A Short Show on The Rules of Squash TH I S P R ES EN TATI O N AS S U M ES A BAS I C K N O WL ED G E O F TH E G AM E I N CL U D I N G S CO R I N G , S ER V I N G ETC THE WARM-UP Before the start of a match, the two players are allowed 5 minutes (2½ minutes on each side) to "warm-up" themselves and the ball on the match court – the referee should call ‘half time’ & ‘play’ Players should alternate hitting to each other, and not ‘monopolise’ the ball on their side When a ball has been changed during a match, or if the match has been resumed after some delay, the players may warm-up the ball The ball may be warmed up by either player during any interval in the match. Marker Duties The marker should make all initial calls such as fault and foot faults, not up, down, high etc The rally must stop when the marker makes a call The marker should call the score and keep a written record If not certain about a call, the marker should not make the call but refer to the referee. Referee’s Duties The referee is in charge of the match and makes all the final decisions including lets and strokes He/she should call out his/her decision loud and clear If the referee is certain that the marker has made the wrong call, he/she should overrule the marker The referee can suspend play if there is any ‘bad’ behaviour by players, spectators, coaches, team members etc The referee should also keep a record of the score during the games. STRIKER/NON-STRIKER In this presentation, the non-striker is the person who has just hit the ball, and the striker is the person whose turn it is to hit the ball. WHAT IS INTERFERENCE It is necessary for interference to have occurred for the referee to consider giving a let or stroke. When it is his or her turn to play the ball, a player is entitled to freedom from interference by the opponent the opponent (non striker) must the allow striker : unobstructed direct access to the ball, a fair view of the ball, space to complete a swing at the ball and freedom to play the ball directly to any part of the front wall. Interference and the Swing Interference can occur when the striker does not have enough space to complete a swing at the ball This means that the non-striker is in the swing of the striker. The striker should not exaggerate the swing to get a favourable decision. It may also be interference if the non-striker starts to move then stops, or changes direction, but the striker has held up his/her swing because of a perceived danger of hitting his opponent There is Interference if the non-striker does not allow unobstructed direct access to the ball The non-striker must make every effort not to cause interference to the striker This basically means that the non-striker must move away from the ball and out of the direct path between the striker and the ball A non-striker running away from the ball but into the path (or swing) of the striker is NOT making every effort to allow unobstructed access – this may occur when the non-striker is unaware of where the striker is, where the non-striker feels ‘boxed in’, etc. Interference - Fair View and ‘Blocking’ Fair view - this usually occurs when the non-striker hits the ball back past his/her body, so the other player cannot see it until the last moment The striker can also claim interference has occurred if the non-striker has ‘blocked’ any shot directly to the front wall. LETS Calling for a let It is preferable, but not compulsory, for a player to call for a let – often the striker will stop play and it is obvious he/she wants a let The referee may also stop play if he/she sees that a dangerous play is about to happen If a player does call for a let, they should call ‘let please’. When is it a Let? It is a let if the non-striker has created the interference and has made every effort to avoid causing the interference. In all cases, the striker must have been able to make a good return The striker also needs to make a genuine effort to get to the ball (without running into the non-striker) The non-striker has made every effort to avoid causing interference The non-striker has made every effort to move away, or get out of the way of the striker Remember, running away from the ball but into the striker’s path or swing is NOT making very effort to avoid interference. If the non- striker has put themselves in a bad situation, that is their bad luck! When is it Not a Let? It is NOT a let if the striker Accepts the interference and plays on (runs around their opponent, plays the shot and waits to see if it is up or down etc) or The interference is minimal, such as brushing the opponent as they run past but still getting into position to make a good shot The striker makes no real attempt to get to the ball Created interference: sometimes a striker takes an indirect route (running in a circle etc) to the ball or crowds the other player before they play the ball (running right up very close behind them) Where a striker who has the whole court to hit a winning shot to, but chooses not do so, and there is no interference, it is a ‘no let’. Other Reasons for a Let Includes (there may be more unusual circumstances): If the ball hits any object lying on the floor the striker refrains from hitting the ball onto any of the walls including the back wall owing to a reasonable fear of injuring the opponent There is an off court distraction and a player immediately asks for a let The receiver is not ready on a serve The ball breaks The referee is undecided about an appeal. When is it a Stroke? The striker is entitled to a stroke (i.e. wins the rally) if the non-striker did not make every effort to avoid the interference, or if the striker would have hit a winning return (not just a ‘good return’) or if the striker would have struck the opponent with the ball going directly to the front wall. PHYSICAL CONTACT Squash should not involve physical contact, although sometimes this can be accidental. Where there is deliberate or