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Rules

These articles have something related to rules in them.

Here’s another short article that for most players will seem obvious, but not for everybody. Over the years, I have been asked this question a handful of times.

Yes, you can play squash all year round. The problem is that squash developed this reputation for being a “winter sport”. I mean, technically it is because the professional circuit happens over the autumn, winter and spring seasons, with a break in the summer. But for amateur plaeyrs, playign sport should be on their own terms, not strictly following the professionals. Here are some phrases I have heard: “The ball gets too bouncy”, “You sweat too much”, “The ball is supposed to be cold” and “In the summer, the rallies go on for too long”. And probably many more I have forgotten. Let me be very clear: YOU CAN PLAY SQUASH ALL YERAR ROUND IF YOU WANT TO. Taking a break is a good thing though, but take that break when *you* want to. Benefits Of Playing In The Summer A bouncy ball is normal in squash. If you play and the ball doesn’t get bouncy, then you are using the wrong ball. Playing in summer, especially for beginners, means less effort to get the ball hot. A bouncy ball produces longer rallies because players can’t simply “dink” (hit softly) on almost every shot. Longer rallies means your fitness increases and the chances of some great rallies also increases. Yes, it’s true you might sweat more, but as long as you drink plenty of water; before, during and after, then there’s no problem. Basically, all the things people complained about are good things. Another point is that your body is warmer and people tend to get less injuries during the summer. I should stress that is just my experience and is not backed up by empirical evidence. Bouncy ball and some style! Australia, Egypt, Pakistan It was always my contention that players from Australia, Egypt and Pakistan were more creative and adventurous than players from colder countries. Yes, the are exceptions, but I felt that playing in those countries gave…

Excuse me? I said “Can you make contact with the ball outside of the court?” “Erm, yes, I suppose so. You mean above the lines?” “No, I mean actually outside the court?”.

That, believe it or not, was the conversation I had with somebody standing outside of a row of glass back courts. I thought the person asking me was playing a joke on me, but no, he was serious. This happened many many years ago, in fact before the year 2000. Padel had never been heard of in my circles and the whole concept was just “silly”. In case you didn’t know, in padel, the ball is often made contact with outside the actual court. Below is an example from the World Padel Tour. https://youtu.be/fcvP8DOlx0E The rally was a bit longer, so I cut out the beginning. Pretty cool, huh? But Padel Is Not Squash You’re right, but the question was kinda exactly like padel is today. The player who asked me, thought he was allowed to go out the back door and hit the ball from there. And honestly I didn’t know. I didn’t have easy access to the rules back then, unlike today where you can just look on the Internet. I said “no, I didn’t think he would be allowed”. It does make an interesting question, but I highly doubt you could even purposefully create a situation where it’s possible. Do you? Could It Actually Be Done? I mean, one player would have to be right by the door waiting to open it and run outside. The other player would have to be right at the front waiting to smash the ball down like a tennis smash, so that it bounced on the floor and then went over the back wall. The Maspeth outdoor court in New York would be the perfect place to try to do it. I suppose the player at the front could lob it, but that would give the other player less time. Maybe if it were an outdoor court then you could really hit it high! Anyway, I fun little thought experiment. Back…

I was recently asked this in an email and the sender had been told by somebody that their courts that they had to wear shorts – no tracksuit bottoms.

There used to be a time when squash players were forced to wear all white clothing, including the shoes. I played and coached through this era, but now it is considered old-fashioned. The reason given was that if the ball passed across the body of a player wearing dark colours their opponent would lose sight of the ball and be at a disadvantage. They also wanted to keep the “image” of the sport as formal. Nowadays, players wear any colour or design they want. But what about the style of clothing? Did you know that back sometime in the 1930s and 1940s, ladies were asked not to wear skirts during play? The reason given was the same as for the white clothing: a “flowing” skirt may cover the ball. So back to the title question. No, you don’t have to wear shorts or skirts when playing squash. But, I do want to mention three points for your consideration. Distraction I looked through the current rules but couldn’t see anything about the clothing you wear when playing squash. So, does that mean you can wear ANYTHING you want? Yes, and no. If your opponent believes your clothing is a distraction then they can ask the ref for a let. Now this is tricky because I don’t believe that can say that the colour or design itself is a distraction, just during the rally. It would be ridiculous for a player to keep saying the pattern or design distracts them. Although, if the design has particularly rude wording or is what most people would consider acceptable, then maybe the ref could rule to change it. More on that later. Knocking up in a tracksuit. The more important point about distraction regarding your clothing would be something that is not tight, but very loose and flaps about a lot. I know this is a silly example, but it’s a perfect illustration of the…

Here is another one of those questions that most readers already know the answer to, but to newer players who have never played a tournament, it’s a valid question.

