March 5, 2020, by Charlotte Gauja

The Headliner | How to “Squash”

On the 11th March, we will be hosting our final Headliner event of the year, the men’s and women’s Squash semi-finals. This intense afternoon will determine whether the University of Nottingham Squash team makes it through to BUCS Big Wednesday so make sure you head over to watch the action.

The day will consist of the women’s rounds beginning at 1pm and the men’s at 4pm, doors will be open so you can pop in to watch the matches when you are available.

A squash team generally consists of 5 players, each competing individually against an opponent in a best-of-three games to win the match point. To win a game an individual must score 11 points, or 2 points beyond their opponent if the score reaches 10-10.

This all sounds very confusing if you have not watched squash before. So, we have put together this quick ‘How to ‘squash’’ guide for those of you new to the sport.

What is squash?

Squash is a game played between 2 players on a squash court, each equipped with a racket. The aim of the game is to win 11 points.

At David Ross Sports Village (DRSV), we are fortunate to have an all-glass show court with seating for over 250 spectators. Additionally, we have 6 glass-backed courts which some of the matches and warm-ups will also be taking place on.

How do you win points?

In squash, each point is called a ‘stroke.’ A stroke is won when the opponent either hits the ball out of play or fails to hit the ball before it has bounced twice. A player will try to win strokes by serving or returning difficult balls for their opponent to get to.

The ball is expected to hit the ‘front wall’ above the ‘board line’ and below the ‘out line’ to be considered a playable ball.

Once a player had hit the ball with their racket, the ball is expected to hit the ‘front wall’ then bounce no more than once before the opponent ‘returns’ the ball. This continuous returning of the ball between players is called a ‘rally.’ Another key element to remember is that although the ball may only bounce off the floor once per return, it is allowed to bounce off of other walls multiple times.

Other ways to win strokes are: if the server fails to make a good serve, if the ball touches the opponent, if a player drops the racket or distracts the opponent, or if the ball hit any object outside of the court.

Are there fouls in squash?

It is not so much considered a foul, but a ‘let’ is given when the stroke is ‘undecided.’

A let is generally allowed when: if the ball touches the receiver in any way, if the striker misses the ball due to reasonable fear of injuring their opponent, if the striker is unable to get to the ball due to the opponent being in the way, or if the receiver is not ready and does not attempt to take the serve.

‘Freedom to play the ball’ is the idea that after playing a ball, the player must make ever effort to get out of their opponents’ way. This often a point of contestation between the players and the referee so make sure your eyes are pealed for any impedance on the play.

A let will result in the ball being replayed or the stroke being awarded to the player than has been affected.


The ball can reach speeds of up to 170mph and players can burn off up to 1,000 calories per hour of squash – considerably higher than most other sports.

The Headliner is a free series hosted on campus showcasing our BUCS team’s competition at the top level of University sport. This term we are looking for the ultimate #GreenandGold fan where you and your friends can win tickets for the BUCS Big Wednesday Finals by posting an image of you supporting the team on the #RoadtoNottingham, all you had to do is post an image of you with #RoadtoNottingham and tag in @UoNSport. The Headliner is the perfect opportunity to support the team and be in with a chance to win tickets to the finals!

Register for tickets to be in with a chance to win an Unsquashable racket.


Make sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to keep up to date with all the #GreenandGold action.

To get involved with Squash at the University of Nottingham visit our UoN Sport website here, or speak to the UoN Squash Club about how to get invo

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