What is Squash Sport?
Squash is a popular sport both professionally and in amateur ranks with competitions from the Squash World Championships to the University Squash Championships.
Squash sport is a ball and racket game played by two players in a four-walled courtroom. The players alternate striking the small hollow rubber ball with the rackets onto the court’s playable surfaces. To win, a player needs to hit the ball so that the opponent cannot return a valid play.
About the History of The Game
Squash dates back to the 19th century, with variations of the game such as racquets and fives evolving to the modern game as we know it.
The first squash court in Canada was constructed in 1904 at the St. John’s Tennis Club in Newfoundland.
Today, there are numerous Squash courts in Canada, and they all operate under the Squash Canada administration.
How Many People Play Squash?
According to US Squash, over 20 million people play Squash games across more than 185 countries worldwide. One of these countries is Canada, where more than 400,000 people play Squash at elite levels and for recreation. Some of their premier leagues include the Canadian Open Squash Championships and the Canada Cup Squash Tournaments.
Squash Game Rules
Although the rules for playing Squash are extensive, they are simple to understand and follow. Let us take a look into some of the essential ones, shall we?
To better understand the serving rules of Squash, here is a picture of the playing court.
Players must serve the ball from within either of the two service boxes. If at least one of the feet is in contact with the floor in the box, then it’s a Foot Fault, and you lose a point. The serve must go above the service line and below the out-of-bounds line at the top of the front wall. You can only serve once, and if you fail to make contact with the ball, then the play is not counted.
A score in Squash can only count when the ball bounces twice before your opponent hits it, hits the backboard, or goes outside the outline of the court. There are two ways of winning in Squash. The first is PAR, where the player who gets to 11 points first wins—points are counted from both players’ serves. The second way; players play to 9 points first, and counting is done per player’s serve. The player who gets the most wins in 5 sets becomes the overall winner.
When playing a Squash game, a player should hit the ball once before the opponent hits it. And when hitting the ball, the contact must be singular, which means that you cannot carry the ball on the racket. A foul is when a player gets in the way of their opponent on purpose. The game requires either two or four players at a time, and they can only hit the ball with their rackets.
How to Play Squash
The whole aim of playing Squash is to hit the ball off the walls so that the opponent will fail to return it. To successfully do this, here are a few tips:
Getting the Proper Equipment
In Squash sports, all you need is a racket, a ball, and comfortable sportswear. You can choose less bouncy balls for pros, and for beginners, bouncier balls are the best. As for clothing, wear comfortable gear that will allow you to run around the court with ease.
Choosing A Squash Court
A squash court with first-class designs, including proper lighting and ventilation system, is critical for a perfect game. Walls made from sustainable materials minimize the noise produced when the ball hits it. The court’s markings must be visible, and its surfaces even to allow smooth and fair gameplay.
Learning the Basics of The Game
To succeed in playing Squash, players first need to learn the game’s basics. These include controlling your racket, hitting the ball, and basic movement tactics. They help you play better shots, return your opponent’s hits, and put your opponent out of position.
Practicing Your Techniques
If you want to become unbeatable at Squash, you can start practicing some solo Squash drills on the court. This helps build a strong forehand, develop a variety of shot techniques, and improve your coordination.
Learning the Tactics
There are numerous shots that a player can use for Squash, all with different results. A Straight Dive is the most basic of these tactics, and it entails hitting a ball parallel and close to the sidewall. The advanced hits you can use include Boasts, Drop Shots, and Lobs.
Having A Partner as An Opponent
Playing with a weaker partner as your opponent once in a while can go a long way with Squash. It enables your partner to get better while you work on your weak areas. Also, try and play with partners at a similar level as yourself and those that are better than you to learn new tactics.
Squash Sport Equipment
There are many different brands, sizes, and weights for Squash sports equipment. It’s essential that you choose the right ones, as they’ll significantly impact your game’s success and enjoyment.