Just a short article today, because the answer is quite straightforward really. It’s worth noting that “open” and “closed” have the same definition in all sports, not just squash. So this article could easily apply to tennis, badminton or padel etc. Open Squash Tournaments An Open tournament means that anybody can enter. However, there may be restrictions regarding age or standard. For example, a junior might not be allowed to enter a senior event. Or a lady might not be allowed to enter a gentlemen’s event. Another possible restriction might be the separation of pros and amateurs. It all depends on the tournament director, sponsors and other stake holders; the club for example. The main point is that there are no limitations regarding entry. Closed Squash Tournaments A Closed tournament means that entry is restricted in some way. The three main cases would be location and club. For example, in the United Kingdom, the land is divided into “counties”. Each county runs their own tournament for people who were born in that county or have lived in it for a period of time (I can’t remember how long, but almost certainly over 2 years). Where you live the idea of county might be replaced with State, Province, Communidad, Prefecture etc. The next case is related to land, but this time it’s nationality. So for example, the “British Junior Closed” can only be entered by juniors who were born or live in the United Kingdom (ignore the difference between UK and Britain for this). The All England Lawn Tennis Club not the Wimbledon Tennis Club! The final case is a Club Closed, which can only be entered by members of the club. I remember a story of a man who went to the bookies (betting/gambling shop) to place a bet on himself to win the “Wimbledon Tennis Club Men’s Championship”. The person taking the bet thought he meant the “All England…

Yes, you can take as many swings at the ball as you want, as long as it is not dangerous or the ball doesn’t touch any part of you, your clothing or your racket (including the strings and grip).

New Players And Beginners This type of thing happens sometimes with beginners, although you generally don’t have enough time to do it. It most likely occurs during a service return when you swing to hit the ball, miss and then turn around to try again. It’s very important to understand that this situation can be very dangerous and you should read the article: What Is Turning In Squash to learn more about it. If, as a new player or beginner, you do find yourself completely missing the ball, I highly recommend read the article: Why Do I Have To Watch The Ball Hit My Strings. It’s very important to watch the ball all the way onto your strings. If you miss the ball a lot, the chances are you are not doing this and looking up just before the moment of contact. So in conclusion for new players, yes, you are allowed to do it, but it’s not a good thing to do. Professional and Very Advanced Players So, in the previous paragraph I said taking more than one swing was not a good thing to do and that’s true until you get to professional level. At that point, you have such control over the racket that multi-swings can be used to deceive and confuse your opponent. A word of warning though: I have seen a player try it and accidently hit the ball at their opponent in an effort to trick them – so please perfect this skill alone on court before trying it for real! James Wilstrop, former World Number One, is well-known for doing this. It’s often labelled as “The Windmill”. Here are two examples. https://youtu.be/1yPnmEVIBsE Don’t try this at home! In the first example, James, swings as if he were going to hit the ball deep, but then hits a delicate drop shot, which is incredibly difficult to do. In the secnd example, he actually swings…

It may seem like a silly question, especially if you’ve been playing squash awhile, but it’s also one of those questions people are afraid to ask. Luckily, I’m not afraid to answer it.

Believe it or not, there was a time when you could because it wasn’t specifically against the rules. That changed on 1st May 1985 after the Annual General Meeting of the International Squash Rackets Federation in October 1984. Originally the rule stated: The game of squash rackets is played between two players with standard rackets ……pre 1st May 1985 And after the meeting it said: The game of squash rackets is played between two players, each using a standard racket…….post 1st May 1985 So, there you go: No, you can’t use two rackets at the same time. Even if you could, you would have to be very good with both hands to even try. But, perhaps we should ask the question… Would Using Two Rackets Be Better? Just like the article about swapping the racket between your hands, it raises the question of “would it be better?”. Well, the first issue is to realise that you would have to play forehands on both sides. For most players, the forehand is the side that allows them to hit the ball harder, but is it more accurate? Not for me, but I might not be representative of club players. Another racket would definitely be in the way in this situation! The second point is one of safety. Holding a second racket would make many club matches dangerous. It can be hard enough to avoid your opponents’ rackets when they have one, imagine with two! You would have to put it out of the way for each shot and it would limit your ability to reach and balance yourself, or at least it seems like it would. You know what? The next time I go on court, I’ll try it and report back here. Final Thoughts Questions like these are asked in sports centres around the world by new players. It’s natural to want to push the boundaries and find new tricks to…

It Depends. If you are loud enough to distract your opponent, then no, and they could even ask for a let. But if your opponent can’t hear you, then yes.

Know Exactly What You Are Trying To Do In Each Squash Drill

As I’ve just said, better to say nothing during a rally as it may cause issues, but much more interestingly is the “trash talk” between points. Putting aside the actual rules for official matches for a moment, squash is so very different from many sports in this regard. It’s one area that is not often talked about when discussion tournaments and inter-club matches. I clearly remember times during those club matches when my opponent would make a snide remark about the previous point. people often call this aspect “mind games” and it can be as blunt as the image below or so subtle than you take it as a compliment. Reverse Psychology “You’ve got a great backhand boast”, said one opponent to me. “Thanks” I replied and stupidly played too many in the next game, nearly all of which my opponent hit winning drops off. We laughed about it during the team meal afterwards, but I still hope that guys steps on lego every day for the rest of his life. I was “played”, which for non-native English speakers means I was manipulated. I was young and impressionable, I honestly thought he was complimenting my boasts, which by the way are pretty good and quite hard to read, but that’s not the point. Another time, I heard people talking about my opponent and how he had just retired from the SAS (a well-known regiment of the British army, famed for their toughness and expertise). They also mentioned how he rarely lost close matches. From being calm, I suddenly became nervous. I lost the match due to my mindset rather than my or my opponent’s skill or fitness. Lambs, the club in central London this occurred in is gone now, so I’ll never have to re-live that disaster. I could probably recount a few more times similar things happened to me, but you get the point: DON’T PAY ANY ATTENTION TO…