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Encyclopedia > Racquetball
Racquetball racquet and ball
Racquetball racquet and ball

Racquetball is a sport played with racquets and a hollow rubber ball on an indoor or outdoor court. It was invented by Joe Sobek in 1948 incorporating rules from squash and handball. Unlike most racket sports (such as Tennis or Badminton), usage of the walls, floor, and ceiling of the court is considered legal in the context of the sport, rather than out-of-bounds. The game is normally played by two opposing players, though variations involving three and four players are also commonly played. Games involving two players are called singles or '1-Ups', three player games are typically called 'Ironman' (2 on 1 during entire game) or 'Cutthroat' (each player take turns serving to the other 2). A variation of a 3 player game is 'California' where it is basically singles style play, however the player that lost the point stays in the back of the court while the other two play the next point. Four player games are called doubles. Typical racquetball racquet and ball used in the USA. Photo taken March 2004. ... Typical racquetball racquet and ball used in the USA. Photo taken March 2004. ... Squash racquet and ball Racquetball racquet and ball A racquet (or racket) is a sports implement consisting of a handled frame with an open hoop across which a network of cord is stretched. ... Latex being collected from a tapped rubber tree Rubber is an elastic hydrocarbon polymer which occurs as a milky colloidal suspension (known as latex) in the sap of several varieties of plants. ... Balls are objects typically used in games. ... Squash racquet and ball Players in a glass-backed squash court International Squash Singles Court, as specified by the World Squash Federation Squash is an indoor racquet sport that was formerly called Squash racquets, a reference to the squashable soft ball used in the game (compared with the harder ball... American (or court) handball, usually referred to simply as handball, is an American form of fives played against one or more walls. ... The following is a list of sports, divided by category. ... For other uses, see Tennis (disambiguation). ... The Danish Olympic badminton player Peter Gade Badminton is a racquet sport played by either two opposing players (singles) or two opposing pairs (doubles), who take positions on opposite halves of a rectangular court that is divided by a net. ...

Contents

History

Joe Sobek is credited with inventing racquetball, though not naming the sport. Sobek, a tennis professional and handball player, was looking for a fast-paced sport that was easy to learn and play. He designed the first strung paddle, devised a set of rules based on those from squash and handball and named his game, "paddle rackets". In February 1952, Sobek founded the International Paddler's Racquets Association, codified the rules, and had a booklet of said rules printed. For other uses, see Tennis (disambiguation). ... Squash racquet and ball Players in a glass-backed squash court International Squash Singles Court, as specified by the World Squash Federation Squash is an indoor racquet sport that was formerly called Squash racquets, a reference to the squashable soft ball used in the game (compared with the harder ball... Handball player leaps towards the goal prior to throwing the ball, while the goalkeeper extends himself trying to stop it. ... 1952 (MCMLII) was a Leap year starting on Tuesday (link will take you to calendar). ...


The new game experienced rapid growth & take-up through Sobek's continual promotion of the game, but was also aided by the estimated 40,000 existing handball courts across the country in YMCAs and JCCs which could also be used for racquetball. This article is about the association. ... A Jewish Community Center is a general recreational, social and fraternal organization serving the Jewish community in a number of cities. ...


In 1969 with the help of Robert W. Kendler—the president and founder of the U.S. Handball Association (USHA)—the International Racquetball Association (IRA) was founded using a name coined by professional tennis player Bob McInerny. That same year the IRA took over the National championship from the National Paddle Rackets Association. After a dispute with the board of directors of the IRA in 1973, Kendler went on to form two other racquetball organizations but the IRA has continued to be the dominant organizing force within the sport, recognized by the United States Olympic Committee as the U.S. national governing body for the sport. It organized the first professional tournament in 1974 and is a founding member of the International Racquetball Federation. The IRA eventually became the American Amateur Racquetball Association (AARA) and then changed again in the later 1990s to the United States Racquetball Association (USRA). The USRA in 2003 then switched again to mirror other Olympic sports by changing its name to USA Racquetball (USAR). For the Stargate SG-1 episode, see 1969 (Stargate SG-1). ... For USOC in telephony, see Universal Service Ordering Code. ...


