Squash is a racquet sport played by
two players (or four players for doubles) in a fourwalled court with a small,
hollow rubber ball.
According to the World Squash
Federation, squash is played by approximately 20 million people worldwide.
There were 49,908 squash courts in the world, with 188 countries and
territories having at least one court. England had the greatest number at
8,500. Squash is regarded as one of the best sports for staying in shape and
burning calories. The women’s professional squash tour and world rankings are
run by Women’s International Squash Players Association. The equivalent body
for men is the Professional
Squash Association. Historically
Australian, England and Pakistan have produced the strongest squash players,
but today Egypt and England are the strongest countries (of the 20 highest
world ranked men and women, 11 are either Egyptian or English), with a range of
countries including Malaysia, France, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Canada
and the Netherlands producing top pro players.
Squash developed from at least five
other sports involving racquets, gloves, and balls having roots in the early
1500s in France, then England. In the 1900s the game increased in popularity
with various schools, clubs and even private citizens building squash courts,
but with no set dimensions.
In April 1907 the Tennis, Rackets
& Fives Association set up a subcommittee to set standards for squash. Then
the sport soon formed, combining the three sports together called “Squash”. In
1928, the Squash Rackets Association was formed to set standards for squash in
Great Britain. The sport spread to America and Canada, and eventually around
The objective – The game requires
two players, each with a racket, who take turns hitting the ball against the
large front wall. The ball is able to go to the front wall via the side or back
wall, but not off the ceiling or the floor. The objective is to hit the ball
away from your opponent so that they’re unable to hit the ball before it
The player that controls the middle
of the court usually wins.
The Rally – Players take turns
hitting the ball. This can often mean that players get in each other’s way, and
this is an integral part of squash. To begin each rally a player serves by
standing in one of the small boxes, hitting the front wall above the middle red
line, and having the ball land in the large box at the back (where the other
player will be waiting to receive).
The Court Markings – The ball must
stay below the red line going around the top of the court (hitting the line in
squash is out). When the ball hits the front wall it must be above the low red
line near the floor (this is called the ‘Tin’). The line marking on the floor
and in the middle of the front wall are for the service.
Lets & Strokes – There are
special rules for when players are in each other’s way. If it’s only a small
interference the point is played again (let). If there’s a big interference a
player can lose the point for being in the way (stroke).
Scoring – The player that wins the
rally wins 1 point. The first person to 11 points wins the game. If the score
gets to 10-10 the players must continue until one player is ahead by two points
(so the game score could be 25-23). The first person to win 3 games wins the