Squash VS Racquetball: Same Yet a Lot Different

Are you a sportsperson? Or, are you just a fan or none, yet interested in knowing various sports?

 Let me add another question, are you just trying to either explore a sport for your fitness and your interest drove you to a question, Squash or Racquetball? 

Well, you might say, duh! They’re both the same! 

And I would surely tell you, Okay, I don’t blame you as I know it’s all about hitting the ball but then, both Squash and Racquetball are yet different sports altogether. 

All right! Don’t you roll those eyes like, ‘Whatever’ and tell me if I’m out of my mind. Just kidding!

Let me assure you that you are about to get all your confusions cleared-up in your head about the difference between Squash and Racquetball.

Not just that, you would also save yourself from some embarrassment before you enter the court with a wrong ‘Racquet’ or ‘Racket’. Oh, did you get that? 

Yes, I just told the very first difference right here. Was it an eye-opener? Not yet, continue to read more and be my guest to your surprise and knowledge.

Squash VS Racquetball: Same Yet a Lot Different
Squash VS Racquetball: Same Yet a Lot Different
  • Racquet used for Racquetball has a maximum size of 22 inches while,
  • Racket used in Squash has a maximum limit extended to around 27 inches. 

If you have held either one of them, then you must be aware that Racquet also has a teardrop stringed surface wherein Racket has a narrow stringed surface. It’s not a difference to get easily unnoticed.

Thank me later! I just saved you from your very first embarrassment specially, when you are out shopping for your sports gear and you certainly know whether to ask for a Racquet or Racket.

One more basic aspect of both the sports being the ball used for playing also holds great difference.

  • Racquetball uses ball with 2.25 inch or .57 mm diameter and is bouncier than the ones used in squash.
  • Squash ball is only around 39.5mm to 40 mm. Although both the balls are made of hollow rubber.

Overwhelmed already? Don’t want to read and just want to know all the differences between Squash and Racquetball, scroll to the table at the bottom.

 If interested yet, which I would recommend, read further as I take you on journey from the history and all the differences between the two sports.

A quick time travel to the history of Racquetball vs Squash

Squash VS Racquetball: Same Yet a Lot Different
Squash VS Racquetball: Same Yet a Lot Different
  • Squash has its history from 18th century when a few boys at Harrow School invented a whole new sport. 

Apparently, they noticed that the punctured ball that was squashed after being hit on a wall added more excitement to the game. The word spread like a fire-in-the-forest and before they knew other school kids were playing the game as well. 

Shortly school even provided the kids with a court to play that initially wasn’t safe enough as it was surrounded by water pipes, chimneys and ledges. Hence sometime later in 1864, school built four outside courts in order to ensure safety. 

  • Racquetball on the other hand was named Paddle Rackets by Joseph Sobek from Greenwich, Connecticut, and devised the rules based on squash, handball, and paddleball. In 1952 Sobek even founded the “National Paddles Racquet Association”, he even got the rule book printed back then. 

With his continuous efforts of promotion, the sport gained its well-deserved popularity, and Sobek was provided with 40,000 handball courts in the country where Racquetball could be played.

Wait! Shall I say, that Racquetball is like a modified version of Squash or a mixed blend of a few others too? 

More Differences between Racquetball and Squash – History, Technique, Gear, Scoring, Serving, Players.

Squash VS Racquetball: Same Yet a Lot Different
Squash VS Racquetball: Same Yet a Lot Different

Let me be honest, it is not just about the history, racket/racquet or the balls used, there are many differences one could think of when it comes to Squash vs Racquetball.

  • Scoring Difference

Squash is played according to PARS or point-a-rally scoring to 11 which is a universally preferred by the game’s top professionals and is also the official scoring technique with a few other versions like:

  • Point-a-rally to 15: Relinquished in 2003, point-a-rally to 15 was used during all the world championships between 1989 to 2003.
  • English/Hand-In-Hand-Out: The HiHo system has formerly been preferred in Britain and some other countries like Australia, Canada, Pakistan, India, South Africa, and Sri Lanka.

