Racket-and-ball game usually played by two people on an enclosed court, derived from rackets. Squash became a popular sport in the 1970s and later gained competitive status. There are two forms of squash: the American form, which is played in North and some South American countries, and the English, which is played mainly in Europe and Commonwealth countries such as Pakistan, Australia, and New Zealand.
How squash is played
In singles squash under the American rules, the court is 10 m/32 ft long and 5.6 m/18 ft 6 in wide. The front and side walls are 4.9 m/16 ft high and the back wall is 2 m/6 ft 6 in high. In doubles it measures 7.6 m/25 ft by 13.7 m/45 ft.
In English singles, the court is 10 m/32 ft long and 6.4 m/21 ft wide. The front wall is 5 m/15 ft high, and the back wall is 2.1 m/7 ft high. The side walls slant down from 15 ft at the front to 7 ft at the back. Doubles squash is played by two teams of two players each on a larger court.
Players use rackets and a small rubber ball which, in the English form, is softer than that used in the American sport. The ball is hit against the front wall and, when serving, must be above a line about 1.83 m/6 ft high. Thereafter the ball must be hit alternately against the front wall, within certain limitations, but rebounds off the other three walls are permitted. The object is to win points by playing shots the opponent cannot return to the wall.
Squash was first played at Harrow public school in 1817. The Squash Rackets Association was formed in 1928. The World Open championship was first held in 1975.
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