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Want to learn a new sport? Great! We have a fun and enjoyable that you can learn within a day and play like a pro. The game is Racquetball, sounds familiar? Well, the game has been around for a long time and has millions of people who play it worldwide.
Image Credit: NYtimes.
Ok now let’s learn something about the sport.
What Is racquetball?
Racquetball is a fun game and is comparatively easy to learn. It has very simple rules that give the game a competitive edge. The game is derived from squash and is quite similar to it. However, there are some peculiarities that set it apart.
It is played both indoors and outdoors in a room like structure and every wall, ceiling, and floor are playable in the game. The game is played between two or more players and all you have to do is strike the ball against the front wall and score more points than your opponents to win the game.
To learn more about racquetball and how is it different from squash, you can watch this video:
Equipment Needed for Racquetball
Whether you are learning to play racquetball as a hobby or to go professional there is a set of equipment that you might need to play the game with. They ensure your safety and enable you to enjoy the game.
For beginners, the kit includes:
- racquet racket
- safety glasses
The professional kit includes equipment that enables comfort and performance
- Racquetball gloves
- Racquetball shoes
Now that you have got the gist of the essentials of the game, you need to learn and understand some basic rules that are to be kept in mind when playing. Let’s dive right into the rules of the game.
What Are the Basic Rules of Racquetball?
If you have played tennis, badminton, or any other racquet game, you will find racquetball rules very simple. Here are some of the basic rules of racquetball.
Holding a Racquet
In racquetball, there is a certain way that you have to hold the racquet, and even before you start playing the game is the first rule that you should know about.
A racquetball racquet comes with a wrist tether for protection, and it helps the player in maintaining control over the racquet during the game. The racquet can be used with a forehand grip that should have the thumb and index finger grip in the middle to create a V-shape.
If you don’t prefer a forehand grip you can opt for a backhand grip that will enable you to swing the racquet in the clockwise direction while using the same V-shape hold on the body of the racquet. The backhand grip generates slightly more power than the forehand grip as the face is laid out differently.
The game is played on outdoor courts and indoor turfs that are divided into different parts and boundaries such as:
- Front Wall
- Back Wall
- Service Line
- Receiving Line
- Short Line
- Service Zone
For better understanding, you can refer to the image below.
Image Credit: Northeastern.edu
How to Play the Game of Racquetball
The entire concept of the game revolves around hitting the ball before it bounces on the floor twice and preventing your opponent from returning the ball. While doing so, you have to take the following rule into consideration.
- When serving the ball, you have to bounce the ball once in the serving area and hit it underhanded while it is the air and before it bounces twice.
- If you are on the returning side, you have to let the ball bounce once before returning it. You also need to hit the front wall when returning the ball.
- Once the ball has been returned, both players can continue hitting the front wall to return the ball to the opponent before the ball fall on the ground. The returning of the ball is referred to as a rally.
- In an ongoing rally, the players are allowed to use any part of the court such as the walls and ceilings to return the ball.
- Points are only awarded when the ball is hit but it fails to reach the front wall and falls down or the ball bounces more than once before the player attempted to hit the ball.
- The points are only awarded the serving them, and when the serving team makes a fault, the returning team gets the serve.
Image Credit: thebigc
The players can hit the ball on the sidewalls, back wall, and ceiling to win points but the ball has to hit the front wall first and the ball should not bounce on the floor more than once.
Scoring Rules of Racquetball
The rules are the same for scoring whether you are playing a friendly match with your friends or a professional match.
- The player to score 15 or 11 points first wins the game.
- An official racquetball match comprises best of 3 games (15, 15, 11)
- If you win the first two games, you don’t have to play the third match. A third match is played only when a tiebreaker is necessary.
Racquetball Serves: How to Serve and Valid Serves
Every game of Racquetball starts with a serve and the player initiating the serve has to ensure that his/her serve complies with all the major rules of serving instructed in the racquetball rules guide. If the serve fails or is done incorrectly it is deemed as a ‘fault’ and the server has to try again.
Image Credit: Pwestpathfinder
These are the rules that you need to follow to hit a valid serve.
- The ball must bounce once on the floor before the strike
- The ball has to hit the front wall without bouncing
- The ball has to cross the ‘short line’ while returning
- The ball can hit one sidewall after it hits the front wall
- You get two chances to hit the perfect serve, if you are unsuccessful in both attempts, the serve will be passed on to your opponent.
- You get an ‘ace’ if your opponent is unable to hit the ball back to the front wall and the ball bounces on the floor twice.
Racquetball Tips and Tricks
As a racquetball player, you need to step up from basic gameplay after some time and show your prowess by playing the game like a pro and using tricks to win the game. In order to help you do that here are some tips that you can follow.
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Warm-up before playing just like any other game, racquetball involves a lot of physical activity. Therefore, you need to stretch your muscles and get your body warmed-up before starting the game.
Image Credit: Squash Skills
Most of the racquetball players start their warmup by playing some of the basic shots that they plan to use during the game such as:
- Backhand shots
- Down-the-line shots
- X-court shots
- Punch shots
- Drive Z serves
- Lob nicks
Though this can be of great help to get your game mode on, you need to do something more to get your body ready for action. You try jogging around the court, or you can bring a skipping rope and do some skipping exercises.
Keep Your Eye on the Ball
This is one of the basic tips and most effective tips that can help you even when you become a professional racquetball player.
Image Credit: Florida Racquetball Association
As a beginner, you should focus less on being in the right position and more on hitting the right shots. Don’t make it your aim to hit the ball with maximum power, instead try to get into the ball’s flow and focus on returning it and hitting it on the front wall.
When you are able to track the ball and manage to hit, the next thing that you must is manipulating the ball’s direction by hitting it at an angle. This is one of the best ways to dominate the rally as angled shots can make it hard for players to judge the direction of the ball.
Image Credit: Florida Racquetball Association
Select Your Shot
Once you are able to follow the ball and hit it with the right amount of power and at the right angle, you need to learn how to pick the right shot during the game. For instance, if your opponent is standing right behind you, you can hit the ball to the other side of the court so that he/she runs to the side of the court to get the ball. In racquetball, this is known as passing the ball and the best way to use this shot is to hit the ball on the chest level.
To learn the ‘Passing the ball’ shot, you can watch this video:
Racquetball is an incredibly fun game that you can pick up as a hobby and play to improve your fitness. The fact that it is easy to learn with simple rules, it is ideal for people of any age or gender. I hope that the above information has helped you gain comprehensive knowledge of racquetball rules and tips. If you have any queries or suggestions, you can write them in the comments.
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