avoidable contact, the referee should stop the rally (if not already stopped) and award an appropriate penalty – stroke against the player, warning, game, match etc. For a ‘minor’ contact such as small ‘push off’, the rally should continue and a warning given at the end of the rally Running into another player to ‘get a let’ is completely unacceptable. The Swing The striker has the right to make a full swing at the ball without interference from the non-striker. A full swing means a ‘reasonable swing’ and includes the follow- through If the striker hits, or would have hit, the non-striker in the swing it is a stroke If the touch is slight, minor on the non-striker who is making every effort to clear, it is a let If the striker stops because he/she has a reasonable fear that he /she would have hit the non-striker and the non-striker is close, it is a let If the non-striker is well clear of the reasonable swing, it is no let. CONTINUITY OF PLAY Play is expected to be continuous in each game once a player has started serving. There should be no delay between the end of one rally and the start of the next one. This does not mean a player has to run back to position, but repeated undue delays should not tolerated. In between all games an interval of 90 seconds is permitted. Players are permitted to change items of clothing or equipment during a game if necessary i.e. broken strings etc – but not just because they want to use a different racket etc, they can change this during the game break. INJURY Bleeding If the bleeding was caused solely by the opponent’s action, the injured player wins the match (the injured player does not have to come back on the court). Who caused the injury is the referee’s decision. If a bleeding injury occurs that is the injured players fault, or both players jointly, the bleeding must be stopped before the player can continue. A player is allowed a reasonable time to attend to a bleeding wound. If the bleeding recurs no further delay is allowed, except that the player can concede a game, using the 90 second period between games to attend to the wound and stop the bleeding. If unable to stop it, the bleeding player must concede the match. Non- Bleeding Injury It must be decided whether the injury was either caused by the opponent or self inflicted or contributed to by both players. If caused by the opponent, the injured player wins the match if any recovery time is needed. If self-inflicted, the injured player is allowed 3 minutes to recover and must then play on, or concede a game using the 90 second rest period between games to recover. If contributed by both players, the injured player is allowed an hour to recover. A player who is ill must play on or can take a rest period by conceding a game and using the 90 second interval to recover. Cramps, feeling sick and breathlessness (including asthma) are considered illnesses. If a player vomits on court, the opponent wins the match. CONDUCT ON COURT Offensive, disruptive or intimidating behaviour in squash is not acceptable. Included in this category are: audible and visible obscenities, verbal and physical abuse, dissent, throwing the racket, kicking/hitting the wall or hitting ball dangerously after a rally, unnecessary physical contact, excessive racket swing, time- wasting, late back on court, deliberate or dangerous play or action, and coaching (except between games) that is, encouraging calls can be made by spectators after a rally but not advice such as where to hit or what to do. The referee can give a warning, give a point, game or match – for a major offence they do not need to give a warning first but can give a game or the match. HITTING AN OPPONENT WITH THE BALL If a striker hits the ball, which, before reaching the front wall, hits the non-striker, or his/her racket or clothing, play should be stopped. If the return would have been good and the ball would have struck the front wall without first touching any other wall, the striker wins the rally, provided the striker did not "turn“. If the ball either had struck, or would have struck, any other wall and the return would have been good, a let is played. If the return would not have been good, the striker loses the rally. NOTE: If, in the referee’s opinion, the striker deliberately or recklessly played a dangerous shot, the referee should not give a stroke or let to the striker but may give a penalty (warning, point etc) against the striker. TURNING Turning is normally where the ball has hit a wall and striker has followed the ball round, or allowed it to pass around his/her body. It is not where the striker has ‘backed off’ the ball such as on a high serve. Turning may also occur without the ball hitting the wall, during a rally. The turning player may find it difficult to know where his/her opponent is on the court, and playing a shot is potentially dangerous, so: If the striker, while turning, stops play, a let should be played, no matter where the non-striker is on the court. A ‘no let’ should only be called if the striker had no chance of making a good return for example, the ball ‘hit the nick and died’ If the striker turns and plays the ball and the non-striker is hit by the ball, the rally is awarded to the non-striker – this is considered to be dangerous and reckless play. PENALTIES Penalties normally, but not necessarily, follow this pattern: Warning (called a Conduct Warning). Stroke awarded to opponent (called a Conduct Stroke). Game awarded to opponent (called a Conduct Game). Match awarded to opponent (called a Conduct Match). However, a referee may award more than one warning or stroke for the same type of offence if the Referee decides that the offence does not warrant a more severe penalty. For a serious offence, for example such as a punch thrown, serious verbal abuse of the referee, etc, a referee may go straight to a Conduct Game or Conduct Match decision.
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