front wall 前墙
side wall 边墙
service box 发球框
quarter court 后场
The court size was codified in the 1920s at 975 cm (32 feet) and
640 cm (21 feet) wide. The front wall has a "front wall line" 457
cm (15 feet) above the floor, connected by a raking "front" line
meeting the "out" line on the back wall at 213 cm (7 feet) above
the floor. The front wall also has a "service line" whose top is
183 cm (6 feet) above the floor with the "board" (the equivalent of
a net) 48 cm (18.9 inches) high. The floor is marked with a
transverse "half-court" line and further divided into two rear
"quarter courts" and two "service boxes", as shown in the diagram
The traditional "American" court for the U.S. game, (now
referred to as "hardball
squash") is a similar size, but narrower at 18 feet 6 inches
(564 cm). The floor and wall markings differ slightly from the
"International" court and the tin is lower, at 15 inches (38 cm)
high. However, hardball squash was replaced by softball in America
as the standard version of squash and has since almost completely
A "Converted Court" is the result of converting racquetball
courts to squash. Racquetball courts are 20 feet (610 cm) wide and
40 feet (1220 cm) in length, so it is relatively easy to install a
back wall, producing a squash court of 20 feet (610 cm) wide by 32
feet (975 cm) long.
Standard rackets are governed by the rules of the game.
Traditionally they were made of laminated timber (typically Ash),
with a small strung area using natural gut strings. After a rule
change in the mid-1980s, they are now almost always made of
composite materials or metals (graphite, kevlar, titanium, boron)
with synthetic strings. Modern rackets have maximum dimensions of
686 mm (27.0 in.) long and 215 mm (8.5 in.) wide, with a maximum
strung area of 500 square centimetres (approx. 90 sq. in.), the
permitted maximum weight is 255 grams (approx. 9 oz.), but most
weigh between 110 and 200 grams (4-7 oz.).
Squash balls are 39.5 mm and
40.5 mm in diametre, and weigh between 23 and
25grams. They are made with two pieces of rubber compound, glued
together to form a hollow sphere and buffed to a matte finish.
Different balls are provided for varying temperature and
atmospheric conditions and standards of play: more experienced
players use slow balls that are smaller and have less bounce than
those used by less experienced players (slower balls tend to die in
court corners, rather than standing up to allow easier shots).
Depending on its specific rubber composition, a squash ball may
have the property that it bounces more at higher temperatures.
Players tend to warm up balls by bouncing them on the ground prior
to play. As a rally progresses, play is complicated as the ball
usually becomes hotter and faster.
Small coloured dots on the ball indicate its dynamic level
(bounciness), and thus the standard of play for which it is suited.
The recognised speed colours indicating the degree of dynamism
A double yellow squash ball.
Double Yellow - Extra super slow (very low bounce)
Yellow - Super slow (low bounce)
Green or White - slow (average bounce)
Red - Medium (high bounce)
Blue - Fast (very high bounce)
Balls are manufactured to these standards by Prince, Dunlop, Pointfore,
Wilson, and others. The
"double-yellow dot ball", introduced in 2000, is currently the
competition standard, replacing the earlier "yellow-dot" that was
long considered the competition standard. There is also a
high-altitude "orange dot" ball, used in places such as Mexico City,
Calgary, Denver, and
North America, the Dunlop "green dot" ball is often used at high
altitude, as well.
Other balls available are:
Dunlop "Max Blue" (aimed at beginners), which is 12% larger and
has 40% longer "hang time" than a "double-yellow dot ball" and has
Dunlop "Max Progress" (red) (for players wishing to improve
their technique), which is 6% larger with a 20% longer hang-time
than a "double-yellow dot ball" and has instant bounce
Given the game's vigorousness, players must wear comfortable
sports clothing and robust indoor (non-marking) sports shoes. In
competition, men usually wear shorts and a t-shirt or a polo shirt.
Women normally wear a skirt and a t-shirt or a tank top, or a
sports dress. Towelling wrist and head bands may also be required
in humid climates. Polycarbonate lens goggles are recommended, as
players might be struck with a fast-swinging racket or the ball,
that typically reaches speeds exceeding 200 km/h (125 mph). In the
2004 Canary Wharf Squash Classic, John
White was recorded driving balls at speeds over 270 km/h (170
mph). Many squash venues mandate the use of eye protection and some
association rules require that all juniors and doubles players must
wear eye protection.
