Squash Vs. Racquetball – Which Is Harder?

There are many similarities between squash and racquetball, but quite a few differences, too, such as the size of the racquet, the ball, and the court the games are played on. If you’re thinking about taking up one game or the other, the question is, which of the two is harder?  

Squash is the harder game to master and play well. One is playing with a smaller racquet, hitting a smaller ball, and the court has more limitations regarding where the ball may be played. As a result, more skill is required to play squash than to play racquetball.  

Squash dates back to the 1860s, so it is much older than racquetball, which was introduced in 1950. Before squash players begin to feel superior, let’s point out that the game evolved from one played in prisons in the 18th century. Racquetball, on the other hand, was invented by an American handball player, Joseph Sobek, who introduced a stringed racquet as a variation of handball.

Squash Vs. Racquetball – What Makes Squash Harder?

If we accept that squash is the more challenging game, we need to back that up by looking at the differences between squash and racquetball and why they affect the difficulty levels of each game.

The Racquets Are Different

Squash racquets can be a maximum of 27 inches long. While they had round heads similar to tennis racquets until the 1980s, they now have a tapered head with high-tensioned strings. Racquetball racquets are shorter at 22 inches and wider, with a tear-shaped head. While squash racquets can weigh between 110 and 190 grams, a racquetball racquet must be between 150 and 180 grams.

The Balls Are Very Different

While the racquets are quite similar in terms of material and shape, the balls used are very different. Racquet balls are much larger at 6cm in diameter compared to a squash ball’s 4cm. The squash ball is denser and bounces less than the racquetball ball. The racquetball ball is quicker, bounces more, and is easier to play, as the squash ball tends to “die” after coming off a wall.    

A Racquetball Court Is Larger Than A Squash Court

The dimensions of a racquetball court are different from a squash court (40 feet x 20 feet x 20 feet for racquetball and 32 feet x 21 feet x 18.5 feet for squash.)

But that’s not where the differences end – a squash court has lines on the front and side walls below which the ball must land, and a tin strip on the front wall which the ball must land above. You also can’t bounce the ball off the ceiling in squash, whereas you can in racquetball. So, playing the ball correctly in order to win the point is a lot harder in squash than in racquetball.

The Rules Are More Complicated In Squash

There are a few more things in squash that you’re not allowed to do, so let’s check out the basic rules of each game.

In squash, the aim is to score eleven points before your opponent to win the game. The match winner is the first player who wins three games. The server serves with at least one foot in the service box by hitting the ball from his hand so that it bounces off the front wall above the service line and back into the box on the opposite side of the court. The opponent then has to return the ball before it bounces twice, and so that it remains within the side and front lines and above the tin strip. The first person to let the ball bounce twice, hit the ball outside of the lines, or fail to return it, loses the point and the other player then serves.

In racquetball, each player must reach fifteen points to win the game and must win two games to win the match. Each player must hit the ball before it bounces twice so that it hits the front wall before bouncing back for the opponent to play. There are no lines on the front or side walls to limit play, and the ceiling can also be used. 

A rule common to both games is that a player must give the other player full access to the ball so that he is best able to return it. Deliberate obstruction (adjudged by the umpire) will result in the offending player losing the right to serve. An accidental obstruction will result in a let, with the point being replayed.

Squash Vs. Racquetball -Which Is The Most Strenuous?

It has been shown that a racquetball ball moves quicker than a squash ball – up to 160 mph compared to 100mph. However, despite the fact that it’s faster, its flight is more predictable. As a result, squash players expend more energy, and have to move around the court more than racquetball players.

In 30 minutes, a squash player can expend as much as 550 calories, whereas the in the same period, a racquetball player only burns about 330 calories. These figures are for experienced male players of average weight. They are lower for women and also for beginners with low skill levels. The comparisons, though, still apply.

What Is The Most Popular Game – Squash Or Racquetball?

Around the world, about 20 million people play squash on a regular basis, whereas the figure for racquetball is under 6 million. Part of the reason is that most sports clubs will have full squash facilities, whereas racquetball courts are far less prevalent.

Squash is more popular among young, energetic players because it’s a fantastic way to exercise, burn calories, and stay fit. Racquetball is kinder to the older player who might not have the same energy levels but enjoys a competitive racquet sport. (Racquetball players who compete with the high-speed purple ball may disagree strongly with that assessment!)  


Both squash and racquetball are excellent sports to get low-impact aerobic exercise, improve hand-eye coordination, and burn calories. Because they are played mostly indoors, they can be enjoyed all year round, unlike tennis. But be warned – squash is harder than racquetball in every respect.  


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