Squash Vs Racquetball: What’s The Difference?
When it comes to sports comparisons, I love writing them. And what’s a more fascinating versus post than between squash and racquetball? Well, nothing! In this article, I will go in-depth on the differences between squash and racquetball, so without a further due, let’s begin!
In short, squash is played on a smaller court that is 32ft (9.75m) long and 21ft (6.4m) wide, whereas a racquetball court is 40ft (12.2m) long and 20ft (6.1m) wide. Also, squash rackets are longer but narrower than racquetball rackets. However, racquetballs are bigger and bouncier than squash balls.
Even when those are some notable differences, they can’t be all there is, can’t they? You’re right; there’s much more. Therefore, I have split this article into sections where you can easily spot the information you are looking for.
First, stick with me, and I’ll explain the differences between courts and speed.
Squash and racquetball are different in many ways, but the court sizes and game speed are notable.
Let’s start with the biggest difference between squash and racquetball, and I mean it literally. The official size courts aren’t identical so take a peek at their dimensions.
- Squash courts are 32 feet (9.75m) long, 21 feet (6.4m) wide, and 18 feet (5.5m) high.
- Racquetball courts are 40 feet (12.2m) long, 20 feet (6,1m) wide, and 20 feet (6.1m) high.
The size differences aren’t massive, but they are made in an optimal way for both sports. Racquetball requires a longer and higher court, whereas a squash court can be smaller. However, squash courts are a bit wider for optimal play.
All of this has been chosen with the game speed and ball features in mind.
Given that squash and racquetball courts and rules aren’t the same and the balls are different, the speed will also vary.
Racquetball has a faster pace than squash because the ball can travel faster, and you can use the ceiling to hit the ball, whereas you can’t in squash. So, there are more possible ways the ball can come at you, and a faster ball speed will certainly make a faster overall tempo.
However, this doesen’t mean that racquetball is more difficult. In fact, squash is considered a more difficult sport for various reasons such as;
- Physically harder
- Longer rallies
- More technical and strategic
- Smaller court
- Rule differences
- Smaller ball
- Worse bounce ability
Even though ESPN categorizes squash and racquetball to the position of 22 of the world’s hardest sports, they aren’t the same. Squash requires more game intelligence and fitness, whereas the idea of racquetball is to hit the ball as hard as you can to do a quick ”kill” shot to beat the opponent.
A person who doesen’t know a thing about squash or racquetball can easily mistake the two for the same sport. However, there are differences in equipment as well.
Squash and racquetball rackets aren’t the same, with many differences in length, width, and weight. Take a look at both.
- Squash rackets are longer and narrower, with a maximum length of 27” (68.6cm) and maximum width of 8.46” (21.5cm). Squash rackets are generally lighter in weight, between 4.7-6oz (135-170g).
- Racquetball racquets are shorter and wider, with a maximum length of 22” (55.9cm) and maximum width of 11.5” (29.2cm). The racquetball weight range is heavier between 5.3-6.5oz (150-185g).
Now that we know the length and width of the rackets, we all know that racquetball racquets have a larger stringed area, making it easier to hit the ball. However, the ball is also bigger, so the sweet spot between the balls and rackets are quite similar.
You can quite quickly notice that squash and racquetball balls aren’t the same either. Many differences, such as dimensions and weight set them apart. Check out the differences below.
- Squash balls are smaller than racquetballs with a diameter of 1.5-1.6 inches (38-40mm), so they are the same size as ping pong balls. The weight of squash balls is found between 0.81-0.88oz (23-25g).
- Racquetballs are bigger than squash balls with a diameter of 2 1/4 inches (57mm). Racquetballs weight 1.4oz (40g).
In addition to the dimensions and weight, there are other differences, such as features and color.
Even though both squash and racquetballs are made from rubber and are hollow, racquetballs are much bouncier than squash balls. That’s why the speed of racquetball is faster as well.