The players usually spin a racket to decide who commences
serving at the start of the match, and this player starts the first
rally by electing to serve from either the left or right service
box. For a legal serve, one of the server's feet must be in that
box and, after being struck by the racket, the ball must strike the
front wall above the service line and below the out line and land
in the opposite quarter court, unless volleyed by the receiver.
The players then take turns hitting the ball against the front
wall (referred to as "rallying"). The ball may be volleyed (hit
whilst still in the air) or hit after its first bounce and before
the second. To be considered good, the ball must reach the
front wall below the "out" line and above the "board" or "tin"
before touching the floor. A ball landing on either the out line or
the line above the tin, contrary to tennis, is considered to
be out. The ball may also be struck against any of the other
three walls before reaching the front wall. Shots that are first
played off the side or back walls are referred to as "boasts" or
The rally continues until a player is unable to return his or
her opponent's shot or makes a mistake or a "let" or "stroke" is
awarded by the referee for interference (see below).
A point is scored only by the server (when the receiver is
unable to return the ball to the front wall before it has bounced
twice). When the receiver wins the rally, they are awarded only the
right to serve. They may choose to serve from either service
Games are usually played to 9 points (alternatively, the
receiver may opt to call "set two" and play to 10 when the score
first reaches 8-8). Competition matches are usually played to
"best-of-five" (i.e., the player to win the most out of 5
Alternatively, in the point-a-rally scoring system, points are
scored by the winner of each rally, whether or not he or she
served. Traditionally, PARS scoring was up to 15 points (or the
receiver calls 15 or 17 when the game reaches 14-14). However, in
2004, the PARS scoring was reduced to 11 for the professional game
(if the game reaches 10-10, a player must win by two clear points).
PARS is now used on the men's Professional Tour, and the tin height
has been lowered by two inches for the men's professional
tournaments (these changes have been made in a hope to shorten the
length of the rallies and therefore the match). The women's
Professional Tour, however, still uses the original "up to 9
English scoring" and the original tin height.
In the International game, club, doubles and recreational
matches are usually played using the traditional British scoring
system. Scoring systems and rules can be adapted subtly to
accommodate shorter game time or multiple players. The British
scoring is generally used for USSRA (United States Squash Racquets
The strategy of the game is to hit the ball straight up the side
walls to the back corners referred to as a "rail," straight drive,
wall, or "length", then move to the centre of the court near the
"T" to be well placed to retrieve the opponent's return. Attacking
with soft or "short" shots to the front corners (referred to as
"drop shots") causes the opponent to cover more of the court and
may result in an outright winner. "Angle" shots are used for
deception and again to cause the opponent to cover more of the
A key strategy in squash is known as "dominating the T" (the
intersection of the red lines near the centre of the court where
the player is in the best position to retrieve the opponent's next
shot). Skilled players will return a shot, and then move back
toward the T before playing the next shot. From this
position, the player can quickly access any part of the court to
retrieve the opponent's next shot with a minimum of movement.
Rallies between experienced players may involve 30 or more shots
and therefore a very high premium is placed on fitness, both
aerobic and anaerobic. As players become more skilled and, in
particular, better able to retrieve shots, points often become a
war of attrition. At higher levels of the game, the fitter player
has a major advantage.
Almost all players will fall into the following categories of
style of play:
"Retriever"- Usually a very fit player, plays patiently, can
retrieve most shots hit by an opponent, but doesn't have a
particularly strong attacking game.
"Shooter" or "attacking player"- May be a patient player as
well, but is more comfortable trying to hit winning shots or going
for "nicks". Generally has very good shot accuracy and deception
"Power Player"- Tries to overpower their opponent by hitting
the ball with extreme pace. Not known for their fitness, or
"All-Around Player"- Is comfortable playing all different
styles and places, comfortable in all areas of the court.
"Attritional Attacking"- Most professional players fit into
this category, with the likes of David Palmer and James Willstrop;
where they are prepared to rally down the wall, however as soon as
the player leaves a loose ball inches from the side wall, they are
ready to kill the ball into the nicks.
Ability to change the direction of ball at the last instant is
also important to off-balance the opponent. Expert players can
anticipate the opponent's shot a few tenths of a second before the
average player, giving them a chance to react sooner. Such skill is
usually acquired by a lot of practice and game experience.