When most people think of racquetball, the first thought that comes to mind is sweaty stock brokers – circa 1980 – wearing, neon green short shorts running around the court getting some morning exercise before the market opens up. Unfortunately, due to the inability to effectively record the incredible speeds the ball travels and the lack of a true racquetball icon, the sport has not grown much in the last twenty years.
Racquetball is actually much more intense than most people give it credit for. The game involves sprinting, diving on hard floors and action that can’t be expressed without having actually stepped into the court.
The basic idea behind racquetball is also pretty straight forward. The idea is to hit the ball off the front wall, then have the ball bounce twice prior to your opponent being able to strike it back. If you are serving, this will earn you a point. All balls have to bounce off the front wall in order to be allowed, however before reaching the front wall you can bounce it off any of the two side walls, the back wall or even the roof. By allowing the ball to bounce off any wall you open up all sorts of creativity in terms of creating offensive shots to add to your racquetball strategy.
Getting involved in racquetball is easier than you probably think. Racquetball equipment is minimal and is very affordable. A racquet, a set of balls and some goggles will not set you back more than forty dollars unless of course you decide to jump right into the professional level equipment. If forty dollars is too steep for you, most racquetball clubs offer equipment rental for around three dollars.
The next step to getting started is finding a location that has racquetball courts. Typically most recreation centers and YMCA’s have at least one court. Rental fees are typically roughly ten dollars per hour, which should give you at least 2-3 good games.
If you don’t have a friend willing to pick the sport up, head down to your local establishment and talk to the people at the front desk. Typically there are others looking to find an opponent as well. Often times the same facilities put on gatherings where they go over the basics and help get people in touch with others who are interested in the sport.
The final step is to get up out of your chair, turn off your computer and get out there and play. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed; racquetball is a true jewel in the rough and aside from the fact that it is fun and a great workout.
Thanks to Ryan McKenzie of the National Sports Review for this great article.