Racquetball is based partially on the rules of squash and also uses an indoor, enclosed court for play. However, there are certain differences between these two popular sports both in the equipment used for play, some of the rules as well as areas where they are played. For example, racquetball is very popular in the U.S. whereas squash is the game of choice in Europe.

Racquetball Rules

Racquetball can be played by up to four players, but the norm is usually matches of two players. The point of the game is for the ball to hit the front wall without touching the ground. It can hit any of the other walls or the ceiling multiple times before touching the front wall. Points can only be scored by the server either when the ball cannot be returned by the opponent, if the ball touches the ground, if the ball hits player, if a player switched hands during a rally or the ball touches the player. These are just the basics of the racquetball rules.

Squash Rules

Squash is played by either two players or doubles – two teams of two people. A rally is the equivalent of a set in tennis, and is lost if the ball bounces twice, hits the tin or is hit outside the out lines. The red lines that mark the court represent the out of bounds areas.

In squash, a serve is considered illegal if the ball hits any side wall before hitting the front wall. After the serve the ball may hit any of the other walls before landing in the opponent's area of the court. There are a number of scoring options including the traditional system, which is also considered to be the international standard, or the point a rally scoring (PARS) system. In a social game, players may change the rules to their liking.

Racquetball vs. Squash – Equipment

Racquetball racquets are shorter than their squash counterparts, with a maximum length or 22 inches, and have a different shape, resembling more of a stubby tennis racquet. Squash racquets are longer, with a maximum of 27 inches in length, and closer in shape to a badminton racquet.

The balls also differ significantly both in size as well as material. Squash balls are significantly smaller at approximately 1.5 inches versus those used in racquetball which measure in at 2.25 inches. They are also made of a rubber that is not as elastic, while the best balls in racquetball are considered to be the livelier ones. This makes racquetball a much faster paced game than squash.

The Courts

Due to the smaller amount of bounce, a squash court tends to be smaller than the one used for racquetball. There are also several markings, for out of bounds areas that are not present on a racquetball court, and the bottom 20 inches of the front wall may not be touched, as well as the ceiling. In racquetball you are permitted to serve anywhere between the two lines on the ground, while squash has two designated areas from where a player can serve.