USA Racquetball Rules: 1 - The Game

Tournament racquetball is played by two or four players. When played by two, it is called singles and when played by four, doubles. Cut-throat is the name generally applied to several non-tournament variations of the standard game when played by three players.

Racquetball is a competitive game in which each player/team uses a strung racquet to take turns at serving and returning the ball within a closed court.

The objective is to win each rally by serving or returning the ball, so the opponent is unable to keep the ball in play. A rally is over when a player (or team in doubles) is unable to hit the ball before it touches the floor twice, is unable to return the ball in such a manner that it touches the front wall before it touches the floor, or when a hinder is called.

Points are scored only by the serving side when it serves an irretrievable serve (an ace) or else wins a rally. Losing the serve is called a side out in singles. In doubles, when the first server loses the serve, it is called either a hand or half out and when the team’s second server loses the serve, it is a side out.

A match is won by the first side winning two games. The first two games of a match are played to 15 points. If each side wins one game, then a tiebreaker game is played to 11 points. Unless a rule exception exists, the first side reaching the requisite score is the winner.

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