Racquetball games and rules

Racquetball games
Racquetball games can be played with two, three or four players, with two player or singles matches being most common.  Two player games are called singles or "one-up" (1 vs. 1 for the entire game), while four player games are doubles with two pairs playing against each other (2 vs. 2 for the entire game).  Tournament competitions have divisions for singles or doubles or both.

Racquetball games and rules
Three-player games are most commonly called "Cut-throat" and sometimes "Ironman" (2-on-1 for the entire game) where each player takes turns serving to the other two, who play as a team against the serving player.  Another 3 player game is "California," or "In-and-Out" where play is 1 vs. 1 with the third player remain in the back court, out of play, while the other two play a rally; the rally winner then serves to the player who was sitting out, and the rally loser stays out of play.  Another 3 player variation is "Sevens" in which one player plays against two players as a team, with the game being played to 7 points; if the two player team gets to 7 first, the game is over, but if the solo player gets to 7 first then the game continues to 14; if the solo player again reaches 14 first, then the game continues to 21, where the game ends regardless of whether the solo player or the two player team reach 21 first.


Racquetball rules
1. The racquet, including bumper guard and all solid parts of the handle, may not exceed 22 inches in length.
2. The racquet frame may be any material judged safe.
3. The racquet frame must include a cord that must be securely attached to the player's wrist.
4. The string of the racquet must be gut, monofilament, nylon, graphite, plastic, metal, or a combination thereof, and must not mark or deface the ball.
5. Using an illegal racquet will result in forfeiture of the game in progress or, if discovered between games, forfeiture of the preceding game.


This court and equipment are required for playing racquetball
A racquetball court; fully enclosed indoor or outdoor with a front wall.  The standard racquetball court is rectangular : 40 feet long, 20 feet wide, and 20 feet high with red lines defining the service and serve reception areas.

The "service box" is formed by the short line - a solid red line running the court's width parallel to the front and back walls at a distance of 20 feet - and the service line parallels the short line and is 15 feet from the front wall.  Within the service box there are two sets of lines perpendicular to the short and service lines.

One set of lines is 18 inches from, and parallel to, the side walls.  Along with the short line, service line, and side wall these lines define the doubles box, where the non-serving doubles partner stands during the serve; 36 inches from the side wall is another set of lines which, along with the short line and the service line, define an area that the server must not enter if he wishes to hit a drive serve between himself and the nearest side wall.  The receiving line is a parallel dashed line 5 feet behind the short line [ 6 ] .

Other equipment needed:
  A racquetball; a dynamic (bouncy) rubber ball of 2.25 in. (57 mm) diameter
  A racquetball racquet; no longer than 22 inches
  Racquetball eyeguards (mandatory during competitions; some recreational players play without eyeguards but this is not recommended, as being hit in the eye by the ball can cause permanent vision damage).

Racquetball differs from other racquet sports as most competitive players wear a glove on their racquet hand for the purpose of getting a better grip on the racquet (similar to golfers using a glove when driving), but gloves are optional equipment.  Also, players usually wear a comfortable short sleeved shirt and shorts, as well as racquetball court shoes designed for enabling quick lateral as well as forward and backward movement.

Racquetballs are manufactured in a variety of colors, and some are for specific purposes (eg, outdoor play vs. indoor play), but the differences are unlikely to make much difference for recreational play.  Racquetballs do break occasionally, and will lose their bounce over time even without breaking.

Editor: Yvonne Liu

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