Have you ever played squash?
Squash was recently rated as the number one healthiest sport in the world by the highly credited Forbes Magazine which rated sports on their levels of fitness, speed, flexibility, risk of injury and strength.
The Game of Squash
Squash is a sport in which two players hit a ball with a racket. The aim of the game is to beat the other player by hitting the front wall and making the ball bounce twice on the floor before they can hit their turn, or for them to hit the ball out of play.
The ball is made of rubber. It is hollow. When it is warm it bounces more. Balls are marked with different coloured dots. They are made to bounce at different speeds depending on the colour of the dots. Balls with yellow dots are slow. Balls with green or white dots are average. Balls with red dots are fast.
The racket is similar to a tennis racket, but it’s lighter and smaller.
The court of squash is a playing surface surrounded by four walls. On the ground or surface of the court, there is a front line which separates the front and back of the court. There is a half line at the back side of the court which again separates the back side into left back and right back sides totally creating three portions, which are: the front half, the back left quarter and the back right quarter. The court is 9.75 meter long 6.4 m wide. The height of the court is 5.64.
Clothes for Squash
Players wear comfortable clothing similar to tennis. While men wear shorts and t-shirts, women wear frock, t-shirt, or sport dresses. Players are recommended towear eye protections (goggles with polycarbonate lenses).
Some Interesting Facts
- The game of squash was formerly called as ‘squash racquets’ because of the squashable soft balls used for the game.
- Both the racquets made for squash and tennis are believed to be discovered as early as in the 16th century.
- The game of squash was invented in Harrow School in England and was spread to the schools across the country and then it became international.
- The first ever squash court in the North America was established at St. Paul’s school the New Hampshire in the year 1884.
- England has the highest number of squash courts followed by Germany, Egypt, USA, Australia, South Africa, Canada, Malaysia, France, Netherlands and Spain.
- The United States has the fastest growing squash players in the world.
- There are two regulating authorities in Squash, Professional Squash Association (PSA) for men and Women’s Squash Association (WSA) for women.
- Although Squash is not part of the Olympics, but it is very much part of the Commonwealth Games, the Asian Games and Pan American Games.
- Over 20 million squash players participate in the sport regularly worldwide in over 185 countries.
- The number 1 ranked female player is from Malaysia and the number 1 ranked male player is from Egypt.
- Every Ivy League school has a varsity squash team. (Ivy League schools are considered to be the most prestigious of all colleges in the United States. These schools are primarily located in the Northeastern part of the country. There are eight total colleges that are considered to be Ivy League. These schools are Brown, Harvard, Cornell, Princeton, Dartmouth, Yale, and Columbia universities and the University of Pennsylvania).
- Jahangir Khan of Pakistan is considered to be the greatest squash player ever in the history of the game.
- In the year 2003, Forbes magazine rated squash as the Numero Uno healthiest sport to play.
- One hour of squash can burn approximately 600 to 1000 food calories and it is considered as an excellent cardiovascular workout.
- Squash provides a good upper and lower body workout because of the usage of both the legs and a player has to run around the court and it is also a good work out for the arms and torso because of the swing a squash player makes.