Kendler used his publication ACE to promote both handball and racquetball. Starting in the 1970s and aided by the fitness boom, the popularity of the sport surged with an estimated 3.1 million players in 1974. With the increased demand racquetball clubs and courts were founded and sporting goods manufacturers began to produce equipment specific to the sport. This period of growth continued into the early 1980s but declined in the latter part of the decade as fitness clubs converted court space to serve a wider clientele with aerobics classes and newer fitness machines. Since that time the number of players has remained steady with an estimated 5.6 million players. The 1970s decade refers to the years from 1970 to 1979. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


Currently the International Racquetball Tournament (IRT), Legends Tour, and Women's Professional Racquetball Organization (WPRO) handle the professional aspects of the game. The game is televised a few times per year, with the biggest televised event being the US Open championships, held in Memphis, TN. In 2005, another Grand Slam event was added to the roster: Pro Nationals. This event has to date been held in Chicago, Illinois and Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Nickname: Motto: Urbs In Horto (Latin: City in a Garden), I Will Location in the Chicago metro area and Illinois Coordinates: , Country United States State Illinois County Cook & DuPage Settled 1770s Incorporated March 4, 1837 Government  - Mayor Richard M. Daley (D) Area  - City  234. ... Official language(s) English[1] Capital Springfield Largest city Chicago Largest metro area Chicago Area  Ranked 25th  - Total 57,918 sq mi (149,998 km²)  - Width 210 miles (340 km)  - Length 390 miles (629 km)  - % water 4. ... Official language(s) None Capital Dover Largest city Wilmington Area  Ranked 49th  - Total 2,491 sq mi (6,452 km²)  - Width 30 miles (48 km)  - Length 100 miles (161 km)  - % water 21. ...


Equipment

The following equipment is required to play the game of racquetball:

  • A racquetball court; fully enclosed or outdoor with forward wall
  • A racquetball; a bouncy rubber ball 2.25 inches (57 mm) in diameter
  • Two racquetball racquets; no longer than 22 inches
  • Racquetball goggles

Other equipment which is beneficial, but not required, include a racquetball glove which gives the user a firmer grip on the racket as well as provide some padding over the knuckles used as protection from impact with the floor, wall or other players. Special racquetball shoes can be used as well which provide better traction on the hardwood floor. Sweatbands can be helpful due to the extreme intensity of the sport which causes extreme perspiration.—


Rules

The Court Dimensions

A standard racquetball court is rectangular and is 40 feet long, 20 feet wide and 20 feet high. The court is marked by several red lines to define service and reception areas. The short line is a solid red line running the width of the court and is parallel to the front and back walls and is twenty feet from the back wall. The service line is parallel to the short line and is five feet closer to the front wall. Within the area created by these two lines (service zone), there are two sets of lines perpendicular to the short and service lines. The first set of lines are 18 inches from and parallel with the side walls. Along with the short line, service line and side wall these lines define the doubles box where the non-serving partner in doubles must stand during the serve. 36 inches from the side wall is another set of lines which, along with the short line and the service line, define an area that the server must not enter if he wishes to hit a drive serve between himself and the nearest side wall. The receiving line is a dashed line five feet parallel behind the short line [1]. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 323 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (480 × 891 pixel, file size: 28 KB, MIME type: image/gif) I, the creator of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 323 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (480 × 891 pixel, file size: 28 KB, MIME type: image/gif) I, the creator of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. ... In geometry, a rectangle is a defined as a quadrilateral polygon in which all four angles are right angles. ...


To serve, the player must bounce the ball on the floor once and then hit it directly to the front wall—making the ball rebound beyond the short line and touch the floor either with or without touching one side wall; otherwise it is a fault [2]. Once the ball bounces behind the short line, or passes the receiving line, the ball is considered 'in play' and can be returned by the opposing player(s). Also, according to USA Racquetball, the server must wait until the ball passes the short line before stepping out of the service zone, otherwise it is a fault serve. The server is allowed two attempts at serving if a fault serve is committed. There are also many different methods to determine who receives first serve. Some people decide by which player serves closest to back red line or closest to back wall.


Other fault serves include a three wall serve in which the ball touches both side walls before touching the floor, a ceiling serve in which the ball touches the ceiling on the serve, a long serve in which the ball hits the back wall before hitting the floor, and serving before the receiver is ready. There are also service violations that result in an out. These include two consecutive fault serves, a missed serve attempt or a fake serve attempt, a non front wall serve in which the ball does not strike the front wall before hitting any other part of the court, a crotch serve in which the ball hits the corner of the front wall and side wall or the corner of the front wall and floor, and an out of court serve in which the ball goes out of the court after hitting the front wall.


