Info for Your Squashgame

Dealing with cheats

Published: 20 Nov 2008 - 19:27 by daveamour

Updated: 27 Nov 2008 - 21:36

Subscribers: Log in to subscribe to this post.


There is a fairly new player down our club.  He is a tennis player and quite fit so is able to rush around the court quite fast and hit a few balls.  He has the classic tennis swing though and moves like a stampeding elephant.  He is constantly getting in your way and has no concept whatsover of the rules or lets or strokes.  He will give away 3 or 4 strokes a game and a few lets but ask for any and he refuses and argues like a child.  He also asks for lets himself when there is no reason whatsoever.  Also if he serves down and I mean down by at least 4 inches he completeley denies it and argues and argues.

Any ideas on how one should tackle someone lke this?  I would prefer just to not play him at all but I need to play him in order to get points in the league.


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 daveamour - 27 Nov 2008 - 21:36

Thanks for your ideas Rippa and this is good advice for many of these types of players byt he really is something else and has to be seen to be eblieved and it doesn't matter how good you are if he hits the ball and then stands between you and the ball what can you do?  Best to just not play him and almost everyone else in the league agrees with me and won't be playing him either.  Also it is not just the bad play from him but he asks for lets and strokes for no reason and shouts and screams at you if you explain why it isn't a let or stroke.  I really think he has something wrong with him so willl just not be playing him again.

Back to top

From rippa rit - 27 Nov 2008 - 06:58   -   Updated: 27 Nov 2008 - 07:03

dave - it is a pity to give in to this bloke.  I have often felt I had to be at least 25% better when playing this sort of person, so take him on as a challenge, and keep your head....easy to say.  Mental rehearsal helps when playing difficult players.  Replay in your mind the day before the match the problems that bother you, so you have already got an answer, eg

  • if the opponent keeps taking the serve on the overhead volley, be sure to keep the serve low and angled to their feet; next time hit it at their body, and keep changing it, as well as change boxes. Backhand serve from the right box will keep the ball following along the wall making volleying more difficult.
  • concentrate on moving the opponent rather than trying to out-hit them, and use their power to place the ball, eg cut the hard shots off by moving in front of the player.  Volley boasts are also good surprise shots.

A bit of solo practice will sharpen up these shots.  Practice these shots when playing others, and definitely get in front of your opponent as much as possible.

This process might take three months to achieve and your game will definitely improve while working on this challenge.



Back to top

From daveamour - 26 Nov 2008 - 20:06

Thanks for everyone's thoughts and support.

I would love nothing more than to just play the ball no matter what but most of the time it really is impossible no matter how good you are.

For example when I am serving from the right as I serve he changes position and hits the ball with an overhead forehand smash - a perfectly legal shot but he hits it hard and it comes straight back to him and he just stands there and even sometimes runs forwards towards the ball - I reach over to play the ball but cannot as he is completley in the way and when I explain it is a stroke he just looks at me like I'm a cheat and I think he really believes he has done nothing wrong and has simply played a brilliant short which I cannot return!

There are definatley different levels of bad players but when they are this bad I don't think there is any option but to not play him and I know for a fact eevryone else in the league thinks the same as me and I am not the first to walk off court!  I will refuse to play him in future.

Thanks again

Back to top

From Adz - 26 Nov 2008 - 18:49

I love playing players like this.

Dave....... here's a few tricks that I would use (from your description).


Firstly, if his positional awareness is so bad that he's getting stuck against the side walls then play it to the furthest back corner from him. Make him run. Then make him run some more. Then start laughing to yourself about how much you're making him run. You don't have to laugh out loud or anything, but just think about how funny it is that he's running like an idiot (especially if you were good enough to beat him 9-2 in the first!!).

