Info for Your Squashgame

Squash Etiquette Query

Published: 20 Apr 2007 - 01:05 by sullie416

Updated: 26 Sep 2008 - 07:33

Subscribers: Log in to subscribe to this post.

Hey Folks,

Great website - this is my first post so please be gentle !!

I started playing squash 6 months ago. I recently played a club competition where a much more experienced player created 3 seperate delays in a match in order to recover from "stitch" (i.e. pain from breathlesness) in the middle of a game. Each interruption was called when  I had serve.There was also further delays for cleaning goggles etc. What is the story with this?

I thought squash was a battle of fitness as well as tactics and shot selection i.e. "hit to good length" / "play the four corners" / "keep your opponent on the move".

Obviously I have no issue with an opponent tying shoe laces or a minute or two break between games. However to be 4 nil down in a game and then to battle to a lead of 7-5 only for your opponent to call for a break to get their breath back can make a game very hard to win. Especially when your opponent gets the chance to recover physically during a game after all your hard work in manouvering them around court. In my opinion if you aren't  fit enough to continue you should forfeit that game and continue with the next game.

What is your opinion on this - am I correct or do I need to chill out a bit !!!


squash game squash extras How to add images to Members' Forum posts and replies here...


Please Note: The most recent replies are now at the top!

From nickhitter - 01 May 2007 - 07:12

"Hurry up mate, you can rest between games after I whoop your butt !"

hehe nice one adz - there's nothing like a bit of sledging on court...

Back to top

From Adz - 25 Apr 2007 - 20:41

How about you just say to your opponent - "Hurry up mate, you can rest between games after I whoop your butt!". That'll certainly get a reaction and make them stop time wasting!


Otherwise walk off court and go to the toilet, or start doing court sprints, something to make it look like you don't care how much time they waste as you're ready to get straight back into it!


Back to top

From fransquash - 25 Apr 2007 - 19:11   -   Updated: 25 Apr 2007 - 19:12

 Frustrating playing someone like that, the Ref should of cautioned the player. We have a coulpe of players like that who make it their game to frustrate and break the other players momentuim. I agree if your not fit bad luck!! The best thing is to keep your mind on your game, and pin pointing their weekness.

Back to top

From rippa rit - 25 Apr 2007 - 08:27

sullie - now I think instead of worrying about your opponent start thinking about what you can do - and it can work well, and sometimes you can then become the winner of the situation.  What?
  • While your opponent is walking around or stalling time - hit the ball up and down to yourself and basically keep the ball warm and keep your eye in, and that in turn will take your mind off the antics; and, then, if you want, when they are ready, you might just not be quite ready, yet.
  • When your opponent wins a point, he is surely going to be getting on with the game, unless he is stuffed, and you should always be the one foxing the ball, keep it in your hand until you are ready to return serve, and then pass the ball politely to the server.
Let us know how it goes?

Back to top

From mike - 24 Apr 2007 - 23:45

Wow, 2-3 minutes between RALLIES is absolutely excessive, and not on at all. The rules say 90 seconds between GAMES!

This is definitely an unfair advantage to your opponent. You've worked to take their breath away, and that is part of the contest. Essentially stopping the game to dissolve the advantage you've built is rude, and basically cheating.

Having said that, without a ref it's going to be hard to correct their behaviour.

Back to top

From sullie416 - 24 Apr 2007 - 23:02

Folks - thanks for the response. I used the link and I found the rules very clear in this regard as detailed below.

7.6 Wasting Time

  • Play must be continuous.
  • Examples of wasting time include:
  • Delaying play by deliberately walking around the court
  • Not being ready to serve or return the ball, etc.

Based on this rule; I would consider an opponent walking around for 2 or 3 minutes with hands on hips trying to get their breath back during a game as wasting time. I asked a top grade player at the club about this and he advised that in the absence of a referee to give the opponent 30 seconds to get their breath back. He then advised to serve whether they were ready or not and take your scores to finish the game out - then give your opponent 5 minutes before starting the next game.

I appreciate the points about breaking up the flow of play to upset an opponents stride and rhythm by using lobs etc. - which is all part of the game.

Back to top

From Adz - 22 Apr 2007 - 05:22

I had a conversation with a few players at training earlier today, about breaking up the flow of play in your opponents. Some players find a rhythm and find it very difficult to focus again if you break that rhythm. My natural style of play has developed to try and exploit this in my opponents. I slow down, speed up, attack low, defend high, twist and turn as a normal style of game. Against less experienced opponents I can cause serious issues in focus, but against more experienced players I find that they adapt to various styles much quicker.


