How to Play Racquetball
So you’ve seen some people play this crazy fast game and now you want to learn how to play racquetball yourself? Great. Basically, racquetball is a game in which opponents take turns hitting a ball against a wall in such a way that it makes it difficult for the other person to get to it before the ball bounces on the floor two times.
And that’s all you need to know to play racquetball…
Just kidding, of course. Although that’s the general idea, there are a number of Basic Rules that you absolutely need to understand before you can start playing. Knowing those will allow a couple of complete beginners to get a functional game going.
However, if you are going to start playing pick-up games against opponents who are not complete beginners, you should really get to know some finer points of rules of this game by reading Advanced Racquetball Rules article. Also, if you happen to have 2 or 3 friends who want to play with you, there are variations of the game that allow 3 or 4 people to play at the same time, called Cutthroat and Doubles respectively.
Now that you have a general idea of what this game is all about, you need to find a place to play. Racquetball requires a particular type of court, so you most likely will need to become a member of a nearby gym that has racquetball courts. I’m compiling a directory of all indoor courts around US, which I will make available publicly shortly. But until then, you just need to rely on your Googling skills to find a place nearby.
Next, you need to acquire some special equipment:
- Racquet – a particular racquet with a safety cord that is shaped differently from a tennis racquet.
- Balls – bouncy rubber balls, about 2.25” in diameter, which come in different colors depending on their bounciness.
- Gloves – needed to prevent the racquet from slipping from your hand and to make sure you have a solid grip. If you are right-handed, you only need a glove for your right hand (and likewise for lefties).
- Goggles – absolutely essential for protecting your eyes because you WILL get hit in the face with a very fast-moving ball at some point.
- Shoes – if you only have running shoes, it is very advisable to get a pair of shoes geared specifically toward racquetball (although basketball and volleball shoes work well too).
- Headbands – racquetball is a fast-paced sport and most people get drenched in sweat fairly quickly. A headband keeps the sweat from your eyes and helps your goggles from fogging up.
- Bag – not strictly essential, but once you have several racquets (good to have at least one back up), a case of balls, shoes, gloves, a bunch of goggles, it’s worth it to invest into a quality bag with a specific compartment for your racquets to keep everything organized.
Before you get out there and start playing for real, it’s probably a good idea to grab a court by yourself and get a feel for your new racquet and the bounciness of the ball. You should familiarize yourself with proper Grips and then practice forehand and backhand strokes.
Once you start getting comfortable with that, the next step is to review the different kinds of Serves and Shots you can do and practice all of them. And when you have a decent handle on that, learn about some strategies for returning serves.
At this point, you should be equipped with enough knowledge to get out there and start playing. But you are only at the beginning of a long journey of mastering racquetball. So stop by this blog from time to time, as I will be adding articles on all the different aspects of this wonderful game.