WORLD SQUASH SINGLES RULES 2010
The use of the word "shall" in the rules indicates compulsion and the lack of any alternative. The word "must"
indicates a required course of action with considerations to be taken into account if the action is not carried out.
The word "may" indicates the option of carrying out or not carrying out the action.
Words or terms in italics are used with a specific meaning as defined in Appendix 2.
1. THE GAME
The game of Singles Squash is played between two players, each using a racket, with a ball and in a
court, all three of which meet WSF specifications (see Appendix 5).
Point-a-Rally Scoring to 11
Point-a-Rally scoring to 11 points will be the official scoring system for all levels of
competitive squash from 1st April 2009.
Rule 2 THE SCORING is therefore replaced by the following.
2. THE SCORING (see Appendix 7 for Alternative scoring systems.)
2.1 Either player may score points. The server, on winning a rally, scores a point and retains the
service; the receiver, on winning a rally, scores a point and becomes the server.
2.2 A match is the best of 3 or 5 games at the option of the organisers of the competition.
2.3 Each game is played to 11 points. The player who scores 11 points first wins the game except
that if the score reaches 10-all, the game continues until one player leads by two points.
2.4 Each time the score reaches 10-all, the Marker announces “10-all: a player must win by 2
2.5 The Marker calls "Game ball" to indicate that the player who is leading requires 1 point to win
the game in progress, or "Match ball" to indicate that the player who is leading requires 1
point to win the match. This includes the situations where it is the receiver who requires 1
point to win the game or match (e.g. “10-6, game (or match) ball” followed by “hand out, 7-
10, game (or match) ball”.
3. THE WARM-UP (see definition in Appendix 2)
3.1 Immediately preceding the start of play both players shall be allowed onto the court of play for
a period of five minutes to warm-up together.
After two and a half minutes of the warm-up, the Referee shall call "Half time" and the
players shall change sides unless they have already done so. The Referee shall also advise the
players when the warm-up period is complete with the call of "Time".
3.2 In the warm-up both players must have equal opportunities of striking the ball. A player
retaining the strike for an unreasonable time is warming up unfairly. The Referee shall decide
when the warm-up is unfair and apply Rule 17.
3.3 Either player may warm the ball up during any interval.
3.4 The players may warm the ball up to playing condition after any interval at the discretion of
4. THE SERVICE
4.1 Play commences with a service and the spin of a racket decides the right to serve first.
Thereafter, the server continues to serve until losing a rally, whereupon the opponent becomes
the server and this procedure continues throughout the match. At the commencement of the
second and each subsequent game the winner of the previous game serves first.
4.2 At the beginning of each game and each hand the server shall choose from which box to serve
and thereafter shall serve from alternate boxes while remaining the server. However, if a rally
ends in a let, the server shall serve again from the same box.
If the server moves to the wrong box, or either player is uncertain of the correct box for
serving, the Marker shall announce the correct box. The Referee shall rule on the correct box
if the Marker is uncertain or incorrect, or there is a dispute.
4.3 To serve, a player shall release the ball from either a hand or the racket and then strike it.
Should the player make no attempt to strike it after that release, the player shall release the
ball again for that service.
4.4 A service is good if all the conditions in Rules 4.4.1 - 4.4.5 are met:
4.4.1 the server has part of one foot in contact with the floor within the service box without
any part of that foot touching the service box line (part of that foot may project over
this line if it does not touch the line) at the time of striking the ball;
4.4.2 the server, after releasing the ball for service, strikes it correctly on the first or further
attempt before the ball falls to the floor, touches a wall, or touches anything the
4.4.3 the server strikes the ball directly onto the front wall between the service and out
4.4.4 unless volleyed by the receiver, the first bounce of the ball on the floor is in the
quarter court opposite the server's box without touching the short or half court lines;
4.4.5 the server does not serve the ball out.
4.5 A service which does not meet the requirements of Rules 4.4.1 - 4.4.5 is not good and the
Marker shall make the appropriate call.
The calls are: “foot-fault” for Rule 4.4.1
“not up” for Rule 4.4.2
“fault” for Rule 4.4.3 if the ball strikes a side wall first or the front wall on
or below the service line but above the tin
“down” for Rule 4.4.3 if the ball strikes the tin or the floor
“fault” for Rule 4.4.4
“out” for Rule 4.4.5
A service in which the ball is considered to have struck the front wall and a side wall
simultaneously is not good and is called “fault”.
4.6 The server must not serve until the Marker has completed calling the score. The Marker must
call the score without delay. If the server serves or attempts to serve prior to the Marker
completing the calling of the score, the Referee shall stop play and require the server to wait
until the Marker has completed calling the score.
5. THE PLAY
After the server delivers a good service, the players return the ball alternately until one fails to make a
good return, the ball otherwise ceases to be in play in accordance with the rules, a player appeals, or the
Marker or Referee makes a call.
6. GOOD RETURN
A return is good if all the conditions in Rules 6.1 - 6.3 are met.
6.1 The striker returns the ball correctly before it has bounced twice on the floor.
6.2 The ball strikes the front wall above the tin, either directly or via side wall(s) and/or the back
wall, without first touching the floor or any part of the striker's body or apparel, or the
opponent's racket, body or apparel.
6.3 The ball is not out or down.
7. CONTINUITY OF PLAY
After the server delivers the first service, play shall be continuous so far as is practical. However,
7.1 at any time the Referee may suspend play owing to bad light or other circumstances beyond
the control of the players and officials, for such period as the Referee shall decide. The score
shall stand. If another court is available and the original court remains unsuitable for play, the
Referee may transfer the match to it.
7.2 There shall be a 90 second interval between the end of the warm-up and the commencement of
the first game and between all games. Players may leave the court during these intervals but
must be ready to play prior to the expiry of the 90 second interval.
By mutual consent of the players, play may commence or resume prior to the expiry of the 90
(G1) 7.3 If a player satisfies the Referee that a change of equipment, clothing or footwear is necessary,
the player may leave the court to effect the change as quickly as possible but must do so
within 90 seconds.
7.4 When 15 seconds of a permitted 90 second interval remain the Referee shall call "Fifteen
seconds" to advise the players to be ready to resume play. At the end of 90 seconds the
Referee shall call "Time".
