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Racquet leaving one's hand...

Published: 29 Nov 2006 - 02:32 by sxsi

Updated: 09 Dec 2006 - 21:50

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I have a question about an unusual shot that is extremely hard to pull off. I have been tempted to do but didn't because I was unaware whether or not it was legal. Supposing you are at the front of the court and the ball has also landed near the front, but it's beyond your reach. In a last ditch attempt to play the ball, you fling your racquet at it, the racquet leaves your hand and makes contact with the ball, which inturn, hits the wall and the play continues. I am aware that this will most likely be your last shot in the rally, as you won't be able to pick up your racquet in time, but if the opposing player is at the back of the court you might as well have a go?? I think I've seen this in Tennis and the ball has gently glided over the net, can it be done in Squash too?squash game squash extras How to add images to Members' Forum posts and replies here...


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From SuperSage666 - 08 Dec 2006 - 23:24   -   Updated: 09 Dec 2006 - 21:50

Click Below for Attached Images

PIcture of Grip

LOL  sxsi,

As in my training as a coach and even in the 70s when I got my first paid job as assistant junior coach.  The rule had already been in place: Namely, the racquet must be held in the hand at the time it makes contact with the ball.

Technically: This does not come under any of the conduct or interference rules but under Rule 6.1:    Striking the ball correctly


Therefore, if you let go of the racket and it strikes the ball without hand contact and the ball makes it back to the front wall (normally a good return); it doesn't matter if you manage to catch the racquet again or not.   The shot is simply void or 'Not Up!" and you lose the rally.

This rule stops those stupid players from such dangerous practices as throwing their racquet at the ball.   Imagine those who would do it to intercept an out of reach lob, flying racquets - Ouch!!!

Also: On the subject of holding the racquet by two fingers.  This is the way I've always coached my juniors to hold the racquet.   If you hold it in a clenched fist or with all five fingers, then you will find it slips easier than with two fingers (namely, thumb and index finger).  The principle is the same as the bed of nails.   The average grip pressure of all fingers holding the racquet is less than the two fingers.  As a demonstration I get one junior to hold the racquet with a full fist and get another to turn or pull the racquet from his/her hand which usually is quite easy.  Following this I have them grip it with thumb and index finger and do the same exercise.  They instantly notice that it is harder to pull or twist the racquet while gripped with just the two fingers.

I then get them to swish (full power swing) the racquet with just two fingers held at the very butt end of the racquet and they find they don't lose their grip where it often slips out of their hand with a full grip.  Some very experienced players have attacked my grip and called it a fairy or soft grip, but after a few demonstrations I usually convert them.

The technique is to hold the racquet mainly with the thumb and index finger, but use the palm and other fingers to lightly caress and stabilise the racquet (stop it from swinging excessively or moving up and down during the stroke).  It is a bit like how some drummers hold their sticks.






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From gregzilla - 08 Dec 2006 - 22:24

iamsparticus, you were robbed :).  between the legs, behind the back, etc are all fine shots.  remember, it is the striker who calls the lets, not the receiver.   i can see your opponent not being happy because you were facing the back wall, you should ask for a let at that point.  If you had hit them with the ball it would be stroke against you (because you had turned). 
technically, it should not be a let, not his called to make.  however, you should have asked for a let because hitting the ball through your legs while facing the back wall is not a very safe shot to try.

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From rippa rit - 07 Dec 2006 - 08:06   -   Updated: 07 Dec 2006 - 08:07

I have a book called "A Guide to Understanding the Rules" and under "Definitions relating to the return of the ball", and I quote:
"Correctly - The ball must be hit:
  • by the racket held in the hand
  • not more than once (double hit)
  • not with prolonged contact on the racket (carry or scoop)"
I thought we originally were talking about a racket flying out of the hand, after the ball had been struck, which if often the case especially if you tend to let the two fingers hold the racket on the end, trying to make the reach as far as is possible, to return the ball. You can successfully hit a drop or lob with this sort of "hanging on" technique, but the skill then is to be able to regrip the racket without dropping it....ask me as the slower you become the more you have to use these little tricks.

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From clai041 - 06 Dec 2006 - 21:08   -   Updated: 06 Dec 2006 - 21:10

Just reading through the World Squash Rules faq at

Question 60 of Category 02 -General Rules is of a similar vein to sxsi's original question...

"Is allowed to let go of the racket on a dive to return? ie: I don't have enough reach as I'm diving to the floor and I release the racket which goes about another inch, makes contact with the ball which makes the ball hit the front wall...
The ball must be hit with the racket while it is in your hand, otherwise you lose the point."

However it doesn't actually say what rule is being breached, but you'd figure they would know what they were talking about.

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From rippa rit - 06 Dec 2006 - 15:11   -   Updated: 06 Dec 2006 - 15:12

Iamspartacus - go to the Home Page and click on the Rules/Spec tab and read the stuff thoroughly, and if necessary go to the WSF site and read "The Idiots Guide to the Rules". There is nowhere in the rules where it actually tells you what to do, and if you can do this or that. 
Have a good read. 
You can jump over the ball, hit it how ever you want so long as it is in accordance with the rules, eg Fair View, Correctly hit, Interference, Turning, Further Attempts, Dangerous Play, etc.

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From nickhitter - 06 Dec 2006 - 07:46   -   Updated: 06 Dec 2006 - 07:48

On a similar note....

Today in a club league match I was forced by my opponent to play a let when I played a winning drop shot through my own legs! (back to the front wall - the ball bounced out of the back corner at a strange angle....) obviously it was complete luck and despite my cries that I 'played for it' my opponent said that it's an illegal shot.

So is it illegal? or was I robbed of a classic winner even Jonathon Power would have been be proud of!

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From rippa rit - 29 Nov 2006 - 21:12   -   Updated: 29 Nov 2006 - 21:13

sxsi - this incident would have to come under Rule 12 Interference and would be interpreted from the following extracted from our Squash Library/Rules Spec:
"Rule 12 - Interference
  • A player is entitled to minimal interference by the opponent. Interference occurs when the opponent does not provide:
    • Unobstructed direct access to the ball.
    • A fair view of the ball.
    • Freedom to hit the ball.
    • Freedom to play the ball.
Note: If a player considers he has suffered interference he may:-
1. Continue play, or
2. Stop play and appeal to the Referee.
The player must ask the Referee "Let Please" when appealing. The appeal must be made immediately the interference occurs."

As a Ref the questions to be considered would be as follows, before the correct decision could be made.:
  • Was it accidental
  • Was it deliberate
  • Was it dangerous
  • Was the opponent distracted by the action or noise
  • Did the opponent stop play and ask for a "let" immediately interference occurred
  • Did interference occur preventing the opponent returning the ball.
The Refs options would be to:
  • Interrupt play and award a stroke
  • Interrupt play and play a let, or
  • If the opponent continued the rally, subsequently lost the point, and then asked for a let, NO LET.
It is very difficult to give a ruling without seeing the circumstances of the play, as well as know the Interference Rule backwards.

Are you any the wiser?

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From BizarreCo - 29 Nov 2006 - 20:33   -   Updated: 29 Nov 2006 - 20:34

Tough one to call..... In theory the shot would be fine, but then again in theory by throwing your racquet you can actually lose the point through a racquet abuse conduct warning!


Even if you drop your racquet, the rules state that your opponent is entitled to a LET.


Try asking the question on the world squash website and see what the official word is on this one!

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