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Difference Between Squash and Racquetball

Vibhav Gaonkar Aug 21, 2020
Although both Squash and Racquetball are played on indoor courts with rackets and a ball, there are a lot more things that differ between these two sports. This story does a squash vs. racquetball analysis and explains their effects on the gameplay of each sport.

Safety Precaution

When playing either Squash or Racquetball, always wear appropriate eye protection; the ball used in both these sports is capable of causing serious eye injuries, including bursting of the eyeball. Enjoy the game only after you take the necessary precaution. 

History of Squash

Squash was invented in 1830 by some students of Harrow School, who discovered that a punctured or squashed ball when tossed against a wall, bounced back in different ways, and could surely make a challenging sport.

History of Racquetball

Somewhat similar was the invention of Racquetball. The sport was invented much later after Squash in 1949 by Joe Sobek. Joe was a resident of Connecticut, who loved playing tennis and handball. He combined the aspects from both to create a unique indoor sport called Racquetball. Both Squash and Racquetball do share similarities with tennis and are really good sports for a full-body workout.  
Take a look at the differences between Squash and Racquetball in terms of rackets, balls, court size, rules, and fitness.
Racquetball Racquet and Ball
Squash Racket and Ball

Racquetball Player

Squash Player

Squash Court

Racquetball Court

Size of the Court

Squash is played in an enclosed court that is 32 ft. long and 21 ft. wide. In squash, the front wall has two horizontal lines: a 'tin' line and a 'service' line. Players at all times should necessarily hit above the tin line. 

The back half of the court is divided into two equal parts by a t-shaped line; each has a box at the top corner, which is typically used to make a serve (explained further in the rules section).
The playable area in Squash is quite limited as compared to Racquetball; boundary lines are marked on all four walls of the court: (i) two diagonal lines descend from the front wall to the back wall; (ii) the boundary line on the front wall is placed approximately 15 ft. above the ground, and; (iii) the one on the back is 7 ft. high.
The ceiling in Squash is not included in the playable area unlike Racquetball.

Racquetball too is played in a fully enclosed, four-walled court. The court is 40 ft. long, 20 ft. wide, and 20 ft. tall. There are no restrictions as to where the ball should hit.
All the walls including the ceiling are counted under the playable area. Two parallel lines with a gap of 5 ft. are marked on the floor, 15 ft. from the front wall, and function as a common service area.
The line of the service area that is towards the front wall is called the service line, whereas the line at the back is called the short line. An optional line called the 'receiving' line is drawn just next to the short line, keeping a gap of 5 ft.

Differences in the Racket and Ball

A Squash racket can span up to a maximum of 27 inches in length.These rackets previously had oval heads, exactly like badminton rackets. But since 1980, these rackets were made in a tear-drop shape similar to the racket of Racquetball. 
The ball in squash is black in color usually with a matte finish, and it's made of two separate pieces of rubber compound, which are glued together. The ball is hollow in the center and weighs around 23-25 grams, it has a diameter of 4 cm, and it doesn't bounce much due to its high density.
On the other hand, a Racquetball racket is shorter than that of Squash, and measures up to 23 inches in length. The ball is bigger, measuring to 6 cm in diameter, and weighs around 38-40 g; they are made up of elastic rubber, which make them bounce much better than Squash balls.

Game Rules

In Squash, when performing a serve, the server stands in either of the two boxes. He/she would then toss the ball and hit it with the racket so that it bounces on the front wall above the 'tin' line and below the serve line, and lands in the opponent's quarter. 
The opponent then hits the ball directly or by letting it bounce once such that it strikes the front wall or any other wall and lands back in the server's quarter; the game continues in this manner until a player fails to hit, allowing the ball to bounce more than once on any of the playable surfaces.
After this, the second player serves in the same manner and the game goes on.

In Racquetball, players serve by standing anywhere in the service area. While serving, the ball can hit any part of the front wall, and should ideally land behind the short-line.
The other player who is placed behind the short-line waits for a bounce and then hits again. Players can technically hit any wall including the ceiling.


Squash is scored up to nine or eleven points.

Racquetball, on the other hand, is scored till 15 points. Both games require players to win by two points. 

Fitness - Which Game Burns More Calories?

Actually, both games are extremely good to stay fit and burn calories; however, there might be a difference with variations in the time of play. In a tournament play, both prove to be equally good with knocking down calories. 
Squash requires more effort to strike the ball but the rounds are less, while Racquetball requires less effort to strike, but has more rounds.

So if you want to burn more calories than the usual, play for a bit longer. 
If you wish to stay fit, any of these two games would help. We've eased your decision; go ahead and choose the one that you liked. Say cheers to fitness!