Originated in the United States, racquetball is a fast-paced game played worldwide that has unique playing techniques, court structure, and standardized equipment. It makes use of specially designed racquets and a hollow rubber ball intending to win a point by hitting the serve before a double bounce in specific areas. It started gaining attention during the eighties and became popular among recreational clubs formed to socialize and have healthy, easy, and fun workouts with this game. Racquetball is an easy-to-learn sport played indoors or outdoors with two to four players.
Racquetball is an inexpensive sport with lightweight equipment. The essential kits include racquets, a ball, shoes, eyewear for protection, and gloves. All these are designed keeping in mind the needs of the sport. Understanding the court dimensions is the first step to begin getting to know this sport and learning the technique which has been covered in this guide. If you are new to it, there might be doubts regarding the court terminologies, layout, size for outdoor and indoor courts, and surfaces. We have tried to cover all these in this guide to help the readers understand things clearly. So, keep reading till the end and clear your doubts concerning racquetball court dimensions.
What is a racquetball court?
The Racquetball court is a three to four-sided area including front, back, and side walls. The floor area is divided into three different regions, and points are given to the players based on instructions provided following the markings and ball hits. It is similar to squash and handball courts, as most of the game is played in the receiving area. It has markings only on the floor, unlike squash, which also has markings on the front wall. The court can either be located indoors with a ceiling or outdoors without one or two walls.
Parts of the indoor court
The indoor racquetball court is enclosed with floor walls, a floor, and a ceiling. The standard size of the indoor court is 40 feet in length, 20 feet in width, and height. It consists of a floor of 40 feet in length and a width of 20 feet. The base is made up of quality wood that is leveled adequately for the ball to bounce in the same manner after hitting any point on the floor. It can also have rubber pads or a sleeper subfloor.
There are four walls used in the indoor racquetball court, including the front and back walls and two side walls. The height and width of the front and back walls are the same, 20 feet each, while the side walls are 20 feet in height and 40 feet in width. Walls can be prepared using wood or glass as well. The wooden walls are made of laminate panels attached to a metal frame. Generally, there is one wall in an indoor court made up of glass, but even every wall except the front wall can be glass based.
The court’s door is positioned in the middle of the back wall and is made using the same material as the wall. It is generally 7 feet high and 3 feet and 6 inches wide and opens up inwards into the court. A mechanism is used to prevent the door from hitting the back wall and opening up during the game.
Parts of the outdoor court
Unlike indoor courts, outdoor ones do not have a back wall and ceiling. The court size is also not specified for outdoor games. It consists of a floor made up of wood or concrete blocks. Concrete floors are most preferred to prevent damage from environmental elements like rain, heat, hailstorms, etc., as they are stronger than wood and thus last longer without getting damaged.
The walls of the outdoor court are also made up of concrete, having rebar, concrete, and a mixture of cement and sand. There are classifications based on the number of walls used. If the court has only a front wall, it can be made a few feet high, depending on the general comfort level of players. If the court has three walls, these can have the same height and width, or the side walls may vary in shape and can be specified as full walls, angles, half-angles, or steeped sides.
Racquetball court terminologies and markings
For understanding the court dimensions and markings, it is necessary to understand the terms used for the racquetball court. The words that are directly related to markings involve short line, service line, receiving line, safety zone, and service area. Apart from these, a few terms are also used in court, which is discussed here.
- Back court: Back court is the floor area stretching between the short line and the back wall.
- Center court: Center court is the area located behind the five-foot line and halfway between the side walls.
- Service line: This line represents the area that is not allowed to be entered while hitting. It is located in the service area three feet from side walls on both sides.
- Service zone: A rectangular area measuring 5′ × 20′. It is located between the short line, service line, and side walls.
- Five-foot line: It is also known as the receiving line and is a dotted or stripped line parallel to the short line. It is five feet closer to the back wall compared to the short line.
- Front court: The area between the short line and the front wall is called the front court.
- Front wall: It is the main wall of the play, which the ball must hit in every serve. It exists just in front of the service box.
- Midcourt: It is the area of the court existing between the service line and receiving line. It consists of the service box and safety zone.
- Short line: It is a parallel line to the front and back walls that the served ball must cross before the server steps out of the serving zone.
- Drive serves lines: These lines are drawn within the service zone and parallel to side walls with 3 feet length.
- Double service lines: These lines are parallel to side walls within the service area and have 18 inches in length.
These markings are also applicable for double matches. Still, the only difference is that during double games, the non-serving partner stands between side walls and double service lines within the service zone. That area is known as the doubles box.
Racquetball is a fun and easy-to-learn sport that will help burn some calories with a single 20-minute match. It is believed to put many muscles of the body in movement at the same time. It is relatively inexpensive compared to other racquet games. It is a perfect hobby to learn in a short period. Begin with understanding the court’s basic rules and terminologies that have been shared above. Having specialized equipment, including safety gear, is also essential.
In racquetball, game rules are not too complicated, but minor carelessness can lead to faults. To prevent it, it is advisable to clearly understand all the lines marked on the floor and remember their functions. The rules set for the ball to be considered a hit are also essential to be kept in mind. In conclusion, The provided knowledge is crucial if you are a beginner or planning to enter the court. So, take time to read and get the necessary knowledge.