Among the sports that require the use of a racket, squash and racquetball are quite popular among people. Unlike badminton and tennis, which have bigger courts and are played mainly outdoors, both squash and racquetball are played on indoor courts.
Both squash and racquetball look very similar as the players hit the ball on walls. But these are quite different from each other when it comes to the details like the type of gear used and the rules.
Comparison between Squash and Racquetball
|Squash was developed in England in 1830 as a variant of ‘hard rackets.’
|Racquetball was invented in the US in 1949 as paddle rackets.
|World Squash Federation manages and regulates squash.
|International Racquetball Federation manages and regulates racquetball.
|20 million people play squash.
|5.6 million people play racquetball.
|Squash rackets have longer handles and narrower stringed areas.
|Rackets for racquetball are shorter with shorter handles but larger and wider stringed areas.
|Squash balls are 1.6 in(40.5mm) in diameter.
|Racquetballs are 2.25 in(57mm) in diameter.
|Gloves are not worn.
|Gloves are worn by most players.
|Size of The Courts
|Squash courts is 32 feet X 21 feet X 18.5 feet(9.75 meters X 6.4 meters X 5.64 meters) in size.
|Racquetball courts are 40 feet X 20 feet X 20 feet(12.19 meters X 6.10 meters X 6.10 meters) in size.
|Only one serve is allowed.
|Two serves are allowed to the players.
|Bouncing Allowed in Service
|Bouncing is not allowed while serving.
|Bouncing the ball once is a must while serving.
|Out of Bounds Zone
|Two defined zones at the top and the bottom of the front wall
|No defined zones, which makes hitting the ceiling a legal move.
|Anyone can score in a rally. Each match is for 11 points. The best of five matches wins.
|Only the one who served can score. Each match is for 15 points. The best of the three matches wins.
Differences Between Squash and Racquetball
What is Squash?
Squash was founded in 1830 as an evolution from another sport called ‘hard rackets.’ Rackets were commonly played in the prisons of England. Some students at Harrow School noticed that a punctured ball ‘squashed’ when it made contact with the floor or the wall.
This led them to alter their rackets and the playing environment, and squash came into being. Today, squash is played on indoor courts and is also considered to be the best sport for fitness, especially cardiovascular health.
What is Racquetball?
Joseph Sobek created racquetball in 1949. Sobek used to play tennis and handball professionally. In his search for a game that was fast-paced and easy to learn, he created a game himself that had rules similar to tennis, handball, and paddleball.
Sobek also invented the first racquet for the game, which looked like a paddle in shape but had a bigger stringed surface. Initially, the game was called ‘paddle rackets’ but later became known as racquetball as it grew more popular.
Contrast Between Squash and Racquetball
The Governing Body
The Popularity of the Sport
The Shape of the Rackets
The Size of the Balls
The Size of the Courts
The Number of Serves Allowed
The Area Assigned for Service
Out of Bounds Area
Scoring and Winning
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1. Why is squash called the best sport for staying fit?
The reason squash is called the best fitness sport is that it provides a full body workout – including the upper body, the lower body, and the midsection.
One hour of squash game allows your body to burn 600-1000 calories and hence can be a great substitute for regular cardio.
Q2. Can seniors play racquetball?
Yes. Racquetball can be played by seniors, and it is actually helpful for their overall health.
Like squash, racquetball also provides good full-body cardio and also improves overall hand-eye coordination and agility. Moreover, it is also a stress buster.
Q3. Is squash more difficult than tennis?
The answer is a bit subjective, depending on how fast a player catches the other sport. Both players have to get accustomed to the environment. But tennis players often manage to start a rally in squash instead of the other way around.
Q4. What if the racquetball hits my partner when I serve?
When serving, if your ball hits your partner, and your partner is in the doubles area, then it is a fault. However, if the served ball hits your partner when he is outside the doubles box, it will be a loss.
Q5. Are Squash and Racquetball a part of the Olympics?
No. Neither of the sports is a part of the Olympics. A number of applications have been sent for squash to be included in the Olympics, but it stays as excluded for now.
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