Unless the point of the game is to hit the ball as hard and fast at your opponent as humanly possible, then I think my dad and I are playing this game wrong. Can someone simply explain it to us or direct us to somewhere that does?
It’s usually rendered as “racquetball”. Googling this produces lots of links.
It’s reasonably easy to hit the ball hard and fast, but unless this is done with a lot of skill, it doesn’t avail much. Broadly speaking, the two strategies (often combined) are finesse and power - “hit 'em where they aint” and “hit 'em so they’re unreturnable”.
A basic skill is to hit the ball so that it strikes the front wall low enough that it dies (i.e. makes its second bounce) before it reaches the back wall (using the side walls can help with this). The ultimate is to “roll it out”: ball strikes the front wall so low that it bounces twice within the first foot or so - automatic winner.
If you hit your opponent, it’s either a “dead ball hinder” (replayed with no penalty) or an “avoidable hinder” (he loses the point).
What Xema said.
On a serve, you want to the ball to come back fast and low and bury itself in the back corner. When returning, you want the ball to die against the front wall or hit at a low enough angle that it skips along the floor. You should never allow the ball to bounce high and slow.
To expand on “hit it where they ain’t,” one technique is to try and position yourself in the center of the court. That way you’ll be in good position for your next shot. If you have good a good stance right in the middle, it’s not hard to get your opponent to have to chase a shot into the far right corner, and then hit a soft one to the front left corner. Getting your opponent tired by making him run back and forth works pretty well.
As far as making it non-returnable, my favorite shot is to hit it off two side walls before it hits the front wall. Doing this makes the ball travel on a very flat angle, with respect to the front wall, and will force your opponent up front. Once he’s up there, a flat shot to the rear of the court will get em almost every time.
Xema succinctly stated the philosophy of the game – “Hit it where they ain’t” and “hit it so it’s not returnable”. I should add that it’s thus not necessary to hit it fast and hard. You can drive an opponent nuts with a series of soft returns that he can’t possibly get to in time to return. You can do this by hiting the ball so it goes to the other side of the court, away from his/her location, or it ciomes down very close to the wall - preferably near an angle or corner. Sometimes returning the ball very close to wherer they are paradoxicaly works very well, if they don’t have a chjance to prepare for it, and it comes in so close they can’t comfortably get the racquet in a position to strike it.
But generally keeping the ball very low and seeing that it goes rapidly will keep it very hard to return, so you can see how it fits into the basic phiklosophy. If your ball is high off the ground and travels relatively slowly, your opponent has plenty of leisure to get in place to strike the ball and to plan his shot so that you will have a hard time returning it.
One of the things we’re wondering is why can’t one just BLAST every ball so the other person has no chance of returning the shot?
We play on an enclosed court and it would seem like I could bank every shot high off the rear wall and he would have no chance of returning service (or vice versa).
And since it is enclosed, you are not able to watch others plays to see how they do it.
Most people don’t have the skill to make every single shot a really-hard-to-hit one. People with enough skill to do that are often playing against people who can counter the move (in racquetball, as in many sports and martial arts, there’s a countermove to every move). And the rules of the game are made to place limits on how you can play the ball – a really high-speed serve off the front wall that goes back and strikes the back wall will be “long” and count as a Bad Serve. Therefore the shot has to be slowed down enough to not hit the back wall on its way back, so it’s returnable. The server this has to rely on hitting the ball so that it is unlikely the opponent will return it, but he can’t make it impossible.
If you are serving, it’s a fault if the ball hits the ceiling or back wall before the floor. Have you read the official rules?
Otherwise, a high shot that comes off the back wall is fairly easy to return once you learn how to anticipate the bounce.
Sorry, yes I did mean “after the serve”.
Yeah, the serve must hit the front wall and land behind the serve line (that is, not too close to the front wall) before it hits the back wall. And the server must be standing within the two mid-court lines. After that, each hit must hit the front wall before it hits the floor.
Then blast away, but upon being hit, the ball must hit the front wall before it hits the floor. As you get more experience, the non-hitting player will start to get an idea of how the ball bounces when it’s hit with different levels of force. If you’re always blasting the ball, then your opponent can stand close to the front wall and get an easy point off you.
I have a (nearly) unreturnable serve. I do have a lot of power so that helps, but the technique is key. I hit the ball as hard as I can so that it buonces of the front wall about 2’ above the floor. I hit it at a slight anlge as well. If done correctly, the ball will hit the floor, the side wall, then the back wall almost simultaneously. The ball then “dies” and has almost no bounce from which the opponent can get a clear shot.
If my opponent wises up and figures out this technique, it is returnable. He just has to hit the ball before its first bounce(this is easier said than done. he has to anticipate where the ball is going to be since it comes so fast). Then I’ll change it up so the ball just barely misses me on the way back so that it hits the floor, then the back wall and goes long. Or I’ll hit the ball so that it comes back behind me and the opponent is usually caught off guard.
Then just keep rotating the serves til I win.
When I was new to the game, the guy who was teaching me had a hip to ankle leg brace on. A straight leg brace, he hobbled around like frankenstein on the damn thing. He still got to practically every shot I hit because I hit it hard and up in the air. Hit it hard and high, the ball takes a long time to bounce and get where it’s eventually going, he’d start moving to where the ball would end up long before the ball got there.
The only way to make it a difficult to return shot is to make it hittable only when it’s near the wall (as in about an inch away), make it die in a corner, or keep it extremely low after hitting the front wall.
Wait a minute, are you under the impression that you have to hit the return on the fly? You get one bounce before you have to return a shot. When you bank it high off the rear wall, that one bounce gives you tons of time to set up your shot.
As others have noted, the back wall reflects high hard shots back into play - they are usually quite easy to return. If they’re really high & hard, they may be playable near the front wall, which often makes a kill shot easy to execute.
This is a bit strange - every place I’ve played has had at least some courts with either a glass back wall, an upstairs gallery, or both. You certainly should seek out a site where you can watch a match between good players (they need not be champions). You’ll find it both entertaining and very instructive.
You can not hit serves that barely miss your body. That would be a screen and illegal. A legal serve must be approximately the length of a racket from your body.
I’m having trouble picturing this serve here.
It sounds like the z-serve.
Okay, now it’s making some more sense.
That serve certainly CAN be a hard serve to return when done properly, but when it’s coming, especially when you know it’s coming, you can cut it off or pass them down the wall.
It’s a useful serve, but it can cause difficulties.
I once played in a league which included a guy with an unusually good Z-serve. His other skills were average, but when that serve was on it was close to unreturable. He didn’t disguise it amazingly well, so the solution was, of course, to move up and take it before it bounced.
The trouble was that he’d consistently drift in front of the ball, and so get hit by a respectable percentage of the volleyed returns. This is supposed to be a avoidable hinder (he loses the point) but we played “friendly” rules so it was a do-over. I’d ask him not to block my shot, but it was more or less a habit with him to do so.
He resented being hit a half-dozen times a game (it can hurt) and seemed to feel that the best way to deal with this problem would be for me to wait until his serve had bounced and try to play it out of the corner. I told him that if he’d give me an easy shot from the corner I’d be happy to play it there, but the rules allowed me to play where I chose, and called for him to stay out of the way. He made it clear that he found my attitude rather unreasonable.
I was able to beat him most of the time, but I didn’t look forward to our matches.