Racquetball is a game played by two-four people on its own regulated court. When played with two people competing against each other, it is referred to as a singles match. When played with four people, competing against each other in teams of two, is referred to as a doubles match.
Each racquetball player on the court has their own similar, strung racquet designed specifically for this sport. There is also a specifically designed bouncy, rubber ball for racquetball.
The objective of racquetball is to win each rally by serving and/or returning the ball so that the opponent is not able to return the ball and keep it in play. More specifically, a rally ends when a player (or team) is unable to hit the ball against the front wall before the ball hits the ground twice.
Points are only scored when the serving side wins the serve or rally.
When the serving team loses a serve or rally in singles, this is called a side-out. The other team will then have the chance to serve and possibly earn a point.
When the serving team loses a serve in doubles, this is called a hand-out. The other teammate of the serving team will then attempt a serve. If both teammates lose the serve, then it is called a side-out and the other team gets the chance to serve, like in singles. When the serving team loses a rally in doubles, the opposing team then gets a chance to serve.
A racquetball match is won when one of the sides wins two games. The first two games are played to fifteen. If the match goes to a tiebreaker third game, then that game is played to eleven. A side may win a game by one point.
To start a match, the serve must be standing in the service box and the other player(s) must be standing behind the receiver line. Once the players are in the correct positions, the serve must serve the ball. To do so, the serve must bounce the ball and then hit it, as it comes up, against the front wall. The ball must hit the front wall and is allowed to hit a maximum of one other side wall, during the serve. The ball isn't allowed to hit the ceiling or back wall on the serve. The ball also must carry in the air past the short line and then bounce or carry past the receiving line before another player hits the ball.
After a successful serve, the ball is in play. The player(s) on the opposing team of the server must hit the ball. Once the ball is in play, the ball could be hit off any of the walls or ceiling as many times as one one wants. But once the ball is hit by a racquet, it is not allowed to be touched by any other racquet or player until it hits off of the front wall. The ball must hit the front wall at some point before hitting the ground. Once the ball is hit by a player and hits the front wall, it is allowed to bounce off the floor once. Then the opposing team must hit the ball off the front wall, with the same rules of all walls being in play, existing.
To earn a point in racquetball, the serving team must win a rally. To win a rally, a team must hit the ball off of the front wall and then have the opposing team not return the ball. This could happen when the opposing team lets the ball bounce twice on the floor, after the ball is hit off of the front wall. It also happens when one team hits the ball off of the front wall and the opposing team successfully hits the ball, but it ends up hitting the floor before it hits the front wall. When the non-serving team wins a rally, they don't earn a point but they do earn the right to serve next. And when the serving team wins a rally, they earn a point and the right to serve next.
A hinder is when there is some sort of obstruction during the play of a racquetball game. This could be when one player gets hit by the ball and gets in the way of the ball continuing its path. An obstruction could also be when one player is the way of another player swinging their racket. When one player obstructs another player's view of the ball, court, and game, that is also referred to as a hinder. When a hinder happens, it usually ends up resulting in a 'let' and the rally is replayed. Although, there are times when the hinder becomes a penalty hinder. That is when, in the spirit of the game, the players decide that the obstruction got in the way of a point-winning shot. Players must agree on this. If they do, a point or serve will be awarded to the correct team (depending on the if the team was serving or receiving), and then that team will continue to serve.
A serving fault happens when the serves breaks a rule during their serve. This happens if:
When a serving fault happens, the team gets one more opportunity for a successful serve. If there are back to back serving faults, the receiving team then gets a chance to serve.
When scoring a racquetball game, it is important to remember that a team is only able to earn a point when they are serving. When a serving team wins a serve or rally, they earn a point and then serve the next time. When a receiving team wins a rally, they don't earn a point but they then serve the next time. Points are not earned because of a serving fault. Games are scored to 15 points, and a team does not have to win by two+ points. The final score of a game may be 15-14.
When scoring a racquetball match, it is important to know that a team must win two games to win a match. To win a game, a team must reach 15 points first. If each team wins one game in the first two games, then a third, tiebreaker game is played. This tiebreaker game is played to 11. Whoever reacher 11 first in the third game, wins the match, because that would be their second game of the match won. In any of the games, a team may win by one point. The first team to win two games, wins the match.
In a racquetball match, teams are entitled to timeouts. In the racquetball games that are scored to 15 points, each team gets three 30-second timeouts. In a game that is scored to 11 (the third, tiebreaker game), each team gets two 30-second timeouts. Once the serving has begun, a timeout may not be called for that whole rally. Calling a timeout during the play of a rally or when a team has no timeouts remaining will result in an assessment of a technical foul for delay of game. If a player takes longer than 30 seconds for a timeout, the referee may charge any additional timeouts to the player for taking up time. If no timeouts are remaining, a technical foul may be called for delay of game.
The rest time in between the first two games is two minutes. The rest time between the second game and a possible third game is five minutes.
When playing racquetball, you must make sure that you are on a correct racquetball court. A correct racquetball court has two side walls that are 20 feet tall and 40 feet in length. The front wall is 20 feet tall and 20 feet wide. The back wall is 20 feet wide and must be at least 12 feet tall. The back wall is allowed to be shorter, because spectators are allowed to stand above the wall and watch play. The frontcourt must be 15 feet long and 20 feet wide. The front court ends where the serving line starts. The safety zone is made up of the start of the serving line, the short line, and the two side walls. The safety zone is 20 feet wide by ten feet long. The receiving line is five feet behind the short line. And the backcourt is 15 feet long and 20 feet wide.
The referee is allowed to deduct one point from a team's score when they give that team a technical foul. A technical foul could be given by a referee to a team for profanity, excessive arguing, threats, slamming the racket, ball, or other equipment, or delaying the game. The referee is allowed to give a warning before giving a technical foul, but that is completely up to them.