Squash rackets have a maximum length of 68.60cm and a maximum weight of 255gms. They have a narrow-strung area for hitting the ball. If you are looking for quick gameplay, it is advisable to use a light racket. For those who prefer making powerful shots, go for a head-heavy racket.
While eye injuries are rare in Squash games, you may want to wear protective eyewear on the court. In junior Squash tournaments, eye protection is mandatory. This safety measure was implemented by the Scottish Squash Eye Protection Policy and is applied worldwide.
The best Squash clothing is polo tees, tennis-style skirts, shorts or trousers, and light trainers. Some clubs and leisure providers may specify that you wear shoes with non-marking rubber soles so that there are no marks left on the court.
Which Ball Should You Use?
There are four types of Squash balls. Pro balls are small and less bouncy and often liked by professional players. They feature two yellow dot markings.
If you are just a regular player, you can go for competition balls with a single yellow dot. Recreational players use progress balls, while beginners use mini-Squash balls.
Squash Sport VS Racquetball
So, what’s the difference between Squash and Racquet? Well, for starters, Squash uses a longer racket with a narrower stringed area as opposed to the rackets in Racquet. Both the Squash balls and Racquet balls are hollow and rubber, though Racquet balls are bigger and bouncier. Racquetball courts are also larger than Squash courts.
Where to Play Squash in Grande Prairie
In the city of Grande Prairie, there are four Squash courts called the Equity Rentals Squash. The courts are located in the east end of the Eastlink Centre Field. They are open from Monday to Saturday between 6 am and 9 pm and on Sunday from 8 am to 9 pm.
The Grande Prairie Squash Club is a non-profit body dedicated to bringing support and awareness to the sport of Squash. They do this by offering their members the opportunity to participate in recreational and competitive tournaments in a friendly and exclusive environment. The joining fee is $50, and it goes to buying supplies and organizing leagues.
Benefits of Squash Sport
Squash is a fast-moving sport that provides an excellent cardiovascular workout. It is suitable for people of all ages and has multiple health, social, and psychological benefits.
Playable All Year Round
Since Squash is an indoor game, you can play it all year round. For this reason, key high-school-related matches like the national championships take place in winter. You should note that the registrations for most Squash leagues happen at the beginning of the year.
Brings Out Your Competitive Side
The game of Squash is competitive, and you need to be aggressive with your tactics to win. This healthy competition is good for pumping adrenaline as well as improving your personality.
Makes You Active
In Squash, players use a lot of energy. The game will have you running, leaping, and diving after the ball to score. As a result, it makes you more active and increases your strength and stamina.
Regardless of whether a Squash game was successful or not, players stay in the safe knowledge of knowing they tried their best. This boosts their self-esteem and confidence in their abilities.
Regulates Your Metabolism
When playing Squash, you’ll need to be on your feet throughout the sets. The sport demands a lot of movement around the court as you try to hit the ball. With this, you will burn a lot of calories which regulates your metabolism.
Good for Mental Health
Not only do Squash sports help burn calories, but they are also fun and exciting. They also require coordination, composure, and resilience, which helps reduce stress levels and increase your ability to focus, making it good for your mental health.
Boosts Hand and Eye Coordination
When the opponent hits the ball against the wall, it can take seconds for it to revert. Players must repeatedly see the ball and adjust their body and hands to hit back. This sharpens your thinking skills which lead to improved hand-eye coordination skills.
Healthiest Sport for Cardiovascular Health
An intense game of Squash keeps your heart and lungs working at peak levels. It reduces the risk of getting heart diseases by strengthening heart muscles and preventing the clogging of arteries.
Squash Sports Facts That You Probably Never Knew
An hour of playing Squash can help you burn between 600 and 1,000 calories depending on the intensity of the game.
The longest Squash game was played in 2015, and it lasted for 35 hours and 2 minutes. The game was played in Australia by two elite New Zealand players, Adam Fisher and Darren Yates.
Forbes magazine 2020, voted Squash sports the healthiest sport to play. They based the vote on its cardiorespiratory benefits, the calories burnt when playing, and the muscle strength it builds.