The objective of squash is to hit a small rubber ball against the front wall, above the tin (bottom boundary), and below the outline (top boundary), while preventing the opponent from making a successful return. Players take turns hitting the ball, and the rally continues until one player fails to make a good return. The ball must be hit before it bounces twice on the floor.
To start the game, a player serves by hitting the ball above the service line and below the outline, aiming for the front wall. The server must strike the ball directly to the front wall and ensure that it travels beyond the short service line. If the server fails to execute a proper serve, it results in a fault, and the opponent earns a point.
Points in squash are scored when a player fails to return the ball before it bounces twice or hits the tin. If the ball fails to hit the front wall and falls below the tin, it is considered a fault. When a player commits a fault, their opponent is awarded a point, and they continue to serve.
Traditionally, squash was played using a hand-in-hand-out scoring system, where only the server could score points. However, in recent years, many tournaments have adopted a point-a-rally (PAR) system. In the PAR system, both players can score points regardless of who is serving. The first player to reach 11 points, with a two-point lead, wins the game. In professional tournaments, matches are typically played as best-of-five games.
Understanding the rules and scoring system of squash is crucial for players and spectators alike. It enables fair competition, strategic gameplay, and a thrilling viewing experience. So, whether you're stepping onto the court for the first time or watching a high-stakes match, knowing the basics of squash rules and scoring will enhance your appreciation of this captivating sport.