Racquetballs come in various colors, and squash balls are black but with different colored dots. Learn more below.
- Squash balls are always black with one or two different colored dots. Generally, two yellow dot balls are the slowest, one yellow means slow, one red dot means medium, and one blue dot means fast. Also, the faster the ball, the higher the bounce. Finally, you might not believe that the slowest ball is for the pros and the fastest are for the beginners.
- Racquetballs come in various colors such as black, blue, purple, green, pink, and multicolored. The colors state the balls feature such as bounce, speed, durability, visibility, control, etc.
All things considered, you could say that squash and racquetballs are different.
Protective eyewear is on top of the list when it comes to other equipment, especially in squash. Both racquetball and a squash ball on the eyes could cause serious injuries. However, squash balls are smaller, increasing the severity of potential contact with the eye.
Proper shoes and comfortable athletic wear are also needed for both sports, but they are very similar if not identical. Therefore, the main differences in equipment are in the racquets and balls.
There are many rule differences that you should acknowledge when comparing squash and racquetball. You might think that the sorts would have the same rules as they look the same, but that’s not the case. Below you can find some of the most notable rule differences between the sports.
First and foremost, the biggest rule difference is that you can hit the ceiling in racquetball but can’t in squash. This opens more unique possibilities in racquetball which increases its difficulty.
Another big difference considers serving. In racquetball, you need to strike the ball on the floor first before hitting the back wall, whereas, in squash, you don’t. However, you can serve from anywhere in racquetball as long as it’s on the service zone, but in squash, you need to be within a marked box to serve to the opposite corner.
Finally, racquetball games are played to 15 points, and unlike in many other sports, the first one reaching the point 15 will win without any point differences. In contrast, squash games are played to 11 points. Yet, you need to win by 2 points, so if the game is 10-10, the first one with 2 point lead will win.
Squash is more physically demanding, so the point amount is four less than in racquetball.
Naturally, there are even more rule differences but I’m not going to list everyone here. If you want to learn more about the rules, check out the squash and racquetball rule resources below:
Cost is one of the biggest factors in whether a person will start playing the sport. For example, lacrosse and tennis can be very expensive, so what’s the case with squash and racquetball? Let’s begin with the equipment first.
Squash and racquetball have the same equipment requirements, which isn’t much. They cost approximately the same, and the absolute essentials are the racket and a ball. Safety goggles and proper in-court shoes are also something to consider. So, how much does the equipment cost?
You can get started in squash and racquetball with a $50 beginner set, including a racket and a couple of balls. In addition, you can get safety goggles for $10 and decent in-court shoes for $40. Therefore, the low end of equipment cost is $100, whereas the high end can be up to $700.
You might not need squash/racquetball gloves or new activewear as a total beginner. The equipment quality doesen’t need to be incredible either, as you are just starting and feeling the sport.
However, when you start to take the sport very seriously, a quality racket, goggles, shoes, gloves, and activewear are necessary to maximize the performance. Thus, the costs will multiply by many times.
Check out the table below to give a little breakdown of the equipment and their low and high-end costs.
|Piece of Equipment||Low End||High End|
|Set of 3 balls||$5||$15|
As you can see, the costs can vary drastically depending on the quality standards. Now, the equipment costs aren’t the only ones you need to pay. There are playing costs and court fees as well.
Cost to Play
Naturally, if you don’t have a squash or racquetball court at home or aren’t willing to build one, you need another place to play. Let’s review the general court fees and examine lesson costs as well.
Generally, an hour of squash or racquetball costs $10 to $30, which isn’t much compared to other sports costs such as tennis court fees. Of course, this depends on the weekday, whether you buy bulk tickets, the area you play, and the standard of the court/club.
Moving on to lessons, they add the biggest piece to the overall cost if you take lessons year-round. Again, this widely depends on the area, the instructor’s skills, how many lessons you buy in total, whether you are a club member or book private, semi-private, or group lessons. In general, squash and racquetball lessons can cost anywhere from 40$ to 150$ or more per hour.
