Who Serves First In A Game Of Squash?

If you are interested in playing squash, it is important to know the rules. Wondering about who would serve first in the game is not an uncommon question due to its small amount of popularity. Don't fret about the rules of the game. We have done the research for you to help you figure out who serves first in a game of squash.

In squash, you only get one chance to serve. To make a hit count as a serve, a player must make contact with the ball. Here are some ways to determine who serves: 

  • Begin a rally; the person who wins starts the next rally
  • Spin a racket, much like a coin toss  
  • The winner of the last game will serve in a new game 

These rules for determining a server have advanced over time with the development of new technology, such as rackets with logos. Players who are new to the game may have trouble understanding where to start. In this guide, we'll provide you with a deeper understanding of determining who serves first in squash.

Close up of a player serving the ball, playing racquetball on court, Who Serves First In A Game Of Squash?

How To Complete A Serve

A player must keep one foot in either the left or right service box when serving. The serve itself is not complicated: a player must hit the ball to the front wall and keep it above the service line but below the out line. And keep in mind that if you don't make contact with the ball when you're serving, you can try again until you hit it.

When the ball returns, it must hit the back quarter of the opponent's court. This means that if you serve from the left service box, your serve needs to return to the back quarter of the right side of the court. When serving from the right service box, your ball should return to the back left-hand quarter of the court to be considered complete. Before the ball hits the floor of the appropriate quarter, it can hit the side wall or back wall.

It is important to remember that serving the ball is the only time in the game when you have complete control over the ball. You can control where the ball goes without being pressured by your opponent. It takes a little practice to know how hard to hit a ball for it to hit the wall and land where you need it.

Are Overarm Serves Allowed in Squash?

Absolutely. There are several kinds of serves in squash and overhand serves are one of them. An overhand serve makes contact with the ball when your racket is over your head or when the ball is at head and shoulder level. If this sounds overwhelming, most beginners let the serve bounce off the side or back wall to easily hit the ball.

Are Underhanded Serves Allowed In Squash?

Underhanded serves are the most common because they are at waist level. This is when you hit the ball high enough at a height where your opponent still has a chance to volley it. The more experienced the player is, the higher the underhand serve can be hit without crossing the out line.

When Should You Switch Servers?

Couple enjoying a game of squash

It is standard for opponents to switch sides after every three points. If you win two points and your opponent wins the third point, they get to decide which service box to serve from. Once you alternate boxes, the next three points determine when to switch again.

Is There a Better Side to Serve On?

Whether you are left-handed or right-handed can determine which service box is ideal for you to serve on. More importantly, you should know which hand your opponent is dominant with. Understanding your opponent's weakness can give you an advantage. If your opponent will have to return your serve with a backhand, it could give you the upper hand and therefore, a point.

Spinning A Racket

Much like in a coin toss at the beginning of any sporting event, a racket spin determines which player serves first. At the bottom of a racket, there is a brand logo or symbol that easily identifies up or down.

Either player will choose up or down prior to spinning the racket. Once the racket is spun and shows up or down, the winner will choose which side to serve on- left or right. This trick can be used before rallying, if necessary, to determine who serves first even in a simple rally.

Can You Hit The Side Wall First In Squash?

For a serve, a ball must hit the front wall before hitting any other wall. After the serving ball has touched the front ball, it can touch the other walls without restrictions. The only thing to remember is that the red lines should be avoided. If a ball hits the out lines, it is out.

The real goal is to make your serve hard to return. Experienced players understand that the best serve hits the front wall and then a side wall before an opponent can return it. This is because it is hard to scrape the ball away from the wall to hit it.

What Is A Rally?

A rally is when players take turns hitting the ball. The goal is to keep the ball in play and hit the front wall between the board and the out line. A point is given each time a player wins a rally. To win a rally, your ball must stay inbounds. During the first rally, the first point that is awarded determines who serves first.

Is Squash The Same As Tennis?

It can be helpful to know the fundamentals of tennis prior to playing squash because there are some similarities to each game. For instance, there are service boxes, service lines, rackets, and ideally two players. The difference is how the game is played.

Service Box In Tennis Vs. Squash

In tennis, a player must stand outside of the service box and behind the service line when serving. It is the player returning the serve that must have both feet inside the service box on the opposite side of the court.

A squash court is much smaller than the one played in tennis and therefore does not have the ability to have an equally divided court. Both players share the one court and have a service box on either side. When serving, a player must keep one foot inside the box at all times.

Service Lines In Tennis Vs. Squash

The lines in tennis indicate the boundaries of the court. When a player hits a ball on the line, the ball is considered in and often a point. In squash, the object of the game is to not hit any line at all. You have walls to hit in squash that are not there in tennis. This makes the horizontal game of tennis turn vertical in squash.

In Closing

Overall, it is pretty easy to determine who serves first in a game of squash. It really boils down to you and your opponent's preference. Perhaps your opponent will want the rackets to decide before even beginning a rally. Or maybe you and your opponent will be so excited to get the game started, you both will warm up with the rally. No matter who serves first, remember it is all about having fun playing the game and strengthening your skills.

Before you go, be sure to check out these other fitness guides that may be of interest to you:

Does The Tennis Ball Have To Bounce Before You Can Hit It?

Do Tennis Strings Go Bad Or Expire?

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