How to play racquetball


Racquetball is played by two (singles) or four players (doubles). A variation of the game that is played by three players is called cut-throat. In cut-throat, one player serves and the other two players are his/her opponents. If the server wins the rally, they score a point. If they lose the rally, one of the other players becomes the server. The players take turns being the server as each player serving loses a rally.


The objective is to win each rally by serving or returning the ball so the opponent is unable to keep the ball in play. A rally is over when a hinder is called or when a player (or team in doubles): 1) is unable to hit the ball before it bounces twice, or 2) is unable to return the ball in such a way that it touches the front wall before it touches the floor.


Points are scored only by the serving side when it serves an irretrievable server (an ace) or wins a rally. In doubles, when the first server loses the serve, the second server then serves. After the second server loses the serve, it is a side out.


A match is won by the first side winning two games. The first two games of a match are played to 15 points (win by one point). If each side wins one game, a tiebreaker game is played to 11 points (win by one point).


The specifications for the standard four-wall racquetball court are: Dimensions. The dimensions of an indoor court are 20 feet wide, 40 feet long, and 20 feet high. Outdoor courts may be shorter and without back walls. All surfaces are in play, with the exception of any gallery opening, and surfaces designated as out-of-play for a valid reason (such as being of very different material or not in alignment with the back wall).


Short Line. The short line is midway between the front and back walls. The serve must hit the front wall and then not bounce before crossing the short line in the air.

Service Line. The service line is five feet in front of the short line. It is the line closest to the front wall.

Service Zone. The service zone is the 5’ x 20’ area bounded by the short line and a dashed line parallel to the short line (receiving line). The zone is observed only during the serve. Neither the server nor receiver may enter the zone until the ball has either hit the floor or crossed the line.



Official Rules of the International Racquetball Federation

How to play racquetball on a squashcourt (“Racketball”)