What Is the Difference Between Squash and Racquetball?

Couple playing squash

Racquetball and squash are sports that have a great deal of similarities. Both racket sports played with a ball on an enclosed court, they both require a high level of fitness and are exciting and dynamic to play.

However, as much as they might be similar, there are, in fact, more differences between them with some features more significant than others.


Racquetball and squash are administered by two different governing bodies. The International Racquetball Federation is the governing body for racquetball and oversees all internationally sanctioned events, as well as the various national bodies.

The Squash Federation is the international federation for squash and looks after the sport across the world and has 145 member federations. Because of the similarity of the sports, in some countries, one organisation oversees both games. An example of this is in England where both sports are governed by England Squash.

The Court

Both squash courts and racquetball courts are enclosed but there are differences between the two sports when it comes to the playing surface and the size. Racquetball courts are larger, measuring 20x40x20 feet. Squash courts are 21x32x15 feet. In racquetball, every surface is included as in-bound including the ceiling, whereas in squash, you’re not allowed to hit the ceiling.

The Racket

Squash rackets are larger and can measure up to 27 inches compared to 22 inches in racquetball. Whilst both used to feature a circular head similar to those used in badminton, they both now have more teardrop shaped heads. Those in racquetball, however, are wider and this is to cope with the larger ball that is used compared to squash.

The Ball

The balls used in squash are just 4cm in diameter and are made from rubber. The balls used in racquetball are 6cm in diameter, also made from rubber but tend to be a lot more bouncy than the ones used in squash.


In squash, players are only allowed one service per point, however, in racquetball you are allowed two, which is similar to tennis. In squash, there is no bounce before hitting the ball before service whereas in racquetball the ball must bounce once before striking it. In squash, the server has to hit the ball into one of two service boxes whereas in racquetball the server can hit any part of the wall.


Squash games go up to nine points in regular matches and eleven in championships and tournaments. Games must be won with two clear points. Like tennis, points can be won regardless of whether the player is serving or receiving.

In racquetball, games go up to fifteen points but points can only be scored when it is your serve. Like squash, games must also be won with two clear points.


Racquetball is played by 5.6 million people worldwide, whereas squash is more popular and is played by an estimated 20 million across the globe. The popularity of both games is on the increase with both being played by an increasing number of players in an increasing number of countries.