Simple, Easy Racquetball Rules

This is a simple, easy introduction to the rules of racquetball. It’s intended for beginners. Once you start playing seriously, you’ll want to read the complete rules. Here’s enough to get started:

Object of the Game

Just like tennis, ping-pong, or badminton, the object of racquetball is to win rallies. You win a rally serving or returning a ball your opponent can not return. Scoring

Only the server can score points. The server continues to serve as long as he or she continues to score. A regulation match consists of two games to 15 points and a tiebreaker game to 11 points, if needed. You do not have to win by two; the winner is the first player to 15 or 11.

Starting Play

You serve to start play. The server usually gets two chances to put the ball in play. If you miss badly enough, you only get one chance.

Good Serves

The server stands between the two solid lines.

A good serve hits the front wall before anything else.
A good serve flies over both solid lines.
A good serve hits the floor before hitting the back wall. It’s ok to hit one side wall.

Fault Serves

Just like in tennis, you get one more chance if hit a fault serve. The common faults are hitting the ball too far, or too short.
The fault serve does not hit the floor before hitting the back wall.
The fault serve does not fly over both solid lines.

Out Serves

If hit a serve bad enough, you don’t get another chance.
An Out Serve happens when you miss ball entirely.
An Out Serve happens when you miss the front wall.
An Out Serve happens when you hit yourself with the ball.

Playing the Game

After a good serve, you have to keep the rally going. It’s simpler than serving. There’s just two things you have to do:
You have to hit the ball before it bounces twice.
You have hit front wall before hitting the floor.
Remember, only the server scores a point. If the returner wins a rally, they get to serve.

What if the ball hits the other player?

If the ball hits the other player, the point is played over with no penalty. The name for this is “Hinder”.
If you think you’re about to hit the other player, stop. This is no penalty. Tell the other player you called a hinder, so they know why you stopped. (Good players appreciate this.)

Oh, and one more thing…

Get a pair of safety glasses. They’re light, cheap (about $20), comfortable, and easy to find. They’ll help you become a better player, since you can look back at the other player. And they’ll keep your eyes safe.

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