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Sport Overview

In elite-level competition, the tiny squash ball can reach speeds in excess of 200 kilometres an hour. This sport is fast. Played on a 205-square metre court with a glass back wall, the actions of both the ball and the athletes are marked by instantaneous changes in direction as the ball ricochets around the court and the competitors chase shots into the corners before returning to the dominant position in the centre of the court.

Contested in individual, doubles and team events, squash demands precision to keep the ball off the ceiling and floor and above the tin, a 48-centimetre boundary that ensures that shots off the front wall are at least high enough for the opponent to attempt a return.

Canadians have dominated squash at the Pan Am Games, having more gold medals in the sport than all other countries combined. Mexico had a strong showing at home in 2011 in Guadalajara, winning seven medals.

Home-court advantage in 2015 could yield amazing results for Canada; they took every gold, plus one bronze, in the sport at the Pan Am Games in Winnipeg in 1999.


History

The game of squash was invented around 1830 at the prestigious Harrow School in England when students inadvertently discovered that when a punctured rubber ball “squashed” on impact against a wall produced a variety of shots. The first four squash courts were built at the school in 1864, marking the official founding of the sport.


How it works

Played as either singles, doubles or team events, squash is played in an enclosed court measuring 6.4 metres (21 feet) x 9.8 metres (32.1 feet). Out-of-court lines are at a height of 4.6 metres (15.1 feet) on the front wall, and slope down along the side walls to the back of the court where they measure 2.1 metres (6.9 feet).

There is also a 48-centimetre (19 inches) high “tin” at the front of the court where the ball is considered out if hit.

To begin the game, a player uses a racquet to serve the ball to the opponent’s side of the court while staying within the out lines. The return of play continues with hits and returns, as long as the ball remains within the lines of play and does not bounce more than once on the return, or hit the floor before hitting the front wall. Unlike racquetball, bouncing the ball off the ceiling is considered out. Balls can reach speeds of more than 200 kilometres per hour in this lightning-fast game.

Games are scored to 11 points and a player must win by two points.


Terminology

Let
A type of interference where the players replay the point.

Middle line
Located on the front wall of the court, all serves must land between this line and the upper out line to be considered in. This line is only relevant during serves.

Stroke
A type of interference where, depending on the circumstances of the stroke, the point is awarded to one of the players.

Additional Information

Additional Information

Sport Related

Official Rules (Singles - PDF 186 KB)

Official Rules (Doubles - PDF 229 KB)

Competition Information