The game of RACKETBALL
(aka Squash57)

Played within the confines of 4 walls, with a rubber ball about the same size as a tennis ball, Racketball originated in the USA, played on hardball courts in the 1950s. Enjoyed by millions of people worldwide, the game can be played at all levels and is now also governed in England by England Squash.
With shorter rackets and a larger ball, the game is very easy to pick up (although harder to master) as games can be played at a slower pace and allow for longer rallies.


Why Squash 57?

The game has been renamed as Squash 57 by governing bodies to try and define it as a squash derivative. The number has nothing to do with Baked Beans and in fact represents the diameter of the ball used in millimetres. In the UK, however, the name ‘Racketball’ is still favoured by the participants.

Basic Rules

Up-to-date rules can always be found on the England Squash website, but here are the basics (which are essentially the same as squash):

The (singles) game is played between 2 players on a squash court each using a standard racket, and a ball approved by England Squash.

Matches are the best of 3 or 5 games at the option of the competition organiser. Each game is ‘point-per-rally’ scoring to 11 (PAR 11). If the score reaches 10 – 10, then the game must be won by 2 clear points (i.e. 13 – 11).

There are minor changes from squash relating to the serve: the serving player must allow the ball to bounce before hitting the serve and need not serve above the serving line on the front wall. They must, however, keep the ball in and above the ‘tin’.

Image Credit: England Squash

The History

Racketball was founded in the US in 1952 and its popularity grew rapidly, a major contributing factor being that the sport was played on American Hardball courts which were already in existence. Racketball first began to be played in the UK in 1976 and is a modification of the US version of racketball. Played on a squash court, rather than a hardball court, the sport has grown rapidly in the UK with England Squash incorporating racketball in 1984. This UK version is now being played in many countries where squash is popular and is now the fastest growing sport in the UK with 500, 000 people who regulalrly play either squash or racketball.