What is Squash?

Squash is a racquet sport that was formerly called squash racquets, a reference to the "squashable" soft ball used in the game. The game is played by two players (or four players for doubles) with "standard" rackets in a four-walled court with a small, hollow rubber ball. Squash is characterized as a "high-impact" and "high-performance" exercise. Squash was ranked the "Healthiest Sport" by Forbes magazine.

The game of squash was developed based on other pre-existing racquet sports, especially racquets and fives, a set of sports played predominantly by boarders at British independent schools. Squash itself was developed at one of these chools, London's Harrow School, in the early 19th century, when the boys noted that puncturing a rackets' ball caused it to squash when the boys noted that puncturing a racquets' ball caused it to squash when hitting the wall, allowing a greater variety of shots.

By the end of the century it had spread to Britain's other private schools as well as Oxford and Cabmbridge universities. In 1908 a squash sub-committee of the Tennis and Rackets Association was formed to regulate the sport, followed in 1928 by the British Squash Rackets Association.

The court size was codified in the 1920s at 975 cm (32 feet) and 640 cm (21 feet) wide. The front wall has a "front wall line" 457 cm (15 feet) above the floor, connected by a raking "front" line meeting the "out" line on the back wall at 213 cm (7 feet) above the floor.The front wall also has a "service line" whose top is 183 cm (6 feet) above the floor with the "board" (the equivalent of a net) 48 cm (18.9 inches) high. The floor is marked with a transverse "half-court" line and further divided into two rear "quarter courts" and two "service boxes", as shown in the background photo.

The traditional "American" court for the U.S. game, (now referred to as "hardball squash") is a similar size, but narrower at 18 feet 6 inches (564 cm). The floor and wall markings differ slightly from the "International" court and the tin is lower, at 15 inches (38 cm) high. However, hardball squash was replaced by softball in America as the standard version of squash and has since almost completely died out.

A "Converted Court" is the result of converting racquetball courts to squash. Racquetball courts are 20 feet (610 cm) wide and 40 feet (1220 cm) in length, so it is relatively easy to install a back wall, producing a squash court of 20 feet (610 cm) wide by 32 feet (975 cm) long.