Is Squash The Same As Racquetball?

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If you’re a fan of Squash, then you may notice the similarities that it shares with Racquetball. 

You aren’t alone, and it's easy to get confused when you don’t really know the key differences between them.

Is squash the same as racquetball? Squash and Racquetball are completely different sports. There are many varying factors including:

Racquet Type:SquashRacquetball
Weight:110g-190g150g-185g
Length:Maximum length allowed is 27 inchesRackets are not allowed to go over 22 inches.
Materials Used:Metal such as Titanium and GraphiteCheaper rackets are made with aluminum. Other materials used are Graphite and Titanium
Alterable?The grip is one of the easiest things to change, whereas restringing the racket can be challenging and take time.You can swap the head of the racket for two styles: Triangular and Quadraform, each offering their own benefits to certain playstyles.
Size of Ball being Used4cms in diameter2.25 inches in diameter
Areas Where Game is PlayedIndoorsOutdoors/Indoors

People often get the two games confused due to the court types and the fact that both games are played with often similar rackets. 

They sound similar on paper, and we’ll cover those factors mentioned above in greater detail to break down the differences between them.

We cover the topic on a similar post, but different approach. Check it out if you want to know a bit more about what makes them different.

Differences Between the Playing Areas

Both of these sports are played in enclosed spaces, which can help people get confused about the commonalities of the sport. Below, we will break down the differences between the courts.

  • Squash. Squash courts are typically smaller courts that sit at around 21x32x15. You aren’t allowed to hit the ceiling in this court. There are out of bound marks at the front of the wall as well as one in the back on this court, and you will only play this game indoors.
  • Racquetball. This court is the longest of the two with a measurement of 20x40x20. Every bit of the room is in play, including the ceiling which serves to keep it boundary free. This game can be played in both indoor and outdoor areas.

Keep in mind it's not possible to play correctly mix-matching the games with the courts. The length of the squash court is 8 feet smaller than its counterpart, and the difference in that can impede gameplay and training.

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

Sizes of the Balls Being Used

This is another key difference between the two games, and the balls here certainly wouldn’t work well with opposite courts and racket types. 

This is because of the weight or the size of the balls aren’t the same.

The squash ball is 4cm in diameter in contrast to the racquetballs 2.25inch in diameter. 

This alone sets the two apart with the materials used to make them only making that gap further. The squash ball isn’t made of elastic. 

This means that the ball takes much more of the energy during the impact, and will slow down quickly unless it is hit again, unlike the racquetball which is made of rubber.

How is the Scoring Different?

A game of squash can go up to nine points. In championships and tournaments that number will usually go up to eleven. 

In order to win the game, you have to be at least two clear points ahead of your opponent. 

It doesn’t matter who serves or receives here, as both players are able to score points on one another. You are only allowed one serve per turn in this game.

Racquetball has scoring similarities with squash due to you needing to have at least two clear points more than your opponent. 

These games are longer with the max score being fifteen, and unlike squash, you have to be the one that serves in order to score. You are able to serve up to twice in one round in this game.

Timespan of the Games

A game of Squash takes anywhere between a couple of minutes to a few hours to complete a match. 

This depends on three levels which are:

  • Beginner. These are the shortest and last around 20 minutes.
  • Club. Games here can take up to 40 minutes
  • Professional. The longest of the three, sitting at 60 to 90 minutes to complete a match.

Racquetball games are much shorter and stay around the same time-length that a beginner game of squash would. 

This game is known for its fast pace, meaning that even though it may not last as long as squash, it still leaves the players running a distance of two miles throughout the match.

Which is More Popular?

Squash and Racquetball see a rise in popularity each year. It can thank numerous countries sprouting out multiple teams for this, and its popularity is one that hasn’t dwindled.

Which one is more popular? According to rulesofsport.com, while Racquetball boasts 5.6 million worldwide players, Squash shadows this with its 20 million global players.

You can play Squash in over 200 universities in the United States. Ivy League universities offer their own collegiate squash teams for students. There are 800 professional players from five different continents.

Why Do People Confuse the Two?

We’ve covered what makes the two games different, and now you should have a clear picture of how everything affects that. Everything from the rackets, to court type make both of these games it's own, even though the similarities can be head-scratching.

Racquetball and Squash Have Similar Court Types

Why do people confuse Squash and Racquetball? One of the main reasons people can get the two games mixed up is how similar the court types are, and seeing how they both require you to bounce the ball off the wall to score on your opponent.

Racquetball and Squash Have Similar Racquets

Let’s clear up the spelling differences of the word Racket and Racquet. You may have seen both used and are most likely confused.

  • Racquet is for Squash
  • Racquet is for Racquetball
  • Racket is for Tennis
  • Racket is for every other use case of the word

In addition, a Squash Racquet and a Racquetball Racquet look very similar to the untrained eye.

  • A Squash racket is lengthier (up to 27 inches long) but the stringed surface is tapered.
  • A Racquetball racquet is wider (up to 22 inches long) with a tear-drop stringed area

A Racquetball racquet will also have a long string below the handle so that the player can wrap their wrist around the string. This helps the racquet stay strapped to the player so it does not go flying anywhere it doesn’t need to.

Which Came First: Squash or Racquetball?

Squash is the oldest of the two games mentioned.

If you want to know all the facts about the origin of both sports, check out this article.

History of Squash

Squash was first played by prisoners in London and then invented by Harrow College Students in the 1830s as a spinoff of another popular game called “Rackets”. 

The students found that hitting the wall with the racket ball would result in it bouncing off from unexpected angles, which made the new challenge for them exciting.

The game quickly gained popularity amongst other college students before it became a sport on its own.

History of Racquetball

Racquetball gained popularity over 100 years later when a college student, Joe Sebek found himself growing disinterested with the sport options that The University of Connecticut offered.

Joe decided to make his own game, which was a combination of Tennis and Handball, his two favorite sports. 

He even went as far as to create his own prototype for the racket, and the game gained worldwide attention in the 70’s and 80’s.

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