From what I've been old by others, this varying style is very difficult to play against as it stops the "groove" from developing for your opponents.


Play between points should be continuous, as the rules clearly state. But the best players have always lived on the edge of the rules, bending them by the experience they've gained through years of play. You have to learn to live with it and stop complaining. If it's upsetting you then you've already fallen for what they were trying to do, which is ultimately to regain them the advantage. Learn to stay focused and to put them into another hard rally. And another. And another!! Develope your mental tools as well as your physical ones, then you'll be an even better player.


Back to top

From mike - 21 Apr 2007 - 18:26

sullie -- when you say created delays, are you talking about being slow to get back to receive serve, or actually asking for rest time?
It's inevitable that as players get tired they may take a little longer to get ready to serve/receive, but the delay should be minimal. As the rules say, play is to be continuous.

Hitting lobs to buy time is fine, the striker can make whatever valid shot they choose, but this is totally different to wasting time between rallies. Doesn't sound like your opponent has acted honourably.

Back to top

From rippa rit - 21 Apr 2007 - 18:08

That reminds me.  We had this up and coming junior I played one night in comp and the remark from her after the match was "you didn't play properly" .   Because she could not get into her stride and rhythm she did not consider that fair play.

Back to top

From Adz - 20 Apr 2007 - 18:36   -   Updated: 20 Apr 2007 - 18:38

  • Hit to good length
  • Play the four corners
  • Keep your opponent on the move

These all sound like physical tactics to me! This is sport of both physical and mental attrition. Two equally fit players with the same shot repetoire will only be separated by mental ability. Sometimes a player who isn't as physically good can beat a better player, mentally rather than physically. I've seen it myself in a warm up where I knew I was playing a good player who doesn't play well against people he think are good players. I hit as many nicks in the warm-up as I could and played as many different varieties of shot that I could think of. His head dropped before we even started and never came back up. I picked up a very easy win against someone who by right could well have beaten me! Would you consider this to be bad ettiquette?


What if someone deliberately started to play every shot as a high lob to give themself some breathing time? I say that if the result is to break up your rhythm and disrupt your play in a match then they've done a good job. Fitness and physicality count for nothing if you can't keep yourself focused and "in the zone" for the next rally! The real trick against a player who is struggling that much with the pace is to push them around the court in a long fast rally until they simply can't run anymore and have to let a relatively easy shot become a winner. Once you have someone in this stage then the match is over. Keep them in longer, hard rallies and even if they take 30s between points they still won't last more than 15 or 20 mins of long punishing rallies!


I guess it comes back to the "old head versus the young feet", which as Ray or Rita will (hopefully) agree, can be very one-sided if you start using experience over physical prowess.


I know this probably goes against the beliefs of many fit and ready squash players, but I defy anyone to disagree that a bit of mind games can make a huge difference in overcoming an opponent!


Back to top

From rippa rit - 20 Apr 2007 - 11:14

Sparty - Rule 7 covers continuity of play and here is our link

Back to top

From nickhitter - 20 Apr 2007 - 04:08

I actually think you're right. I hate it when people slow me down when I'm on a roll and I agree that in some respects that's the point of the game to capitalize on your opponents tiredness. 

In a refereed tournament, then obviously this isn't allowed. I remember when a rather cruel referee said to Simon Parke "Be ready to play!" in a sharp tone at the english open a few years back when he only took about 10 seconds at the back of the court, and he was absolutely knackered!

 As for club games, I think a rest at the end of the game is fine, and to tie shoelaces is usually a tactic anyway to be honest but anything more than that and they should be ready to play the next point as soon as you're ready to serve it.

Back to top

Sorry, only members can post replies on this and all other Members` Forum items.

Join Here - It`s fast and it`s free!

Check other member benefits here...

Support Squashgame

Support us here at! If you think we helped you, please consider our Squash Shop when purchasing or make a small contribution.

Products Now Available

US Squash Shop



Squash Balls


Squash Rackets

Sport and Leisure

Video Games


Facebook Link



There's more stuff on this site than you can poke a squash racket at. Cool, keep it going!

Sorry, logins temporarily disabled

We hope to see you back soon when we launch our updated site.