Get Inspired: How to get into Squash & Racketball

Squash and its cousin racketball have long been recognised as excellent workouts.

The game involves hitting a ball against a wall, until you or your opponent are unable to get the ball back.

Squash is the more demanding of the two games, as racketball is played with a slightly larger racket and a bigger, bouncier ball, making it easier for two players to start a rally.

It sounds simple - and it is - but winning a game can be remarkably challenging, and tiring.

Why is it good for you?

Put simply, squash burns calories - an hour of squash can, according to research published in 2003, expends up to 1,000 calories in the average individual.

The small court and non-stop action means players must keep moving and constantly change direction, a recipe for an excellent cardiovascular and muscular workout.

If that sounds too strenuous, racketball offers a similar experience but uses a slightly shorter racket, and a ball that provides more bounce, making it easier to reach - ideal if you are brand new to the sport!

Get involved

Squash and Racketball are fun, sociable sports which provide fantastic health benefits and are suitable for people of all ages. They can be played all year round and with thousands of courts across the country, it's easy to find somewhere to play.

You can book a court with a friend or join one of the many social sessions that run every week in clubs and leisure centres. If you want to play more competitively you can join a box league or get involved in a local competition or event.

The Big Hit  website is the place to go to find out how to get started. You can use the site to search for places to play as well as finding out about what equipment you will need and to learn about the rules.

You can also find details of local clubs in Scotland,  in Wales  and in Northern Ireland. 


Squash traces its history to early versions of Jeu de Paume in 12th-Century France, then the game of Rackets in London's Fleet Prison, eventually ending up with the first games resembling modern squash at Harrow School in 1830.

In 1864, the school built the world's first four dedicated squash courts - the first professional tournament in England followed in 1920.

A world governing body came into being in 1967, and now counts 150 different national associations among its members.

Squash targeted Barcelona 1992 with its first bid for inclusion at the Olympic Games, but has failed to win entry on that and all subsequent occasions. It is now fighting for a place on the Olympic programme at Rio 2016.


If you want to learn some techniques to get you started, here are some films to help you:

How to play squash 

How to play racketball 

Are you inspired to try Squash or Racketball? Or maybe you are a keen enthusiast already? Get in touch and tell us your experience of the game by tweeting us on @bbcgetinspired  or email us on

See our full list of activity guides for more inspiration.