Can You Scoop The Ball In Squash?

Are you wondering if you may scoop the ball in squash? When starting to play squash, you may notice that the ball sometimes stays on your racket for longer than usual. This is known as a scoop/carry. Is it allowed to scoop the ball in squash?

Scooping the ball in squash is against the rules, as you must strike the ball cleanly with the racket when playing squash. Scooping the ball is common among beginners who don’t know how the ball should feel on the racket yet. Scooping also occurs more in the back corner of the court.

While scooping is mostly an honest mistake and one that many new squash players make without realizing it, you should avoid scooping the ball. We’ll discuss what we mean by scooping, when it occurs, and how to avoid scooping the ball in squash.

Is It Acceptable To Scoop The Ball In Squash?

If you aren’t familiar with racket sports, you may have difficulty learning squash and getting used to the feel of the ball and racket. You are likelier to make mistakes when hitting the ball, and the squash ball may often connect with your racket frame while playing.

Another common mistake you may make is to scoop or carry the ball in squash. This is when you hold the ball on your racket longer than usual. It is also known as a dig and refers to using your racket to scoop the squash ball forward instead of hitting it.

Although scooping the ball in squash is usually an honest mistake, it is against the sport’s rules. You should strike the ball cleanly with the stringed part of your racket when playing squash. Scooping or connecting the ball with your racket more than once in a move is illegal when playing squash.

You are, therefore, not allowed to scoop the ball in squash, even when you don’t mean to do it. Some people are more prone to scooping the ball, and there is one situation in which even experienced squash players are sometimes guilty of this. So, when are people more likely to scoop the ball in squash?

Who Is Most Likely To Scoop The Ball In Squash?

While anyone can scoop the ball when playing squash, one group is likelier to do so. There is also one situation during a squash game when people are most likely to result in scooping the ball. Scooping is illegal in both situations and is something you should work on fixing as soon as possible. So, who is most likely to scoop the ball in squash?

Novice Squash Players

As you can imagine, novice squash players aren’t familiar with the game’s rules. Moreover, they don’t know how a squash ball feels when the racket strikes it well and when it doesn’t. For example, a novice squash player may be unable to tell when the strings or frame connects with the ball.

This also means that they are more likely to scoop the ball and less likely to notice when they have. Scooping the ball is against the rules, but it isn’t always obvious when someone does it. You can see when someone scoops the ball by looking at how they hold the racket and observing how long it connects with the ball.

While you are more likely to scoop the ball when you first start playing squash, you should try your best to break this habit and focus on hitting the ball with clean strikes.

Apart from novice players, there is also one situation in which it is more challenging to strike the ball cleanly and where many squash players tend to scoop the ball. What situation is this, you may ask?

People Trying To Get The Ball Out Of The Back Corner

When your opponent hits the squash ball toward the back corner of the squash court, you have limited space to swing your racket and make a solid return. You cannot make a full swing, as the glass and back wall will likely be in your way.

Since you cannot swing the racket to clear the ball, many squash players may scoop it to give it more power to hit the front wall. Again, this is not allowed when playing squash, and you may lose points for doing so. There are other, more effective ways to clear the ball from the back corner without scooping it, which we will discuss later.

What Happens If You Scoop The Ball In Squash?

Since it isn’t always easy to tell when you have scooped the ball in squash, an umpire might not notice it and, therefore, won’t call a fault. However, if you have scooped the ball, the best thing would be to call the fault yourself and then give the ball to your opponent.

There aren’t always umpires when playing squash, especially not when you’re playing for fun. In this case, honesty is extremely important. You will lose a lot of respect if you don’t play squash honestly and purposefully scoop the ball.

If there is an umpire when playing, they will likely call a fault if they see you scooping the ball, and then you will lose a point, giving your opponent the ball and giving them a shot at scoring more points and winning the game.

Fortunately, you can avoid scooping the ball when playing squash by practicing the proper techniques. So, how do you avoid scooping the ball in squash?

How To Avoid Scooping The Ball In Squash

For a novice squash player, focusing on the proper techniques is critical if you want to advance your squash game quickly. This means learning to hold the racket correctly and what moves to play in specific situations. We recommend watching experienced players (either at your club or on YouTube) and seeing how they hold their rackets and hit the ball.

Doing so will allow you to practice the proper techniques from the start and get a clear sense of when you are striking the ball incorrectly or scooping it. If you notice that you scoop the ball often, ask one of the more experienced players to give you some tips for avoiding it.

Next, you must learn how to return a ball from the back corner of the court. This is one of the more difficult returns to make, as you don’t have a lot of space to swing your racket.

However, by gripping your racket more towards the top of the handle and being aware of how far away from the wall you are, you can learn how to return the ball without scooping it.

This video explains how you can return the ball from the back corner without scooping it. As you practice and develop your squash technique, you won’t scoop the ball as much, and you will get comfortable with the feel of the ball on your racket. Then, you can avoid unnecessary faults, like scooping, when playing squash.


Scooping the ball means holding the ball on your racket for longer than usual in squash. This is an illegal move in squash and will cost you points during a match. People often scoop the ball when placed in the back corners of the court, but you can learn other techniques to avoid scooping it.


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