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Squash Vs Tennis: The Main Differences

If you chose to play squash after a lot of time of playing tennis you would realize that there are many rules that might be confusing you in this game shift so you must really and know the details of these confusing points to have a better understanding.

Many rules are précised to squash. For instance, you do not get called for a “stroke” in tennis in the same way, you don’t lose a point on a “double fault” in squash.

So, here is a detailed discussion of twelve different squash rules that might confuse tennis players.

Main Differences Between Squash and Tennis

Choice on serve

Nothing Like a tennis game, squash rules give you the free expression to serve from either the left or the right service box as you feel at ease. So, if your challenger is left-handed, you can pick the service box on the left as per your convenience to serve to his backhand stroke.

In tennis, you do not have that comfort that you can choose according to yourself. Without some tie-break circumstances, you always have to start serving from the level pegging court and this is the rule.

Jump and serve

In a squash game, rules say that you should have at least one foot in the service box when you shot the ball.

Whereas this rule does not apply when you play tennis. Both of your feet can leave the ground at the time you serve. Whilst learners and intermediate players are often taught to keep their feet on the ground and bend their bodies for power, you will see most skilled players jumping, mainly on their first serves.

Striking a serve

As a tennis player, you will be pleased to know the fact that you can hit a squash serve. A good strike counter to a weak serve puts the server on the shielding.

If you ever strike a serve in tennis, the point will go to the opponent. Not that you ever want to volley a serve, not even in a second serve.

Double hits

A ball which strikes the racquet more than one time is considered as a prohibited shot in squash. Whereas in tennis, an unintended double-hit is not a mistake as long as it is in one uninterrupted turn.

Let and stroke

The hardest change that a tennis player deals with when shifting to play squash, is playing within a restricted space with a challenger on the same court. Rules behind “lets” and “strokes” allow players to have a reasonable chance of getting to and playing the ball without obstruction.

Not Like tennis, where “lets” are mostly called when a serve touches the net cord and falls within the correct delivery court, lets and strokes have a bigger effect in squash than in tennis.

Hitting your challenger with the ball

If you hit your challenger with the ball during a squash game, the point can go in your favor or even against you, depending on the situation at that time.

Whereas in tennis, if you hit your challenger with the ball before it hits the ground, the point is always given to you.

The time allowed between points, games, and sets

In the game of squash, there is no set of time limit between points. The play is supposed to be uninterrupted throughout. Additionally, squash is more uncertain when it comes to periods between games. A maximum of 90 seconds is allowed between games in squash.

Whereas in tennis, you are allowed only 20 seconds between points. The maximum time that is allowed between sets in tennis is 120 seconds that takes 2 minutes. In other words, if you hear about a tennis match that lasted around five hours, the actual playing time may be less than four hours considering the breaks between the intervals.

Court lines and markings

In the game of squash, the floor markings are crucial only during the serve. A ball that touches any of the lines on the floor or the walls is considered as “out”. The only allowance is the front-wall service line which is believed out only during serves.

Whereas in tennis, a ball that touches any of the lines on the court is considered “in” directly opposite of that of squash.

Foot fault

This rule is somehow different than other rules as the foot fault rule affects both squash and tennis. In squash, at least one foot of the server has to stay inside the service box while serving. Disobeying this rule would result in a foot fault.

The foot fault rule in tennis declares that you cannot touch the boundary line or the center mark with either foot during a serve. But one thing that you need to know that the foot fault rule expands to the imaginary extension of the sideline and the imaginary extension of the center mark.

Fair View

This is one of those rules that can confuse even squash players. The fair view rule compels you to provide your opponent enough time to view the ball and get ready to strike it as it returns from the front wall. This rule is not often mentioned and can be misunderstood resulting in hypothetical opinions on the court. There is no comparison of the fair view rule in tennis.

Further attempt

A further effort is characterized as the following attempt by a player to return a ball that is still in play, after having already made one or multiple efforts to play it.

You can never get a stroke on a further attempt even if your challenger is directly between you and the front wall. A let is allowed anyway. There is no equivalent of the further attempt rule in tennis.

Broken ball

If the ball breaks during a rally, a let is allowed for that rally only. Also, if the receiver successfully demands that a ball is broken before a service is played, the preceding rally has to be repeated.

You do not have to worry about this rule in tennis. You can throw away the balls way before they break.

Squash and Tennis Injuries

Both sports require players to be physically active. Players can face injuries to their bodies, but not all injuries are the same when it comes to squash and tennis.

Squash and tennis require players to use their whole bodies, injuries can occur to the legs, back, torso, and arms. One of the most common injuries in both sports is Lateral Epicondylalgia. More commonly known as tennis elbow, this injury occurs due to frequent use of the arm to play the sport.

Players of both sports can also face overuse injuries to the knees, ankles, and shoulders. Unexpected injuries such as sprained ankles or pulled muscles are common in both of these games.

Squash and tennis vary due to some specific injuries. These injuries usually occur due to the close boundaries of the squash court and the speed of the game.

Eye injuries are also common due to being hit in the face with balls or racquets. Players may even have a collision with one of the side walls triggering facial or head injuries. Players can also run into each other during a squash match causing a range of injuries.

In addition, the turning and movement in squash can cause leg and back injuries to players. These same injuries may not occur in tennis athletes or not as regularly. Once again, the agility and nature of squash cause different injuries that affect players not like in tennis.


While squash and tennis have many similarities, the two sports are different. It is not just in the basic gameplay and rules that the two games differ. While they both developed out of the old-time game Rackets, the two have separated into two exciting sports loved by millions.

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