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Squash vs. racquetball

There are differences between the two indoor sports

For those of you who think that squash and racquetball are one in the same, Steve Kuzman would like you to know that there are some differences between the two indoor sports.

“Racquetball is an American game. It has very little etiquette and very little regard for safety,” said Kuzman, the squash director at Albany’s Fort Orange Club.

The most noticeable difference between squash and racquetball is the boundaries. There is a specific area on the walls where the squash ball can hit as marked by the solid red line that stretches around the court, as well as the two solid red lines on the far wall where the ball is served. A racquetball can hit anywhere on the walls, as long as it is in play.

The way the ball moves is also different. A racquetball is harder than a squash ball, which means the ball can travel faster and bounce higher than a squash ball. So in racquetball, power is often rewarded. However, the softer squash ball allows players to try more subtle hits in order to score points.

“The ball (in racquet-ball) is very small and bouncy,” said Kuzman. “The (squash) ball is very small, but it’s not very bouncy. It takes subtlety to place the ball.”

Rallies can last longer in squash than racquetball because of the softer action of the ball, depending on the skill level of the squash players. Still, matches tend to run quickly because the action is fast paced. A 30-hit rally in squash takes less than one minute.

Matches on the Professoinal Squash Tour are a best-of-five series. Each game is played to 11 points, but a player must win by two points to avoid overtime.

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