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Category: 05. Making Decisions
  1. What happens if a player can play the ball but decides to step back and finds his opponent in the way?
  2. If you don't move after hitting the ball and completing your follow through can the opponent call a let ?
  3. When confused between a minor difference between a let and stroke what should the referee give?
  4. A player backing off backwards to play a shot cannot get sufficient space for a swing - opponent in the way - Let or Stroke ?
  5. Please explain the term "Fair veiw of the ball". It has been my playing experience that many players use their bodies to shield the shot and I would like to know what is legal.
  6. If, after hitting the ball, my opponent is standing too close and I hit him with my racket and hold up my shot, is it a stroke? What if my racket hits him during the downstroke and I make contact with the ball?
  7. In my club there is a player who bends over after playing a shot, taking up a lot of room. For the opponent it is not easy to pass through to play the next shot. What can you do in this situation in a match?
  8. Many moons ago when I was first learning squash, my teacher told me that if the ball goes through the striker's legs once the ball returns from the front wall, then it is an automatic hand-out to the opponent (even if the receiving player is not ready)
  9. What is the correct way to ensure your own freedom of swing and your opponent's safety? In endeavouring to show my likely follow through to avoid injury to my opponent I have been penalised for interference.
  10. In a recent game, my opponent's racquet came out of his hand accidentally after striking the ball, and flew across the court (NOT in my direction). Otherwise his shot was good, and I could not get my racquet on it, let alone return it, for what would have
  11. During the rally, the player felt there has been interference and immediately called "Let", but still hit the ball and made a winning return / good return or the ball was down. What should the Referee be awarded?
  12. Does the referee have the power to stop a rally and award a stroke/let if he sees a player is about to hit the ball into his opponent ?
  13. The obstructed player is about a meter of the back wall holding centre, the opponent is on the back hand side just in the service box and has just returned the ball down the centre to the obstructed players backhand, the obstructed player does have a clea
  14. In a situation where a player asks for a let and interference does occur such that either a let or stroke would be awarded by the referee and then proceeds to play the ball - as a marker under each of the instances (let/stroke) what should be the correct
  15. If a player asks for a "Let please" can the Referee award a stroke or do they have to award a Let. Should the player have just said "Please" and appealed for the Referee to award a stroke? In this particular case, the referee thought a Let was justifiable but the player then thought a stroke should have been awarded, yet asked for a Let.
  16. From the back right side of the court, I lobbed a shot down the middle, and moved to about 5-6 inches to the right of the ball's path. My opponent being in the back left court, had plenty of time to play the ball earlier, but backed off to the point were the ball was beside me (nearly 2nd bounce). His raquet struck me full on in the back of the legs, so I can only assume he was trying to hit the ball from right to left. While he had a valid point that he can play the ball at any time, couldn't players do this all the time in order to call interference ? In fact, what is stopping a player from switching over to the backhand in order to call for "crowding" ? Would this not also be dangerous for players who are caught against the wall ?
  17. If a player on court plays the ball (and subsequently realises his opponent was in the way and would have been awarded a stroke) but completes a full swing and the ball was good, and the appeals for a let what should the correct decision be? Does this mean he has accepted the interference and played on?
  18. Hi, I will try and make this as clear as possible! I play in a local club to a fairly good standard. There is a general opinion that rule changes now mean that you cannot be awarded a stroke due to your opponent being in front of you if the ball has hit the back wall. I think that people are confusing this with the turning rule. If my opponent hits a very loose lob which comes off the back wall and I am set up to hit the ball (without turning) and he is standing directly in front of me, then surely it is a stroke to me??
  19. Can a referee call stop when no player calls let but they are continuing with a rally he considers dangerous due to frequent interference during play.
  20. If my opponent plays a bad shot so that I am able to play a drop in the corner, is he able to ask for a let if I am 6+ feet away from where the ball lands on the basis that I am in a direct line between him and the ball (even if he does not make it past me)?
  21. My opponent is in front of me, and hits a soft shot into the corner. I can get to it, but only through him, but he's in the midst of his follow-through. Is this a let? Does my right to access (12.1) still exist even though he has the right to his follow-through (12.2)?
  22. Can you define fair view a little better than the rules. I play a guy regularly who does a nasty drop shot to the front left of the court just after I have dropped one up there. So he is already right up the front of the court on the left and I am on the Tee, he drops the ball in direct line of sight from me to the wall so I can not see the ball untill it rebounds and clears his body. I then jhave so little time to react that it appears as though I would never be able to have reached the shot, or I actually attempt to make the shot and miss by a small margin, the interference actually occured in the flight of the ball to the wall and briefly on the rebound. but I dont call the let till I miss the shot as I dont know where the ball is at that stage. He claims I should call the let when the inteference occurs but at that stage I am unawareof anything thats going on.