It is the responsibility of the players to be in a position to hear the calls of "Fifteen seconds"
Should one or both players not be ready to resume play when “Time” is called, the Referee
shall apply Rule 17.
7.5 If a player is injured, ill or disabled the Referee shall apply Rule 16.
(G2) 7.6 The Referee, on deciding that a player has delayed play unreasonably, shall apply Rule 17.
(G3) 7.7 If an object, other than a player's racket, falls to the floor of the court while a rally is in
progress the requirements are:
7.7.1 the Referee, on becoming aware of a fallen object, shall stop play immediately;
7.7.2 a player becoming aware of a fallen object may stop play and appeal.
7.7.3 If the object falls from a player, that player shall lose the rally, unless Rule 7.7.5
applies or the cause is a collision with the opponent. In the latter case the Referee
shall allow a let, unless the player appeals for a let because of interference in which
case the Referee shall apply Rule 12.
7.7.4 If the object falls from a source other than a player, the Referee shall allow a let
unless Rule 7.7.5 applies.
7.7.5 If the player has already made a winning return when the object falls to the floor, that
player shall win the rally.
7.7.6 If a dropped object remains unnoticed until the end of the rally, the result of the rally
(G3) 7.8 If a player drops a racket, the Referee shall allow the rally to continue, unless interference
occurred (Rule 12), the ball touched the racket (Rule 13.1.1), distraction occurred (Rule
13.1.3), or the Referee applies a conduct penalty (Rule 17).
8. WINNING A RALLY
A player wins a rally if:
8.1 the opponent fails to deliver a good service (Rule 4.4);
8.2 the opponent fails to make a good return (Rule 6), unless the Referee allows a let or awards a
stroke to the opponent;
(G4) 8.3 the ball touches the opponent (including anything worn or carried), without interference, when
the opponent is the non-striker, except as is otherwise provided for in Rules 9 and 10. If
interference occurs then the provisions of Rule 12 apply. In all cases the Referee shall make
8.4 the Referee awards a stroke to the player as provided for in the Rules.
9. BALL HITTING THE OPPONENT AND A PLAYER TURNING
(G4) 9.1 If the striker hits the ball which, before reaching the front wall, hits the opponent (including
anything worn or carried), play shall cease. The Referee, in addition to considering possible
infringement of Rule 17, shall assess the ball’s trajectory and shall:
9.1.1 award a stroke to the striker if the return would have been good and the ball would
have struck the front wall without first touching any other wall, unless Rule 9.1.2 or
(G4 & G5) 9.1.2 if the striker turned, award a stroke to the opponent, unless the opponent made a
deliberate movement to intercept the return, in which case the Referee shall award
the stroke to the striker;
(G5) 9.1.3 if the striker’s return is a further attempt, allow a let, provided that Rule 9.1.2 does
9.1.4 allow a let if the ball either had struck or would have struck any other wall before the
front wall and the return would have been good, unless Rule 9.1.5 applies;
9.1.5 if deciding the return would have been a winning return, award a stroke to the striker;
9.1.6 award a stroke to the opponent if the return would not have been good.
(G5) 9.2 If the striker turns:
9.2.1 the striker may, before striking the ball, out of fear of hitting the opponent with the
ball, stop and appeal. The Referee shall:
184.108.40.206 allow a let, if deciding that there was a reasonable fear of the ball hitting the
opponent and the striker would have been able to make a good return unless
Rule 9.2.3 applies or
220.127.116.11 not allow a let, if deciding that the striker could not have made a good
9.2.2. The striker may, because of interference, stop play and appeal. The Referee shall:
18.104.22.168 allow a let, if deciding that the striker is unable to complete an attempt to
play the ball because of interference by the opponent or
22.214.171.124 award a stroke to the striker, if deciding that the opponent did not make
every effort to avoid the interference on turning, or
126.96.36.199 not allow a let, if deciding that the striker could not have made a good return
regardless of the interference.
9.2.3 The Referee shall not allow a let if deciding that the act of turning was to create the
opportunity to appeal rather than an attempt to return the ball.
10. FURTHER ATTEMPTS TO HIT THE BALL
If the striker attempts to strike the ball and misses, the striker may make further attempts.
10.1 If, after being missed, the ball touches the opponent (including anything worn or carried), the
10.1.1 allow a let, if deciding that the striker could otherwise have made a good return, or
10.1.2 award a stroke to the opponent, if deciding that the striker could not have made a
10.2 The Referee shall allow a let if any such further attempt is successful but results in a good
return being prevented from reaching the front wall by hitting the opponent, including
anything worn or carried.
10.3 The striker may, because of interference on the further attempt, stop play and appeal. The
10.3.1 allow a let, if the striker is unable to complete a further attempt to play the ball
provided a good return was possible; or
10.3.2 award a stroke to the striker, if deciding that the opponent did not make every effort
to avoid the interference on the further attempt; or
10.3.3 not allow a let, if deciding that the further attempt would not have resulted in a good
The loser of a rally may appeal against any decision of the Marker affecting that rally.
A player should preface any appeal under Rule 11 by saying "Appeal please". Play ceases when a
player appeals. The Referee, if uncertain of the reason for an appeal, may ask the player for an
If the Referee disallows an appeal under Rule 11, the Marker's decision shall stand. If uncertain, the
Referee shall allow a let, except where the provisions of Rules 11.2.1, 11.5 or 11.6 apply.
Appeals and Referee interventions in specific situations are dealt with below (see also Rule 20.4).
11.1 Appeals on Service.
11.1.1 If the Marker makes a call of "Foot-fault", "Fault", "Not up", "Down" or "Out" to the
service, the server may appeal. If the Referee upholds the appeal, the Referee shall
allow a let.
11.1.2 If, after the service, the Marker makes no call, the receiver may appeal, either
immediately or at the end of the rally. The Referee, if certain that the service was not
good, shall, without waiting for an appeal, stop play and award a stroke to the
opponent. In response to an appeal the Referee shall:
188.8.131.52 if certain the service was good, award a stroke to the server.
184.108.40.206 if uncertain, allow a let.
11.2 Appeals on Play other than Service.
11.2.1 A player may appeal if the Marker calls "Not up", "Down" or "Out" following that
player's return. The Referee, if upholding the appeal or uncertain whether the
Marker’s call was correct, shall:
220.127.116.11 allow a let, unless Rule 18.104.22.168 or 22.214.171.124 apply;
126.96.36.199 award a stroke to the player, if the Marker's call interrupted that player's
188.8.131.52 award a stroke to the opponent, if the Marker's call has interrupted or
prevented a winning return by the opponent.