Secondly, if he's close enough to elbow you in the ribs, he's probably the type of player who will encroach on your shots. LET HIM. Wait until the very last fraction of a second to hit the ball and then play it as far away from you as you can before stepping AWAY from the ball. This has two effects, firstly he will have put himself stupidly out of position for the return an d might not even reach it, but secondly, by moving AWAY from the ball, even if he does try to push off you there won't be anything "solid" for him to push off. To do this you really need to try and keep your body between him and your racquet. You need to keep your racquet arm free from any interference so when he make his move one side or the other (as he'll have to go if you hold long enough!), then just play the ball the other way. Let him push around you, and if he trips over your leg that you were using for balance......


But seriously for a moment...... These "players" are a pain in the a$$. Often they are dangerous with no regard for their opponents safety. They have little or no understanding of the rules and unless you are at a level where you can beat them through tight shots, clever play and a bit of flair, then you can really have a battle on your hands.


Just think, if you'd have stayed on court and dealt out another thrashing for the 3rd and 4th (sounded like you lost your way in the 2nd), then the chances are they wouldn't want to play again anyway. These guys hate to lose, and the flair comment above adds to something far worse.... They hate to look like an IDIOT when losing!


Try some of the tips above when playing a friend. Ask them to behae like that other player did and see how effective they are.

1) Hold the ball and force them to move

2) Play the ball away from them when they are out of position

3) Play the ball away from yourself when they encroach (and mixed with point 1 can send them all over the court!)







Back to top

From mike - 26 Nov 2008 - 18:38

Have you tried telling his mum? Sounds about right for his behaviour.

Back to top

From rippa rit - 26 Nov 2008 - 18:11   -   Updated: 26 Nov 2008 - 18:12

dave - it is better to walk off the court than do something you might regret.   This opponent sounds as though he cannot stand to lose.  I have played people like this and, when nothing else seemed to work, made a conscious decision before going on court to hit the ball no matter what.  Mind you, you have to gather a lot of mental strength to do this especially when it is not the nicest thing to do to hit your opponent.  I might add, I tried to hit a person like this during a comp match and I am buggered if I could hit them, so that did not work, and I just continued to play the ball no matter what.  It is a distraction as your focus is in all the wrong areas.

Always try to keep this sort of opponent away from yourself by playing boasts and cross court shots, and don't play more than one shot consecutively to the same spot on the court is a good plan.

Play fearlessly next time and see what happens.

Back to top

From daveamour - 26 Nov 2008 - 17:35

Ok I played last night and couldn't bear it any longer so I just walked off the court.

The things he said almost left me speechless they were so moronic.

For example he played a backhand drive then got stuck against the left wall and I am able to play the ball out of the left hand corner but don't of course as he is stood right in front of me hugging the wall.

He then screams at me that I could have played the ball to the right hand side of the front wall and when I explain that I am entitled to be able to hit any part of the front walll he just goes beserk like a 5 year old having a tantrum.

I really think he has an intelligence problem.  I explained to him once when he elbowed me in the ribs like a rugby player that it is not a contact sport and you are not supposed to touch.  He then plays a drop shot in the left corner and just stays totally still - doesn't budge an inch.  I am right behind him and could easily play the ball if he moved but he doesn't and I have to put my hand on his back to stop my forward momentum and its a clear stroke to me and all he says is it is his point because I am not allowed to touch him but I put my hand on his back!

At that point I had enough and walked off court.

The first game I think I won 9-2 and he was ok then but after that he just seemd to lose his temper and started cheating and almost every point he won was by cheating and he even added points onto his score and thought I didn't notice!


Back to top

From daveamour - 25 Nov 2008 - 00:47   -   Updated: 25 Nov 2008 - 00:51

Ok thanks for everyone's advice.

I think the best thing I can do is try and beat him despite the issues and play the ball away from him and away from me, things like that and when he is in the way just play around him.  I think I can do this if I play well - I really don't want to encourage any arguments by getting a ref or anything like that.  I will just try and beat him regardless.  I am playing him tomorrow and will see how it goes.  I only played him once before and won 3-2 but felt it should have been by a bigger margin but I am mentally prepared now so should do better.






