Have you seen many squash players wearing glasses and wondered why? Squash is an intense racket sport many enjoy, yet it isn’t quite as well-known as some other racket sports. As such, there is a lot you probably don’t know about the sport, like why squash players wear glasses.
Squash players wear glasses to protect their eyes from the ball. Since a squash ball is quite firm and travels fast across the court, eye injuries are one of the most common injuries squash players get. Therefore, many choose to wear protective glasses to prevent getting eye injuries.
Not all glasses are equally protective, and not all are approved to wear as safety glasses when playing squash. In addition to understanding why some squash players wear glasses, you may also be interested in knowing which glasses offer the best protection while playing squash.
Why Do Some Squash Players Wear Glasses?
Many squash players wear glasses for eye protection. When playing squash, the ball travels at significant speeds, with some professional players hitting the ball at an astonishing 175 mph. This means that you sometimes miss the ball or don’t see it coming.
The squash ball may hit your body, which it often does. Fortunately, a squash ball isn’t as hard as a hollow rubber ball. While the squash ball may not do too much damage to your body, it can cause significant damage to your eyes.
Getting struck with a squash ball in the eye is painful and may lead to permanent eye damage if the ball hits you on the eyeball. Furthermore, because the rubber expands and contracts, it can form a seal around your eye socket and may pull your eyeball out of its socket if hit at the right angle.
Serious eye injuries like the one described above aren’t too common. Still, since you can sustain permanent eye damage from getting hit in the face with a squash ball, many people prefer to wear glasses while playing. You can’t simply wear any glasses, though. Squash goggles are made from polycarbonate, so they won’t shatter upon impact.
However, you may find it interesting that there aren’t as many people who wear protective glasses while playing squash as you think. For example, one Australian study found that less than 10% of squash players in their sample group wore polycarbonate eyewear to protect their eyes.
Are Glasses Mandatory When Playing Squash?
Considering the significant risk of playing squash without glasses, you may wonder if it is mandatory to do so. Well, you will be surprised to learn that it mostly isn’t. Some clubs require their members to wear protective eyewear, and goggles are mandatory in some tournaments.
For the most part, however, wearing squash glasses is up to you. Many professional players don’t wear squash glasses because they feel they impair their vision and are uncomfortable. The glasses can also fog up, especially during a more intense game, which can hinder your concentration and may cost you points during the match.
Therefore, many professional or regular squash players prefer playing squash without glasses. While this isn’t advised, it is primarily up to each player’s personal preference whether they choose to wear the glasses or not. Unless your club or tournament specifies that it is mandatory, you may choose to play squash without the glasses.
The same isn’t valid for junior players, and most clubs require junior players to always wear protective eyewear. Seeing as the risk of sustaining temporary or permanent eye damage is almost nonexistent by wearing proper squash goggles, there is no reason why people should choose not to wear them.
Try on different squash goggles until you find comfortable ones that give you good visibility. Heat the goggles before playing and wear them between matches to prevent them from fogging up. Not all protective glasses are suitable for squash, so you must know what to look for when shopping for squash goggles.
Which Glasses Are Best For Playing Squash With?
Protective glasses are easy to come by. You can pop into your local hardware store or search online and find ample stock of protective eyewear. But not all protective eyewear is suitable for squash. When choosing glasses for squash, you must consider the following factors:
- The glasses must be made of impact-resistant materials like polycarbonate.
- The glasses must fit securely around the back of your head and over the bridge of your nose. Squash goggles often have an elastic band to fit around your head so they don’t fall off while playing.
- The glasses must cover your entire eye area, with protective material covering the sides of your face, so the ball doesn’t enter from there.
- The glasses shouldn’t restrict your vision in any way when playing. Ensure that you can see clearly and that the glasses aren’t blocking any part of your vision.
If you usually wear prescription glasses, you can have goggles made with your prescription lenses. Or you can wear regular goggles with contacts. Never wear squash goggles over your regular glasses, as this can lead to severe injuries.
Try to find anti-fog goggles or use an appropriate anti-fogging spray to prevent the goggles from fogging up while playing. You can try different styles of squash goggles. Just ensure that they fulfill the criteria above to ensure that they offer sufficient protection against the ball while playing squash.
You can find various squash goggles styles on Amazon. There are also plenty of racket ball goggles suitable for squash, like the HEAD Racket Ball Goggles (available on Amazon below). Wearing goggles for squash may take some getting used to, but it is worth it to protect your eyes.
Do You Need Other Protective Gear When Playing Squash?
There are a couple of other things you need when playing squash. However, the goggles are your only protective gear during this sport. Other equipment needed for a squash game includes:
- A squash racket
- Squash balls
- Squash shoes
A squash racket and balls are the most important things you will need, as you cannot play the game without them. Of course, you also need access to a squash court. Read the court’s rules and guidelines before entering since some courts require their members to wear protective glasses. In contrast, others don’t specify that it is mandatory.
Mandatory or not, we urge squash players, especially beginners, to always wear squash goggles to protect their eyes while playing. When you have all your equipment sorted, you can start playing squash without worrying about getting hit in the face or sustaining eye damage.
Squash players wear glasses to protect their eyes from damage caused by the squash ball. Eye injuries often occur during squash, as the ball travels fast and the courts are smaller. Not all squash players wear protective glasses, but it is recommended that you wear them as they can remove the chance of sustaining eye injuries.