Racketball

Racketball is one of the fastest growing racket sports in the country and here at Bexley Lawn Tennis, Squash & Racketball Club we have five courts, two of which are glass-backed Championship standard, for new and current practitioners to make full use of.

Racketball is played on a standard squash court, but with a bigger, bouncier ball and a smaller racket, both of which help towards its popularity.

The bouncier ball allows for longer rallies, which are far kinder on the knees, whereas the shorter rackets result in a more active, aerobic game.

However, the aspects contributing most to the games universal appeal, is probably the far higher tolerance levels that allow highly competitive games across all age groups and genders.

We have 5 squash courts, 2 of which are glass-backed with seating, and four of which have balcony viewing.

Gas radiator heating on all courts ensures that the playing temperature is comfortable even in the coldest of weather.

Courts can be booked 15-days in advance online or at the club by members.

  1. Front Wall
  2. Side wall
  3. Top out of court line
  4. Service line (only used for squash)
  5. Service box
  6. Centre court line
  7. The “tin” – bottom out of court line
  8. Short or half court line

The following is a brief summary of the main rules of Racketball as they have been laid out on www.englandsquashandracketball.com.

1. Racketball equipment
2. Scoring
3. How to win points
4. Service
5. Play
6. A Good Return
7. Lets
8. How strokes (points) can be won
9. Freedom to play the ball
10. Warm-Up

1. Racketball equipment
Racketball is played between two players on a squash court using a standard racket each, and a ball approved by England Squash & Racketball.

2. Scoring
Matches are the best of 3 or 5 games, at the option of the competition organizer. Each game is for a point a rally scoring to 11 (PAR 11). If the score in a game is tied at 10-10, a player must win by 2 clear points. However, the leagues at BLTS & RC are first to 15-points, and if tied on 14 a-piece play goes on until the first to reach 17-points wins, unless it is 2 games each and this is the deciding 5th game, then it will be 2 clear points.

3. How to win points
Points can be scored by either player. When a player fails to serve or to make a good return, in accordance with the rules, the opponent wins the point. When the Receiver wins a point, they become the Server and add one to their score.

4. Service
a. The right to serve is decided by the spin of a racket or coin. Thereafter the Server continues to serve until they lose the point; the opponent then becomes the Server.
At the beginning of each game and each hand, the Server has the choice of serving from either service box and shall thereafter alternate for as long as they score points and remains the Server. 
c. The ball, before being struck, shall be dropped or thrown on to the floor, without touching the wall; it must be served direct on to the front wall (1) between the tin (7) and the out of court line (3), so that on its return, unless volleyed, it falls to the floor within the back quarter of the court opposite to the Server’s box (coloured in yellow).
d. A service is a fault:
(i) If at the time of striking the ball the Server fails to have at least one foot in contact with the floor within the service box (coloured in purple), and no part of that foot touching the line surrounding the service box (called a foot-fault ).
(ii) If the ball touches the back wall before touching the floor. It may touch the side wall (2) before touching the floor. A ball which strikes the back wall and floor simultaneously is a good service. 
(iii) If the ball first touches the floor on or outside the short or half court lines (8) delimiting the back quarter of the court required in Rule 4©. 
(iv) If it is not bounced on the floor before serving

5. Play
After a good service has been delivered, the players return the ball alternately until one or other fails to make a good return, or the ball otherwise ceases to be in play, in accordance with the rules.
NB: If any part of the ball touches the out of court lines (3) or the tin (7), the ball is deemed out. Similarly, if the ball bounces on the short line (8) from a service, the serve is deemed a fault.

6. A Good Return
A return is good if the ball, before it has bounced twice upon the floor, is returned by the striker on to the front wall above the tin (7), without touching the floor or any part of the striker’s body or clothing, provided the ball is not hit twice or out.