11.2.2 If the Marker fails to call "Not up", "Down" or "Out" following a player's return, the
opponent may appeal either immediately or at the end of the rally. The Referee, if
certain that the return was not good, shall, without waiting for an appeal, stop play
and award a stroke to the opponent. In response to an appeal the Referee shall:
184.108.40.206 if deciding the return was good, award a stroke to the player;
220.127.116.11 if uncertain, allow a let.
11.3 After the delivery of a service neither player may appeal for anything which occurred before
that service, except as Rule 14.3 provides.
11.4 When the loser makes more than one appeal concerning a rally, the Referee shall consider
11.5 If a player appeals the Marker's call of "Footfault", "Fault", "Not up", "Down" or "Out" to a
service but that same service subsequently is clearly a fault, not up, down or out, the Referee
shall rule only on the subsequent occurrence.
11.6 If a player appeals the Marker's call of "Not up", "Down" or "Out" to a return but that same
return subsequently is clearly down or out, the Referee shall rule only on the subsequent
12.1 The player whose turn it is to play the ball is entitled to freedom from interference by the
12.2 To avoid interference the opponent must make every effort to provide the player with:
(G6) 12.2.1 unobstructed direct access to the ball after completion of a reasonable followthrough;
12.2.2 a fair view of the ball on its rebound from the front wall;
(G7) 12.2.3 freedom to hit the ball with a reasonable swing;
12.2.4 freedom to play the ball directly to any part of the front wall.
12.3 Interference occurs if the opponent fails to fulfil any of the requirements of Rule 12.2, even
though the opponent makes every effort to fulfil those requirements.
12.4 A player’s excessive swing can contribute to interference for the opponent when it becomes
the latter's turn to play the ball.
12.5 A player encountering possible interference has the choice of continuing to play or of stopping
and appealing to the Referee.
(G8) 12.5.1 A player seeking a let or a stroke should appeal by saying “Let please”.
(G9, G10) 12.5.2 Only the player whose turn it is to play the ball may appeal. The player must appeal
either immediately the interference occurs or, when clearly not continuing play
beyond the point of interference, without undue delay.
12.6 The Referee shall decide on the appeal and shall announce the decision with the words "No
let", "Stroke to (name of player or team)", or "Yes let" (see flowchart in Appendix 4.1). The
Referee alone makes all decisions, which are final. The Referee, if uncertain of the reason for
an appeal, may ask the player for an explanation.
12.7 The Referee shall not allow a let and the player shall lose the rally if the Referee decides:
(G6) 12.7.1 there was no interference or the interference was so minimal that the player’s fair
view of the ball and freedom to get to and play the ball were not affected;
(G6) 12.7.2 interference occurred but either the player would not have made a good return or the
player has not made every effort to get to and play the ball;
12.7.3 the player moved past the point of interference and played on;
(G11) 12.7.4 the player created the interference in moving to the ball.
12.8 The Referee shall award a stroke to the player if:
12.8.1 there was interference, which the opponent did not make every effort to avoid, and
the player would have made a good return;
(G7) 12.8.2 there was interference, which the opponent made every effort to avoid, but the
opponent’s position prevented the player’s reasonable swing and the player would
have been able to make a good return;
(G7) 12.8.3 there was interference, which the opponent made every effort to avoid, and the player
would have made a winning return;
12.8.4 the player refrained from hitting the ball which, if hit, would clearly have struck the
opponent going directly to the front wall; or to a side wall but in the latter case would
have been a winning return (unless in either case turning or further attempt applies).
12.9 The Referee shall allow a let if there was interference, which the opponent made every effort
to avoid, and the player would have made a good return.
12.10 The Referee shall not award a stroke to a player who causes interference with an excessive
12.11 The Referee may allow a let under Rule 12.9 or award a stroke under Rule 12.8 without an
appeal, if necessary stopping play to do so.
12.12 The Referee may also apply Rule 17 when interference occurs. The Referee shall, stopping
play if it has not already stopped, apply an appropriate penalty if:
(G12) 12.12.1 the player made significant or deliberate physical contact with the opponent;
12.12.2 the player endangered the opponent with an excessive swing.
In addition to lets allowed under other rules, the Referee may or shall allow lets in certain other cases.
A player should request a let by saying "Let please". The Referee, if uncertain of the reason for an
appeal, may ask the player for an explanation.
13.1 The Referee may allow a let if:
13.1.1 the ball in play touches any article lying on the floor (see Rule 15.3);
(G7) 13.1.2 the striker refrains from hitting the ball onto any of the walls including the back wall
owing to a reasonable fear of injuring the opponent;
13.1.3 the Referee determines that an occurrence on or off the court distracted either player.
A player appealing for distraction must do so immediately the distraction occurs.
Notwithstanding the above the Referee may award a stroke to a player who has been
distracted if that player could have played a winning return but for the distraction;
13.1.4 the Referee determines that a change in court conditions affected the result of the
13.2 The Referee shall allow a let if:
13.2.1 the receiver is not ready and does not attempt to return the service;
13.2.2 the ball breaks during play;
13.2.3 the Referee is unable to decide an appeal;
13.2.4 a player makes an otherwise good return but either the ball lodges in any part of the
playing surface of the court, preventing it from bouncing more than once on the floor,
or the ball goes out after its first bounce.
13.3 If the striker appeals for a let under Rules 13.1.1 to 13.1.4, the Referee shall allow a let only if
the striker can make a good return. For a non-striker appeal under Rules 13.1.1, 13.1.3 and
13.1.4 this is not a requirement.
13.4 If the striker attempts to play the ball, the Referee may still allow a let under Rules 13.1.1,
13.1.3, 13.1.4 and 13.2.2.
13.5 The appeals requirements of Rule 13 are:
13.5.1 a player’s appeal is necessary for the Referee to allow a let under Rules 13.1.2
(striker only), 13.1.3, 13.2.1 (receiver only) and 13.2.3;
13.5.2 a player’s appeal or Referee intervention without appeal is applicable to Rules 13.1.1,
13.1.4, 13.2.2 and 13.2.4.
