Why Play Squash & Squash Disciplines


Squash is one of the most athletic sports in the world. Beyond just being great fun, new benefits of the game are discovered every day.

A Forbes magazine study in 2003 indicated that squash was the healthiest sport in the world. In one hour of squash, a player can expend between 600 to 1000 calories. Squash is affordable, easy to play, accessible, builds muscular strength and endurance, and is an excellent cardiovascular workout

One of the fastest growing sports in the world, squash is played in over 185 countries and territories. There are nearly 150 National Squash Federations, and according to the World Squash Federation, around 50,000 squash courts around the world. Canada ranked 7th for number of courts per country, with the majority of them located in Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta.

Squash is included in more than 20 multi-sport international games and is one of 10 core sports in the Commonwealth Games program.

For more information on squash in Canada, please contact the National Office (Staff) at info@squash.ca or 613-228-7724 or contact your Provincial/Territorial Squash Association.

Singles Squash

The game of Squash was invented around 1830 by the students at the Harrow School in England as an offshoot of the game of Rackets. The first four squash courts were not constructed at the school until about 1864, when squash was unofficially founded as a sport.

Singles squash is played by two players 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. The objective of the game is for the two players to take turns hitting the ball against the front wall, above the tin and below the out line. See Rules of the Game for more information.

Squash Canada hosts a variety of Canadian Championships for singles squash players as follows – Junior Boys and Girls (U11, U13, U15, U17, U19), Senior Men and Women (Open, U23, A, B, C, D) and Masters Men (30+ to 75+) and Women (30+ to 65+). Categories offered may vary based on participation numbers.

The Professional Squash Association (PSA) is the governing body responsible for organizing and administering the men’s and women’s professional squash tours and rankings. The world governing body for squash is the World Squash Federation (WSF), located in England.

Hardball Doubles Squash

Hardball Doubles Squash was invented in Philadelphia, PA in 1907 and was standardized in the early 1920’s. Doubles squash is played on a larger court than singles squash, to make room for the extra players. Doubles is played with two teams consisting of two players. Each team assigns a right-wall player and a left-wall player, who typically “cover” their designated side of the court. That being said, it is not required to remain on a specific side, and players may help their partner by retrieving the ball from their side. The same rules and scoring method applies to doubles squash as singles, although in some instances, doubles may be played best 2 out of 3 games.

Today, there are four major doubles organizations overseeing more than 15,000 players in North America: Squash Canada, US Squash, the Squash Doubles Association (SDA) and Women’s Doubles Squash Association (WDSA). These four groups manage all aspects of doubles play, from beginner to elite professional, and work together to grow and promote the game.

Hardball doubles has been a fixture of Canadian Squash since the early 1930s. Five Canadian provinces (British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec) house all 36 courts in the country. The Canadian Doubles National Championships were first played in 1934 (except for 1938), have been played every year since then. Provincial Championships are held in four of the five provinces and over 1,100 players participate in Doubles Squash leagues across the country. It is estimated that there are over 4,000 hardball doubles players in Canada. Squash

Canada hosts a variety of Canadian Championships for doubles squash players as follows – Men’s, Women’s, and Mixed Doubles (Open, B, C and 40+ to 80+). Categories offered may vary based on participation numbers.

The Squash Doubles Association (SDA) is the international governing body for men’s professional squash doubles, with more than 150 members representing 18 countries. The SDA Pro Tour has grown to over 20 events, with an aggregate purse of over $500,000.

The Women’s Squash Doubles Association (WDSA), formed in 2007, recently hosted the 2020 MFS Boston Pro Am, with their largest prize pool ever at $50,000. WSDA has also established relationships with numerous charities including Mile High 360, Breast Cancer Charities of America, Metro Squash, City Squash, Squash Haven, and Southampton Squash Inc.

With more than 175 Hardball Doubles courts in North America, the sport is well positioned for future growth. Doubles Squash Courts (Hardball and Softball) in Canada – Click Here

Softball Doubles Squash

By the 1920s, the world figured out there was a problem. Just like its parent games of racquets and fives, squash had developed different, unstandardized versions around the world. Squash coalesced around two versions: the twenty-one foot court popularized by England and called softball and the eighteen-and-a-half foot court in North America called hardball.

For the next seventy years there were two types of squash, softball on a wide court and hardball on a narrow court. It was analogous to tennis, with clay, grass and hard courts. The division persisted until the 1980s in Canada and the early 1990s in the U.S. and Mexico, when North America switched from hardball to softball. Today there are still more than a thousand hardball courts in North America, but the world finally plays the same game.

Today softball doubles is the norm outside North America. In 1988 the Royal Automobile Club constructed two softball doubles courts at their Woodcote Park clubhouse outside London. The courts were thirty-two feet by twenty-five, which was proclaimed the standard softball doubles width. With sliding wall technology made common by the German-based court building company ASB, the inchoate game appeared around the world. In 1997 the first World Softball Doubles Championships were held in Hong Kong, and it has been held intermittently ever since. Since 1998 the biggest showcase for softball doubles has been the men’s, women’s, and mixed doubles events at the Commonwealth Games.

Squash 57

Squash 57, originally known as Racketball is a form of squash played on a squash court that has grown significantly in popularity in England and has begun to take hold elsewhere around the world.

In 2016, the World Squash Federation, in partnership with England Squash, spearheaded an initiative to re-brand the name of the game, which is played with a larger ball and a shorter racket. The new name focuses on the key difference to squash – the larger ball, which has a maximum diameter of 57mm (compared with 40mm for a squash ball).

The game is a popular introduction to squash and can keep generations of players fit and active, and playing on court well into later years.

The re-brand will ensure that the game is seen as part of the squash family, while also eliminating any confusion with the sport of ‘racquetball’, a primarily North American game played on much larger courts with no tin and a different type of ball.

For more information on Squash 57, please visit the following WSF pages: