What is racquetball? Racquetball is a fast-paced indoor or outdoor game played with a hollow rubber ball and stringed racquet. The game’s objective is to hit the ball against the front wall in a way that makes it difficult for the opponent to return. The server scores points if the opponent cannot return the ball successfully.

Racquetball can be played in singles or doubles and is popular in many countries worldwide.

This article will explore the rules, techniques, gear, and other important aspects of racquetball to help you get started on the right foot.

How to Play Racquetball

To play racquetball, you’ll need a few key skills and strategies. The most important shot in racquetball is the forehand, which is used to hit the ball to the front wall with power and accuracy. Other key shots include the backhand, the kill shot, the pinch shot, and the ceiling ball.

Here’s an explanation of the key shots in racquetball:


The forehand shot is executed by hitting the ball with the front of the hand leading, like hitting with the palm. For example, if the player’s right hand is their front hand, they will hit forehand shots with the racquet on their right side.


On the other hand, the backhand shot is executed by hitting the ball with the racquet on the opposite side of the player’s front hand. The player hits the ball with the back of the hand leading, like hitting with the knuckles.

The Kill Shot

In racquetball, a kill shot is hit with a lot of force and aimed at the front wall to make the ball bounce twice before the opponent can return it. The goal of a kill shot is to end the rally by making it difficult or impossible for the opponent to reach the ball in time. 

Kill shots are often hit when the player can hit a setup, a ball that comes off the back wall and bounces near the front wall, providing a good opportunity for an attacking shot. Players may also hit kill shots from other parts of the court, such as the backcourt or the sides.

The ability to hit effective kill shots is an important skill for competitive racquetball players, as it allows them to control the game’s pace and pressure their opponents. However, kill shots can be difficult to execute consistently and require power, accuracy, and good court positioning.

In addition to mastering these shots, it’s important to develop good footwork and positioning on the court. You should always try to move quickly to get into position to hit the ball and avoid standing in the wrong part of the court.

Pinch Shot in Racquetball

A pinch shot in racquetball is where the ball is hit low and hard into the side of the wall a few inches from the front wall. This makes the ball immediately rebound off the side wall, making it difficult for the opponent to return. It is a popular shot in the game and can be used to end a rally quickly or to put pressure on the opponent.

Ceiling Ball

The ceiling ball, also known as ceiling serve, is where the ball is hit to the front wall with enough height and spin to hit the ceiling before reaching the back wall. The ceiling ball makes it difficult for the opponent to return.

Rules of Racquetball

The fundamental rules of racquetball are as follows:

  • The game is played on a court that is 20 feet wide, 40 feet long, and 20 feet high. 
  • Each player uses a racquet to hit a small rubber ball against the front wall of the court.
  • The player who serves the ball first is decided by lots and must stand in the service zone and hit it so it lands in the opposite quarter of the court. 
  • The other player must then return the ball before it bounces twice, and the game continues until one player wins the match by scoring the required number of points.
  • The ball must hit the front wall on every shot, and players can only hit it once before it bounces on the ground. The ball shouldn’t hit the back wall on the full or the ceiling, and the player loses a point, and the serve goes to the opponent.
  • The ball is considered in play if it passes the receiving line or bounces past the short line, meaning the receiver must hit it against the front wall.
  • During play, a player can hit the ball against the walls and ceilings as long as it hits the front wall without bouncing off the ground.
  • A hinder occurs when there’s an obstruction caused when a player gets in the ball’s way or the opponent’s view. This is called a let, and the serve is replayed, while a penalty hinder occurs when a player is denied a point-winning shot; in this case, the infringed player receives the point or wins back the serve.

Choosing the Right Racquetball Gear

To play racquetball, you’ll need a few key pieces of equipment. The most important item is your racquet, chosen based on your skill level, playing style, and personal preference. However, you must have the right eyewear and shoes, while gloves are optional.

Racquetball Gloves

Gloves are optional in racquetball, and players who wear them do so on the hand holding the racquet. Wearing a glove while playing racquetball provides better grip and control.

Racquetball Eyewear

Racquetball players must wear eyewear for safety, as the ball travels at around 100mph. The eyewear used must fit in the eye socket for better safety.

Racquetball Shoes

Racquetball players should use shoes with better traction for quick changes of direction. Indoor racquetball shoes should have a gum rubber outsole for better traction on wooden floors that are more slippery.

How Many Types of Racquets Are There?

There are two types of racquets for racquetball, namely, even-balance and head-heavy racquets. Head-heavy racquets are for players who like using more power, and even-balanced racquets balance speed and power.

You should also select a ball appropriate for your skill level and shoes that provide good grip and support on the court.

How Many Types of Racquetball Are There?

Here are the seven types of racquetball:

1. Black Racquetballs – Rallying

These balls are fast, consistent, long-lasting and stay up longer, making them the best for rallying. Using this ball requires skill rather than the power of the shots. 

2. Blue Racquetballs – Recreational

Blue racquetballs combine medium speed with a decent bounce consistency and are ideal for those learning the sport.

3. Green Racquetballs – A Faster Option

Green racquetballs are faster than blue racquetballs, with a livelier bounce off the wall, leading to shorter rallies. They are more durable than professional and outdoor balls and cater to a power game.

4. Purple Racquetballs – Professional Tour

These balls are used in professional events and are the official balls of the International Racquetball Tour (IRT). They are made for advanced players and require quick reactions. However, they are not durable as most racquetballs.

5. Red Racquetballs – Outdoor Games

Red racquetballs are used in outdoor games as they provide greater visibility. They are fast and work for players who like hitting the ball as hard as possible.

6. Multicolored Racquetballs – Better Visibility

These types of balls are made for better visibility for indoor and outdoor games. They work best for fast-paced games in all lighting conditions and color court surfaces.

7. Pink Racquetballs – Hope and Visibility

Pink racquetballs have high speed and are perfect for lively play for their excellent visibility.

Racquetball Techniques for Beginners

If you’re new to racquetball, starting with the basics is important. You should begin by learning the forehand and backhand shots and the basic footwork and positioning on the court. It’s also a good idea to practice serving the ball, as this is an important part of the game.

Advanced Racquetball Techniques

Once you’ve mastered the basics of racquetball, you can move on to more advanced techniques. These may include the pinch shot, which is used to hit the ball low and hard into the corner of the court, or the ceiling ball, which is used to hit the ball high and deep into the back of the court. You can also start perfecting your kill shot, which is important in scoring points.

The Racquetball Court and Ball

The standard size of a racquetball court is 20 feet wide, 40 feet long, and 20 feet high. The official racquetball ball size and weight is 2.25 inches in diameter and 1.4 ounces in weight. This size and weight are standardized to ensure consistency in the game.

Racquetball Tournaments and Events

If you’re interested in taking your racquetball skills to the next level, you should participate in local or regional tournaments. These events provide a great opportunity to test your skills against other players and to meet new people who share your passion for racquetball.

Can you lose a point in racquetball?

Yes, in racquetball, a player can lose a point if any of the following occurs:

  • The ball bounces more than once on the floor before the opponent can return it.
  • The ball is hit out of bounds, either directly or after it bounces off the front wall.
  • Before hitting the front wall, the ball hits the ceiling or any part of the court fixtures, such as lights or vents.
  • The ball hits the player before it bounces on the floor.
  • The player commits a foot fault by stepping on or over the service line while serving or by stepping on or over the out-of-bounds line while playing the ball.
  • The player hits the ball before it crosses the short line after a serve.
  • The player swings and misses the ball.
  • Committing a technical foul, such as obstructing their opponent’s view, using offensive language, or deliberately hitting their opponent with the ball.


Racquetball is an exciting and challenging sport enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels. You can become a skilled and competitive racquetball player by following the rules, mastering the techniques, and choosing the right gear. Whether playing for fun or competition, racquetball is a great way to stay active and improve your overall fitness.

Remember to warm up and stretch before playing racquetball to avoid injury. Amateurs should take lessons or practice with a more experienced player to improve their skills and understand the game.

You can become a skilled and successful racquetball player with the right approach and plenty of practice. So get out there, hit some balls, and have fun!


How do you win in racquetball?

In racquetball, a player wins a rally by successfully hitting the ball so that their opponent cannot return it before it bounces twice or hits the floor. The game is typically played in a best-of-three or best-of-five format, and the first player to win two or three games wins the match.

What are the maximum points in racquetball?

Each game is played to 15 points, with points awarded to the serving player if they win a rally. To serve, the serving player must earn the serve by winning a rally or their opponent committing a fault. A coin toss determines the first serve of the game, and players alternate serving every other point until the end of the game.

What happens if a racquetball game is a tie?

If a game is tied at 14-14, players must win by two points to win the game. In this situation, the game continues until one player has a two-point lead over their opponent. The match ends when one player wins the required number of games.

Can racquetball be played outdoors?

Yes, racquetball can be played outdoors, although it is more commonly played indoors. Most outdoor racquetball courts are the same size and layout as their indoor counterparts. However, the walls and floor may be made of different materials to withstand the weather.

Is racquetball an Olympic sport?

No, racquetball is not currently an Olympic sport. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has recognized racquetball as a sport. It has been included in the World Games, a multi-sport event for sports not included in the Olympics, but it has not yet been added to the Olympic program.

Is there a racquetball governing body?

Yes, there’s a racquetball governing body, the International Racquetball Federation (IRF), which works to promote the sport and help it gain more recognition worldwide. Racquetball remains a popular and competitive sport with a strong following in many countries.


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