Back to top

From rippa rit - 23 Nov 2008 - 17:34   -   Updated: 23 Nov 2008 - 17:40

Check out the relevant content tags in the lefthand column for some light reading as it is a popular topic.

Personally, I would prefer to deal with situations as per the rules, as that is really all that counts in the final analysis.  Yes, we can try common sense, we can try our little tricks, and the tactical way around it is always a good thing.  Now, if you have no ref it is just a matter of interpretation, and if the guy you are playing has never read the rules, how can they be held accountable or even justify their calls. The tantrum stuff does not count other than being childish, and immature and Rule 17 applies with a "Conduct Warning", etc.

Further thoughts:

  • Put a copy of Rule 12 and Rule 17 on the Noticeboard
  • Print a copy of the "Idiots Guide to the Rules"  as found in the WSF website and hang it on the Board or Clubroom for general reading.
  • Buy a copy of the DVD "Calling the Shots"  from WSF and play it through the public tv screen at the courts where members are having their refreshments and see if the members will get the idea.

These two rules are the most contentious topics and least understood in our game.


Back to top

From hamburglar - 22 Nov 2008 - 05:11

easy, have someone watch your game who you can turn to for any obvious calls.

Does he hit drops? if not, hit boasts, drops, lobs and drives and make him RUN.

Back to top

From raystrach - 21 Nov 2008 - 20:30

try a video camera and rule book and your phone number.

video some of your match with him then give him the rule book along with the video.

if he has got a conscience, get ready for the phone call from him apologising for his behaviour!

Back to top

From mike - 21 Nov 2008 - 09:44

This is why I appreciate having a ref.

I've never encountered someone like this, but I used to be on the same line as a person who would IMO ask for a lot of unnecessary lets. I didn't like playing them because I felt as though I was forced into playing cross courts all the time to avoid even behing on the same half of the court as the ball. Eventually I moved to higher grades so I don't have to play that person any more (do sometimes have to ref though...)

So I agree with Adz, do your best to be the better man and the better player and try to win inspite of your opponents behaviour. When he is really in the way, perhaps a statement like "I'm entitled to hit the ball with a reasonable swing. It's a stroke" or "I don't have direct access to hit to the front wall it's a stroke" will at least get you a let. Doesn't sound as though he's real keen on learning or applying the rules though.


If you can get someone to watch or ref that'd be the best bet. If someone (different each time) could ALWAYS ref this guys matches he might start to learn.

Back to top

From Adz - 21 Nov 2008 - 00:09

I admit in the past I've had some severe problems with "cheating" players to the point I walked off court during a friendly! So I might not be the best person to advise you on this one!!


Are you good enough to beat him regardless of his behaviour?


If you are then just beat him and get it over and done with quickly. Otherwise, if you're really having a problem, ask someone to come to watch / ref the match to back you up when the guy gets it wrong.


When playing a league match, there must be someone who runs the league that you can take your complaint to? Especially with a witness! Also can you get enough points without having to play him?


It will get to a point where no-one will want to play him, and he'll be promotoed to the top of the league when he claims points against everyone. He'll soon learn, playing the top players, that some behaviour is unacceptable.


For now I wouldn't worry about it too much. If he argues, let him, but ALWAYS get a let out of it (it's kind of like a halfway house). If he still argues then tell him tough and if he doesn't like it he can concede the match and complain to the person running the league (which by now you'd have already complained to!!!).



Like I said, I've had similar problems in the past and didn't deal with them very well myself (and no I didn't follow my own advice above - I went down the "losing my temper and swearing at the guy" route that almost ended much worse than a few rude words!

Keep your temper. Don't get stressed. Go to the authority in the league if the problems get very bad, until then insist on playing a let (or at the very least spinning the racquet to make the decisions for you!). You could always be really nice an bring him a print out of the world rules highlighted in the appropriate areas He'll appreciate the present I'm sure








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