Racquetball Terms and Definitions 🔥

Racquetball Terms and Definitions 🔥

Racquetball Terms By Letter

(Clickable Navigation)

Last Updated:

Racquetball Terms, Terminology, Vocabulary, and Definitions

Table of Contents

(Clickable Navigation)

 Terms & Definitions A-D

Terms & Definitions E-J

Terms & Definitions K-N

Terms & Definitions O-R

Terms & Definitions S-Z

Racquetball Terms Starting With A

Ace – An ace is a serve that is not returned and earns the server a point.

Alley – The alley is the area along the court’s side walls where a Down the Line shot is targeted.

Appeal – In official tournament play, an appeal is a procedure that allows a player to contest a Line Judge‘s decision.

Around-the-Wall Shot – A difficult-to-return shot that travels from one side wall to the front wall, then back to the other side wall before reaching the ground.

Avoidable Hinder – A preventable and sometimes intentional movement to prevent an opponent from returning the ball results in the offending player losing the rally:

  • Failure to Move – A player does not move away from the path of the ball to allow his or her opponent to return a shot cross court or down the line.
  • Stroke Interference – Occurs when a player moves or does not move in such a way that the opponent is unable to return the ball with a full swing.
  • Moving into the Ball – Stepping into the path of a returning ball, preventing it from reaching its intended destination.

Racquetball Terms Starting With B

Backhand – An important stroke that starts on the opposite side of the body from the racquet hand and extends across the torso.

Back Court – The area of the court between the Short Line and the back wall is known as the Back Court.

Back Wall – Defensive Shots are shots that intentionally reach or come close to the back wall, which is 40 feet from and parallel to the Front Wall and which players face away from during the serve.

Bottom Board – Shots landing on the Bottom Board, the lowest point on the Front Wall, are frequently unreturnable. See also: Rollout.

Bye – A guaranteed pass into the next round of a tournament, usually given to the top-ranked players to avoid having to play a game in the first round.

Racquetball Terms Starting With C

Ceiling Shot – When the ball hits the ceiling before hitting the front wall, it bounces off the floor and into the back court; generally a defensive shot used by highly skilled players to move their opponents out of the safe position of Center Court.

Center Court – The most desirable position on the court is Center Court, which is located halfway between the side walls and just behind the Five Foot Line.

Cross-Court Pass – A shot that goes from one side of the court to the other while passing the opponent.

Cut-Throat – Cut-Throat is a three-player racquetball variant in which two players team up against the server, with players switching positions at the server.

Racquetball Terms Starting With D

Dead Ball – The ball at the end of a rally is called a dead ball because it is no longer playable until it is served again.

Defensive Shot – A strategic shot intended to force an opponent out of their Center Court position and into a more distant location, such as a back court corner, and possibly set up a scoring opportunity on a subsequent shot.

Donut – A game in which one player loses without scoring, resulting in a 15-0 final score (the zero sort of resembles a donut).

Doubles – Doubles is a four-player game played in two teams of two.

Down The Line – A shot near a side wall that hits the front wall and bounces straight back parallel along the same wall is known as a Down the Line.

Draw – Seeding, also known as draw, is the process of placing players in a tournament bracket.

Drive – A drive is a hard-hitting, fast-moving ball.

Drive Serve – A low and hard serve used to try to get an Ace.

Drive Service Zone – A line in the service area that runs from one end to the other, three feet from the side wall on each side, designating areas that are not allowed to be entered when hitting a Drive Serve.

Racquetball Terms Starting With E

Eyeguards – Eyeguards are a type of eye protection that is required in all racquetball games. Eyeguards are also commonly referred to as eyewear.

Racquetball Terms Starting With F

Fault – When serving, an illegal maneuver or violation is committed; two consecutive faults result in a serve loss.

  • Short Serve – The ball lands on or in front of the Short Line on a short serve.
  • Long Serve – The ball strikes the Back Wall before hitting the ground on a long serve.
  • Three Wall Serve – Before hitting the floor, the ball strikes the Front Wall as well as both side walls.
  • Foot Fault – During the serve, the server steps over the line.
  • Out Of Court ServeBall bounces off the front wall and leaves the court area before bouncing off the floor in an out-of-court serve.
  • Screen Serve – A screen serve is when a served ball rebounds so close to the server that the opponent has no chance of returning the serve.

