Do you want to learn how to keep score in racquetball? Here is a detailed insight into how to keep score in racquetball.
The essential scoring of a racquetball game is relatively simple. However, as you play more, you will learn that some unique situations during the game may impact the scoring. And that's what we intended to cover in this post.
The serving player or team gets a point when the returning team lets the ball bounce twice or more. They may also get the point when the returning team fails to get to the front wall without the ball hitting the floor on its return. The game continues until one team manages to score 15 points.
Racquetball is a relatively easy-to-play, fast-paced game that originated in the U.S. Since its inception in the 1950s, the game has been gaining popularity as an indoor sport that most people prefer to play when the outside weather gets very hot or very cold. The game requires at least two to play and is a popular indoor sport with relatively simple scoring rules. The racquetball scoring rules are pretty similar to squash. However, there are many other things about the game that makes racquetball a unique sport.
As racquetball enthusiasts, we have put together this guide to help beginner-level racquetball players to understand how to keep score in racquetball. But before we get into the details of the scoring, we believe it will help you if you also get an insight into some of the basics about the racquetball game and the types of racquetball games so you can better understand how to keep score in racquetball.
The Basic Racquetball Gameplay
If you are planning to learn to play a new game like racquetball, then you don't have to be nervous. The game is relatively simple and mastering the techniques of racquetball is fairly straightforward, which makes the sport a great opportunity to get moving for people of different age groups and various skill levels. And while it is a simple sport to learn, there are still a few rules that you should know about before you get started with playing racquetball.
Here are some of the basic racquetball rules that you should know about so you can get a better understanding of racquetball scoring.
Getting Started With the Game
To get started with the racquetball game, you will need at least two players. The game can be played as a single or doubles game which means there can be two or four players on the court. Racquetball can also be played with three players as well.
To get started with the game, one player will flip a coin or rely on any other fairway, which will determine the team that will serve first. The serve makes a critical aspect of racquetball scoring as the team that is serving is the one that can score a point. When a player wins the serve, it means that they get a better chance to score a point first.
Once you win the serve and it is your turn for a serve, make sure you go for a valid serve for the rally to start. If you mistakenly undertake a fault on your serve, then you will get another chance to try. For players who fail on their second serve, their serve is viewed as a side out, and the other player gets a chance to serve. For a serve to be valid, the ball needs to get in contact with the front wall first, and it can then hit either of the two sides of the court before it lands between the back wall and the short line.
Understanding Faults and Rally
If you are new to a racquetball game, you must be wondering what a fault is and what rally means. In what follows, you take a closer look at faults and the rally so you can better understand the game and its scoring.
A fault may occur in many ways. Once you get the basic concept, it will be easier for you to understand certain types of serve that will lead to a fault. Certain examples of faults include,
- When a serving player or their partner’s foot lies out of the service area while serving,
- The racquetball bounces twice or more or bounces outside the service box before the serve,
- The racquetball hits two sides of the court on the serve,
- The ball reaches the back wall without rebounding on the floor following the serve, or
- When the server comes along the way of the ball to prevent a return or blocks the view of the ball.
While it may not be an exhaustive list of faults, it definitely makes a great start for you to better know certain types of actions and things that can lead to a fault. There may be many other circumstances that lead to a fault, so make sure you learn about them before you get started with your game of racquetball.
Now that you already know about faults let's take a closer look at the rally. Once there are no faults in the serve, which is also known as a valid serve, the rally begins. Each player or team will take a turn to return the ball to the front wall, which ensures that the ball bounces on the floor no more than once before the players strike it. A returning ball hit the front wall and shouldn’t bounce off the floor before getting to the players.
When the returning team is unable to return the ball to the front wall, the serving team will get the point. However, when the serving team fails to return a ball following a valid serve, it is considered a side-out, and the returning team will now take over the serve.
The process continues until one of the players or teams scores a total of 15 points and wins the game.
With an understanding of the game, now is the time to get an understanding of the types of games before you get into the details of scoring.
Types of Racquetball Games
Racquetball can be played as a two-player game and can also be played as a two-team game which means that a total of 4 players can play the game at the same time. Moreover, three players can also individually compete with each other in the game of racquetball.
Some players may also come with unique variations; for example, some may go for a 2-to-1 game where a more skilled player competes against two novice players. But for simplicity and a better understanding of the game, we look at the most common types of racquetball.
When you play racquetball as a one-on-one game, which means that two-player play the game together, it is considered a single's game. The game is relatively straightforward because each player gets a chance to take serving turns which makes it relatively easy to score the game.
The type of game is played similarly to the single's game. However, there are a few differences. Firstly, when the player is serving, the other player from the same team needs to stand in one of the service boxes while facing the front wall until the serve crosses the short line.
Once the team that got the first serve sides out, the serve will then be passed on to the other team with the same rules applying to the serving and non-serving players of the team.
The third type of racquetball game involves three players and is known as cutthroat. Each player represents an independent team and competes against the other two. When there is a side out, the serve is transferred to other players in rotation.
Since a cut-throat game involves three teams, the game can be long and it can take a lot more time to reach 15 points. Therefore, for convenience and to save time, many people choose to play up to 7 points when playing cut-throat.
How Does Racquetball Scoring Work?
The racquetball scoring process is relatively simple. A player or the team gets the point when the returning team lets the ball bounce twice or more. Moreover, the serving team also gets the point when the returning team fails to get to the front wall without the ball hitting the floor on its return. The process makes it obvious that only the team that is serving gets the score. The game continues until one team manages to score 15 points.
Remember, the only time you can score a point while playing racquetball is when you are serving, and for each serve, there are only two possible outcomes, i.e., you either score a point or you lose the serve.
About THE AUTHOR
Since initially playing at the collegiate level, I have amassed several decades of experience playing racquetball, tennis, and pickleball. I have played thousands of matches and games, and won medals and awards in multiple tourantments. I am constantly improving my game and enjoy mentoring and coaching other players in strategy and technique. I have authored dozens of articles on the sport.Read More About Michael Stevens