Here are some of the common terms used to describe the layout of the squash court:
- Front wall – This is the wall that players face during play. The object of the game of squash is to ensure the ball strikes the front wall with every shot, allowing the ball to bounce no more than once before the next shot.
- Side wall – The walls to the left and right of the court. When playing squash the ball may strike either side wall before making contact with the front wall.
- Back wall – This is the lower wall to the rear of the court. When a player is serving, this is the wall behind them. As with the side walls it is perfectly acceptable for the ball to strike the rear wall before hitting the front wall (although this is a difficult shot to pull off when you are a beginner!)
- Out line – This is the line running around the top of the court. Should the ball strike the red line that marks the top of the court then it is out.
- Service line – This is the line that runs along approximately the center of the front wall. This line is purely to mark the area between which a successful serve must be made (between the service line and the out line).
- Tin – This is the area that runs low along the front wall at about knee height. It is marked with a red line. If a ball hits this line or the metal surface below it then the ball is deemed to be out.
- Front line – This is the line that splits the court in half midway between the front wall and the back wall.
- Half court line – This is the line that bisects the rear half of the squash court. During a serve, the player that is receiving the serve must remain on their side of the half court line and behind the front line. The half court line and front line divide the rear of the court into areas called left and right quarters.
- Service Box – Within each of the left and right quarters is a smaller boxed off region known as the service box. The serving player must stand with one foot in the service box, not touching any line, when they make their serve.
- The T – This is the are in the center of the squash court in the shape of a T. The “T” shape is made where the half court line meets the front line. If a player can hold position on the T then they are at a strategic advantage.
Function of the squash court lines
Thee purpose of the squash court lines can be simplified by thinking of three scenarios – taking the serve, receiving the serve, and playing a rally:
- Taking the serve – When taking the serve the lines that are significant are the service line, the out line and the front line. The ball must hit the front wall directly between the service line and the upper out line. IT must then rebound in such a way that if the ball were allowed to bounce on the floor it would land on the player-side of the front line. The ball doesn’t necessarily need to bounce as it may be volleyed by the receiving player.
- Receiving the serve – When waiting for your opponent to serve you must remain within the area that is bound by the front line and half court line.
- Once a serve has been made and a rally is underway each player may move unhindered by any floor line. At this point the only lines that matter to gameplay are the out line and the tin. If a ball strikes the tin or the line that runs along it’s top edge then the ball is out. If a ball strikes the out line or the area above that line then it is also considered out.