Rules of Squash

Squash is a racquet sport played by two players in Singles or four players in Doubles in a four-walled court with a small, hollow rubber ball. This fast-paced game has been described as turbocharged chess — the more skilled a player is, the more strategic the game becomes. Players are also continually challenged mentally and physically.

Basic Rules and Gameplay

The objective of the game is for players to take turns hitting the ball against the front wall, above the tin and below the out line. The ball may strike the side or back walls at any time, as long as it hits below the out line. A ball that lands on the out line, or the line along the top of the tin, is considered to be out. After the ball hits the front wall, it is allowed to bounce once on the floor (and any number of times against the side or back walls) before a player must return it. Players may move anywhere around the court but accidental or deliberate obstruction of the other player’s movements is forbidden. Players typically return to the centre of the court after making a shot.

Each game is played to 11 points. The player who scores 11 points first wins the game except if the score reaches 10-all, when the game continues until one player leads by two points. Either player may score points (PAR – point-a-rally). The server, on winning a rally, scores a point and retains the service; the receiver, on winning a rally, scores a point and becomes the server.

Points are awarded if, during the course of play:

  • The receiver fails to strike the ball before it has bounced twice
  • The receiver hits the ball out (either on or above the out line, or on the tin) or misses the front wall
  • Interference resulting in a stroke, i.e. point to the obstructed player
For more detailed and up-to-date information on the rules of squash (singles and doubles), please visit the World Squash Federation website.