USA Racquetball Rules: 2 - Courts and Equipment

The specifications for the standard four-wall racquetball court are:

The dimensions shall be 20 feet wide, 40 feet long and 20 feet high, with a back wall at least 12 feet high. Generally, all surfaces shall be in play, with the exception of any gallery openings, surfaces designated as out-of- play for a valid reason (such as being of a significantly different material or not in alignment with the back wall), and designated court hinders.

Racquetball courts shall be marked with visible lines 1 1/2 inches wide as follows:

  1. Short Line. The back edge of the short line is midway between, and is parallel with the front and back walls.
  2. Service Line. The front edge of the service line is parallel with and 5 feet in front of the back edge of the short line.
  3. Service Zone. The service zone is a 5-foot x 20-foot area bounded by the bottom edges of the side walls and by the outer edges of the short line and the service line.
  4. Service Boxes. The service boxes, used only for doubles play, are located at each end of the service zone, and are designated by lines parallel with the side walls [see 4.2(b)]. The edge of the line nearest to the center of the court shall be 18 inches from the nearest side wall.
  5. Drive Serve Lines. The drive serve lines, which define the drive serve zones, are parallel with the side wall and are within the service zone. For each line, the edge of the line nearest to the center of the court shall be 3 feet from the nearest side wall.
  6. Receiving Line. The receiving line is a broken line parallel to the short line. The receiving line forms a vertical plane from the floor to the ceiling. The back edge of the receiving line is five feet from the back edge of the short line. The receiving line begins with a line 21 inches long that extends from each side wall. These lines are connected by an alternating series of six-inch spaces and six-inch lines. This will result in a line composed of 17 six-inch spaces, 16 six-inch lines, and 2 twenty-one-inch lines. A solid line is acceptable.
  7. Safety Zone. The safety zone is the 5-foot x 20-foot area bounded by the bottom edges of the side walls and by the back edges of the short line and the receiving line. This zone is observed only during the serve.

2016 Courtyard Dimension Image

(a) The standard racquetball shall be close to 2 1/4 inches in diameter; weigh approximately 1.4 ounces; have a hardness of 55-60 inches durometer; and bounce 68-72 inches from a 100-inch drop at a temperature of 70-74 degrees Fahrenheit.

(b) Only a ball approved by the USAR may be used in a USAR sanctioned tournament.

(a) A ball shall be selected by the referee for use in each match. During the match, the referee may replace the ball at his own discretion or at his agreement with the request of a player or team. Balls that are not round or which bounce erratically shall not be used.

(b) If possible, the referee and players should also agree to an alternate ball, so that in the event of breakage, the second ball can be put into play immediately.

(a) Racquet Terminology. Definitions for parts of a racquet are as follows:

1. Head. The component of the racquet frame that contains the strings and together creates the surface used to hit the ball.

2. Throat. The component of the racquet frame that joins the head and handle.

3. Handle. The component of the racquet frame that the player generally uses to hold the racquet.

4. Frame. The combination of head, throat, and handle that creates the solid structure of a racquet.

5. Racquet. The combination of all racquet components: frame (head, throat, and handle), bumper guard, string, wrist cord, and grip.

6. Bumper Guard. An optional component that may be attached to the head to protect the racquet.

7. String. Strings are attached to the head to create the main hitting surface.

8. Wrist Cord. A safety feature that is attached to the handle and is required to be worn on the player’s wrist.

9. Grip. An optional component that can be wrapped over the handle.

(b) The racquet frame, including the bumper guard and all solid parts of the handle, may not exceed 22 inches in length. The racquet frame may be any material deemed safe.

(c) Using a racquet frame that exceeds 22 inches will result in forfeiture of the game in progress or, if discovered between games, forfeiture of the preceding game.

(d) The penalty for playing with a racquet frame that does not exceed 22 inches, but has a grip extending beyond the 22- inch limit, if noted during the course of a game, shall be a technical foul and a timeout to correct the problem. Subsequent violations will result in the loss of the game in progress. If a player challenges a racquet during a game that is found to be within the 22-inch limit, then a timeout is charged to the player who made the challenge. There is no penalty if the grip issue is noted and corrected before or between games.

(e) The racquet frame must include a cord securely attached to the player's wrist. The wrist cord can be no longer than 18 inches as measured from one end of the cord to the other. When stretched to its maximum length, the cord cannot be longer than 24 inches. Players using non-complying cords will be charged with a time-out to make the necessary change and, if none remain, a technical foul will be assessed to make the change.

(f) The string of the racquet must be gut, monofilament, nylon, graphite, plastic, metal, or a combination thereof, and must not mark or deface the ball.

Figure 2.4-1 Rules of Racquetball (Photo by USA Racquetball)

(a) Eye Protection. In any USA Racquetball sanctioned event, every competitor, whether they require corrective lenses or not, must wear lensed eye wear as designed for racquet sports by the eye wear’s manufacturer. Selecting protective eye wear that meets or exceeds the latest ASTM-F803 standard is the sole responsibility of individual participants. If questioned by the referee or tournament director, the competitor must produce documentation that proves the protective eye wear meets that ASTM Standard. Street wear spectacles and any un-lensed eye wear do not meet the protective standard. USA Racquetball does not test, evaluate, or certify any eye wear as being compliant or not with ASTM-F803 standards. All players must wear lensed eye wear that has been warranted by its manufacturer or distributor as having:

(1) Been designed specifically for use in racquetball and

(2) Met or exceeded the ASTM F803 standard for racquetball protective eye wear that was current as of the date the protective eye wear was made.

(b) Clothing and Shoes. The clothing may be of any color; however, the referee may require a player to change wet, extremely loose fitting, or otherwise distracting garments. Insignias and writing on the clothing must be considered to be in good taste as judged by the referee/Tournament Director. Shoes must be worn as designed and have soles that do not mark or damage the floor. Players may not play in socks only or in bare feet.

(c) Audio Devices. Players may not wear audio devices during play unless they are used to amplify one’s hearing.

The protective eye wear must be unaltered and worn as it was designed at all times that the ball is in play or about to be put into play. A player who fails to wear proper protective eye wear will be assessed a technical foul (loss of a point) without warning and a timeout to obtain proper protective eye wear as covered in Rule 3.17(a)9. A second infraction in the same match will result in immediate forfeiture of the match.

(d) Equipment Requirements During Warm-up. Proper protective eye wear [see 2.5(a)] and wrist cords must be used as designed during any on-court warm-up period. The referee should give a technical warning to any person who fails to comply during warm-up and assess a technical foul (without additional warning) if that player continues to not comply after receiving a warning about non-compliance during warm-up.

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