Racquetball - A Primer On Rules
As one of the world's more popular indoor sports (around 14 million enthusiasts around the world and 10 million in the U.S.), racquetball owes much of its popularity to the simplicity of the game itself. The rules are easy to assimilate and implement, and the nature of the game itself is quite simple.
For amateurs who might have forgotten how the game is played and for those who do not know how to play the game but are curious to know it and its rules, the following are the major game makeup.
Single double or trio
Racquetball games are played by two people against one another (singles) or four people with two for each team (doubles) and three people (cutthroat) where each one plays the other two.
Players who are serving the ball score points. Losing a serve is called a sideout. In doubles, each player can serve before sideout happens.
The first to win two games (up to 15 points) wins the match. If both teams have one win each, the tie-breaker is done up to 11 points.
Courts and required racquets
Racquetball courts have four walls - two are 40 feet (length) and two are 20 feet (width) with a ceiling height of 20 feet.
There are markers for the receiving line, drive serve line, service line and the short line.
These lines mark the serving area, serving boxes, and the receiving area.
Racquets for the game have bumper guards (grommets) and handles with a nylon rope to secure the racquet to the wrist. Also, all players are required to wear protective eye gear.
A racquetball game starts with a coin toss, with the winner choosing to either serve or receive the first game. In the second game, the server becomes the receiver.
The player or team that scores the most points in the 1st two games chooses to serve or receive during the tiebreaker. (If both have equal scores in the 1st 2 games, there is a coin toss.)
In regular everyday games, players or teams offer the other to choose first as a matter of courtesy.
The server has to stay in the service area when serving, stepping on a line but not pass the line. The server can pass the short line once the serve (ball) passes that line.
There should be a continuous motion throughout the serve while the receiver allows just one ball bounce, and hitting it before the second bounce.
In doubles, only one player does the first serve. After that, each player serves during every team serve. The non-serving player meantime has to stand erect with his/her back against the side wall and both feet on the floor, not moving until the ball break the short line plane.
Rallies and hinders
A rally (a succession of point wins) remains in force until any of the following happens: the player carries the ball, the ball goes out of court, the ball does not make it to the front wall, and the ball bounces twice before the receiver hits it.
Hinders happen for safety reasons. Play or the serve is over if a hinder occurs. These consists of such moves as a screen (opponent blocks the view of the ball), holdup (holding the swing for safety) or court hinder (court deflect the ball).
Do you feel you can play racquetball now?