  23. My opponent is behind & clear of me on my right, playing a deep shot on his right - but not turning. He stops, asking for a let (stroke), because I am in front of him (though I'm not interfering with his swing). Surely it's just a let?
  24. The player plays a short ball and then makes every effort to clear the way before the opponent, but doesn't guess right and stands in the way of the opponent, who tries to get round him. Despite the slight physical contact opponent manages to reach the ball and hits a medium shot (definitely not a winner), but player has already stopped assuming he obstructed opponent (through not fault of his own). What could be the decision there?
  25. In a situation where "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," rule 12.8.2 says the player gets a stroke, while 12.9 says he gets a let. The rules are contradictory. The wording above is copied from rule 12.8.2. The conditions addressed in 12.9 are: "if there was interference, which the opponent made every effort to avoid, and the player would have made a good return." Logically, 12.9's conditions are satisfied whenever 12.8.2's conditions are satisfied. So the rules conflict. (Note: I'm assuming that "the player would have been able to make a good return" and "the player would have made a good return" are equivalent.)
  26. Hello, I've a question about stroke/let situation. I'm positioned on T and my opponent hits deep cross-court into right rear (my forehand) of court. I chose not to volley the X-court but instead chose to wait for the ball to come off side, back and then into middle of court. My movement to the ball is therefore a leisurely step backwards into the back left quarter in readiness to line drive the ball back down right hand side. Meanwhile my opponent moves to take position on T. By the time I've prepared to hit the ball my opponent is now in front of me to the point where he would not only impede my follow-through but direct access for me to hit the ball to the front wall. I think it is a stroke against him since he is now bloking my short. He thinks that because I chose not to volley and waited to play into a 'let' situation rather than making every effort to hit the ball, I'm lucky to be offered a let. He also thinks that because the ball came off the back wall it would never be a stroke (I didn't mentally/physically turn on the ball though). Could you please clarify the ruling? Thanks.
  27. I have a maddening situation with some people that I play with frequently, and it involves the propriety of calling a let when my opponent is out of position behind me and I hit a drop. The opponent simply lines up behind me, and then makes no effort to move around me at all. Rather, he simply takes a step or two and then requests a let, claiming that I've not given him a direct path to the ball. My belief is that almost any drop shot in that situation (short of a nick) can therefore be a let, and that is contrary to the letter and spirit of the rule that calls for "making every effort to play the ball," and may also constitute created interference. Bottom line, doesn't the opponent have an obligation to move around me in that situation, or at least make an effort to begin moving around me as the professionals do?
  28. May I ask for a let after playing and losing a rally?
  29. Hi Don Last night my opponent completed his backswing on 3 occassions and then held his shot and got a stroke each time. I queried thia as I felt that there was NO interference as he had managed to complete a reasonable backswing and as I was behind him there was no chance of hitting me on a follow through. What do you think? My 2nd question is: On another 2 occassions he held his shot as he thought I was interfering but the referee awarded a let both times. I thought this was unfair as the rules state there has to be interfernce and this is an error of judgement on the strikers part? My final question: My opponent served to my backhand but hit the ball straight down the middle. I did not turn and took a forehand backswing. My opponent was in my direct path to the front wall. The referee awarded a let. Was this correct?
  30. A simple theoretical situation: I'm at back right; my opponent is at the T; an easy shot comes to him which he could place wherever he wants, and he purposely chooses front left, where I would have to go through him to get to ball. Is this let or stroke? Thanks
  31. I am having a problem with a player at my club, where we are repeatedly disputing 'stroke' calls. The same situation keeps on recurring. What happens is that I hit a cross court shot (usually from the back of the forehand court). I hit the shot high and slightly too wide, so the ball will strike the side wall roughly in line with the back of the service box. I hang back from the tee in the forehand court in case he decides not to volley the ball and allows it to bounce, thereby ensuring that I don't get between the ball and the right hand corner of the front wall. He moves forward to the ball to volley it and raises his racket as if to strike the ball. Seeing this, I step towards the tee to get in position to cover his volley. He then withdraws from his stroke and steps backwards, allowing the ball to bounce off the sidewall back towards the centre of the court. The ball is now deep in the backhand corner, halfway between the wall and the centreline. Having stepped towards the tee (I am now 2-3 feet behind the tee in the centre of the court), I am effectively wrong-footed and cannot retreat backwards again quickly enough to clear his line to the right corner of the front wall. As a result, I am now in a line from the ball to the right hand corner of the front wall. He is in position to hit the ball and has not turned. If my opponent had not 'faked' to hit the ball, this would be a stroke to him. However, if he had not 'faked' to hit the ball, I would not have moved forward and his shot would be clear for the whole front wall. I argue that he can only claim a let as his 'fake' to hit the ball means that the shot that he is now attempting constitutes a 'second attempt' and therefore he cannot claim a stroke. I accept that he has the right to choose how to play the shot and whether to volley it or not. However does he retain this right if he fakes to hit it on the volley and then decides not to? I also feel that this is unsporting and ungentelmanly conduct, as he is making no attempt to play the ball and is deliberately trying to generate a stroke situation where none is necessary if he played the ball in a sporting manner. I have made every reasonable attempt to ensure that he has a clear path to the ball and freedom to hit it as he wishes. Of course, I cannot be certain that his fake is 'deliberate', he may simply have changed his mind about playing the shot just before he hit it. Who is right? Should this be a let or a stroke?
