Play Squash

Rules of Squash

Singles Rules 2019

Effective January 2019 – Version 2019-01
Changes as follows:

  • Time period allowed for the Warm up in Rule 4 .1: changed to 4 minutes with half time to be called at 2 minutes.
  • Rule 8.11 amended to read: “Freedom to strike the ball to any part of the front wall” (leaving out the word entire).
  • Rule 8.1.4 amended to read: “the freedom to strike the ball to any part of the front wall” (leaving out the word entire).
  • A new rule added 8.9.3: “Where there has been no actual contact and the swing has been held by the striker for fear of hitting the opponent, the provisions of 8.6 apply.”


Squash - the healthiest sport

Squash was voted the healthiest sport by US Forbes magazine - read why…  

About the game

Squash is a game that can be played at any age. It is an easy game to learn, and there are modified games and equipment to suit every size and skill level. Providing players with the opportunity for life-long involvement in sport, squash is an ideal sport for people of all abilities because it can be played either as an enjoyable leisuretime activity or a competitive sport; an individual, team or mixed sport regardless of weather conditions and with little risk of injury.Throughout Australia there are many opportunities to play squash, ranging from organised competitions to friendly social matches.

The Court

The court is an enclosed rectangular room with a flush door in the centre of the rear wall. In play, all four walls and the floor are used.

The Racquet

There are many types of racquets on the market, and the best racquet is the one that feels right for you.If you do not own a racquet, you can easily hire one at a squash centre. Mini or junior racquets are also available for children, providing a smaller grip size for smaller hands, and a shorter shaft length to assist children learning the game.

Which ball should I use?

The level at which you play will determine which type of ball will be the best for you to use. If you are unsure, ask at your local squash centre.Children may progress from a foam ball about the same size as a tennis ball, to a rubber ball which is slightly larger than a normal squash ball.


When playing squash, light clothing such as a t-shirt, shorts or skirt and white soled sports shoes are recommended.

Body Warm Up

Muscle and joint injuries can be prevented by warming up the body correctly. Arrive 10-15 minutes before you are due to play to allow time to warm up properly.

1. Spend 5-8 minutes running on the spot, jogging around a spare court, riding an exercise bike or skipping to raise your heart rate and body temperature until you are sweating.

2. Begin to simulate various squash movements, including your swing for a couple of minutes, gradually increasing your range of movement

3. Finish with some explosive movements e.g. jumps, hops, again simulating squash movements.

Warm/Cool Down

Just as important as the warm-up is the cool down. A five minute cool down including a drink, walk around, stretch and eat (high carbohydrate e.g. fruit, jelly beans etc) should complete each session.

Eye Protection

In order to prevent serious eye injuries, we recommend that players wear eye protection which comply with the current Australian Standard.

Protective Eyewear - Did you know?

All squash players who satisfy the Squash Australia age eligibility requirements for 19 years and all younger age group competitions, must wear Protective Eyewear properly over their eyes (which meets or exceeds the Australian Standards) whenever they are participating in any tournament, other competition, coaching clinic, or any other squash related activity which has been organised or sanctioned by Squash Australia and/or any of its member Associations or affiliates.

Where can you get Protective Eyewear in Victoria?

Most squash venues around Victoria sell protective eyewear (some will even let you borrow a pair from the centre when you play). It is important that you check that the brand you buy complies with the Squash Australia Protective Eyewear Policy. Check their website for an up to date list of brands which comply and where to get them.

Basic Rules

Current Rules of Squash (Singles)

Two players, each with a racquet, take turns to hit a ball onto the front wall within the large area defined by the red line at the top of the court (‘out of court line’) and the red line marking the top of the tin at the bottom of the front wall.

A rally begins when the server, standing in one of the service boxes, hits the ball directly onto the front wall to rebound in the opposite half of the court behind the "short" line. Every service ball must strike the front wall first between the out of court line and the centre ("service") line. The server must have one foot entirely within either the left or right service box when serving the ball into play. The service ball must land (after striking the front wall first) in the quarter court, opposite to the box from which it was served, on the full. Thereafter, all lines on the floor and the service line on the front wall are ignored.

During the subsequent rally the ball must hit the wall between the out of court line and the bottom line (‘tin’). The side walls and back wall are used any time after the service ball has struck the front wall whilst the rally continues.

The player receiving the ball can choose to hit the ball before it bounces but must hit the ball before it has bounced twice on the floor. If the ball hits the "out" line, the "tin" or the floor before reaching the front wall, the rally is lost.

A match consists of three or five games, each game being to nine points (traditional scoring) - the first player to reach nine points wins the game. A point can only be won by the server and changeover of service is effected when the server loses the service or subsequent rally.

Point a rally (PAR) Scoring is gaining popularity and is now used in all international and national level compeition. PAR scoring is simply whoever wins the rally scores the point regardless of serve. PAR games are usually played to 11 or 15.

History of Squash

Squash was invented in Harrow school (England) around 1830.The first Squash courts in Australia were established in 1913 at the Melbourne Club in Victoria and the inaugural governing body for the sport, the SRA of Victoria (now Squash & Racquetball Victoria) was formed in 1937. 

Australian squash legends, Geoff Hunt and Heather McKay, have gone down in history as not only the best Australian squash players of all time but as the best in the World. Hunt was World Champion seven times and won eight British Open titles while McKay was the most successful squash player of all time, being undefeated in international competition for an outstanding 19 years. Australia’s own Sarah Fitz-Gerald made history when she became the first female squash player to win both the junior and senior World Championship titles in 1987 and 1996 respectively.

Today, there are more than 175 squash playing nations, involving nearly 20 million players, participating on 50,000 squash courts.


Where to play - find a court