Racquetball is a fast-paced sport played inside a fully enclosed court with anywhere from 2-4 players. It is a great cardiovascular exercise, and it can be picked up very quickly and easily by beginners. These simple rules and tips will get any player started with playing racquetball in a simple game between two players.
Racquetball Courts and Equipment
Many large gyms or fitness centers have racquetball courts, which are rectangular courts with four side walls and a ceiling. The fun part about these courts are that the ball can bounce off any surface and still be in play, yet it is in a contained area so you don’t have to run to cover too much territory. It is played with racquets that look like small tennis racquets and hollow rubber balls about 3 inches in diameter. Racquets and balls can be purchased at any sporting goods store, and many places with courts have sets available for use within their facility. Safety goggles are also recommended to protect the eyes from any stray balls.
Basic Rules for Racquetball Beginners
Racquetball is a very easy sport for beginners to pick up on, and the basic rule is that after the previous player’s hit brings the ball to strike the front wall, you need to, before the ball bounces on the floor twice, hit the ball so that it hits the front wall before touching the floor again. The tricky part is that it can hit the ceiling, side, or back walls any number of times without adding to the counts.
Serving in Racquetball
When it is your turn to serve the ball, you need to stand between the two solid white lines painted across the court, drop the ball so it bounces on the floor once, and then hit it so it hits the front wall before any other surfaces. The player receiving the serve needs to stand behind the dotted line, and the ball needs to land somewhere between the second solid line and the back wall. A serve may not hit the ceiling before bouncing, and it can hit one side wall before bouncing, but not both. A player is allowed one bad serve (fault), but on a second fault, the ball turns over to the other player to serve.
Scoring in Racquetball
Racquetball games are played to 15 points, and points can only be won by the player who is serving. When one player either fails to hit the ball before it bounces twice, or hits it but fails to get it to the front wall before bouncing once, then they have lost that rally. If they had served that point, then the serve goes to the opponent. If the opponent had served, then the opponent wins a point.
Beginner’s Tips for Racquetball
One of the most important things for beginners to remember is to move. After hitting the ball, they should be moving to a place where they are in position to return their opponent’s next hit.
Another good tip to remember is to keep the ball low. If you are hitting it really high, it gives the opponent a lot more time to get to the ball before it bounces twice, whereas if it is low, its second bounce will come very quickly.
Many beginners forget about the use of the side and back walls, and those can make the game much more interesting. One of my favorite plays is to hit the ball really hard so that it hits the front wall and goes straight to the back without bouncing. Then it will be traveling quickly toward the front wall, and my opponent will have to chase it down to hit it, which is sometimes impossible if the ball is still going faster than the other player can run. You can also use the side walls to make the ball move back and forth quickly and therefore difficult for your opponent to get to.
The last tip is to hold your racquet firmly. Many shots are good in theory, but because of a floppy grip or wrist, the racquet ends up at the wrong angle when it actually makes contact with the ball. A firm grip will make your shots much faster and more directed.