Racquetball and squash are mediocre in popularity around the world. Even though they have millions of players and fans worldwide, they can’t compete in the same league as baseball, basketball, soccer, football, and ice hockey.
Before moving on to the actual numbers of players, check out the top 5 countries where squash and racquetball are the most popular.
|Top 5 Squash Countries By Popularity||Top 5 Racquetball Countries By Popularity|
|1. The United States||1. The United States|
|2. Egypt||2. Bolivia|
|3. England||3. Costa Rica|
|4. Norway||4. Canada|
|5. New Zealand||5. Ireland|
As you can see, both squash and racquetball are most popular in the United States, and the other countries aren’t similar. The second countries in both sports may surprise you because I remember when I didn’t know the top popularity countries. Therefore, Egypt and Bolivia really surprised me.
Anyways, let’s take a look at some numbers.
I don’t know about you, but I love numbers and statistics! So how many people do play squash and racquetball in the first place?
- Squash: There are over 20 million people playing squash globally. However, an estimate of only 1.6 million of those play it in the United States, which is less than half of the US racquetball players.
- Racquetball: Over 20 million people play racquetball worldwide, and 3.5 million of them are just from the United States. However, the popularity of racquetball isn’t what it used to be for many reasons, such as decreased interest and other more enticing sports available.
Both squash and racquetball have approximately 20 million worldwide players, but the US share of the total volume isn’t as much as you would think, given that the sports are still the most popular in the US.
From this, we can determine that squash and racquetball aren’t nearly US-based such as football and baseball, but these sports are spread across the world.
Money is something we all humans have at least some interest in. And what’s more fascinating than the earnings of professional athletes? The topic often interests people because earning a lot of money from playing a sport you like sounds incredible probably for all people.
So how much do squash and racquetball players earn?
The answer to this question is often unsatisfying, as the earnings even from the top players doesen’t come close to the earnings of more popular sports.
Still, the top annual salaries for both squash and racquetball players go from $100,000 to $300,000. You should note that people reaching those amounts are the elite of the pros.
The average salary for a professional squash player is about $43.000, whereas, for a professional racquetball player, it’s $57,000. That doesen’t sound very lucrative because the amounts are considerably higher in other sports.
For example, Roger Federer from tennis earned over $106,000,000 in 2020, which is ridiculous. By looking at the numbers here, it’s no wonder why more people try becoming professional in other sports because the rewards would be a hundred times over.
Videos About Squash & Racquetball
To finish off, look at both squash and racquetball videos to see the differences between them quickly. At first glance, you will notice the faster speed of racquetball and longer rallies in squash. Enjoy!
My Favorite Racquetball Equipment
Thanks for reading this article. I hope it brought you great value that you can implement into your own life! Here you can find my favorite racquetball equipment that I love and think you could like too.
- Racket: My favorite racquetball racket is the HEAD Intelligence. This racket is implemented with technology that makes the string fibers stiff quicker, which increases power. Also, it reduces vibrations to the handle as well. This racket is from the heavy end, which further increases the power, and that’s the way I like it!
- Racquetballs: Penn Ultra-Blue racquetballs are among the most commonly used racquetballs of all time, and there is a reason for that. These balls fit all skill levels, and as I’m only a hobbyist, these balls are the best choice for me. Also, I love the blue color.
- Racquetball shoes: The proper shoes are the second most important piece of equipment after your racket. ASICS Men’s 4 Court Shoes are perfect for racquetball because of the softer gum rubber soles and reliable support throughout the shoe. Also, I love the breathability of these shoes. On the conside, the lashes are quite short but manageable.
- Fan Equipment: If you’re a fan more than a player, you don’t want to miss Fan Equipment by Fanatics. You can find items from various sports that bear your favorite team’s logo, such as jerseys, gift ideas, or other surprising things.