Squash and Racquetball are two extremely popular games around the World. But ironically, most people think that both are the same. No doubt both games include racket and ball. But let me assure you that racquetball and squash are not the same.
Squash is much older compared to racquetball. The squash rackets are 27 inches long, while the racquetball rackets are wider but 22 inches long.
The squash ball has a diameter of 1.5 inches. On the contrary, racquetballs are 42% larger, with a diameter of 2.25 inches. One major difference is that the ceiling is out of bounds in squash but not in racquetball.
Pretty simple, Right? Well, for a starter, you can say that the gear might be made of the same material. But, in a nutshell, both are far different.
To make things easy for you, I have collaborated with professional players and done detailed research. So, sit back and keep on reading for a better understanding.
What Is The Difference Between Squash And Racquetball?
From origin to rules and gear specs, there is no similarity between both games. Even though both are played in the “walled court.” But the squash court has 4 walls, while the indoor racquetball court mostly has 3 walls.
For a better and clear picture, have a quick look at the table below:
|Origin Area||England||North America|
|Initial Name||Tennis Variant||Paddle Rackets|
|Ball Size||1.5’’ – 1.6’’ (38mm- 40mm)||2.25’’ (57mm)|
|Racket Size||27’’ L x 8.46’’ W||22’’ L x 11’’ W|
|Court Size||32L x 21W x 18H (Feet)||40L x 20W x 20H (Feet)|
|Popularity||20 Million||5.6 Million|
|Most Popular In||Worldwide||North America|
|Number Of Rounds||Best of 5||Best of 3|
|Average Duration||40 – 43 Minutes||20 – 25 Minutes|
|Average Income||$40,000 – $55,000 Yearly||$25,000 – $40,000 Yearly|
- Both sports include a hollow rubber ball which is punctured. The ball size in squash is smaller.
- Racquetball rackets are small in length, but they are wider than squash rackets.
- Both sports are not yet being played in the Olympics. But they do have a championship trophy for both genders.
- Squash is widely popular around the World. On the contrary, Racquetball is not common in Asia and Africa.
- On average, squash sport rules are harder compared to racquetball.
Squash vs Racquetball Origin
Squash is 120 years older than racquetball. In the early 19th century, British prisoners used to play a game known as “the rackets.” Later on, the students of Harrow School discovered that the punctured ball bounced more with force. So, in 1950, the rackets were completely upgraded to a new sport known as squash.
Actually, racquetball is the invention of anger and frustration. Joe Sobek invented it in 1950. He was already a professional player in tennis and handball. Initially, he was looking for a way to increase his outdoor exercise. So, he modified some tennis game rules and introduced a new “Paddle Racket” sport.
As the sport became popular, its name was changed to racquetball.
Squash vs Racquetball Court
As mentioned earlier, both sports are played within the walled court. But the dimensions are different. The Racquetball court is 40 feet long, 20 feet high, and 20 feet wide. Mostly, it has three walls. The fourth wall is not an essential requirement.
Squash courts have four walls and are less in length. They are 32 feet long, 18 feet high, and 21 feet wide. The main difference in both courts is that the ceiling is out of bounds in squash. In other words, if the ball hits the ceiling, it’s an out.
Racquetball vs Squash Ball Size
To play both sports, you need a punctured hollow ball made of rubber. This is the only gear similarities.
The squash ball has a diameter of 1.5’’ – 1.6’’ (38mm – 40mm). While the racquetball balls are around 42% bigger as it has a size of 2.25’’ (57mm). But they are more bouncier.
Squash vs Racquetball Racket
Squash rackets are usually long but narrow. They are 27 inches (68.5cm) in length with 8.46 inches (21.4cm) in width. Racquetball “racquets” are wider. They have a length of 22 inches (55.8cm) and 11 inches (28cm) wide. Eye protective gear is always advised, but it is not recommended.
Squash Scoring System
In a nutshell, squash rules are more harder. A player must win by at least two points.
