At first glance, squash and racquetball look very much the same, but then somebody told me that they are actually quite different.
Being a skeptic I set to find out whether or not they are different, and if so, what makes them different.
What Is the Difference Between Squash and Racquetball? Squash and Racquetball look very similar, however, they are played quite differently. The general rules between the two sports are different, in terms of how to serve, score points and what is considered ‘an out’. The courts also have different dimensions.
Read on as I explain how squash and racquetball are different.
Read Also: What Are The Best Racquetball Shoes?
Are Squash and Racquetball the Same Thing?
Squash and racquetball are both very similar sports, played with rackets or racquets and a rubber ball on a small enclosed court surrounded by glass.
Other than these similarities the two sports are actually quite different.
The Difference Between a Racquet versus Racket
In squash, the players use a ‘racket” which has a length of maximum of 27 inches.
In racquetball, the ‘racquet’ can be a maximum of 22 inches long. So even though both sports use a form of racket or racquet, the dimensions are actually quite different.
The same thing applies to the balls used in the two sports. A squash ball is 1,59 inches in diameter, where a racquetball is larger at 2,25 inches in diameter.
A squash ball is made of rubber, but not elastic rubber, which is why it doesn’t bounce very well off the wall, making it actually slow down when it hits the wall, which requires the players to calculate how the ball acts differently compared to racquetballs.
Racquetballs are more elastic and will bounce a lot easier and faster off the wall compared to squash balls.
In squash, the front wall where you are supposed to hit the ball with has an out of bounds area that is marked, whereas racquetball does not.
A court in racquetball can be both indoors or outdoors and is fully enclosed. The dimensions of a racquetball court are usually 40×20 feet and are about 20 feet high. There are lines on the ground/floor that indicates the area of serving and receiving.
A squash court is also a boxed off the court but the heights are usually different, where its dimensions are 32×21 feet, and usually has no set height, since the top of a squash court is usually clear.
In squash, if there is a roof and you hit it, then it is considered an out, however, in racquetball, it is allowed to hit the roof.
The rules in the two sports are also what make them very different.
In squash, you must get out of the way as much as possible and allow your opponent a clear chance to hit the front wall.
In racquetball, however, you can allow only some freedom to your opponent, but not standing right in front of him.
In squash, the games last until either player has either 9 or 11 points, wherein racquetball you have to get either 11 or 15 points.
A major difference is also how you score points. In racquetball you must have the services to score points, this can make racquetball games quite long, sometimes lasting hours if the players are evenly skilled.
In squash, you can score points no matter if you serve or not.
The serving in the two sports is also different. In squash, the player is limited to a box marked on the court, which they have to serve from. The ball then has to be shoot in the opposite corner from where the player is standing to be qualified as a correct server.
In racquetball, the player is free to stand anywhere behind the service box, which is also marked on the floor. The ball then has to hit the front wall and bounce back hitting the floor behind the service box. If the racquetball hits the back wall before the ground, it is considered a faulty serve and has to be redone.
So to sum up, the two sports are very similar-looking, but the rules and equipment used are actually quite different.
Racquetball is generally considered easier for beginners because the ball functions more naturally compared to a squash ball.
Both sports are great fun, and have quite low prices since all you need is a racquet/racket and a squash/racquetball and then you can dive right into it.
Gear Needed For Squash
If you are wondering what basic gear is required for playing squash check out the list below:
Get some shoes made for squash. Squash requires a fast pace and a lot of direction switches, to not damage your ankles or knees, get some proper shoes!
You obviously need a squash racket to play squash.
Can’t play squash without some squash balls!
To get a proper grip on your racket, get some gloves suited for squash!
Get some protective eyewear to make sure you don’t go blind from taking a squash ball to the face.
Gear Needed For Racquetball
Here is some basic gear that is considered must-have for playing racquetball:
HEAD Men’s Sonic 2000 MID Racquetball/Squash Indoor Court Shoes
Shoes exclusively designed for racquetball, with mid ankle support. Our favorite racquetball shoes.
If you want to get some help on how to choose the perfect racquetball shoes for you, check out this article.
Wilson Striker Racquetball Racquet
Penn Racquetballs (Pack of 12)
HEAD Leather Racquetball Glove
As we saw in this article, protective eyewear is important, as you have a ball flying around which may very well damage your eye if you are not wearing protection.