The server must stand within the service zone during the serve, and the service receiver must stand behind the receiving line when the serve is being made and until the ball bounces on the floor or crosses the receiving line. After the serve is hit by the service receiver, there are no restrictions on where players must stand. The player who won the last point or rally makes the next service.


After a successful serve players alternate hitting the ball against the front wall. The player returning the hit may allow the ball to bounce once on the floor or hit the ball on the fly. However, once the player returning the shot has hit the ball, either before bouncing on the floor or after one bounce, it must strike the front wall before it hits the floor. Unlike the serve, a ball in play may touch as many walls, including the ceiling, as necessary as long as it reaches the front wall without bouncing on the floor.


Points are scored only by the server, or in the case of a doubles match, the server's team, when the served ball is not returned by an opposing player, or for some of the following rules below. Professional players play best of 5 eleven-point games, requiring a two-point margin of victory. Amateur players play 2 fifteen-point games, with an eleven-point tiebreaker if necessary. It is not necessary to win by two points in amateur racquetball.


During play, the following result in the loss of rally by a player [3]

  1. The ball bounces on the floor more than once before being hit.
  2. The ball does not reach the front wall on the fly.
  3. The ball is hit such that it goes into the gallery or wall opening or else hits a surface above the normal playing area of the court that has been declared as out-of-play [See Rule 2.1(a)]. [4]
  4. A ball that obviously does not have the speed or direction to hit the front wall strikes another player.
  5. A ball struck by a player hits that player or that player's partner.
  6. Committing a penalty hinder. See Rule 3.15. [5]
  7. Switching hands during a rally.
  8. Failure to use a racquet wrist safety cord.
  9. Touching the ball with the body or uniform.
  10. Carrying or slinging the ball with the racquet.

Shots of the Game

Service

Serve style varies drastically from player to player. Generally, they are divided into two types: offensive and defensive. Most players use an offensive serve for the first serve, and a defensive serve if they need to hit a second serve. Of the offensive serves, the most common is the drive. The intention with this serve is for the ball to travel low and fast towards either back corner, and to bounce twice before striking either side wall or the back wall. If the opponent is adjusting to the drive serve, the server will throw in any variety of jam serves.


A jam serve is an offensive serve which attempts to catch the opponent off balance by making use of difficult angles and unfrequented play space. The most common jam serve is the Z-serve, which strikes the front wall close to a side wall. The ball bounces quickly off the side wall, then strikes the floor and then the opposite side wall about 30-35 feet back. Depending upon the spin the server gives the Z-serve, the resulting carom may prove unpredictable and difficult to return. Side spin may cause the ball to bounce parallel to the back wall.


A pinch serve is similar to a drive serve, however, the ball strikes a side wall very low and close to the serving box. With the appropriate spin, the ball has little bounce, and is difficult to return. It is possible that a successful serve would strike the sidewall before the service line, and land on the floor after the service line.


If the player faults on the first serve, they will usually hit a defensive serve. Defensive serves do not usually garner aces, but they are designed to generate a weak return by the opponent, thereby setting up the server to win the point. Most defensive serves are any variety of lob serves. A plain lob serve is a ball hit with a long, high arch into either back corner. The goal is to hit the ball so that it lands as close as possible to the back wall, giving the opponent very little room to hit a solid return. A junk lob takes a shallower arch, and lands close to the side wall somewhere between the dotted line and the back wall. This lob is intended to deceive the opponent into thinking he has an easy kill. However, since the ball is in the deep zone, it will more likely set up the server for an offensive shot.


Offensive shots

Straight-in shots are usually meant to hit the front wall as low as possible. If the ball contacts the front wall so low as to bounce twice before it reaches the service line it is called a "kill" shot. Straight-in shots are normally attempted with the idea of hitting toward the area of the court the opponent cannot cover. Straight-in shots hit where the opponent can't return them are called down-the-line and cross court passing shots.


