Squash and racketball use different types of ball – squash balls are smaller and tend to be black, while racketballs are larger, bouncier, and can be blue or black.
There are four types of squash ball, each to suit different levels of player.
Pro- Pro balls are used by elite players and are recognisable by the distinctive double yellow dot markings on the black ball.
Competition- Competition balls are ideal for regular/club level players and are recognisable by their distinctive single yellow dot marking on the black ball.
Progress- Progress balls are ideal for improving/recreational players as they are slightly larger, with more bounce, and are plain black.
Max- Max balls are perfect for beginners as they are larger and bouncier than a Pro ball, and are recognisable by their blue colour.
The only squash balls approved by England Squash & Racketball are made by Dunlop.
There are two types of racketball- blue and black. Blue balls are slightly bouncier, so ideal for recreational play. Black balls are less bouncy, and are used mainly in events such as the National Racketball Championships.
If you are new to the sport, or just fancy having a hit with a friend, start off with a blue racketball. If, after a few games, you find it too easy, you can then progress to using a black ball.
Racketballs manufactured by Dunlop, Price and Tecnifibre have been approved by England Squash & Racketball.
Squash and racketball use different types of racket – squash rackets tend to have a long handle and a small head, while racketball rackets have a large head to make it easier to play the ball.
There are lots of types of squash racket- different brands, different weights, and different sizes. Generally rackets have long handles and the racket head is smaller than a traditional tennis racket. Rackets come in different weights to suit an individual’s style of play, a ‘wristy’ player would tend to prefer a lighter racket, while a powerful player would be more likely to use a heavier racket. Most good sports retailers stock a range of squash rackets, with prices ranging from £15 for an entry level racket to £130 for a premium model. Different models of racket use different technology and materials. We recommend that you visit a local retailer or club shop and pick up a range of rackets, you will quickly be able to tell which racket feels right for you.
The main difference between squash and racketball rackets is size- racketball rackets have a larger head and a shorter handle to make it easier to play the ball. Many retailers and club shops stock racketball rackets, a quick internet search will find the nearest retailer to you. As with squash rackets, prices vary between brands and models, with different rackets using different materials and technology. Entry level rackets start at £15, with more advanced models costing up to £90.
Racket choice is very much down to personal preference, so the best thing to do when picking a racket is try as many models as possible before buying.
Most clubs and leisure centres will allow you to play squash or racketball in standard running shoes or trainers, providing they do not have black/marking soles.
If you are a regular player you might benefit from using a pair of squash shoes (also suitable for racketball). Squash shoes are specially designed to deal with the high impact of running around court, supporting the ankle to prevent injury or discomfort. Prices range from £25 to £60, and squash shoes are available online and in most good sports retailers.
While eye injuries are rare in squash and racketball, you may wish to consider wearing protective eyewear on court. This particularly applies when playing doubles and in junior squash, where eye protection is mandatory in competition.
To meet this requirement England Squash & Racketball, together with ophthalmic specialists, doctors,optical agencies and the British Standards Institution, undertook a considerable workload over a number of years to formulate the “British Standard for Eye Protectors for Racket Sports – BS7930.1 Squash. This Standard was published in 1998 and since that date, numerous manufacturers have submitted their eye protectors for testing.