Squash - Safety
The nature of the squash court means that it is one of the most intense arenas that you will find in sport. Although not a contact sport, there is a real risk of players running into each other or striking an opponent with the ball or racket simply because of the intensity and small space in which two players are competing.
Therefore, the safety of both yourself and your opponent should be paramount. Of course, in the heat of the moment it is all too easy to lose yourself in the cut and thrust of the game, but there are some basic rules, which, if followed, can ensure the safety of the game.
- At any time during a rally a player should not strike the ball if there is a danger of hitting the opponent with the ball or racket. In such cases play stops and the rally is either played again (a "Let") or opponent is penalized (a "Stroke").
- A squash ball is just the right size to make full and penetrating contact with the eye socket. That's the extreme end of the injury scale, but with a ball traveling that fast, it is better to be safe than sorry. So it is recommended, though it's not mandatory for players above 18 years old, to wear a pair of protective glasses specifically designed for the purpose.
- In match play, always exercise caution. So, for example, when an opponent is playing a shot from behind you, don’t look round as you will have no time to react should a wayward stroke mean that the flight of the ball is directly at you. Always remember your rackets are capable of inflicting significant damage so familiarize yourself with the basic skills and follow them. It is recommended you check with a qualified player to make sure that you don't have an excessive swing, as you don't want to injure your opponent!
- Ensure that your footwear will afford good grip on the court surface, otherwise both muscles strains, as well as possible impact injury due to a fall, could result.
- Build plenty of time into your match schedule in order that you can complete a full warm-up and warm-down circuit. Not only will this prevent unnecessary stresses and strains but it will leave you nice and supple for the next time you are ready to step out on court.
- Finally as well as specific equipment precautions, always prepare yourself physically for a game. So take your pre-match meal no less than two hours before play, and never step on court if you are feeling unwell. Don’t forget the importance of hydration, drink water before and after the match as well as during it.
Enjoy Your Game, Have Fun and Be Safe!