Every beginner in racquetball has a long list of questions they require clarity to. This ranges from the rules of the game to understand what’s allowed and what’s prohibited. One key question I believe holds some confusion is: what is the dashed line in racquetball?
The dashed line also called the receiving line is present in racquetball as an indicator of where the receiving player of a serve must stay until they’re able to return the serve or in most situations; until the ball touches the court when the serve is legal.
For you to extensively understand what the dashed line is in racquetball, some context has to be created. I’d try to keep this background context brief and straightforward. At the end of this article, you would have a clear understanding of what the dashed line in racquetball is and other rules pertaining to racquetball.
Understanding The Basics Of Racquetball
For every 10 people, I ask about racquetball, at least 5 people believe they’re good at it even if they’ve never set foot in a racquetball court before. I think this confidence stems from the perception that racquetball is easy and not so demanding like other sports.
If I were to accept this premise, I could fly a fighter jet and drive a car in space. It might seem easy and doable from the outside but the moment I put the plan in motion, it would be disastrous.
That’s exactly how racquetball is (not exactly but I’m sure you get the point). It’s a game that requires you to know all the rules and understand the gameplay. If not, you’d be breaking so many rules the moment you step onto the court.
Racquetball is an indoor game that is played between the range of two to four people. It requires the use of a racquet and a hollow ball at its designated court. It requires playing the ball towards the wall, and if the opponent fails to hit the ball within two bounces, it is a winning point to the other player.
There are three different variations on how to play racquetball. And the most common is the racquetball doubles match.
It is played between two teams with two players per team. It is popularly used whenever a racquetball game is competitive or non-competitive.
Another way is the racquetball singles match. It requires just two players only, each representing their team. Finally, we have three racquetball players in racquetball. And it is also called cutthroat racquetball.
It requires three players whereby the server tries to score the other two players working as a team. However, this style is used whenever the numbers of players are odd.
In addition, different variations have each rule guiding the game. So if you want to try any particular gameplay, check out the rules guiding it.
Now racquetball isn’t about just hitting the ball to keep the game going. Sometimes, you need to know the essential spot in the game.
The dashed line is on the surface of the court. And it is between the short line and the back wall. But how do you identify these spots on the court? Without in-depth knowledge about the playing surface(court), identifying this point can be difficult.
So let’s go into more details about the court.
Understanding The Parts Of A Racquetball Court
The court, which is the playing surface, is the most fundamental equipment to play racquetball. However, the court has a universal dimension standard and it is measured using the English S.I unit.
The height and width of the court are twenty feet, while the width and stretches are forty feet respectively. Due to its relatively small space, every surface of the room is playable. That means it has no out-of-bounds and no net.
Understanding the rules and regulations of the court seems to be a great idea but identifying lines and boxes on the playing surface is what defines the game.
For instance, imagine going to a racquetball court, without knowing vital lines, obviously playing the game will not be engaging as assumed.
These lines and boxes include service line, short line, service zone, service boxes, and dashed line(receiving line). They help to make the gameplay an easy-going one. On that note, below are brief details of each line and box in a racquetball court.
1. Service Zone
The zone is an important part of the court. It cuts across the middle of the court with two perpendicular lines at the end along the sidewalk. These two lines are the short line and the service line.
When a player is about to serve, such a player is expected to be at the service line, then serve without leaving this zone until the ball crosses the short line.
2. Service Box
Lots of beginners sometimes mix up the service box with the service zone. First and foremost, the service box is only applied when a racquetball doubles match is played.
Whenever you are playing a racquetball singles match, the service box does not apply during the gameplay. The lines are also perpendicular and run from the short line to the service line.
It is about 18 inches from the closest sidewall in the court. When playing a racquetball doubles match, the teammate of the player serving the hollow ball must also stand inside one of the service boxes till the ball passes the short line.
3. Service Line
This line is significant when a player is about to serve. In a situation, whereby a player’s one or both feet passes this line, the service will be forfeited and it will be referred to as a foot fault.
However, this line is the closest to the front wall in the racquetball court. It also acts as the front boundary of the service area.
4. Short Line
It divides the court into two parts. And it is the line closest to the back wall or rear of the service area in the court.
