What is racquetball? 

Racquetball is almost 70 years old and is one of the most fun, competitive and challenging sports in the world. It’s a two-player game played with a racquet and hollow rubber ball on either an outdoor or indoor court. What separates it from similar sports such as squash and tennis is that in racquetball, there is no net. Instead, players score points using the court’s floor, ceiling and walls through a relatively simple set of rules, strategies and techniques. 

What you need to know to play racquetball

Racquetball court setup 

Racquetball courts are rectangular and are made up of four enclosed walls. The court’s floor has a central square called a service box. The top line is called the short line, the middle line is called the service line, and the last line is called the receiving line. 

Racquetball game play, shots and faults

The game kicks off within the two solid lines in the middle of the court, called the service zone. To serve the ball, bounce the ball once, then hit it with your racquet toward the front wall. 

The ball should hit the front wall and completely clear the service zone for a rally to start. If it doesn’t hit the wall or falls short of the service area during the serve, it is considered a fault. If two fault serves occur in a row, the other player gets to serve instead.

Once the ball leaves the service zone, the rally starts. Players can hit the ball off any wall as long as the ball hits the front wall before hitting the floor. If the ball bounces more than once on the floor, the receiving player loses the rally. However, if a server loses the rally, no points are awarded. In this case, the other player simply serves next.

Conversely, if the server wins the rally, they get a point and serve to start the next rally.

Racquetball scoring and winning strategies 

A racquetball match consists of three games. The first and second games are played to 15 points. The third, however, is played only to 11 points. Whoever wins at least two of the three games wins the overall match. 

A great way to win points in racquetball is to act like you are about to hit the ball hard, but strike it softly at the last minute. Another technique is to hit the ball at an angle so it ricochets against two walls. That way it comes back at an angle your opponent wasn’t expecting, causing them to lose the rally. 

As you gain experience, you’ll learn to aim the ball toward the bottom of the wall so it hits the floor before your opponent can reach it.  

What do you need to play racquetball?

Unlike sports such as golf, getting started with racquetball is quick, easy and affordable. All you need is a racquetball racquet and a ball, though there are some other things you may also want.

  • Racquetball: It’s a small hollow rubber ball designed for the game.
  • Racquet: A good racquetball racquet has a safety strap that can be slipped onto the wrist to ensure that it doesn’t come loose while you’re playing. 
  • Goggles: They typically come in different styles. However, beginners should buy a pair with a strap to keep them nice and tight. 
  • Glove: Many players wear a racquetball glove during play. It’s worn on whichever hand you hold the racquet in. This keeps the racquet from slipping in your hand and helps prevent calluses on your skin.
  • Racquet cover:racquet cover protects your racquet to keep it in good condition so it lasts longer.

What you need to buy for playing racquetball

Wilson Striker Racquetball Racquet

Wilson Striker Racquetball Racquet

This powerful racquet provides stiffness and give in the strings in all the right places, so your shots have more power and control. It’s deal for advanced players but also suitable for beginners. Sold by Amazon and Dick’s Sporting Goods

Penn Ballistic 2.0 Racquetball Balls

Penn Ballistic 2.0 Racquetball Balls

Their vibrant red color helps to keep these fast-moving balls in your line of sight at all times during high-speed play. Meanwhile, the material and bounce are suitable for play in all conditions on indoor and outdoor courts. Sold by Amazon and Dick’s Sporting Goods 

Head Anti-Fog Scratch-Resistant Racquetball Goggles

Head Anti-Fog Scratch-Resistant Racquetball Goggles

Whether you’re playing outdoors in poor conditions or want to keep your eyes protected indoors, these goggles come with an adjustable strap for optimal fit and keep fog and scratches away. Sold by Amazon 

Asics Men's Gel-Rocket 10 Indoor Sport Shoes

Asics Men’s Gel-Rocket 10 Indoor Sport Shoes

Racquetball is highly active and requires a breathable shoe with trustworthy grip and good support. These shoes are great for no-slip indoor play and provide the support you need for quick turns and pivots. Sold by Amazon 

Python Deluxe Racquetball Glove

Python Deluxe Racquetball Glove

Available for both right-handed and left-handed players, these gloves fit comfortably and are lightweight enough to maintain total control during play. Sold by Amazon

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