14. THE BALL
14.1 At any time, when the ball is not in actual play, either player or the Referee may examine the
ball. The Referee may substitute another ball by mutual consent of the players, or on appeal by
14.2 If a ball breaks during play, the Referee, after confirming it is broken, shall replace it promptly
with another ball.
14.3 If the ball breaks during play without being noticed during the rally, the Referee shall allow a
let for the rally in which the ball broke, if the server appeals prior to the next service or if the
receiver appeals prior to attempting to return that service.
(G13) 14.3.1 If the receiver appeals prior to attempting to return service and the Referee decides
the ball broke during that service, the Referee shall allow a let for that rally only, but
if uncertain shall allow a let for the previous rally.
14.4 The provisions of Rule 14.3 do not apply to the final rally of a game. In that case a player
must appeal immediately after the rally.
14.5 If a player stops during a rally to appeal that the ball is broken, only to find subsequently that
the ball is not broken, then that player shall lose the rally.
14.6 The ball shall remain within the court at all times, unless the Referee permits its removal.
14.7 When the Referee has substituted another ball or when the players resume a match after some
delay, the Referee shall allow the players to warm the ball to playing condition. Play shall then
resume on the direction of the Referee, or by mutual consent of the players, whichever is
15. DUTIES OF THE PLAYERS
15.1 The players must observe all the Rules and the spirit of the game. Failure to do so could bring
the game into disrepute and Rule 17 may be applied.
15.2 Players must be ready to commence play at the announced starting time of the match.
15.3 Players are not permitted to place within the court any object(s), clothing or equipment.
15.4 Players are not permitted to leave the court during a game without the permission of the
Referee. If they do the Referee may apply Rule 17.
15.5 Players are not permitted to request a change of Marker or Referee.
15.6 A player must not deliberately distract the opponent. If this occurs the Referee shall apply
15.7 Players should preface appeals by saying “Let please” or “Appeal please” according to the
circumstances. Pointing with the finger or racket, other gestures, raised eyebrows or other eye
activity are not universally recognised methods of appeal.
15.8 Players must comply with any additional competition regulations (e.g. the clothing
requirements of the tournament), as well as those contained in the Rules.
(G14) 16. BLEEDING, ILLNESS, DISABILITY AND INJURY (see flowchart in Appendix 4.2)
16.1 Bleeding: The Referee shall immediately stop play when any player has visible bleeding, an
open wound or blood-stained clothing. Before allowing play to continue the Referee shall
require that the bleeding be stopped, the wound covered and any blood-stained clothing
changed, allowing such time as is reasonable and necessary and is available on the tournament
If the bleeding was caused solely by the opponent, the Referee shall immediately award the
match to the player.
16.1.1 Recurrence of bleeding: If the bleeding recurs, for which recovery time has already
been allowed, the Referee shall allow no further recovery time except that the player
may concede the game in progress and use the 90 second interval between games for
recovery. If the visible bleeding continues at the end of this 90 second interval the
player shall concede the match. A player may only concede one game for one 90
If the covering of the bleeding wound falls off or is removed during the match,
thereby exposing the wound, the Referee shall consider this to be a recurrence of the
bleeding, unless all sign of bleeding has ceased.
16.2 Illness or Disability: A player suffering illness or disability not involving bleeding has the
16.2.1 resuming play without delay;
16.2.2 conceding the game in progress, accepting the 90 second interval, or
16.2.3 conceding the match.
Symptoms of tiredness, alleged illness, or disability not reasonably evident to the Referee, or
recurrence of pre-existing ailments, including injuries sustained earlier in the match, shall be
dealt with under this Rule 16.2. This includes cramps of any kind, actual or impending nausea
and breathlessness, including asthma. The Referee shall inform the players of the decision and
the requirements of the rules.
16.3.1 If a player claims that an injury has occurred, the Referee must be satisfied that the
injury is genuine and, if so, decide the category of injury, informing the players of the
decision and of the requirements of the rules. The player is only entitled to recovery
time immediately after the injury occurred.
The categories are:
18.104.22.168 self-inflicted, where the opponent did not contribute to the injury;
22.214.171.124 contributed, where the opponent accidentally contributed to or accidentally
caused the injury. The Referee shall not interpret the words "accidentally
contributed to or accidentally caused by" to include the situation where a
player is crowding the opponent;
126.96.36.199 opponent-inflicted, where the opponent solely caused the injury.
16.3.2 If the injury involves bleeding, Rule 16.1 shall apply until the bleeding has stopped.
Subsequently Rule 16.3.3 applies.
16.3.3 If bleeding is not involved the following rules shall apply:
188.8.131.52 for a self-inflicted injury (Rule 184.108.40.206) the Referee shall allow 3 minutes
for the injured player to recover. The Referee shall call “Time” at the end
of the 3 minute period after giving a 15 second warning. If the player
requests additional recovery time beyond 3 minutes, the Referee shall
require the injured player to concede one game, accept the 90 second time
interval between games and then resume play or concede the match. If the
injured player has not returned to the court when “Time” is called, the
Referee shall award the match to the opponent;
220.127.116.11 for a contributed injury (Rule 18.104.22.168) the Referee shall allow one hour
for the injured player to recover and such additional time as the timeschedule
of the competition permits. The Referee shall call “Time” at the
end of any recovery time allowed. The injured player must, by the end of
this period, resume play or concede the match. If the injured player
resumes play, the score at the conclusion of the rally in which the injury
occurred shall stand;
22.214.171.124 for an opponent-inflicted injury (Rule 126.96.36.199) the Referee shall apply
Rule 17 and if the injured player requires time to recover, the Referee shall
award the match to the injured player.
16.4 If an injured player, having been granted a period of recovery time, wishes to resume play
prior to the expiry of that time, the Referee shall permit the opponent sufficient time to
prepare to resume play.
16.5 If a player claims injury and the Referee is not satisfied that an injury has occurred, the
Referee shall require the player to resume play; or concede one game, accept the time interval
available and then either resume play or concede the match.
16.6 If conceding the game, the player shall retain any points already scored and at the conclusion
of the 90 second interval between games shall either resume play or concede the match.
17. CONDUCT ON COURT
17.1 If the Referee considers that a player’s behaviour is disruptive, intimidating or offensive to the
opponent, an official or a spectator, or could in any way bring the game into disrepute, the
Referee shall penalise the player.
