British Racketball :
the Singles game.

An unofficial summary for beginners.

1 Getting going.
British Racketball is played on a standard squash court. Most players wear an open-necked shirt and shorts. Clean non-marking footwear is required. Eyeguards (safety goggles) are recommended especially when playing a beginner. Loose items such as necklaces and bracelets are considered dangerous. Racketball, like squash, is played according to the rules : safely and politely. You should not swing the racket wildly. You should not hit the ball towards the other player. You are expected not to argue or show dissent on the court. Sorry about the lecture, but Rules are Rules.

2 Play.
The basic game of racketball is as simple as tennis. Each player has a regulation Racketball racket, and you use a regulation Racketball ball. Some suppliers are listed elsewhere on this website. You take it in turns to hit the ball to the front wall using your racket, letting the ball bounce once. That's really all you need to know. But there are a few little questions which you're probably already asking : like what are all those lines for, and do the side walls count.

3 Rally, Game, Match.
Each match is made up of the best of three or five games. Each game is made up of about twenty rallies. So a typical score for a match may be (game 1) 15-8, (game 2) 11-15, (game 3) 15-6. As in tennis, a rally consists of one player serving, then players alternately hitting the ball until there is a fault, when one of the players scores one point. If the person who served loses the rally, the marker calls "hand-out". The winner serves the next rally. First to fifteen usually wins each game, but 14-14 has its own rules. The last point in each game is called "Game-Ball". The first player to win most games (two out of three, or three out of five) wins the match. The last point in the match is called "Match-Ball".

4 Serving.
The full rules are more complicated than this: The server stands in the service box marked on the floor. You drop the ball to the floor so it bounces once then hit it directly to the front wall above the tin, which is the board about half a meter high right across the front wall. The ball should return to the opposite back quarter of the court, where the receiver should be standing. If the ball is short or long, you can have a second serve if the receiver does not play it.

5 Lets and Strokes
If there is any danger, for example if you almost bump into each other, or if you would hit the other player with the ball or the racket, don't play the stroke. Just stop, and say "LET please". The other player will always agree. No point is scored, and the rally is re-started.
Generally, after you've had your shot, you should make every effort to get out of the way for your opponent to have his shot. If you do not, and he could have made a good shot, he can ask for a "STROKE please". This means he wins the rally and the point. You could disagree, but it's normal to accept gracefully. Beat him the next time.

6 Other Dangers
If either of you is injured, if anything is dropped onto the floor, if the marker or the referee calls "Stop" or if the door is open, STOP PLAYING immediately. Fix the problem then re-play the point. Visible wounds or blood are not allowed on court.

7 Officials and Score-keeping.
Usually you keep the score between you, calling it clearly between each rally. If it's an official match, the marker or referee will announce the times and the scores. It's usual to "warm up" before the match actually starts, by hitting the ball to each other for a few minutes. During the match, the breaks are quite short, and you should have prepared a drink or two. After the match, you are expected to shake hands, win or lose.

8 Handicaps
A simple handicap for beginners, weaker players etc is to allow two bounces of the ball per shot. Since rallies are often long, you can play to nine points instead of fifteen until you get your stamina up, and take longer breaks. Avoid de-hydration. If you have any pain or problems, stop.

9 Detailed Rules.
This is an unofficial guide. Our approach is to give you enough to get going. If you find yourself in disagreement with someone about the rules, we suggest you refer to the Kent SRA website.

Copyright (c) 2002


Partly funded with a Lottery Grant from Sport England. Thanks, guys 'n' gals!