Squash is an intense, quick sport, usually played with two players on a squash court. The most common variant of squash is called softball, or the “international” version of the game. However, other variants have also become quite popular.
Squash can be played as the British version, otherwise known as the international version, or as the American version. The British version uses a softball, and the American version uses a hardball. Squash can also be played as a singles (2 players) game or a doubles game (4 players in 2 teams).
There are interesting variants of squash known as the Egyptian ¾ version or the Above the Line version. These variants have different rules with different goals. Another interesting aspect of squash is that there are different player styles, including the standard playing style and the runners.
The Different Variants Of Squash Games
Squash can be played as a single or a doubles game. Furthermore, there are two main variants of the game: the “British” version, also known as the international one, and the “American” version.
Single Squash Game
In this game, the typical rules of squash apply. In a singles game, there are only players playing against each other. Players take turns hitting the ball with their racket, trying to get the other player to miss. The player that reaches the best of 3 or 5 games is the winner of the match.
The player that gets to 9 or 15 points first wins the game. In a singles game, there can also be handicapped matches. These matches allow for stronger players to be more challenged or weaker players to get a chance to win.
Another variant within a singles game is a round-robin style match. A round-robin style match is a version where one player gets the chance to play several different players one after the other.
Doubles Squash Game
The rules are similar to a singles game. In a doubles game, there are a total of 4 people playing, making up two opposing teams. This can be quite an entertaining version of the standard singles game, where the tactical aspect is probably a little more challenging. For instance, players will have to work together and strategize to beat their opposing team.
In a doubles game, players must take turns to take their respective shots and can’t just cut over to the other side of the court every time. An exciting version of a doubles game is called “Killer” where only one player plays against the other team (2 players).
British Or International Version
This version of squash is the most well-known one, recognized by the type of ball used in the game – a softball. As the name suggests, the ball is softer and slower. This makes it possible for the ball to stay in play for longer, and at the same time, the court is wide and tall.
This combination of a large court and a slower ball makes this version a physically intense and challenging game of squash. Players need to be of a specific fitness and skill level to play correctly.
This squash version uses a different type of ball, called a hardball. It is more popular to play this variant in America, where the ball is harder and faster, used in a narrower court than in the British version.
With this version, other types of skills can be beneficial. Players need to have quick reactions due to a faster ball. Creativity in the shots is also more significant in this version of squash.
Above The Line Variant
Above The Line is a variant of squash where all the shots must be above the service line on the front wall. All the shots are hit front above the service line. This is the main rule of the game, and the shots must be short of the midcourt line.
The exception to this is if they bounce in the service box. Then the shots don’t necessarily have to be short of the midcourt line. The goal of this variation is that the game opens more crosscourt angles and deeper rails.
Egyptian ¾ Variant
Another fun variant of squash is the Egyptian ¾ version, where one-quarter of the whole court is out of play. So, players can only play in the front three quarters. This type of version can be pretty tiring for players as it is fast paced; however, rallies are shorter.
It may have started as a drill, but now it is more of a game variant. In this version, players must be aggressive in their movements and shots. Because of the nature of this version, shots will most likely be lower down on the front wall and closer to the tin than the service line.
Different Squash Playing Styles
Standard or traditional players focus on accuracy and precise shots throughout the game. This playing style aims to hit longer shots and be quite patient and deliberate with their shots.
Power hitters are those players that can put their weight behind the ball and have powerful shots. An advantage of this type of playing is that the pace can through the opponent off as they have to plan and move quickly to get to their shot.
However, with these solid shots and fast pace, the player can get tired quite quickly, which may be a disadvantage as the game progresses. Shot-Makers are another type of squash player style where more risks may be played, but if successfully executed usually end with success.
In this playing style, points can add up quickly but not if the shots being played are becoming too risky.
Another standard squash playing style is runners. These players are very fit and run around on the court most of the time. The added endurance is a bonus if your opponent is not a runner type of player, as they will eventually get worn out. Accuracy and precision may not be the focus here as shots will be looser.
The main squash variants include the British or international version and the American version. The difference includes the type of ball used. You can also play squash with only two players (singles) or four players making up two teams (doubles).