Whereas Racquetball is scored to 15 points.

  • In Racquetball if he server wins the rally then he is awarded one point and continues to serve, however, if the opponent wins then they don’t score a point and just take over serving.
  • While in Squash the winner of rally scores a point irrespective of who the server was.

Hitting the Ball and Serving:

Yes, I said, that it is all about hitting the ball, well you must know:

  • Squash gives you freedom to hit the front wall of your opponent directly but
  • In Racquetball you are restricted to hit the wall.

Not just this,

Squash VS Racquetball: Same Yet a Lot Different
Squash VS Racquetball: Same Yet a Lot Different
  • The squash players are confined to a box on the court and they must send the ball to opposite corner for it to qualify as a serve. 

Just ensure to play the shot and return to the intersecting red lines near the center of the court before playing the nest shot. Sounds easy?

  • On the contrary Racquetball allows you to stand anywhere in the service box, players must ensure that ball drops behind the service box without hitting the wall. 

This allows players to access all areas of the court but limits the open court areas that are difficult to defend. You must keep a close eye on your opponent to understand their return shot rather than being predictable.

Has it been an eye-opener yet? Well, continue to read as I reveal more for you to widen your horizon and have a clear thought about the two sports. 

Don’t kill me for almost bombarding you with this information!

Number of Players

  • Squash allows two players from each side to play at once, whereas,
  • Racquetball can be played with two, three or four players with doubles or singles matches.

I’m sure you would have researched this bit though!

You must ask me if the size of the court is different too and I’ll say, check it out for yourself

  • Racquetball court is rectangular, 40feet long and 20ft wide. 

The service box is formed by short line and service line. Short line being a solid red line running parallel to court’s width to the front and back with a distance of 20 ft. Service line runs parallel to the short line and is 15 ft from the wall.

  • A Squash Court, on the contrary, measures about 32 ft in length, 20ft in width, and wall height about 18 ft.  The court has 4 walls, comprising of a front line that separates the front and the back of the court and a half-court line dividing the sides of the back portion. 

Both these lines form three boxes, the front half, the back left quarter and the back right quarter. There smaller service boxes in both the back boxes. 

Squash VS Racquetball: Same Yet a Lot Different
Squash VS Racquetball: Same Yet a Lot Different

Bottom line of the front wall is the top of the “tin”, a half meter high metal area. The middle line of the front wall is known as the service line.

Have you figured out so far what’s different in the 2 sports? If not, take a quick look at this table and know it all for yourself: 

Highest Governing BodyWorld Squash FederationInternational Racquetball Federation (IRF
PlayersSingles or DoublesSingles or Doubles
Mixed GenderSeparate competitions (mixed sometimes in leagues)Yes, separate tours & mixed doubles

Size & Dimensions
Squash ball, squash racket, goggles Non Marking gum soled Shoes
Ball – 39.5 – 40 mm diameterBall Colours: Double Yellow, Yellow, Red and BlueRacket – 27 inches long, 215 mm (8.15 in) Wide
Racquetball ball, racquetball racquet

Ball – 2.25 inches or 57 mm diameterBall Colours: blue, green, purple, black, red, and pinkRacquet – 22 inches max
VenueIndoor or outdoor (with glass court)Indoor or outdoor racquetball court
World Games1997, 2005 – present1981, 1985, 1993, 2009, 2013
Court Size32 feet long and 20 feet wide (Singles)
45 feet long and 25 feet wide with recommended ceiling height of 24 feet.
40 feet long
20 feet wide
Country of Origin1830 at Harrow School, London, England, United KingdomAmericas

I’m sure this has been knowledge sharing and helping you to make a choice when both the sports are considered as Racquet Sport.

Health Benefits: Well, being a fitness freak myself, I’d say both sports are equally important, and I’d not be ashamed of saying that both the games are one of its kind when it comes to a cardiovascular exercise.

Hey, I am a Professional Web Designer, Author, Blogger, and Teacher. I am doing Digital marketing and working as a freelancer for 1 year. I have completed my B.sc in 2019.

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