(G15) 17.2 Offences with which the Referee shall deal under this rule include audible and visible
obscenities, verbal and physical abuse, dissent to Marker or Referee, abuse of racket, ball or
court and coaching, other than during the interval between games. Other offences include
significant or deliberate physical contact (Rule 12.12.1), excessive racket swing (Rule 12.4),
unfair warm-up (Rule 3.2), late back on court (Rule 7.4), dangerous play or action (Rule
188.8.131.52) and time-wasting (Rule 7.6).
(G16) 17.3 The Referee shall apply one of the following penalties for these and any other offences.
Warning (called a Conduct Warning).
Stroke awarded to opponent (called a Conduct Stroke).
Game awarded to opponent (called a Conduct Game).
Match awarded to opponent (called a Conduct Match).
17.3.1 If the Referee stops play to give a Conduct Warning, the Referee shall allow a let.
17.3.2 During a rally, if an incident occurs warranting the award of a Conduct Stroke, the
Referee shall stop play, if it has not already ceased, and award a stroke. Application
of the Conduct Stroke becomes the result of the rally.
17.3.3 If the Referee awards a Conduct Stroke as a result of an incident between rallies, the
result of the completed rally stands and the Conduct Stroke award is additional to the
score but without further change of service box.
17.3.4 If the Referee awards a Conduct Game, that game shall be the one in progress or the
next game if one is not in progress. In the latter case the interval between games shall
not apply. The offending player shall retain any points already scored in the game
18. CONTROL OF A MATCH
(G17) 18.1 A Referee, assisted by a Marker, normally controls a match. Although the Referee may
undertake the duties of the Marker as well, the WSF recommends that separate officials carry
out the two roles.
18.2 The correct location for the Referee and Marker is at the centre of the back wall, as close to
that wall as possible, above the out line on the back wall and preferably with seating.
19. DUTIES OF A MARKER
(G18) 19.1 The Marker shall call the play, followed by the score, with the server's score called first. The
Marker shall call services and returns which are not good using the recognised calls of "Fault",
"Foot-fault", "Not up", "Down", "Out", "Hand-out" and "Stop" (see Appendix 3.1) as
appropriate and shall repeat the Referee's decisions.
19.2 At the end of the rally the Marker shall call the score without delay and after the Referee has
decided any appeals.
19.3 If the Marker makes a call, the rally shall cease.
19.4 The Marker, if unsighted or uncertain, shall make no call.
19.5 If play ceases without the Marker having made a call, the Marker, if unsighted or uncertain,
shall advise the players and the Referee shall make the relevant decision. If also uncertain, the
Referee shall allow a let.
19.6 The Marker shall keep a written record of the score and the correct side for service.
(G19) 20. DUTIES OF A REFEREE
20.1 The Referee shall rule on all appeals, make decisions where the Rules call for them and shall
decide all appeals against the Marker's calls or lack of calls. The decision of the Referee shall
The Referee must announce all decisions to the players on the court and must make all calls in
a voice loud enough to be heard on the court and in the gallery.
20.2 The Referee shall exercise control:
20.2.1 when one of the players appeals, including an appeal against any specification;
20.2.2 to ensure that all relevant rules are applied correctly;
20.2.3 when the behaviour of any spectator, official, manager or coach is disruptive to the
play or offensive to the players, officials or spectators. The Referee shall suspend
play until the disruption has ceased and, if necessary, shall require the offending
person(s) to leave the court area.
20.3 The Referee shall not intervene in the Marker's calling of the score unless the Referee decides
that the Marker has called the score incorrectly. In that case the Referee shall correct the score
and the Marker shall repeat the corrected score.
20.4 The Referee shall not intervene in the Marker's calling of the play unless the Referee decides
that the Marker has made an error in stopping play or allowing play to continue, in which case
the Referee shall immediately rule accordingly.
20.5 The Referee shall enforce all Rules relating to time.
20.6 The Referee shall keep a written record of the score and the correct side for service.
20.7 The Referee is responsible for ensuring that court conditions are satisfactory for play.
20.8 The Referee may award a match to a player whose opponent is not present on court, ready to
play, within ten minutes after the announced time of play.
GUIDELINES ON RULES INTERPRETATIONS
Guideline numbers are referenced in the rules
The over-riding principle governing the Rules of Squash and their interpretation is to allow a fair result to each
match. This requires that the Referee implement the rules fairly for both players throughout the match.
The Guidelines should be read in conjunction with the Rules and have been approved by the World Squash
G1. CHANGE OF EQUIPMENT
In order to prevent one player from gaining an unfair rest interval through a change of equipment, the
Referee, before allowing a player to leave the court to make the change, shall be satisfied that there has
indeed been a material deterioration of the equipment.
The preference for another racket, or a different pair of shoes where no physical deterioration is
evident, is not sufficient reason for the player to change that equipment. The player may leave the court
to effect the change as quickly as possible and must do so within 90 seconds.
If a player's glasses break or a player loses a contact lens, that player is permitted 90 seconds, after
which the player must resume play.
If a player is unable to resume play because of lack of alternative equipment, the Referee shall award
the match to the opponent.
Time-wasting is an attempt by one player to gain an unfair advantage over the opponent. Prolonged
discussion with the Referee and slow preparation to serve or receive service are examples. The Referee
shall apply Rule 17 when this occurs.
While excessive ball-bouncing prior to service is time-wasting, it does not constitute serving the hand
Players should be aware that during the 90 second intervals, the Referee's call of "Fifteen seconds" is
advice for them to return to court. A player who is not ready to resume play on the call of "Time" is
gaining an unfair advantage and the Referee shall apply Rule 17.
G3. FALLEN OBJECT
Rule 7.7 makes it clear that, if any object falls (or is thrown) to the floor of the court, play must cease.
Since an injury may occur if a player treads on any object of significant size or texture, the Referee or
Marker shall halt play with the word "Stop", or the player(s) may stop and appeal. If the fallen object is
unnoticed by players and Officials until the end of the rally and the Referee judges there has been no
effect on the outcome of the rally, the result of the rally shall stand (Rule 7.7.6).
Players are responsible for retaining their equipment. As a general rule, a player who drops or throws a
piece of equipment will lose a stroke. Exceptions are equipment falling as a result of a collision when
the Referee may allow a let or award a stroke depending on whether the player has hit a winning return.
