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Can The Ball Hit The Back Wall In Squash?

There are many questions that beginners have when they are starting out, and some of the most common of these are about how the back wall is used in squash.

So, let’s start with the most common question. Is the ball allowed to hit the back wall in squash? Yes, the ball can hit the back wall in squash. In fact many of the best shots will be aiming to hit the back wall near the corner. You are allowed to hit the ball after it has bounced off the back wall.

That, in a nutshell, may well be the answer you are looking for. However, there are many more facts about the back wall that are crucial to know when developing a firm understanding of the rules and tactics of squash.

Can The Ball Hit The Back Wall In Squash?

As we have just said, yes the ball is definitely allowed to hit the back wall in squash. Some people view squash a bit like tennis when they start, and if the ball goes past you they assume that it must be out and the opponent’s point.

This is not the case.

In fact, if you watch a pro game, you will see that a very high number of shots often hit the back wall before being returned by their opponent.

There are some advantages to letting the ball hit the back wall first. The ball will be travelling at a much slower speed, and so will be at its easiest to hit.

Also you give yourself lots of time to get into position.

The disadvantage of letting the ball hit the back wall is that it means you are then in the back of the court. In squash you always have the advantage if you get in front of your opponent. If you are in the back corner, your opponent will be on the T, so you need to try to play an accurate shot to get your opponent back into the corner.

In squash volleying is usually a good idea if it is possible . It is easier to attack when volleying, as you are closer to the front wall.

Also, you will be rushing your opponent for time and tiring them out more quickly.

Can The Serve Hit The Back Wall?

Yes, the serve is allowed to hit the back wall. The most important rule to remember with the serve is that it must hit the front wall first. As long as it does that, it is fine to hit the side wall and the back wall. The first bounce must be in the opponent’s back box.

When returning the serve, of course, this does not mean that you have to let the ball hit the back wall.

Quite the opposite.

The best returns are usually volleys. This means hitting the serve on the full before it has bounced, and before it has been given time to make its way to the back wall.

There are many advantages of this:

  • By hitting the serve on the volley, you sometimes rush your opponent for time. They may well not have got back onto the T
  • You hit the ball when you are closer to the T yourself, and so it is only a short journey back to it to prepare for the next shot. This helps conserve your energy
  • You can use the pace on the ball and just deflect it down the line. There is no need to hit it hard. If you let the ball hit the back wall first, you will have to add the power into the shot.

Does The Ball Have To Hit The Back Wall?

Absolutely not, the ball never has to hit the back wall. The only wall any shot has to hit is the front wall.

Any shot can be volleyed also. You don’t need to let the ball bounce or hit any walls (as long as it has hit the front wall).

Often you will see beginners always leaving the ball to hit the back wall first. They think it is easier to play their shots when the ball is travelling slower and they have given themselves more time.

However, it is usually better to intercept the ball before it hits the back wall if possible. This rushes your opponent, gets you back to the T quicker, and usually gives you more options in the types of shots you can play.

Can You Hit The Ball Onto The Back Wall First?

Yes, you can. The ball is allowed to hit the back wall first as long as it ends up hitting the front wall on the full before it has bounced on the floor. This is a perfectly legal shot.

However, you don’t see this shot played very often. It is called a back wall boast, and is only really used as a last resort.

How To Play A Back Wall Boast

As I’ve just said, this shot really is only for emergencies. It is played when there is absolutely no other option, and is a last resort shot when anything else would immediately result in you losing the point.

The idea is you hit the ball hard against the back wall. You have to hit it with an upward trajectory as well, probably around forty-five degrees. This will mean the ball will loop up high towards the front wall, and hit it on the full.

If you don’t hit it hard then this shot will not hit the front wall.

Also if you hit it too low it will bounce before reaching the front.

The problem with this shot is that it gives your opponent lots of time to prepare their next shot. Also the ball will usually be sitting up in the middle front of the court for them, and they have multiple options. They can play a kill shot, a hard drive to the back corners, a drop shot to either side, or a trickle boast. Back wall boasts regularly don’t end well!

The reason you would play this shot in the first place is usually one of the following:

  • The ball is really tight to the back wall, and you can’t get a swing behind it
  • You are running straight back towards the back wall to retrive the ball
  • Your opponent has played a perfect lob shot, and the ball is about to die near the back wall nick

If none of these are the case then any sort of normal boast or straight drive is always a better choice.

Sometimes Try To Let The Ball Not Hit The Back Wall

A great practice routine is to try to play games were you are not allowed to let the ball hit the back wall.

This will encourage you to play more volleys, which is always good for giving yourself more options in a shot.

By playing volleys you are nearer to the front wall, so shots such as drops, boasts and kills become much more of an option.

Also in letting the ball hit the back wall, you will find yourself moving more quickly to the ball to intercept it. This is definitely a positive thing to instill in your game.

Again by intercepting the ball early, you will be closer to the front wall and have more options. It is also coser to the T, and you will save energy getting back there.

Give it a try and see if it has a positive impact on your game.

Related Questions

Can the ball hit the side wall in squash? Yes, the ball can hit the sidewall in squash. The only shot were the ball has to hit the front wall first is the serve. After hitting the front wall, the ball can then hit the side wall. For any other shot the ball can hit any wall as long as it hits the front wall in the end.

Can the serve hit the side wall? The serve must first hit the front wall in between the central red line and the top line. After that it is OK to hit the sidewall. It just must hit the front wall first.

How many walls can you hit with a squash shot? The ball can hit any number of side walls, or the back wall, as long as it eventually hits the front wall before it has bounced on the floor. In reality it would only usually hit one wall when a boast shot is played, before hitting the front wall.