Racquetball vs. Squash

What's the Difference?

Racquetball and squash are both fast-paced racquet sports that require agility, quick reflexes, and strategic thinking. However, there are some key differences between the two. Racquetball is played with a larger, bouncier ball and a shorter racket, making it a more dynamic and high-energy game. The court in racquetball is also smaller, with four walls, allowing for more intense and unpredictable shots. On the other hand, squash is played with a smaller, less bouncy ball and a longer racket, resulting in a more controlled and precise game. The court in squash is larger and has three walls, requiring players to use more angles and strategy to outmaneuver their opponents. Overall, both sports offer a thrilling and challenging experience, but with distinct characteristics that cater to different playing styles.


Photo by Avi Waxman on Unsplash
OriginUnited StatesUnited Kingdom
EquipmentRacquet, ball, gogglesRacquet, ball, goggles
Court Size40 feet x 20 feet32 feet x 21 feet
Scoring SystemBest of 3 or 5 gamesBest of 3 or 5 games
ServingUnderhand serveUnderhand serve
Ball TypeBlue ballDouble yellow dot ball
Number of Players2 (singles) or 4 (doubles)2 (singles) or 4 (doubles)
Popular CountriesUnited States, CanadaUnited Kingdom, Egypt
Photo by Brigitte Tohm on Unsplash

Further Detail


Racquetball and squash are two popular racket sports that share similarities in terms of gameplay and equipment. However, they also have distinct differences that set them apart. In this article, we will explore the attributes of racquetball and squash, comparing various aspects such as court dimensions, equipment, rules, and gameplay. Whether you are a beginner looking to choose between the two or a seasoned player curious about the nuances, this comprehensive comparison will help you gain a deeper understanding of these exciting sports.

Court Dimensions

One of the primary differences between racquetball and squash lies in their court dimensions. A racquetball court measures 40 feet in length, 20 feet in width, and 20 feet in height. The walls of a racquetball court are an integral part of the game, as players can use them to strategically bounce the ball. On the other hand, a squash court is slightly larger, measuring 32 feet in length, 21 feet in width, and 15 feet in height. The walls in squash are also crucial, but the ball must be hit above the tin, a lower boundary on the front wall, to remain in play.


Both racquetball and squash require specific equipment to play. In racquetball, players use a solid, stringless racquet with a wrist strap for added control. The racquet is typically made of lightweight materials such as graphite or aluminum. The ball used in racquetball is larger and bouncier compared to squash. It is made of rubber and has a diameter of approximately 2.25 inches.

On the other hand, squash players use a smaller, strung racquet that resembles a tennis racquet. The racquet is heavier and more rigid than a racquetball racquet, allowing for greater precision and control. Squash balls are smaller and less bouncy, requiring players to rely more on technique and accuracy. The standard squash ball comes in different speeds, denoted by colored dots, ranging from slow (double yellow dot) to fast (red dot).

Rules and Gameplay

While both racquetball and squash are played in an enclosed court, their rules and gameplay differ significantly. In racquetball, players can hit the ball off any wall, including the back wall, to keep it in play. The objective is to make the ball bounce twice before the opponent can return it. The server must hit the ball beyond the short service line and below the receiving line, ensuring a fair start to the rally. Matches are typically played as best-of-three or best-of-five games.

Conversely, squash follows a different set of rules. Players must hit the ball above the tin and below the outline on the front wall to keep it in play. Unlike racquetball, the ball can only hit the front wall once before being returned. Squash matches are played as best-of-five games, with each game requiring a player to reach 11 points. However, the server can only score points when they win a rally, while the receiver can score regardless of who served.

Physical Demands

Both racquetball and squash are physically demanding sports that require agility, speed, and endurance. Racquetball is known for its fast-paced nature, with players constantly moving and reacting to the ball's unpredictable bounces. The larger court size in racquetball allows for more running and longer rallies, making it a high-intensity sport that tests cardiovascular fitness.

Squash, on the other hand, emphasizes quick reflexes and precise shot-making due to the smaller court size. The ball travels faster in squash, requiring players to anticipate and react swiftly. The continuous back-and-forth movement in squash, combined with frequent lunging and twisting, places a significant demand on the lower body and core strength.

Popularity and Accessibility

Racquetball and squash have varying levels of popularity and accessibility worldwide. Racquetball is more prevalent in North America, particularly in the United States, where it enjoys a large following and numerous dedicated facilities. The sport's accessibility is also notable, as racquetball courts are often found in community centers, gyms, and recreational clubs.

Squash, on the other hand, has a more global presence and is particularly popular in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. It is recognized as a highly competitive sport, with professional tournaments attracting top players from around the world. However, squash courts may be less accessible in certain regions, limiting its availability to a wider audience.


In conclusion, racquetball and squash are both exhilarating racket sports that offer unique experiences to players. While racquetball features larger courts, bouncier balls, and a more lenient use of walls, squash emphasizes precision, control, and a faster-paced gameplay. The choice between the two ultimately depends on personal preferences, accessibility, and the desired level of physical demands. Whether you prefer the high-intensity rallies of racquetball or the strategic shot-making of squash, both sports provide an excellent opportunity for players to stay active, improve their skills, and enjoy the thrill of competitive play.

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