During the championship title matches, the games are played in the 11 points system. Each game is a point of the rally. Mostly the winner is decided by the best of 5 matches. There are 9 points in the regular matches, and the winner of the rally scores a point whether they serve or not.
There is no “ ball bounce” requirement. But players must hit the ball in the opposite direction of the front wall and can’t block the opponent’s way. As a rule, the line around the upper wall is also marked as the “out.” The player must keep one foot within the service box while serving. Also, you can’t hit the ball twice.
Racquetball Scoring Rules
To earn a point in the game, the serving team has to win a rally. Among the 5 basic rules of racquetball, it is the most important. The ball can only bounce once, and a game must be won with two clear points.
The other rule of thumb is that only the server can win the point. The matches are played to 15 points and best of 3. While playing, the player has to stand in the designated area known as the service area. The ball can be hit against any part of the front wall.
The ceiling is not out of bounds. But the ball must have bounced once before serving.
Squash Sport vs Racquetball Popularity
The sports are necessary, yet the popularity chart decides the sponsorship. So, for the undisturbed championships, popularity is measured by the number of viewers.
Alone in the USA, the squash game is considered the 12th fastest-growing sport, with over 1.7 million participants. It is one of the most popular sports in Australia and Pakistan, with 18 and 11 championship titles, respectively.
Racquetball popularity was at its peak in the 70s in the US. Though the first championship competition was held in 1981. By the 90s, there was a decline in its popularity.
Right now, there are around 20 million people who love to play squash. On the contrary, there are only 5.6 million people who play racquetball. While around 3.5 million among them belong to the US.
The Olympic Status Of Both Sports
Unfortunately, both are not Olympic sports. Simultaneously, both are also not part of the Paralympics. The Professional Squash Association ensure to hold the “World Championship” every year since 1976.
The 2000 and 2001 events were canceled due to a lack of sponsorship. The 2015 and 2021 events were canceled due to safety concerns and the Covid pandemic.
There are also several professional racquetball leagues that organize events in the US every year. The World International Racquetball Federation (IRF) also organizes a championship event each year.
Which is faster, squash or racquetball?
The key difference between both is that the racquetball ball is bouncier. On average, the ball in the racquetball can pick up the speed around 160 mph to 180 mph.
The fastest-ever measured speed ever is 191 mph by Egan Inoue.
On the contrary, the squash ball can only get speeds up to 100mph to 120mph. The fastest record speed is 176 mph, which was served by Cameron Pilley in 2014.
Squash vs Racquetball Which Is Harder?
Both sports require skill to play. But being a player in both sports, I can safely conclude that squash is more difficult. It can take 9 to 15 months to enhance the squash skill. Both balls and rackets are small in size, and you have to be very precise to hit the shot.
On the contrary, racquetball racquets are wider, and the ball is also relatively large in diameter. The squash rules and regulations are also more strict in contrast to the basic racquetball rules.
Which One Involves More Money?
Well, that is actually debatable. Certainly, both games have prizes and sponsorship for players. It is mainly the top 10 of both sports who make the big bucks. An average regular squash player can earn up to $50,000.
While the top-earning male player Ali Farag made $275,215 in 2020. Overall the player who took the big prize was Nouran Gohar, with $285,700.
Likewise, the average racquetball league player makes up $45,000 to $50,000 per tournament. The top-earning player Kane Waselenchuk made only $300,000 in 2021.
So, keeping the figures in mind, we can safely say that squash has relatively more money for average players. While the top 3 racquetball players earn more through leagues and tournaments.
Difference Between Squash and Racquetball FAQs
Wrapping It Up!
Both games might seem the same but they are very different from each other. Squash is more popular and older than racquetball.
In both sports, either there is one to one match or a double players event. But, there are 11 points in squash and the best of 5 decides the winner.
While in racquetball, there are 15 total points and a best of 3 declares the winner. The key similarities in both are that the winner must be ahead by 2 points.
In a nutshell, squash is difficult but players can earn more. Both are not part of the Olympics. That’s the only similarity in both one way or another.
We hope that this article helps you understand the key differences between both sports. Well, in the meantime be happy and keep on playing!