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Court and Equipment

Rule 1.1 TYPES OF GAMES
Racquetball is played by two or four players. When played by two, it is called singles and when played by four, doubles. A non-tournament variation of the game that is played by three players is called cut-throat.

Rule 1.2 DESCRIPTION
Racquetball is a competitive game in which a strung racquet is used to serve and return the ball.

Rule 1.3 OBJECTIVE
The objective is to win each rally by serving or returning the ball so the opponent is unable to keep the ball in play. A rally is over when a player (or team in doubles) is unable to hit the ball before it touches the floor twice, is unable to return the ball in such a manner that it touches the front wall before it touches the floor, or when a hinder is called.

Rule 1.4 POINTS AND OUTS
Points are scored only by the serving side when it serves an irretrievable serve (an ace) or wins a rally. Losing the serve is called a sideout in singles. In doubles, when the first server loses the serve it is called a handout and when the second server loses the serve it is a sideout.

Rule 1.5 MATCH, GAME, TIEBREAKER
A match is won by the first side winning two games. The first two games of a match are played to 15 points. If each side wins one game, a tiebreaker game is played to 11 points.


2.0 -- COURTS AND EQUIPMENT
2.1  Court Specifications
2.2  Ball Specifications
2.3  Ball Selection
2.4  Racquet Specifications
2.5  Apparel
 

Rule 2.1 COURT SPECIFICATIONS
The specifications for the standard four-wall racquetball court follow.

  • (a) Dimensions. The dimensions shall be 20 feet wide, 40 feet long and 20 feet high, with a back wall at least 12 feet high. All surfaces shall be in play, with the exception of any gallery opening, surfaces designated as out-of-play for a valid reason (such as being of a very different material or not in alignment with the backwall), and designated court hinders.
  • (b) Markings. Racquetball courts shall be marked with lines 1 1/2 inches wide as follows:
    • 1. Short Line. The back edge of the short line is midway between, and is parallel with, the front and back walls.
    • 2. Service Line. The front edge of the service line is parallel with, and five feet in front of, the back edge of the short line.
    • 3. Service Zone. The service zone is the 5' x 20' area bounded by the bottom edges of the side walls and by the outer edges of the short line and the service line.
    • 4. Service Boxes. The service boxes, used in doubles play, are located at each end of the service zone and are designated by lines parallel with the side walls [see 4.2(b)]. The edge of the line nearest to the center of the court shall be 18 inches from the nearest side wall.
    • 5. Drive Serve Lines. The drive serve lines, which form the drive serve zone, are parallel with the side wall and are within the service zone. The edge of the line nearest to the center of the court shall be three feet from the nearest side wall.
    • 6. Receiving Line. The receiving line is a broken line parallel to the short line. The back edge of the receiving line is five feet from the back edge of the short line. The receiving line begins with a line 21 inches long that extends from each side wall. These lines are connected by an alternate series of six-inch spaces and six-inch lines. This will result in a line composed of 17 six-inch spaces, 16 six-inch lines, and two 21-inch lines.
    • 7. Safety Zone. The safety zone is the 5' x 20' area bounded by the bottom edges of the side walls and by the back edges of the short line and the receiving line. The zone is observed only during the serve.

Rule 2.2 BALL SPECIFICATIONS

  • (a) The standard racquetball shall be 2 1/4 inches in diameter; weigh approximately 1.4 ounces; have a hardness of 55-60 inches durometer; and bounce 68-72 inches from a 100-inch drop at a temperature of 70-74 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • (b) Only a ball having the endorsement or approval of the USRA may be used in a USRA sanctioned tournament.

Rule 2.3 BALL SELECTION

  • (a) A ball shall be selected by the referee for use in each match. During the match the referee may, based on personal discretion or at the request of a player or team, replace the ball. Balls that are not round or which bounce erratically shall not be used.
  • (b) If possible, the referee and players should agree to an alternate ball, so that in the event of breakage, the second ball can be put into play immediately.

Rule 2.4 RACQUET SPECIFICATIONS

  • (a) The racquet, including bumper guard and all solid parts of the handle, may not exceed 22 inches in length.
  • (b) The racquet frame may be any material judged to be safe.
  • (c) The racquet frame must include a cord that must be securely attached to the player's wrist.
  • (d) The string of the racquet must be gut, monofilament, nylon, graphite, plastic, metal, or a combination thereof, and must not mark or deface the ball.
  • (e) Using an illegal racquet will result in forfeiture of the game in progress or, if discovered between games, forfeiture of the preceding game.

Rule 2.5 APPAREL

  • (a) All players must wear lensed eyewear that has been warranted by its manufacturer or distributor as 1.) designed for use in racquetball and 2.) meeting or exceeding either the full ASTM F803 standard or Canadian (CSA) impact standard. This rule applies to all persons, including those who wear corrective lenses. The eyewear must be unaltered and worn as designed at all times. A player who fails to wear proper eyewear will be assessed a technical foul and a timeout to obtain proper eyewear. A second infraction in the same match will result in immediate forfeiture of the match.
  •  
    • Certifications & Compliance. The USRA maintains a reference list of eyewear so warranted by their manufacturers, and provides that list to each sanctioned event (an eyewear list dated more than 90 days prior to the first day of the tournament will be deemed invalid for the purpose of determining compliance with this eyewear rule). In addition, the list is available online at the USRA.org website  and individual copies may be requested by calling the USRA National Office at 719/635-5396.
    • To be used in sanctioned competition, protective eyewear must:
      — bear a permanent, physical stamp of the appropriate "ASTM-F803" citation on the frame itself, OR
      — appear on the ASTM reference listing, OR
      — bear the "Protective Eyewear Certification Council" [PECC] seal of approval for the ASTM standard, OR
      — be certified in writing by the maker that it complies with the required ASTM standard (in this instance, the player must be able to provide written, adequate proof - on demand - at any sanctioned event, before such eyewear may be used).
  • (b) Clothing and Shoes. The clothing may be of any color; however, a player may be required to change wet, extremely loose fitting, or otherwise distracting garments. Insignias and writing on the clothing must be considered to be in good taste by the tournament director. Shoes must have soles which do not mark or damage the floor.
  • (c) Equipment Requirements During Warm-up. Proper eyeguards [See Rule 2.5(a)] must be worn and wrist cords must be used during any on-court warm-up period. The referee should give a technical warning to any person who fails to comply and assess a technical foul if that player continues to not comply after receiving such a warning.