become potentially dangerous due to the conscious decision of one player. Video Squash Coaching from the comfort of your sofa! I fully understand that from a spectator’s point of view, it certainly spices things up and makes for better visual soundbites (visualbites?), but the safety of players must be considered. That said, how…

The first thing you should know about the lines in squash is that unlike tennis or badminton, where the lines are considered “in”, in squash if a ball hits a line, any line, it is out. One other thing to mention is that the colour of the lines on a squash court is not important. For example, you can find courts with red, blue and yellow lines and they all mean the same thing: if the ball hits it, it is out.

What Are the Lines On A Squash Court For?

The line around the top of the walls is called the “Out Line”. This constitutes the edge of the court. If the ball hits this line or ANYWHERE above it, the the ball is out and the point goes to the non-striker, i.e. the person who didn’t hit the ball. The next line to explain is the Service line, also called the Cut line by older players. This is for the serve ONLY. The ball must go above that when served. After the serve, including the service return, it can be ignore as far as the rules are concerned. The next line to look at is called the Tin and this is the line on the front wall near the floor. In fact, the whole area below the line is also called the tin and is supposed too make a very different noise to the front wall if the ball hits it. This concludes the lines on the walls and it’s time to look at the lines on a squash court floor. The first thing to tell you is that all the lines on the floor are for the serve ONLY. Once the rally starts, they are not used in the rules at all! The line that goes from the side walls across the near middle of the court is called the Short line. The serve MUST bounce past this line. Remember, it CAN NOT land ON the line, otherwise it is out. The next line is the one from the Short line to the back wall and this is called the Half Court line. When a serve is made, if the ball is not hit before it bounces (that’s up to the receiver) the ball must bounce inside the area created with the Short line and the Half Court line. Video Squash Coaching from the comfort of your sofa! The final lines to talk about are called the Service…

So the first question you might have is “What are foot faults in squash?”.

Foot Faults in Squash

When serving in squash, you MUST have one foot inside the service box. The service box is the square on both sides of the court. The short line, is the line that goes from one sidewall to the other. This line indicates where the service box starts, but also is used for where the ball must bounce (I’ll talk about that in another article). If you don’t have one foot inside the service box when you serve, then that is a foot fault. The reality is that for referees, it can be quite difficult to see if a player really does have their foot inside the box as they make contact with the ball, and the reason is that smart players are walking towards the T as the hit the serve. The second question might be “Why are smart players walking towards the T when they serve?” and it is a good question. Fortunately the answer is simple: You should be on the T BEFORE your opponent can hit the service return. Too often, club players serve, stand, watch and THEN react to the service return. Video Squash Coaching from the comfort of your sofa! Not only should a good serve make it difficult to return well, your movement should also ensure that whatever type of return is made, you are able to reach it. For right-handed players, moving towards the T when serving on the right-hand side of the court is best done by serving with a backhand shot, again, more on that in another article. The key is to make contact with the ball with you foot as close to the line, but not touching it, as possible. That way you are close to the T without breaking the rules. From now on, try to ensure you are moving forward towards the T in a naturally flowing movement.

Something that has always bothered me from a refereeing perspective is the inconsistency regarding accepting players’ calls.

Refereeing Inconsistency

When a player calls his or her shot down, we applaud their honesty and accept the call without question – at least I’ve never seen any referee not accept a player’s call except me once and that caused a shit storm in that match, I can tell you. We assume that they “know best” and blindly believe them. I use blindly purposefully because often the ref can’t see that particular situation clearly – that’s why they accept the player’s call. Now, when a player says they got a ball but the referee says they didn’t, whose view is upheld? The referee’s of course. And there is the consistency. I am not suggesting that we accept players’ calls when they say they got a ball, I am saying that we never accept a player’s call. If the referee thinks a ball is good but a player calls it down, then either the referee’s decision stands or a let is played. We definitely don’t want more lets in squash, but I do want more consistency in refereeing – as I am sure you do. Video Squash Coaching from the comfort of your sofa! There will always be injustice is sports calls and matches can be won and lost on bad calls, but that doesn’t mean only referees make bad calls, so do players. Who is to say that the player isn’t wrong when they call their ball down? Replays on SquashTV often show players saying they got a ball when they didn’t. I am NOT saying they are cheating, I am highlighting how they get things wrong. I suggest we take ALL decisions out of the players’ hand and keep it in the referees. Honest players can continue to call their balls down but let’s not continue to blindly accept them https://www.youtube.com/embed/xZA0AY-ZuF4