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Types of Games

Basically in Racquetball there are three types of games you can play. One involves 2 people and is called "singles", another is with 4 people aka "doubles", the third is not sanctioned for tournament play but it involves 3 people and is called "Cut-throat". I will go through a brief statement about the rules of each game.


This game is played with only 2 people. Normally to decide who starts the game the two players will either flip a coin, or use a method called "long ball" in which both players line up against the back wall. Using only your racquet you can space yourself that much away from the wall. The players then each take a racquetball and try to hit the lowest possible point on the front wall without hitting the ground. Lowest ball starts.. simple enough. Whoever wins the right to serve will then stand between the 2 lines near the center of the court. The serve must first bounce off of the ground then be hit with the racquet. The goal is ussually to keep it low and near the side wall to make it harder to hit, although there are some different serve variations that do not follow this pattern. See all serves in our racquetball serves section. After the ball bounces off of the front wall, in order for the serve to count it must past the 2nd line in which the server is standing before it bounces. It is then the job of the recieving player to hit the ball back against the front wall without letting it bounce more than one before it is hit. Basically the game continues back and forth like this, if the server wins the rally they get a point. You can only score when you are serving. If the reciever wins it is then their turn to serve. A normal game is played to 15.


Doubles follow the same basic rules, with a few execptions. When serving in doubles, the team must decide who will serve first and stick with this rotation throughout the entire game. While one player is serving the other must stand in either one of the small boxes inside the service zone with their back against the wall. After a successful serve the returning team must hit the ball just like in singles, there is no rules about who has to hit the ball, players do not need to rotate returns. The team that serves first only gets one handout (losing the rally). After the first serve is over, every other serve throughout the game is then rotated. Once the first player goes out, then the second player gets to serve until they go out. The game is played to 15 points.

Cut Throat

This game is played with three players. All three can play "long ball" to decide the serving order. Once that is decided the server serves as they normally would. The two recievers however act as a doubles team while they are not serving. Once the server goes out, the second server enters the service zone while the previous server takes their spot as a reciever and now is on a team with the other reciever. The rotation continues and each player keeps their own individual score. First person to 15 wins.

For more detailed information and the official rules of the U.S. Racquetball Association click here.



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