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Why do we love racquet sports so much? There are many reasons. As many of us who love sports and have played most of our life we can enjoy a wide range of sports. However as we age there are some sports that are not as easily played, not necessarily due to aging but time constraints can be a big issue as well. When it comes to team sports it can be hard to find leagues, and even harder to find a league or round up enough people for a game. Often it can also be hard to play a basic game, intermediate or more competitive depending on what you are looking for when it comes to most team sports.
With racquet sports you can typically play with just two or doubles with four. It takes much fewer people and is less time consuming when you play racquet sports. This is great for those that have limited time but still enjoy exercise and competition. The equipment can also be very minimal, typically just racquets and balls. Racquetball and squash require that you find specialized courts, however tennis and now pickle ball can be played on tennis courts and converted tennis courts respectively. You can find the necessary tennis equipment, squash equipment, racquetball equipment, and pickleball equipment here at Wolfe Sports.
Tennis has been around for quite a while. Historians believe it began in the 12th century and in the 16th century was officially known as “tennis”. While the first tennis club was founded in 1872. Tennis racquets began as wood and now are made of a much more durable, light, and strong material, such as fiberglass or graphite. Tennis is played with two or four people, singles or doubles. The governing body for tennis in the United States is the United States Tennis Association (USTA). They have over 700,000 members, and among other things it hosts the US Open every year.
Rules: You can find the official rules of tennis here at the USTA webiste here
Racquetball was was invented in 1950 and is played with a hollow rubber ball in an indoor or an outdoor court. Joseph Sobek is consider the father or the sport as well as the creator of the stringed racquetball racquet.
The first governing body was known as the International Racquetball Association (IRA) and later changed its name to the American Amateur Racquetball Association. In 1982 it became an olympic sport and in 2003 after another name change they finally took the name of USA Racquetball (USAR).
Racquetball is played with two or four people, singles or doubles. Official rules of racquetball can be found at the USAR can be found on their website as a downloadable and printable rules handbook.
Rules: You can find the official rules of racquetball at the Team USA website here
Squash goes back to 1864 when the first squash court was built in England. In over 185 nations there are over 50,000 courts. Squash is played on a court with four walls and uses a hollow rubber ball, much like racquetball. Each player alternates by hitting the ball onto the areas of the walls that are considered in-play. Squash is played with two or four people, singles or doubles.
The governing body is the World Squash Federation (WSF). At their website you can find information on athlete rankings, equipment, coaching, referring, calendar of events and more. Squash is not yet an olympic sport but the WSF is trying to have it added to future Olympics.
The official rules can be found in a convenient PDF format for download or printing.
Rules: You can find the official rules of squash at the World Squash website here
Pickleball has been growing rapidly in the last few years. It is governed by an international organization, the International Federation of Pickleball (IFP) and in the United States is governed by the USA Pickleball Association (USAPA). The official rules of pickelball can be found here in a PDF formate for saving to your computer or printing.
Pickleball is played with a wiffle ball and a flat faced paddle without strings. The wiffle ball keeps the ball from moving too fast and the size of the court is identical to a badminton court. Therefore it is smaller than a tennis court and has slower play than tennis. You can play indoors or outdoors much like tennis, and must be played on a hard surface court. However do not be deceived as you can play a leisure game but also play a much faster paced and competitive game if desired.
Pickleball is not yet an olympic sport but we would not be surprised if it is in the near future due to the fact that it is gaining in popularity so fast.
Rules: You can find the official rules of pickle ball at the USAPA website here
As you can see from the above brief description of the various racquet sports there is a wide variety of play. Racquetball and Squash can provide extremely fast play due to the hollow rubber ball and the speed at which you can hit a ball and have it returned from the wall. Tennis can be as slow or fast as you desire and is a great leisure sport as well with singles or doubles. Pickleball started to gain popularity, arguably, by an older demographic due to the fact that the play can be much slower with a wiffle ball and the court dimensions are smaller than a tennis court. It is also an excellent social sport much like tennis as you can play singles or doubles. All in all racquet sports are great for all ages and you can choose your level of competition as you progress or simply play for enjoyment as another way to exercise. Fun for all ages is not just a saying in this case, as we like to say, if there is a racquet involved then we are game!.