If the collision results in an appeal for interference, Rule 12 will take precedence.
If a player drops a racket without colliding with the opponent, the Referee shall allow the rally to
continue under most circumstances. It is considered that the player is already at a significant
disadvantage, as the player must pick up the racket to remain in the rally.
The Referee shall deal with a player’s deliberate dropping or throwing of an object to the floor of the
court under Rule 17.
G4. PLAYER HIT BY THE BALL INCLUDING TURNING AND FURTHER ATTEMPT
If the ball hits the non-striker the Referee shall make a decision in all cases and the Marker's call is not
required until after the Referee has made this decision.
If the ball, coming from the front wall, hits the non-striker without interference occurring, the nonstriker
loses a stroke unless further attempt applies (Rule 10). The definition of "Attempt" makes it
clear that even a fake swing of the racket or feint at the ball is an attempt, but racket preparation
comprising only backswing with no racket movement towards the ball is not an attempt.
Rules 9 and 10 cover the various situations in which the ball going to the front wall hits the non-striker.
If the ball hits the striker (without interference) the striker loses the rally and the Marker shall call "Not
up", because the striker has not struck the ball correctly. The Referee need not make a decision unless
the Marker fails to make a call.
When the ball strikes either player and interference occurred, the Referee shall apply Rule 12.
In deciding to play the ball on turning, a player must ensure that the return will not hit the opponent. If
the player does hit the opponent with the ball after turning, the Referee shall award a stroke to the
opponent, unless the opponent made a deliberate movement to prevent a good return reaching the front
wall, in which case the Referee shall award a stroke to the striker.
G5. INTERFERENCE ON TURNING OR A FURTHER ATTEMPT
When a player turns or makes a further attempt to play the ball, the opponent still has an obligation to
make every effort to provide the player with freedom to sight the ball and to get to and play the ball as
provided for in Rule 12. However, the act of turning or of recovering for a further attempt is often so
quick that the opponent does not have a reasonable opportunity to clear before the interference occurs.
In such cases, the Referee shall allow a let. Conversely, if the opponent had ample time to clear but
made no effort to do so, or deliberately moved thereby creating the interference, the Referee shall
award a stroke to the player.
When a player shapes to play the ball on one side and then brings the racket across the body to take the
ball on the other side, it is neither turning nor making a further attempt and, if interference occurs, Rule
12 applies. This position frequently occurs after the ball has hit the side wall and the front wall
simultaneously and then rebounds into the middle of the court.
G6. MAKING EVERY EFFORT AND MINIMAL INTERFERENCE
The opponent must make every effort to clear the ball after playing a return. The opponent’s route
should allow the player unobstructed direct access to the ball, provided the player has not moved in to
play the ball so quickly as to block the opponent’s exit. In the latter case the Referee shall allow a let,
unless the player could not have made a good return, in which case the Referee shall not allow a let.
However, it is equally important for the player to make every effort to get to and play the ball. If the
player does not make every effort to get to and play the ball, that is a significant factor in the Referee's
assessment of whether or not that player could have reached the ball and made a good return.
The Referee shall decide the degree of effort that the player should make to demonstrate "making every
effort". This does not give the player the right to abuse the opponent physically and the Referee shall
penalise significant or deliberate physical contact under Rule 12 or Rule 17.
When a player appeals for a let, having encountered some interference, the Referee, when deciding that
the interference had no effect on that player’s sighting of the ball and freedom to get to and play the
ball, shall not allow a let. This is minimal interference and includes situations in which: the opponent
crossed the flight of the ball very early in its trajectory from the front wall but still allowed the player
time to sight the ball; the player brushed past the opponent on the way to the ball without affecting the
player’s direct access; and the racket swing brushed the opponent, the opponent’s clothing or racket
without affecting the racket’s swing.
However, when interference has occurred, the Referee shall not refuse a let in situations in which the
player was clearly making every effort (albeit short of physical contact with the opponent) to get to and
play the ball and had demonstrated to the Referee the ability to reach the ball.
G7. INTERFERENCE WITH THE STRIKER’S SWING AND REASONABLE FEAR OF
HITTING THE OPPONENT
Rule 12.2.3 allows the striker “freedom to hit the ball with a reasonable swing”. If the striker stops play
because of the opponent not granting this freedom and appeals, the Referee shall consider following
1. If the opponent is too close and has prevented the striker’s reasonable swing and is hit or
would have been hit with the racket, the Referee shall award a stroke to the striker.
2. If the striker stops play as a result of slight racket contact with the opponent, who is making
every effort to clear, the Referee shall allow a let. This is different from the minimal
interference described in G6. The amount of contact must be sufficient to affect the player’s
swing, but insufficient to prevent it.
3. If the striker stops play for fear of hitting the opponent and the opponent, though close to, does
not prevent the striker’s reasonable swing, the Referee shall allow a let under rule 13.1.2 -
reasonable fear of injury. As long as the opponent does not prevent a reasonable swing, a let is
the appropriate decision.
4. If the striker stops play for fear of hitting the opponent and the opponent is well clear of the
reasonable swing, the Referee shall not allow a let, as the striker has judged the opponent’s
G8. METHOD OF APPEAL
The correct method of appeal when interference or Rule 13 instances have occurred is to say "Let
please" and for other occurrences under Rule 11 is to say "Appeal please".
Players sometimes use other forms of appeal including a raised hand or racket, especially when
communication between players and Referee is difficult. A Referee accepting any form of appeal other
than the standard "Let please” or “Appeal please” must be satisfied that the player is actually making
G9. TIMING OF APPEALS
The timing of an appeal on interference is important.
In the case of an appeal concerning fair view and freedom to hit the ball directly to the front wall
(commonly known as "crossing the flight"), the Referee shall consider the situation at the time the
player could have hit the ball.
In the case of interference on backswing, the appeal must be immediate and before the player makes
any attempt to play the ball. Any attempt to hit the ball after backswing interference has occurred
indicates that the striker has accepted the interference and thus forfeits the right of appeal.
If there is interference in the act of playing the ball, which includes a reasonable backswing, hit and
reasonable follow-through, an appeal is justified. The Referee shall consider whether the opponent was
crowding and not allowing freedom to play the ball in deciding whether to allow a let or to award a
If a player appeals for not being ready to receive service, the Referee shall allow a let, unless deciding
the player delayed play unnecessarily. In the latter case the Referee could apply Rule 17.
