Squash balls come in four types: Blue dot, Red dot, Yellow dot and Double Yellow dot. Each ball is described by its speed, so the blue dot is called fast, the red dot medium, the yellow dot slow and the double yellow is called super slow. Now, if you were new to a sport, would you choose a fast or super slow ball? I would choose the super slow ball. I’m new to playing squash, I want a slow ball to make easy to hit, right? Wrong. But as I said, it’s not your fault.
Complete beginners should play with a blue dot. It is the most bouncy and if you can not hit it consistently it remains bouncy. As you get a little better, you should move onto the red dot. The red dot, like the blue dot remains bouncy even if you can’t hit it cleanly every time, but is less bouncy than the blue dot.
Keep using the red dot, but occasionally try a yellow dot. If you can hit the ball cleanly and consistently the yellow dot will stay hot and bounce enough to make squash fun. But be aware that you need to get the yellow dot hot before it will be bouncy. To do this I suggest you hold the ball in you hand for a few minutes before you start to play. Just after you have got changed into your squash kit and as you are walking to the courts to “heat up” is the perfect time.
Holding the ball in your hand, especially in the winter or in cold locations, can make the initial first few hits much easier, but you will still need to hit it cleanly to get the ball hot.
I want to be clear about one point. Moving from blue to red to yellow to double yellow is not always linear. There might be times that you should go “backwards” to the previous ball. Don’t think that just because last time you played with a red dot, means you never need to play with a blue dot again.
The last thing I want to mention is “ball snobs”. A ball snob is a player who says something like “pros play with a double yellow, therefore I should too!”. It’s false. You need to ball with a ball that you can get bouncy. If you can’t get a double yellow dot squash ball bouncy, then you should be playing with another ball.
Many older men players, seem to enjoy forcing younger, newer players to use the double yellow dot when they play against each other, simply so they can try to hit the nick on service returns. While I understand that when you are older running around a squash court is much harder, it’s also no fun for other players.