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Two players in a glass court during the 2011 US Open

Squash [ skwɔʃ ] (from English (to) squash , to squeeze together, to crush) is a kickback sport that is played with two players (singles) or with four players (doubles) in the squash court . Special squash balls and rackets are used. The object of the game is to hit the ball in such a way that the opponent cannot reach it before it hits the ground for the second time.

Like ricochet , American handball or racquetball, squash is one of the few setback games in which the opponents share the playing field and the side walls are included in the game.


Distribution in Germany

Squash originated in England in the middle of the 19th century and from there first spread to the Commonwealth . The first German squash courts were built by Siemens in Berlin in the 1930s .

Squash only experienced a real boom in Germany from the 1970s. The number of squash facilities (“squash centers”), which are largely operated commercially, increased in Germany from around 20 in 1975 to almost 1,000 in 1990. Growth rates stabilized in the 1990s. In the years before 2005 there was a slight downward trend in the number of systems. In parallel with the number of systems, the number of players developed. After the squash boom in the 1980s, the number of Germans who played intensively squash was 0.6 million in 2004. A total of 1.92 million Germans are said to take part in the sport occasionally.

Squash continues to grow worldwide, for example in Eastern European countries and the USA. Countries with a high number of players are England, Australia, Egypt and the USA.

Olympic games

Despite vigorous attempts by the World Squash Federation (WSF), squash is not an Olympic sport . In addition to the sports of golf , rugby , karate and inline skating , squash was a new Olympic sport for the 2012 Games in London . The criterion for the inclusion of a new sport is the exclusion of a sport already included in the program. Initially, the games softball and baseball were removed from the calendar, while squash and karate were awarded the free places in an initial vote. In the final vote, in which the two sports were to be chosen as an official part of the Olympic program, the necessary two-thirds majority was missing.

In 2009, squash was unable to achieve the hoped-for participation in the 2016 Olympic Games : the IOC executive nominated golf and rugby for the final vote at its meeting on August 13, 2009 in Berlin. Both were confirmed by the IOC General Assembly. The world association launched a new campaign for the 2020 Olympic Games . At the 125th IOC meeting in Buenos Aires in September 2013, however, wrestling received the highest number of votes with 49 votes ahead of baseball / softball (24 votes) and squash (22 votes) and thus remained in the Olympic sports program.

The game


Scheme of a squash court with labeled lines

Squash is played in a room 32 feet (≈ 9.75 m) long and 21 feet (≈ 6.40 m) wide, the so-called court, bounded by four walls  . It is very rare to find special courts with a width of 25 feet (7.62 m) where doubles can be played. On the walls of the court, known as the front wall (front wall), back wall and side walls, there are red markings that delimit the playing field. In addition, there is a 17 inch (≈ 43 cm; for normal play, the tin in most courts has a height of 48 cm and must be lowered to the international height of 43 cm for professional games) on the front wall  , which is called the Tin referred to as. It is usually provided with a sheet metal cover that audibly rattles when the ball is touched - if a ball hits there, it is out of bounds. The back wall is usually made of unbreakable safety glass to allow the spectators and the referee a clear view into the court. The flooring is mostly parquet . Championships are often held in courts with all four walls made of glass. This makes it possible for a larger audience to follow the game.

Squash ball and racket

Squash ball
Types of squash balls

The squash ball is made of rubber , has a diameter of 39.0 to 40.5 mm (about the size of a table tennis or golf ball ) and weighs between 23.5 and 24.5 grams. The ball is hollow and contains a drop of liquid gas; this creates overpressure when heated. The ball must be warmed up to achieve its full bounce. Squash balls are usually black; For games that take place on a glass court, white balls are generally used, as these are easier to see for both the players and the spectators.

Fast squash balls are generally recommended for beginners, while more advanced players can use slower ones, as the slow balls only bounce off the ground a little and are so difficult to reach. Professionals are able to bring very slow balls to high speeds, but in games with beginners, however, rallies are hardly possible with slow balls. Only very slow balls are used for official competitions, which are marked with two yellow dots. Nowadays, in addition to colored markings with dots, manufacturers also use balls for beginners or advanced players that are larger in diameter.