Five-foot Line – AKA Receiving Line, the Five-foot Line is a dotted or striped line that runs parallel to the Short Line and is five feet closer to the back wall than the Short Line.

Foot Fault – A serve violation in which one of the server’s feet (or his or her partner’s foot in Doubles) steps outside of the Service Zone before the served ball bounces.

Forehand – The most common shot is the forehand, which moves from the racquet hand side across the body.

Forfeit – Voluntarily or involuntarily giving up a racquetball game to an opponent due to absence.

Front Court – The area of the court between the Front Wall and the Short Line is known as the Front Court.

Front Wall – All rally shots and serves must hit the front wall, which is the main playing wall directly in front of the service box.

Racquetball Terms Starting With G

Garbage Serve – A slow Half-Lob serve aimed at a Back Court corner.

Grip – The way the hand holds the racquet is referred to as the grip.

Racquetball Terms Starting With H

Half-Lob – A 10 feet high, slow-moving serve designed to bounce just before the Five-foot line and rebound at the opponent’s shoulder height.

Half-Out – One half of the Side-Out in Doubles when the first server loses the serve.

Hand-Out – See also Half-Out.

High Lob Z – A slow-moving 15 to 18 ft high serve to the Front Wall near a side wall that rebounds in a Z-shaped pattern.

Hinder – A situation that necessitates a replay due to interference or obstructed view; a hinder call can occur in a number of ways:

  • Court Hinder – When the ball bounces off an irregular or rough court surface, it’s called a hinder. Segments of the court can be designated as hinders.
  • Ball Hits Opponent – If a return attempt hits the opponent before hitting the front wall, it is not considered a hinder if the ball does not appear to have the necessary force or direction to reach the front wall prior to hitting the opponent.
  • Body Contact with Opponent – Contact between the two players that prevents a return, but not incidental contact that has no effect on either player’s ability to return the ball.

Racquetball Terms Starting With J

Jam Serve – A fast, hard serve aimed at an opponent in order to make him or her move.

Racquetball Terms Starting With K

Killshot – An aggressive offensive shot that aims to strike the front wall at a low enough angle to prevent a return.

Racquetball Terms Starting With L

Line Judge – Two officials on the sidelines who are in charge of deciding on referee appeals; if both line judges agree, they can overturn a referee’s decision.

Lob Serve – A softly hit serve that rebounds high along the sidewall and heads slowly into a back corner, the lob serve is frequently used as a second serve.

Long Serve – See Fault for a long serve.

Racquetball Terms Starting With M

Match – A match is decided by the best of three 15-point games (11-point tie-break) in amateur competition, and the best of five 11-point games in professional competition.

Match Point – To win the match, the serving player or team only needs to score once more.

Midcourt – The area between the Service Line and the Receiving Line that includes the Service Box and the Safety Zone is known as the Midcourt.

Racquetball Terms Starting With N

Novice – A newcomer to the game of racquetball is referred to as a novice.

Racquetball Terms Starting With O

Offensive Shot – An offensive shot is a shot that is intended to score.

Out Of Court Ball – A ball that is played outside of the court’s boundaries is known as an out of court ball.

Out Serve – A rule violation during the serve that results in a loss of service or a Half-Out in doubles. These violations include:

  • Two Consecutive Faults – See Fault for definition.
  • Missed Serve Attempt – A failed serve in which the swung racket completely misses the ball; however, the ball can be picked up by hand prior to the serve without incurring a penalty.
  • Touched Serve – When a rebounding serve makes contact with the server, it is called a touched serve.
  • Fake Serve – An attempt to deceive the opponent by pretending to serve by swinging the racquet and then catching the ball before making contact; this is only an Out Serve if the referee rules it intentional.
  • Illegal Hit – Hit the ball more than once, carry the ball with the racquet, hit the ball with the racket handle, hand, or anything other than the racket face are all considered illegal hits.
  • Non-Front-Wall Serve – A serve that hits any surface other than the Front Wall is known as a Non-Front-Wall Serve.
  • Crotch Serve – A serve that hits the exact corner of the front wall as well as a side wall at the same time.
  • Out Of Court Serve – A serve that hits the Front Wall and then bounces outside of the court’s boundaries is known as an out of court serve.
  • Safety Zone Violation – When the server enters the Safety Zone before the ball hits the court behind the Short Line, it is called a Safety Zone Violation.

Overhead – a hard and fast downward shot from above the shoulder toward the front wall.