The importance of the short line cannot be undervalued due to its condition during the gameplay.
Some of its significant functions include,
- Whenever a player serves the racquetball, strike the front wall and bounce on the floor before crossing the short line. Because of the bounce, it is deemed as a foul serve. Which is called short serve. But when the ball crosses the short line in the air before it bounces such a service is acceptable.
- The short line ensures that a serving player(s) do not pass it when and after serving except when the ball passes the line.
- Lastly, whenever a player wants to serve, it restricts the player from placing their foot.
5. Receiving Line
It is a line between the back wall and the short line. When an opponent is about to serve, a player is required to wait behind this line until the ball hits the surface of the court.
Although racquetball appears to be simple and easy to grasp, it requires dedication and utmost understanding to be able to achieve a certain level of proficiency. I found myself gasping for breath several times after I had just started playing racquetball.
You might think this was because I was unfit or lacked the strength for the game. It was a situation of trying to understand the rules of the game on the go. I learned everything I knew about racquetball on the court and trust me, that’s not as easy as it seems.
If you pay close attention to the rules before grabbing a racquet and stepping on the court for your first game, I’m sure you’d be fine.
Other Generic Rules Of Racquetball
As a player, there are some important lines you have to know to have fewer faults during a game of racquetball. Some include the service area, service line, short line, receiving line, and the service box.
All flat surfaces of the court are considered in-play, but anything that stands out and may change the trajectory of a ball is designated as out-of-play and leads to court hinders. Things like door handles or lighting fixtures that don’t align with the remainder of the wall or anything of that nature.
So accidentally hitting any of them ends up in a court hinder, which implies that the rally is just replayed. The same rule can apply if a ball hits a wet spot (due to sweat). The rally is typically stopped, the court cleaned, and therefore the rally gets replayed.
The line is the line closest to the front wall and marks one among the perimeters of the service zone. The importance of this line is that in a server the server might not completely step beyond this line without having a minimum of some part of both feet being either on the road or inside the service box.
Doing that leads to a foot fault and therefore the serve is automatically lost. The transportation system is the line that’s within the middle of the court, 20 feet from both the rear and front wall. It marks the opposite fringe of the service zone.
If the ball hits the ground before or on the transit, the serve is taken into account a brief serve and it’s a fault.
This line is additionally important during the start of the serve. It’s illegal for a foot to be extended beyond the transportation during the start motion of the serve and it leads to a fault serve.
The server also must remain within the service box until the ball passes the transportation after hitting the front wall and only at that moment can the server step over the transportation.
The two small rectangular boxes on all sides of the service zone closest to the side walls are called the service boxes. they’re only in use during doubles and easily indicate where a player on the serving team who isn’t currently serving can stand during serves.
That player can choose either of the boxes, counting on the strategy of the team.
What Is The Dashed Line In Racquetball?
Now that we have understood the fundamental lines and boxes in a racquetball court, what exactly is the dashed line?
The dashed line is between the short line and the service line. It is also referred to as the dotted line or receiving line.
According to the required marking of the racquetball court, the back edge of the dashed line is approximately five inches from the back edge of the short line. And the segment from the wall is twenty-one inches long.
Although, 16 additional segments are 6 inches long with 6 inches spaces between each segment. At the racquet court, the importance of the dashed line helps in identifying the safety zone within the short line and receiving line.
But what precisely is a safety zone in a racquetball court? As we all know, safety is paramount. And that’s why in a racquetball court, the safety zone is that spot separating the receiver and server when any player gets smashed mistakenly by the racquet.
However, apart from helping to identify the safety zone, the dashed line regulates the gameplay. When serving in the racquetball court, an opponent is not allowed to be outside the safety zone. That’s behind the receiving line until the ball bounces on the safety zone or passes the receiving line.
Also, the racquet of the receiving player must not break the receiving line until the ball crosses the required spot. For instance, during a single or double match at the racquetball court, When your opponent is about to serve.
If you step on the dashed line or any part of your body comes in contact with the line, the server will be given a point. But if all the correct rules are observed during the gameplay, it ensures a smooth game pace. Regardless, the dashed line only comes into play when serving during a match.
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.