Squash balls reach speeds of up to 200 km / h in games between professional players. In some official competitions it is mandatory to wear eye protection, mostly in the form of plastic glasses. This includes all international junior and doubles competitions. In Germany, this obligation only applies to doubles.

The ball is hit with special squash rackets that are heavier than badminton but lighter than tennis rackets . They can weigh between 90 and 250 grams, as a rule they weigh around 130-160 grams. In the past, the clubs had an almost circular club head and were mainly made of wood. Nowadays the head shape is oval, the material consists mainly of graphite / carbon as the club quality increases.


The ball must touch the front wall either directly or indirectly after each stroke. A path via the side and rear walls is considered indirect. Thereafter, the ball may not hit the ground more than once, but as often as required on the back wall or side walls before it is hit back by the playing partner. A ball is considered to be "out" if it touches the walls above the red boundary lines, the boundary line itself or the tin.

Stroke types


The service is always carried out from one of the two service fields. The server must have at least one foot in the service area. After the service, the ball must hit the front wall above the service line and land on the other side, in the opponent's quarter. When serving for the first time, the player can freely choose which side to serve, but must then switch sides after each point is won. If the server loses the rally, the opponent receives the right to serve.


The longline (or long line , dt. Long line ) is the most fundamental impact on the squash court. Here the ball is hit directly to the front wall so that it flies back in a straight line.


With a boast, the ball is hit against the front wall via one of the side walls. In the best case, a boast hits in the opposite corner of the court just above the tin and then falls into the nick (edge ​​between the side wall and the floor).


In contrast to the longline, the cross is hit against the front wall from one side of the court and then flies into the other side. The trajectory here takes the form of a "V".


With the stop ball, the ball is hit lightly so that it touches the front wall just above the tin and then - ideally just a few centimeters from the front wall - touches the ground. A stop ball can also fall into the nick.


The volley is used to make the game fast and to leave the opponent no time to rest or think. Here, the ball is taken directly out of the air after the opponent hits it without touching the ground beforehand. More experienced players can also play a "volley nick" by volleying the ball and then dropping it into the nick. As a rule, a volley nick cannot be returned.


When it is a player’s turn to play the ball, they have the right to adequate space without interference from their opponents. To avoid obstruction, the opponent must try to give the player unimpeded access to the ball and to allow a good view of the ball and a reasonable stroke movement to play the ball directly at any point on the front wall.

A player who feels disabled can accept the hindrance and continue playing or interrupt the rally. If there is a risk of colliding with the opponent or hitting him with a stick or ball, it is preferable to interrupt the rally.

If the rally is interrupted because of an obstruction, the following general guidelines apply:

  • The player has the right to a let (i.e. the rally is repeated) if he could have returned the ball but the opponent blocked the path to the ball.
  • The player gets a let if the ball hits a teammate after hitting a side wall or before hitting one.
  • The player has no right to a let (he loses the rally) if he could not have returned the ball or if the obstruction was so small that the player's access to the ball and the stroke were not impaired.
  • The player has no right to a let if he accepted the hindrance and still wanted to hit, but was unable to keep the ball in play due to a mistake (e.g. the ball goes out).
  • The player has the right to a "stroke" (he wins the rally) if the player could have made a winning return or if the player had hit the opponent with the ball on the direct path to the front wall.

A let must be granted if the receiver is not ready to serve and does not attempt to accept the service. In addition, if the ball breaks during play, if the ball is trapped somewhere in the court during an otherwise valid return and therefore cannot bounce on the ground or the ball goes "out" after the first bounce or if - whatever - Another ball is in play during the rally (e.g. flown over from a neighboring court).

The American professional association announced on August 2, 2010 that it had removed the let from the rules. At the tournaments within the US Pro Tour it is now only possible for the players to be awarded a point (stroke) in the event of a handicap or to lose the rally.

