Squash is a type of racket sport played indoors in an enclosed court. The sport originated in the UK, and is currently played in almost all countries around the world.
The court used is rectangular in shape and is split into two halves, front and rear, using a horizontal marker line. The rear half is split into two boxes with a vertical line. Each rear box has a small marked service area. All the markings on the floor are relevant only during the serve and has no role in subsequent plays. The front wall has three markings, and the rear wall has a single marking, about half the height of the topmost marking on the front wall. The side walls have slanted markings that connect the topmost marking on the front wall to the marking on the rear wall.
A play begins with a serve. A serve has to be delivered from the small service area within the rear boxes. Serves should strike between the top and the middle marking on the front wall, and should fall within the adjacent rear box. After the initial serve, players alternate turns to return the ball back onto to the front wall. Balls are allowed to bounce only once on the floor before it is returned. Balls are allowed to bounce many times on the side walls, but has to reach the front wall without bouncing on the floor. Points are awarded to a player if an opponent is unable to legally return the ball back inbounds.
Squash matches are played in best of five set formats. Each set is played for 11 points, with a two point lead format. The player who wins three sets first is declared as the winner of the match.
World Squash Federation, the highest governing body for the sport conducts several international tournaments all through the year, of which the most popular is the PSA World Series.
- Hardball Squash — like the indoor court sport of squash, but with a much harder ball.
- Racquetball — a squash-type game involving hitting a hollow rubber ball using a stringed racket.
- Racquets / Rackets — a sport similar to squash
- Paddleball (4 wall) — like raquetball/squash but played with a solid paddle racket.
- Padel — a mix of tennis and squash, played on a much smaller court with walls and a solid paddle racket.
- Squash Tennis — derived from both squash and lawn tennis, played on a squash court with tennis rackets and balls.
- Stické Tennis — an indoor racquet and ball based sport derived from lawn tennis in the late 19th century, using a smaller court surrounded by 4 walls.
- Tamburello — racquet and a ball based sport from Italy.
- Frontenis — a sport using rackets and a rubber ball on a ‘pelota court’
- Racketlon — a combination sport, where players compete in the sports of table tennis, tennis, squash, and badminton.
- Qianball — a racket and ball sport developed in China which can be best described as a mix of aspects from tennis and squash.
Squash-Type Sports Played with the Hand
- American Handball — players use their hands to hit a small rubber ball against a wall. There are three versions (four-wall handball, three-wall handball and one-wall handball) that can each be played by either two, three or four players. It can be compared to squash without rackets.
- Gaelic Handball — a wall-based sport, played in Ireland, similar to squash though the ball is hit with the hand.
- Australian Handball — players use their hands to hit a ball against one or two walls. It's similar to squash, though played without a racquet.
- Chinese Handball — a form of American handball which is popular in the streets of NY, similar to Wallball.
- Wallball — a wall-based sport similar to squash in which a hi-bounce rubber ball is hit with the hand onto a wall after a single bounce.
- International Game — a team sport played by striking a ball with hands, created so that players from similar handball sports could play against each other.
- Basque Pelota — the name for a variety of court sports that involves hitting a ball against a wall using the hand, a racket, a wooden bat or a basket.
- Squash at the Olympics
- More about the sport and science of squash
- Complete list of sports
- The Encyclopedia of Sports