Squash Glossary

How to Talk Squash

Two men playing squash
Andersen Ross/The Image Bank/Getty Images

Squash has a whole vocabulary of its own. Here are the most common terms and phrases you need to know in order to clearly communicate with other squash players.

Essential Squash Terms

american scoring - also called point-a-rally scoring, in which both the server and the receiver can score a point during a rally.

boast - a shot hit to the near sidewall before it hits the front wall.

carry - a ball that is not hit cleanly on the racquet; it touches the strings throughout the stroke.

counterdrop - a drop shot hit off of a preceding drop shot. Also called a re-drop.

crosscourt - a ball that goes to the opposite side of the court after striking the front wall.

doublehit - a ball that contacts the strings more than once during a stroke. Somewhat similar to a carry.

drive - a typical groundstroke, usually hit for good length.

drop - a shot hit short, usually not too high above the tin.

game - usually won by the first player to earn 9 points. Sometimes games are to 11 or 15 points, depending on the scoring system.

get - a difficult retrieval of an opponent's shot. Often heard in the complimentary phrase 'nice get.'

hot ball - when the squash ball has physically warmed up from being struck. It is bouncier in this state.

international scoring - only the server can score points in this system. Games are usually to 9 points.

kill - a hard-hit shot that ends a point definitively.

length - refers to hitting the ball into the back portion of the court so as to move the opponent back. That is good length.

let - a determination to replay a point in its entirety.

lob - a ball hit so that it travels high in the air after hitting the front wall.

nick - a ball that hits the crack between the floor and a wall once it bounces off the front wall. This is usually a winner.

no let - a determination that no obstruction or interference has occurred, and that a point should not be replayed.

rail - a ball hit for good length along a side wall.

re-drop - a drop shot hit off of a preceding drop shot. Also called a counterdrop.

return - this is the shot that comes after the serve. Also called a serve return.

reverse - a ball hit into the opposite side wall before it reaches the front wall.

serve - this shot begins every squash point.

service box - a square area marked on the court floor. It defines where the server must stand while serving.

short line - a line crossing the full width of the court floor. It marks the front of the service boxes.

stroke - a determination that interference has occurred and warrants awarding the rally to the interfered player.

the T - an area on the floor of the court where the short line intersects with the halfcourt line. It's often a good location from which a player can reach the opponent's next shot.

the tin - a barrier across the lower part of the front wall. All shots must contact the front wall above this barrier to be good.

volley - a ball struck in the air, before it bounces on the floor.