Pinches and splats are shots that strike the side wall before the front wall. This often makes the ball bounce twice quickly to end the rally. Pinches normally strike the side wall towards the front part of the court, often within a few inches from the front wall. The "splat" shot is an elongated pinch that strikes the side wall towards the back part of the court. It often makes a distinctive splatting sound. Pinches are classified as frontside or reverse. A right-handed player shooting a forehand shot to the right front corner is shooting a frontside pinch. A right-handed player shooting to the left front corner is a reverse pinch. A right-handed player shoots a backhand frontside pinch to the left corner and a reverse pinch to the right corner. Everything for a left-handed player would be the opposite. The dink is another very effective offensive shot designed to end the point. It is a shot very low to the front wall hit very softly so as to bounce twice before the opponent can get to it. The dink is most effective when the opponent is positioned deep in the court. Another shot is the "Z" shot. This shot is effective at confusing and tiring out your opponent. To hit a "Z" shot one hits the side wall hard and up high causing the ball to hit the front then the other side wall then back to the original side wall. If done correctly, the path of the ball will be Z shaped. This shot can have confusing bounces which can frustrate opponents. A person who is right-handed is more dextrous with their right hand than with their left hand: they will write with their right hand, and probably also use this hand for tasks such as personal care, cooking, and so on. ...


Defensive shots

The ceiling ball shot is the primary defensive shot. This is a shot that strikes the ceiling and then the front wall to bounce high and make the opponent shoot from deep in the court. Other defensive shots are the high Z and the round-the-world. The high Z is shot ten feet high or higher into the front corner. The ball then bounces from the side wall all the way to the opposite side wall, usually traveling over the top of the opponent, hitting the opposite side wall and dying deep in the court. The round-the-world shot is hit high into the side wall first so the ball then hits the front wall and then the other side wall, effectively circling the court.


Racketball

A similar game, known as racketball, was adapted from racquetball by Ian D. W. Wright in the United Kingdom in 1976. It is played on a squash court (32 feet long and 21 feet wide) and is played with a smaller and less bouncy ball. In racketball, the ceiling is considered out of bounds. The ball is bounced on the floor before striking the serve. Scoring is similar to squash, but with point-a rally scoring up to 15 points. The British Racketball Association was formed on 13 February 1984 and was confirmed as the sport's governing body by the English Sports Council on 30 October 1984. The first National Racketball Championships were held in London on 1 December 1984. The sport is now played in a number of countries where squash is played, including Australia, Bermuda, France, Germany, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa, and Sweden. It is also now played in some places in North America. The British Racketball Association merged with the English Squash Rackets Association on 1 September 1998. Squash racquet and ball Players in a glass-backed squash court International Squash Singles Court, as specified by the World Squash Federation // Squash is an indoor racquet sport which was formerly called Squash rackets, a reference to the squashable soft ball used in the game (compared with the harder ball... Squash racquet and ball Players in a glass-backed squash court International Squash Singles Court, as specified by the World Squash Federation Squash is an indoor racquet sport that was formerly called Squash racquets, a reference to the squashable soft ball used in the game (compared with the harder ball... is the 44th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1984 (MCMLXXXIV) was a leap year starting on Sunday (link displays the 1984 Gregorian calendar). ... Sport England logo Sport England (formerly the English Sports Council) is the body responsible for distributing funds and providing strategic guidance for sporting activity in England. ... October 30 is the 303rd day of the year (304th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 62 days remaining. ... Year 1984 (MCMLXXXIV) was a leap year starting on Sunday (link displays the 1984 Gregorian calendar). ... This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ... is the 335th day of the year (336th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1984 (MCMLXXXIV) was a leap year starting on Sunday (link displays the 1984 Gregorian calendar). ... North America North America is a continent [1] in the Earths northern hemisphere and (chiefly) western hemisphere. ... September 1 is the 244th day of the year (245th in leap years). ... Year 1998 (MCMXCVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1998 Gregorian calendar). ...


External links

  • Racquetball Forums, Fantasy Racquetball, Player and Indoor and Outdoor Court Listings
  • Racquetball Directory
  • Official rules (usracquetball.com)
  • USA Racquetball
  • Mexican Racquetball Federation: History, Rules, Tournaments, Rankings
  • History
  • British Racketball Association
  • Origins of racketball (UK)
  • Racquetball Instruction

See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
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Racquetball - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2188 words)
Racquetball is a sport played with racquets and a hollow rubber ball on an indoor or outdoor court.
After a dispute with the board of directors of the IRA in 1973, Kendler went on to form two other racquetball organizations but the IRA has continued to be the dominant organizing force within the sport, recognized by the US Olympic Committee as the U.S. national governing body for the sport.
A standard racquetball court is rectangular and is 40 feet long, 20 feet wide and 20 feet high.
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