Counting method

In any counting method, the general rule is that a game has three winning sets, that is, the player who can win three sets first decides the game for himself. This applies to most of the official competitions. However, there is also the variant with a game over two sets of wins, such as is used in the PSA World Series Finals .

Current counting method until 11

Every point is counted, regardless of who had the right to serve. The player needs 11 points to win a normal set. At 10:10 a tie-break is played. The first player to have a lead of 2 points (e.g. 13:11, 19:17, etc.) wins.

This counting method has been used since the abolition of the counting type up to 15 in the men's professional area and in the 1st squash Bundesliga in Germany. Since September 2005 it has also been used in German ranking tournaments. From April 1, 2009, according to the WSF decision of November 18, 2008, the point-a-rally scoring system (PARS = counting type up to 11) is the official counting method worldwide. With the start of the 2008/2009 squash season, the DSQV and its affiliated regional associations introduced the PARS counting method for all games.

Former ways of counting

Counting methods up to 9

Only the player who has the right to serve can score a point. The right to serve is held by the player who won the last rally. A sentence usually ends at 9 points. If the score is 8: 8, the receiver decides whether the set up to 9 or 10 is played. Until April 1, 2009, this counting method was common in the non-professional sector.

Counting methods up to 15

This type of counting is also called "American" because it was mainly used in America at the beginning of squash. Each point is counted for the player who won the rally. Such a counting method is therefore also called "Point-A-Rally" (English "rally" = rally). The sentence usually ends at 15 points. To win a set, a lead of two points is required: If the score of 14:14 is reached, the receiver decides whether to continue playing until 15 or whether extra time is played until 17. The set ends when a player reaches 15 points first, or 17 points in overtime. Thus a 15:14 or a 17:16 is possible without the previously required 2 point advantage.


Official games in national and international leagues or tournaments must be directed by a referee. Its tasks include noting and calling out the current score, deciding whether a ball was out of bounds, and making decisions when a player asks for a let. He is also responsible for ensuring that players behave appropriately. Should a player attract attention through inappropriate behavior, the referee is allowed to impose penalties for this. However, he can only choose from four options: a verbal warning, a penalty point awarded to the opponent, a penalty rate awarded to the opponent and immediate disqualification. It is up to him to decide which penalties a referee will pronounce. So he can theoretically issue several warnings against a player. Usually a squash referee positions himself behind the front door to have the best possible view of the field. If local conditions allow, he can also sit on a high chair. As a rule, only one referee is used in international tournaments. However, there are also variants with three referees: a main referee and two assistants who can overrule the main referee independently of each other in the event of player appeals. Since 2016, a video referee has been used for games on the professional tour that are broadcast on television.

Tournament operation

PSA World Tour

The PSA World Tour is the tournament series in professional squash. World ranking points can be won at the tournaments of this series, the amount of which depends on the category of the respective tournament. The most important category is the PSA World Series , which ends each year with the PSA World Series Finals .

In addition, the PSA also organizes the annual world championships for men and women. The world championships for men and women as well as all world championships for juniors are organized by the World Association WSF .

League operation

In Germany, the German Squash Association (DSQV) hosts the national leagues . The other leagues are organized by the national associations. Players can only be registered for one club within Germany, but can be registered for other clubs in other countries.

See also

Web links

Commons : Squash  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Squash  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Associations National

Associations International


Individual evidence

  1. The beginnings of sport in Germany , squashnet.de, accessed on January 4, 2018.
  2. ^ Structure plan 1984, 6th update 2004 of the German Squash Association
  3. ^ Squash misses Olympic Games 2012 , squashsite.co.uk, accessed July 16, 2010
  4. Jump up ↑ Olympic competitors won , spiegel.de, accessed on July 16, 2010
  5. Olympic Games 2020: Shoulders win for the wrestlers , spiegel.de. Retrieved January 18, 2015.
  6. Official court dimensions according to the rules of the World Federation ( Memento of July 13, 2010 in the Internet Archive )
  7. US Pro Tour no longer allows lets, squashsite.co.uk from August 2, 2010