Racquetball Terms Starting With P

Pass Shot – A pass shot is a shot made near the side wall that can be made Down the Line or Cross Court and should be out of an opponent’s reach.

Pinch Shot – A hard, low shot aimed at a front corner, striking the side wall first and the front wall second.

Penalty Hinder – See Avoidable Hinder.

Plum – A great opportunity for a great Offensive Shot, usually one that can be hit from knee level or lower.

Racquetball Terms Starting With R

Rally – a series of alternating shots that begins with the serve and continues until a point is scored or a Side Out is achieved.

Ranking – A system for categorizing players’ abilities based on their performance in tournaments.

Rating – A measure of a player’s ability based on their performance against local opponents.

Receiver – The player who is waiting for the ball to be hit by the server.

Receiving Line – The dotted line running parallel to and five feet behind the Short Line, and 15 feet in front of the back wall, is the Receiving Line.

Referee – The head officiator in charge of making rule decisions is known as the referee.

Reverse Pinch Shot – A hard and low Offensive Shot that bounces from a sidewall to the corner opposite the hitter’s racquet hand is known as a reverse pinch shot.

Rollout A perfect shot that hits the front wall at the Bottom Board so close to the floor that it rolls back into the court without bouncing; virtually impossible to recover.

Racquetball Terms Starting With S

Safety Hinder A halt in play caused by a situation that could result in injury from the racket or the ball is called a Safety Hinder, and the Rally is replayed.

Safety Zone – The Safety Zone is the area of the court between the Short Line and the Receiving Line where the Receiver is not allowed to enter during the serve.

Safety Zone Violation – Entering the Safety Zone before the served ball bounces is a Safety Zone Violation.

Screen – a rebounding ball that comes too close to the now-defender, denying the opponent a fair chance to return the ball due to physical space or visibility limitations; this can be a Fault serve.

Serve – the first shot of the game and after each Rally; a legal serve must be hit from inside the Service Zone, rebound off the Front Wall, and then hit the ground behind the Short Line. See also Fault.

Server – The player who hits the serve is known as the server, and he or she is the only one who can score.

Service Box – The box at each end of the court, parallel to the side wall and in between the Service Line and the Short Line, where the server’s partner must stand until the served ball crosses the Short Line; in Doubles, the server’s partner must stand in this box until the served ball crosses the Short Line.

Service Line – All serves must be hit from behind the service line, which is 15 feet back and parallel to the Front Wall.

Service Return – The shot used to return the ball after the serve is known as a service return.

Service Zone – The area of the court between the Short Line and the Service Line is known as the Service Zone.

Set Up – A shot that puts the ball in prime position for an aggressive Offensive Shot, usually a Killshot; also known as a Plum shot.

Short Serve – See Fault.

Short Hop – a shot that is returned quickly after it hits the ground – a low, fast shot that requires skill to execute and is difficult to return.

Short Line – The Short Line is a line that runs parallel to the front and back walls and must be crossed by a served ball before the server steps out of the serving zone; otherwise, the serve is a Fault.

Side-Out – losing the chance to serve the ball and, as a result, score.

Singles – Singles is the most common game format, with two players competing against each other.

Skip Ball – A skip ball is a shot that is too low and hits the floor before reaching the front wall.

Splat – An offensive shot hit directly into the side wall at high speed from close to the side wall, which then caroms at a sharp angle into the front wall at the Bottom Board.

Racquetball Terms Starting With W

Wallbanger – A squash or racquetball player is referred to as a “wallbanger.”

Wallpaper Shot – A Down the Line shot that rebounds straight and slides along a side wall, making it very difficult to return.

Racquetball Terms Starting With Z

Z Ball – A shot that bounces off the front wall and then hits both side walls in a “Z” pattern.

Z Serve – A Z serve is one that bounces off the front wall, then hits the side wall, then the floor, and finally the other side wall near the back wall.

Affiliate Disclosure

This site receives commission from vendors, should you click through and purchase from one of the vendors we review products for. Racquetballing will never give false favorable reviews in exchange for commissions, as we strive to give honest reviews of every product we research. We promise.

Trustworthy Reviews

In Depth Research

We spend an average of 10 to 20 hours reading reviews from consumers for each racquetball product we review.

Simple & Straight Forward

Each racquetball product reviewed, will have simple pros & cons to save you time in your search.

All search results