Introduction to racketball
A guide to the fitness benefits of playing racketball
Here's our quick introduction to getting involved in the popular sport of racketball. If you′re looking for a great racket sport to get your body fit and healthy then look no further than racketball. Developed from an original 1950s US game, the UK version of racketball is a fast-paced sport that will give you an intensive workout session.
What racketball is ...
Racketball — as in the UK version of the sport — is played on traditional squash courts instead of the larger courts that are used in US racquetball.
The UK game was developed from US racquetball, which started out in the 1950s and was conceived by tennis and handball player Joe Sobek. To make the game instantly accessible in the UK, the US game was adapted to use existing squash courts, and a slower, less bouncy ball was introduced, as the ceiling wasn’t included in the playing area — unlike in US racquetball.
In 1984, the British Racketball Association was founded and the rules of play were established. The laws of the game are based partly on the rules of squash and use point-a-rally scoring.
The UK version of racketball is popular in countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, South Africa, Bermuda, France, the Netherlands, Sweden, Germany and other countries where there are squash courts. In the UK the sport is overseen by the national squash associations for each country, including England Squash, Scottish Squash and Squash Wales.
Getting involved in racketball
Racketball in the UK is played on a standard squash court, whereas US racquetball is played on a special racketball court — the latter of which is slightly longer and narrower. The opportunities for playing the US version are therefore limited if you live in the UK — but there are good opportunities for playing the UK version.
The sport is governed in the UK by various squash governing bodies, including England Squash, Squash Wales and Scottish Squash.
How playing racketball gets your body fit
Playing racketball can have a number of positive health and fitness benefits on your body. Here are some of its key exercise advantages:
- Improves aerobic fitness, with more oxygen circulated around the body to better muscular endurance.
- Burns off calories with energy being supplied to the muscles and not forming fat.
- Boosting flexibility and sprint speed, due to the fast-paced nature of racketball.
- Improves hand-eye co-ordination with concentration required for serving.
- Develops the strength and power of muscles, notably leg and arm muscles.
- Furthers concentration and mental strength, with matches often lasting for some time.
- Boosts a player's cardiovascular fitness (the heart and lungs organs), allowing more oxygen to be pumped around the body and help energize muscles.