Can The Ball Hit The Ceiling In Racquetball?

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I love playing racquet sports, so I recently decided to give racquetball a try. It’s a great game, fast-paced and fun, but the rules are a bit complex. 

One thing I wasn’t clear on is, can the ball hit the ceiling in racquetball? I went online to read up on the rules of the sport, and I also watched a lot of videos of racquetball tournament games.

Can the ball hit the ceiling in racquetball? Yes, the ball can hit the ceiling in racquetball. This type of shot is called a ceiling shot, and it’s the primary defensive tactic in racquetball. You can hit a ceiling shot at any time in the game except during a serve. Hitting the ceiling shot on a serve is considered a fault.

Mastering the ceiling shot is a crucial tactical skill in racquetball. You can use a ceiling shot to move your opponent out of center court and to keep them off balance. 

A ceiling shot forces your opponent to move to the far back court which is a very difficult position to be in. It’s really hard to return a ball from the back court, especially if you’re locked in against a corner because your range of motion is so limited.

Read Also: What Equipment Do You Need To Play Racquetball?

What Is a Ceiling Shot – And Why Use it?

Understanding the ceiling shot is key to improving your racquetball game. A ceiling shot gives you a lot of tactical advantages, and if done right, it can allow you to control the court and your opponent.

  • To make a ceiling shot you have to hit the ball towards the ceiling at or near the crease with the front wall.
  • A good ceiling shot will then hit the ground, bounce back high and arc its way to the back wall.
  • The goal is to ideally angle your ceiling shot in such a way that it hits the corner of the back wall.

However, a powerful ceiling shot that ends up striking the dead center of the back wall will still force your opponent into the back court and a tough return. 

Just make sure that your ceiling shot has enough force to reach the back wall or you could end up handing your opponent an easy return or even a kill shot.

Learn the racquetball rules here: What Are The Racquetball Rules?

11 Ceiling Shot Tactics That Will Up Your Game

It takes a lot of practice to get your ceiling shot just right, but it’s also important to know when to use a ceiling shot to get the most impact from it. 

It is crucial to learn this key defensive strategy in racquetball, so let’s talk about how to make these shots and how to return them.

We’ve put together a list of some of the best ceiling shot tactics you can use to add that extra edge to your game.

1. Free Up Center Court

The most important position on a racquetball court is the front center court. 

You can anticipate your opponent’s movements easier from the center court position, and you also have far more flexibility and range of movement to return shots. 

Hitting a ceiling ball forces your opponent to move to the back court for their return, which leaves you clear to move into center court.

2. Win the Serve

You can’t use a ceiling shot on the serve, but you can use a ceiling shot to return the serve.

When your opponent serves, they’re closer to the center court position, but if you return a high ceiling shot, they’ll be forced to run to the back court to return it. 

If you aim your ceiling shot to bounce high onto the back wall, your opponent will miss the return, and you’ll win the serve.

3. Block In Your Opponent

Using ceiling shots is also a great way to block your opponent and keep them against the back wall. 

With practice, you can get your ceiling shots to bounce high off the ceiling just adjacent to the corner at an angle that sends it into the corner of the back wall off the bounce.

Shots like this keep your opponent locked into the back corner which is a very difficult position to hit from.

4. Keep your Opponent Moving

You can use a combination of ceiling shots, pinch shots and other defensive shots like the High Z to keep your opponent moving around the side and back walls. For instance, the high Z shot keeps the ball moving at a high trajectory, skimming the side and back walls just below the ceiling. Keeping your opponent on the run leaves the crucial center court open to you.

5. Buy Some Breathing Room

A really advanced racquetball player knows how to return a ceiling shot, but it’s still a great strategy to use to buy yourself some breathing room. 

Even if your opponent is skilled enough to return the shot with ease, it still gives you the advantage of being able to move into center court so you can position your next shot better, which might be all you need to win the game.

6. Ceiling Shot As An Offensive Strategy

Although ceiling shots are a defensive strategy, they can be used offensively too. 

The goal here is to make the ball die. Hit your ceiling shot with enough power that it comes back down on a high trajectory bounce as close to the center of the court as possible. 

It should come back down on its second bounce near the back wall, low enough to hit the floor and make it a dead ball.

7. Ceiling Shots As A Precursor to Kill Shots

Ceiling shots are difficult to return, especially when you angle them to hit a corner on the back wall. 

A great strategy is to use a ceiling shot to push your opponent into the back court and throw them off balance by following it up with another ceiling shot or a pinch shot. 

Then you can move in for a hard kill shot which your opponent won’t be able to return.

8. Ceiling Shot, Low Shot Combination

This strategy takes some skill and practice to pull off, but it’s effective when done properly. 

First, hit a ceiling shot, aiming it towards the back left corner, so your opponent will have to resort to a backhand shot. Position yourself in the center court.

If your opponent manages to return your ceiling shot, it will be a weak return with little power behind it.

Step forward and return the shot but don’t put a whole lot of power behind it. Just make sure to hit it low and slow. 

The lack of force behind the shot will cause it to bounce low to the floor before it gets near the back wall, which is where your opponent will be. 

By the time your opponent lunges forward to return the shot, it’ll most likely bounce twice, and the point is yours.

9. Angle Your Ceiling Shot

We have touched on the angled ceiling shot a few times already, but it’s worth mentioning as a separate strategy. The thing to keep in mind is that being caught against the back wall makes it hard to manipulate your racquet for the return shot. 

It’s even harder to do when the shot you’re trying to return lands in the back corner wall crease.

So when you’re aiming your ceiling shot do your best to angle it towards the center-left or center-right of the ceiling. 

A center-left shot will angle the ball back to the right-hand corner of the back wall, while a center-right shot will angle it back to the left-hand corner of the back wall. 

Your goal here is to force your opponent into the back corner where it’s difficult to hit the ball.

10. Around the World Shot – A Ceiling Shot Alternative

Ceiling shots can be very difficult to make, especially if you have a skilled opponent who is making you run around the court. 

An around the world shot is a great alternative to the ceiling shot, but it gives you much the same effect by forcing your opponent to scramble for the back wall.

To make an around the world shot, hit a pinch shot (a front corner shot), but aim it as high as you can. 

The force of the hit will send the ball into a high trajectory off the side wall and into the back wall. 

While it doesn’t hit the ceiling, it does make for a difficult return, especially since the only effective return for such a shot would be a reverse shot off the back wall.

11. Keep Your Opponent’s Focus Off You

It’s always best to keep your opponent’s focus on the ball instead of you. 

If your opponent is always in the center court, it’s much easier for them to read your intentions and position themselves for a good return. 

Ceiling shots are a great way to take your opponent’s focus off you while they concentrate on returning the shot and trying to maintain a center court position.

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