Racquetball - How to Play?
Racquetball – Service
The match starts with the serve. The player who is going to serve is decided by spinning the racquet or a coin. The serving player must bounce the ball once before hitting it directly to the front wall. After hitting the front wall, the ball must fall beyond the short line; else it will be considered as a fault.
During the serve, after hitting the front wall, the ball can hit any side wall before touching the ground, but it can’t hit two sidewalls before touching the ground. Touching two side walls after the coming from the front wall is called as three wall serve and is considered as a fault.
Similarly during the serve, after hitting the front wall if it directly hits the back wall without touching the ground even once, it is called as a long serve and it is also a fault. Even during the service, after hitting the front wall, if the ball touches the ceiling directly, then it is considered as a fault. Even serving before the opponent player is ready is also considered as a fault.
During the service, the player needs to put at least one foot within the service box. If his foot crosses the service area during the service or after the service before the ball has passed the short line, it is considered to be a fault. Even hitting the ball to any surface other than the front wall is considered a fault serve and the server loses serve.
Usually a server gets two chances to serve the ball properly known as the first serve and second serve. In case of bigger competitions mainly server gets a single chance to serve the ball correctly. The opponent player is allowed to play the serve once the ball crosses the serve line or passes the behind line.
Once the service is done, the opponent player tries to return it and in this way the players alternatively hit the ball to the front wall. The opponent player may choose to return the ball after one bounce or directly in the air itself. Once the serve is returned, the player has to always hit the ball to the front wall before the ball strikes the floor.
Unlike during the serve, once the serve is returned, after that the players can hit the ball to any walls provided that it finally touches the front wall before striking on the floor.
Racquetball – Scoring
A rally consists of a series of shots between the two players and it starts with a serve and ends when one of the players either makes a fault or misses to return the ball successfully to the front wall. If the server wins the rally, he scores one point. Else if the opponent wins the rally, he takes over the serve but no point is given. However, if the server makes a double fault during the serve, opponent gets a point.
After the server hits the ball on the front wall and the opponent player is about to return it, he has to return it before it bounces twice on ground and maximum one bounce is allowed on the ground, else the server gains a point. If the player somehow carries the ball on his racquet, the opponent player gets a point.
Racquetball – Number of Sets
According to USA Racquetball rules, each match consists of three sets and the player winning best of these three sets wins the match. The first two sets consist of 15 points while the third match consists of 11 points.
The player who scores the points first wins the match. In case of racquetball Canada, a winning margin of at least two points is required to win the match.
Racquetball – Basic Strategies
The strategies followed here are very much similar to that of squash. Here also the player can have a greater access to all sides of a court by taking the center place of the court which is very much near to the receiving line. Players mostly make their opponent run more in the court to return shots in order to make him tired.
Another very effective strategy to gain a score is to keep the returning ball as low as possible which makes it very difficult for the opponent to return. The player always has to take the center place while trying to move the opponent from the center place by using lobs and cross court shots.