G10. EARLY APPEAL
If a player makes an appeal for interference before the result of the opponent’s return is known, this is
regarded as an early appeal. If a player makes an early appeal and the opponent’s return subsequently
goes down or out, the Referee shall allow the result of the rally to stand, the player winning the rally.
When the opponent appeals for a let for interference before the player has completed a reasonable
follow through, this is also regarded as an early appeal. In this case the opponent has no right of appeal
and the Referee shall not award a let.
G11. CREATED INTERFERENCE
At all times an opponent must allow the player unobstructed direct access to play the ball.
However, sometimes the situation arises in which the opponent has caused no interference (i.e. the
opponent has clearly provided the required direct access) but the player takes an indirect route to the
ball which takes the player towards, or very close to, the opponent's position. The player then appeals
for a let because of being "obstructed" in access to the ball.
If there is no genuine reason for this indirect route, the player has created the interference where none
otherwise existed and, if the player appeals, the Referee shall not allow a let. Whether the player could
make a good return is not a consideration - in order to remain in the rally the player must get to and
play the ball.
This is different from two situations in which a player, in attempting to recover from a position of
disadvantage, does not have direct access to the ball. In the first situation the player is "wrong-footed"
and anticipates the opponent hitting the ball one way, starts moving that way, but having guessed
wrongly, changes direction to find the opponent in the way. In this situation the Referee shall allow the
player a let on appeal if the recovery is sufficient to demonstrate the player would have made a good
return. In fact, if the opponent prevents the incoming player from playing a winning return, the Referee
shall award a stroke to that player.
Secondly, if a player plays a poor return that gives the opponent a position of advantage, the Referee
shall allow the player a let only if, in taking the direct line to the ball for the next return, the Referee
determines that, but for the interference, that player would have been able to get to and play the ball.
G12. SIGNIFICANT OR DELIBERATE PHYSICAL CONTACT
Significant or deliberate physical contact is both detrimental to the game and potentially dangerous. In
blatant cases the Referee shall stop the rally and award the appropriate penalty. Where the player
"pushes off" the opponent and this has no significant effect on the opponent, the Referee shall allow the
rally to continue and give a warning to that player at the end of the rally. Where there is a significant
effect, the Referee shall stop play and apply Rule 17.
G13. BROKEN BALL
When the receiver, without attempting to return the service, appeals that the ball is broken, the Referee
will normally allow a let for that rally. However, if the Referee considers that the ball broke in the
previous rally, the Referee shall allow a let for the previous rally. This also applies if the service is not
G14. BLEEDING, ILLNESS, DISABILITY or INJURY
1. If a player has visible bleeding, the Referee shall require the player to leave the court
immediately. The Referee shall not permit play to resume while the bleeding is visible. The
Referee shall permit recovery time for bleeding according to Rule 16.1. A player, unable to
stop bleeding within the total time the Referee permits, shall either concede one game to gain
a further 90 seconds and then continue play without bleeding, or concede the match.
If an athlete is bleeding and needs attention, then the individual attending to the athlete should
wear gloves and make sure he/she washes his/her hands. Similarly, if there has been any
contact with the opponent, the area of contact needs to be washed with soap and water. The
court should be cleaned of any blood.
If a player's clothing has become blood-stained as a result of the injury, the player shall
change that clothing before resuming play.
If the bleeding recurs after recovery time has been allowed, the Referee shall allow no further
recovery time, except that the player may concede the game in progress and use the interval
between games to recover.
2. A player suffering illness or disability on court has the option, except where blood is visible,
of completing the game in progress or of conceding that game or the match.
A player who does not wish to concede the match, but who requires recovery time or who
needs to leave the court, shall concede the game. After informing the Referee, the player shall
take the 90 second interval between games for recovery, then be ready to play; or concede the
match. The player may concede only one game.
If a player vomits or otherwise makes the court unplayable, the Referee shall award the match
to the opponent, irrespective of whether the sick player is able to resume play (Rule 17.). The
Referee's decision with regard to court conditions is final.
In the case of symptoms of tiredness, alleged injuries not reasonably evident to the Referee or
pre-existing ailments, the Referee shall not permit recovery time (except that the Referee shall
allow the player concerned the option of conceding one game to take the 90 second interval
between games and then resume play). Included in this category are cramps, whether
abdominal pains or muscle cramps, actual or impending nausea and breathlessness including
3. If a player is injured the Referee, after confirming that the injury is genuine, shall advise the
players of the requirements of the Rules, inform the players of the category of the injury and
shall ascertain the player's intentions regarding a resumption of play.
When a player suffers a self-inflicted injury, i.e. an injury which clearly does not involve the
opponent as described in Rule 184.108.40.206, the Referee shall allow the recovery time permitted in
Rule 220.127.116.11. Such an injury could be the result of a blow, especially to the face or head, as a
result of the player colliding with the walls or floor, or a possible muscle tear or sprained joint
causing the player to stop suddenly.
It is the responsibility of the injured player to be back at the court when the Referee calls
"Time", either to resume play, or to request an extension of recovery time, if required, in the
case of an injury which is still bleeding. If the player is not present when "Time" is called the
Referee shall award the match to the opponent.
The player shall make the decision to resume play. The Referee's role is to decide whether an
injury exists, to apply and monitor time-intervals and to apply the Rules when the total
allocated recovery time has elapsed.
Coaching of players is permitted only during the interval between games. Coaching does not include
brief comments of encouragement between rallies that clearly have no effect on the continuity of play.
The Referee shall decide whether comments are permissible encouragement or improper coaching.
The use of external communication aids is prohibited.
The Referee may penalise coaching in any form during play by applying Rule 17 to the player being
G16. PROGRESSION OF PENALTIES
The penalties available to the Referee under Rule 17 are:
Warning (called a Conduct Warning).
Stroke awarded to opponent (called a Conduct Stroke).
Game awarded to opponent (called a Conduct Game).
Match awarded to opponent (called a Conduct Match).
The guidelines for applying the penalties are as follows:
When the Referee imposes the first penalty for a particular offence, it should be a warning, stroke,
game or match depending on the seriousness of the offence. However, any subsequent penalty for the
same type of offence for the same player should not be less severe than the previous penalty for that
offence. Thus the Referee may award more than one warning or stroke for the same type of offence if
the Referee decides that the offence does not warrant a more severe penalty.