7. Lets
A Let is an undecided stroke, and the service or rally in respect of which a Let is allowed, shall not count and the Server shall serve again from the same box. A Let shall not cancel a previous first fault which was not taken by the Receiver.
(a) A let may be allowed:  
(i) If, owing to the position of the striker, the opponent is unable to avoid being touched by the ball before the return is made. 
(ii) If the ball in play touches any article lying in the court. 
(iii) If the striker refrains from hitting the ball owing to a reasonable fear of injuring opponent. 
(iv) If the striker, in the act of playing the ball, touches opponent. 
(v) If the Referee is asked to decide an appeal and is unable to do so. 
(vi) If a player drops the racket, calls out or in any other way distracts the opponent, and the Referee considers that such occurrence has caused the opponent to lose the stroke.
(b) A Let shall be allowed: 
(i) If the Receiver is not ready, and does not attempt to take the service. 
(ii) If the ball breaks during play. 
(iii) If an otherwise good return has been made, but the ball goes out of court on its first bounce.

8. How strokes (points) can be won
A player wins a stroke: 
a) If the server serves a double fault
b) If the opponent fails to make a good return of the ball in play
c) If the ball in play touches the opponent or anything carried or worn by the opponent whilst on the way to the front wall (1)

9. Freedom to play the ball
After playing a ball, a player must make every effort to get out of the opponents way.
That is: 
(i) A player must make every effort to give the opponent a fair view of the ball, so that it may be sighted adequately for the purpose of playing it. 
(ii) A player must make every effort not to interfere with, or crowd, the opponent in the latter’s attempt to get to, or play, the ball. 
(iii) A player must make every effort to allow the opponent, as far as the latter’s position permits, freedom to play the ball directly to the front wall (1), or to either side wall to within approximately one metre of the front wall (1).

10. Warm-Up
Immediately preceding the start of play, a period not exceeding five minutes shall be allowed on court for the purpose of warming-up.


Frequently Asked Questions – just to clear things up!
Service – The serve needs to either directly land into the opposite quarter or after hitting the side wall, in this instance your opponent must play! Or indirectly into the opposite quarter, i.e. after the ball has hit the back wall or after it has bounced before the quarter. In this instance the balls second bounce must land into the quarter if the second bounce does not land into the opposite quarter then the point is lost. As long as the ball has hit the front wall above the tin and below the top out of court line and eventually ended up with its second bounce into the opposite quarter from where you served then you will get a second serve.

Racketball Doubles Rules

The RULES of DOUBLES are the same as for the SINGLES game with the following alterations:

1. SIDES:
Sides shall consist of two players each.

2. WARM-UP:
The sides may warm up separately or together. Either side may request a separate
warm-up that lasts three minutes, immediately prior to the start of the match. If the
sides warm-up together it will last five minutes. The right to warm-up first when
separately requested, shall be decided by the spin of a racket.

3. SERVER:
Each side nominates its server for the first game. That player serves for the entirety
of game one and game three in a five-game match. The other player serves for game
two and game four (if played). In the final game (3rd or 5th) when the first side’s
score reaches “five”, the server changes for each team.

4. RETURN OF SERVICE & SUBSEQUENT PLAY:
At the beginning of each game, each side shall designate one of its players to receive
service in the right-hand service court and the other to receive service in the left-hand
service court. Throughout the course of such game, the service must be
received by the players so designated.

Only the Receiver may be positioned in the service court opposite the Server’s service
court.

Until the ball has been touched or has hit the floor twice, it may be struck at any
number of times by either or both players on a side, in rotation.
(N.B. The order of striking shall be: The Server, the Receiver, the Server’s partner,
the Receiver’s partner).

5. LET:
If either player on the striking side is inadvertently hindered by either of his
opponents from reaching or striking at the ball, a let shall be allowed.

Note to Referees: Under rule 12of the Singles game, where interference has occurred
and the player has made every effort to avoid causing it, a let shall be allowed and
the Referee shall not consider whether a winning stroke has been prevented. This
shall not affect the Referee’s duties in awarding strokes, as otherwise required in
Rule 12 of the “Singles Game”.


NOTES ON LETS & STROKES —- DOUBLES:

If either player on the striking side is inadvertently hindered by either of their opponents
from reaching or striking the ball, a Let shall be allowed.

If, in the opinion of the Referee, interference to the striker is unnecessary or created, the
referee shall stop play and award a point to the hindered side.

Crowding shall also be penalised by the award of a point. If a service or return hits one
of the striker’s opponents before reaching the front wall, it shall be a Let provided that
the service or return would have been good. If the service or return would not have been
good the striker’s side shall lose the rally.

If a return hits the striker’s partner, the other side wins the point.