Squash & Racquetball/Back wall out of bounds


QUESTION: If a ball hits the short serve line it is considered short and no good. If a court has a line on the back wall, when is the serve no good? Only if the ball is above the line or even if it hits the line?

ANSWER: 1) If the ball hits the short line on a serve, it's short. If it's the first serve, the server gets a second serve. If it's the second serve and the ball hits the short serve line, it's an out serve and service ends.

2) Racquetball doesn't recognize any lines on the back, front, or side walls. It's possible that the court you're playing on is also used for squash. Squash *does* use lines on all four walls, including the back wall. In racquetball, if the ball on a serve hits *anywhere* on the back wall before hitting the floor first (behind the short serve line), the serve is long. Any lines on the back wall do not apply to the game of racquetball.

If you have any other Qs, let me know!


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Many courts are built with an open area on the back wall for viewing. Most of them have a line across the wall at 12 feet off the floor. Is the ball out of bounds if it touches the line or does it have to be above the line to be considered out.

I think you're referring to a gallery? Open area at the very top of the back wall? Some courts have them, some don't. For those that do, hitting it into the gallery (e.g. literally OUT of the court!) stops the rally. It's a point for the server if his/her opponent hits it out of the court. It is a serve out if the server hit it out of the court.

Regarding the line you refer to in your question - I've never seen that. If it's flush with the wall (e.g. it's not a surface protrusion, etc.), I'd call it "in play." "Out of play" is if the ball is hit into the gallery. If it IS protruding out of the wall (e.g. it causes the ball to careen in a weird direction if you hit it), I'd call it a court hinder and play over the point. I'm 99% confident in my answer - if I had a photo of your set up, I'd be 100% positive. [Another way of dealing with this is if both players agree before play starts that hitting it above the line is "out," that would be another way of dealing with it.]

P.S. Sorry for the delay in response. I didn't get my normal e-mail notification that a question was pending! I logged into my account to verify setting and, voila, I see you have a follow up Q ...

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Rob Chabot


Racquetball. Know all the rules, etiquette, etc. Am familiar with equipment and am active on the applicable newsgroups when I have time. I can be of service to players up to the "advanced" level. Have been playing since the mid 1980s. NOTE: I cannot answer questions on "what kind of racquet should I get?" This is like asking "what kind of dog or car should I get?" There are so many factors I do not know where to begin - how long have you been playing, do you prefer a top heavy or frame heavy racquet, how often do you plan on playing, etc. I recommend you find a pro shop that allows you to "demo" (borrow) racquets. You can usually borrow racquets for one to three days. A borrowing fee may be involved - and if you end up buying the racquet from that shop, it will usually credit you the loaner fees you have already paid against the purchase price of the racquet.


Won the Ohio State University Intramurals tournament ("A" Division) six out of six times entered.

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