When it comes to blocking or other tactics in playing Squash there is a level of gamesmanship that every junior Squash player must know from day one.
Obviously, the wording of the rules on how to play is clear; but beyond the rules, when you a junior play is on the court; gamesmanship is important as the way play on the court determines how you are perceived as a Squash player.
Dress appropriately to play
Remember that no matter how hot or cold it is, you mustn’t wear anything like gloves that could unfairly inhibit your opponent’s grip on their racquet.
Similarly, if it’s hot outside and you want to wear something light-weight and breathable (like a t-shirt), make sure that your shirt doesn’t have a thumb hole in the sleeve so as not to give an unfair advantage over your opponent.
Before you play
As a sign of respect between you and your opponent; you should inform your opponent before starting whether you would like to play a long game or short game so that they can prepare for this accordingly (e.g., taking breaks).
If you are not ready to play, then your opponent should be awarded a point. The spirit behind this rule is that it makes the game more enjoyable for everyone, including yourself. It also helps make squash more competitive and fair than without such a rule in place.
Get ready for rallying
Be prepared to start every rally within 30 seconds of the previous rally finishing.
Your opponent is going to be ready and waiting for you, so you must be ready too. The ball will be thrown up, and then you need to get into position as fast as possible.
Don’t waste time standing around or doing anything else—just run in and get into your stance. Don’t stand around looking at the umpire, especially if he’s not paying attention! You’re just wasting valuable seconds that could be spent actually playing squash!
This is why it’s so important to start every rally within 30 seconds of the previous rally finishing.
Your opponent may try using long rallies as a way of wasting time or trying to get you to commit a fault (for example, by hitting them very hard). If this happens then don’t panic; just keep focusing on what you’re doing and stay calm until it’s time for another rally
Don’t prolong long rallies that are clearly lost causes.
If you are losing a rally, it is generally considered good sportsmanship to shorten that rally by allowing the ball to be returned more easily. This can help prevent your opponent from gaining momentum and momentum is something that can make all the difference in winning a match.
As an important rule of gamesmanship, if you are winning a rally and your opponent seems to be struggling with his or her shots, then it would also be considerate of you not to prolong this situation by keeping your opponent on the defensive.
Always finish a rally by hitting the ball with your racquet, not by walking into it or letting it bounce off you.
As you work through a Squash training program, you’ll learn how to use the racquet to hit the ball in various ways. You’ll also learn how to play defensively. But remember that it’s important to always finish a rally by hitting the ball with your racquet, not by walking into it or letting it bounce off you.
Remember, don’t walk into the ball.
Don’t let the ball bounce off you after hitting it back at your opponent. Hit when appropriate so that neither of these things happens!
Always Return to the T
At the end of every game, return to the T and start preparing for the next game within 30 seconds of the previous game ending.
This will ensure that you are not wasting time and that your opponent does not have an opportunity to hang around at the back of the court, waiting for you to take too long so they can play their next shot.
If you need more than 30 seconds of rest after every game, let your opponent know before starting. However, if your opponent is taking too long to make a decision or serve, they must not start the next rally unless they have told you that they are ready.
You should then wait until your opponent has made their selection and started the rally before returning to court. If a player takes longer than five minutes during a changeover (between games), play will be interrupted until he/she returns within this time limit.
After each 4-minute period (2 points) in a match, players may change their racket strings if desired.
A maximum of three free swings may be taken on either side of the table by one player immediately after making a serve or receiving a serve from his/her opponent during an official match set at World or Continental level competitions; however, these must not be used as part of any warm-up routine before play commences again after these swings have been taken.
Always use up any extra time you allow them hanging around at the back of the court after each game.
Don’t take too long. The match should be played as quickly as possible, with no unnecessary time-wasting.
Play to win, but respect your opponent
You’ll need to allow yourself enough time to get your defensive shots in and block your opponent’s shots in court. If you’re not confident about your ability to return the ball after it bounces twice, then move back into position for an overhead shot instead of trying a defensive or attacking shot from further back on the court.
Avoid going over the 30-second mark between games – this will help keep both players focused and alert throughout the whole match!
As a squash player, you must be considerate of your opponent’s behaviour on the court.
Note, that a squash ball travels at high speeds and its nature is to bounce off the walls of the court.
It is therefore important to avoid playing long games during tournaments or when you are playing with new players. You can also play short points by hitting the ball back and forth over the net instead of trying to hit it as hard as possible each time.