When issuing penalties the Referee shall use the following terminology:
Conduct warning (player or team's name) for (Offence).
Conduct stroke (player or team's name) for (Offence), stroke to (opponent or opposing team's name).
Conduct game (player or team's name) for (Offence), game to (opponent or opposing team's name).
Conduct match (player or team's name) for (Offence), match to (opponent or opposing team's name).
The Marker shall repeat only that part of the Referee's decision that affects the score.
G17. SINGLE OFFICIAL
If it is not possible to have two Officials for a match, a single Official acts as Marker and Referee. The
Official calls the play and the score as Marker and answers appeals as Referee.
When there is a single Official, the decisions which the Referee normally makes directly - such as
when the ball strikes a player or answering appeals under Rule 12 - present no problems. However,
there are limitations in the appeals process related to the Marker’s decisions. Specifically a Marker
making an affirmative call (e.g. "Out") is unlikely, as Referee, to reverse that decision on appeal. On
the other hand, in the event of the Marker’s failure to call (e.g. a suspected service fault) an appeal may
be worthwhile because the Referee's response shall be either "Good" or "Uncertain". In the latter case
the Referee shall allow a let.
G18. MARKER'S GUIDELINES
The Marker shall call services and returns that are not good as soon as they occur using the appropriate
call, thereby stopping the rally.
The correct order of calls is:
1. Anything affecting the score.
2. The score with the server's score always called first.
3. Comments on the score:
"Not up, hand-out, 4-3."
"Down, 10-all, player must win by two points."
"Out, 10-all, player must win by two points."
"Yes let, 3-4."
"No let, hand-out, 5-7."
"Stroke to Jones, 10-2, match ball."
"Foot fault, hand-out, 1-0."
"Fault" (appeal by server, Referee uncertain). "Yes let, 10-3, game ball."
"Smith serving, Jones receiving, best of 5 games, love-all."
End of a game:
"11-7, game to Smith. Smith leads one game to love."
"12-10, game to Smith. Smith leads two games to love."
"11-3, game to Jones. Smith leads two games to one."
"11-4, game to Jones, two games all."
"12-10, match to Smith, 11-7, 12-10, 3-11, 4-11, 12-10."
Start of subsequent game:
"Smith leads one game to love, love-all."
"Smith leads two games to one, Jones to serve, Love-all"
"Two games all, Smith to serve, love-all."
After award of Conduct penalty:
"Stroke to Smith, 7-2".
"11-7, game to Jones, two games all".
G19. REFEREE’S GUIDELINES
Addressing the players: Officials should use the player’s surname/family name, rather than the given
name, when addressing players. This eliminates any appearance of
familiarity that players or spectators could interpret as favouritism.
Explanations: Following an appeal by a player, the Referee normally gives the decision
and play resumes. However, on some occasions, it may be appropriate to
explain the decision to the players. In those cases the Referee may give a
concise explanation following the decision. It is helpful to the players if the
Referee uses the terminology of the appropriate rule when explaining a
APPEAL A player's request for the Referee to make a ruling. "Appeal" is used in two
1) To request the Referee to allow a let, or award a stroke;
2) To request the Referee to review the Marker's decision.
The correct form of appeal by a player is "Appeal please" or "Let please".
ATTEMPT The movement of the racket from a backswing position towards the ball.
BOX (SERVICE) A square area in each quarter court bounded by part of the short line, part of the side
wall and by two other lines and from within which the server serves.
COMPETITION A championship tournament, league or other competitive match.
CORRECTLY The ball being hit by the racket, held in the hand, not more than once and without
prolonged contact on the racket.
CROWDING The situation of an opponent standing too close to the striker and not allowing
freedom to play the ball.
DOWN The term used to indicate that an otherwise good service or return has struck the
floor before reaching the front wall, or has struck the tin before striking the floor.
("Down" is also a Marker's call).
GAME Part of a match, commencing with a service and concluding when one player’s score
reaches eleven points or, if the score reached ten-all, when one player leads by two
GAME BALL The state of the score when a player requires one point to win the game in progress.
("Game ball" is also used as a Marker's call).
A line on the floor parallel to the side walls, dividing that part of the court between
the short line and the back wall into two equal parts and meeting the short line at its
midpoint to form the "T".
HALF TIME The midpoint of the warm-up ("Half time" is also used as a Referee's call).
HAND The period from the time a player becomes server until becoming receiver.
HANDOUT Condition when a change of server occurs. ("Hand-out" is also used as a Marker's
call to indicate that a change of server has occurred).
INTERVAL A time-period prescribed by the Rules for a delay in play.
LET An undecided rally. If the Referee allows a let, neither player wins a stroke for that
rally and the server shall serve again from the same box.
MATCH The complete contest between two players, commencing with the warm-up and
concluding at the end of the final rally.
MATCH BALL The state of the score when a player requires one point to win the match. ("Match
ball" is also used as a Marker's call).
NOT UP The expression used to indicate that a player did not strike the ball in accordance
with the Rules. "Not up" applies when either the player did not strike the ball
correctly, or the ball bounced more than once on the floor before the striker hits it, or
the ball touched the striker or anything worn or carried other than the racket, or the
server made one or more attempts to strike the ball but failed to do so. ("Not up" is
also a Marker's call).
OFFICIALS The Marker and the Referee.
OUT The term used to indicate that the ball has struck either the out line, or a wall above
the out line, or the ceiling, or any fitting attached to the ceiling and/or the wall above
the out line or the ball has passed through any fitting attached to the ceiling and/or
the wall above the out line. In addition, on courts which are not fully enclosed, the
ball has passed over the out line and out of the court without touching any wall or, if
no out line is provided, passed over any wall and out of the court. ("Out" is also a
OUT LINE A continuous line comprising the front wall line, both side wall lines and the back
wall line and marking the top boundaries of the court.
Note: When a court is constructed without such a line, i.e. the walls comprise only
the area used for play, or without part of such a line (e.g. a glass back wall) and the
ball in play strikes part of the horizontal top surface of such a wall and deflects back
into court, the ball is out. The Marker shall make the decision in the normal manner,
subject to the player’s appeal to the Referee.
POINT A unit of the scoring system. The Marker adds one point to a player's score when
that player i