  32. Player asks for a let while turning on a serve. When the ball strikes the back wall it hits the crack of the door and becomes unplayable (i.e. rolls along floor). Is a let awarded as the player asked for it before it hit the crack, or is it "no let" as the ball became virtually unreturnable?
  33. Dear Don I read you FAQ-section with much interest as there is a discussion in especially Danish squash not to award a stroke to the hitter anymore who is deliberatly delaying his/her shot as to make an interference with the other player considering this player is moving away from the opponent but also holding his ground reasonably to recover the hitters expecting return. My question is: "Can I wait as long as I want to, to hit the ball and thereby create an interference with the aim of getting a stroke?" If I strike the ball where my opponent should expect me to do, there would be no interference and play would continue. However, I see I can catch my opponent in an interference by moving i.e. backwards as the ball is going in the same direction and I would thereby be awarded a ... stroke (previosly) or a let (as to keep playing as it is intended).
  34. If,during the course of a rally you break a string, or your racquet suffers a crack, does the rally continue or is the player holding the disabled racquet entitled to ask for the rally to stop, effectively requesting a let?
  35. My opponent plays the ball and I am wrong footed and take one step forwards. I still have time to make the play with another step sideways but my first step has moved me to a position where I am now obstructed by my opponent who has not moved since striking the ball. Can I call let?
  36. a rephrasing of question 1 -- striker stands ready to hit the ball,which he has ample room to do, notices opponent is behind him, steps back and asks for a let. may this not be construed as "creating the interference"? or as a fellow i know says, "it's fishing".
  37. A player overhead smashes the ball which directly hits the front wall then bounces on the floor and goes out on the back wall. What would be the referee's decision? I thought that it would be a winner and point to the player that hit the ball, by analogy with tennis. However, I've checked the rules again and found Rule 13.2.4 which stated that the Referee shall allow a let if the ball goes out after its first bounce. Would you please confirm that I've just answered my own question not that I've ever seen this happen?
  38. Hi Don, Let's say my opponent hits a drive up the right side wall. He's off balance so ends up not getting out of the corner. The ball is coming back about 2 feet off the wall. He has nowhere to go but hug the corner, or he will interfere with my shot. I'm in perfect position with the whole court to work with. He steps into the path of my backswing. Is this let or point? Does the fact that he has to purposefully steps into the path of my backswing influence whether it’s a let or a stroke? Is it a let or stroke? Thanks.
  39. If the hitter boasts and the ball hits the receiver after the side wall, who wins the rally if.....a)the ball was reaching the front wall b) the ball was not reaching the front wall c) the receiver assuming the ball was not reachinmg the front wall and deliberately caught the ball. I am of the opinion the ball is 'in play' until it hits either the floor or front wall after the hitter strikes it.
  40. Hi Don, In a recent match I had a foehand lined up and my opp was dangerously in front of me when I looked up. I called lett I hit an off speed shot half way up the wall as I decellerated. This was not a "real" attempt but an effort to avoid the opp. Should he honor the lett call? Thank you.
  41. If a striker plays a return, that the opponent would not be able to reach hm and it contacts them or their clothing when returning from the front wall, even after bouncing once, is it a stroke to the opponent who would not have been able to make the return? Is there a difference if in the same situation the ball hits the striker on the full?
  42. When marking, the service hits the Service line or the side wall first or the Tin What should the marker say for each one? Thanks
  43. My son played a match point where he received a drop shot against the side wall. His opponent was inside of him not allowing free movement away fro the wall. He then opted to hit the ball back down the wall. As the opponent was now behind him he was basically left with one of two options to allow access to the opponent, either step back into the opponent causing "deliberate infringement" or try and move away parallel to the wall. He opted for the second running back as quickly as possible. Unfortunately the ball caught up with him leaving the opponent without free access. It was deemed a stroke because "he did not do enough to get out of the way". This resulted in the opponent winning the match point (12-10, resulting in a fixed second place in the team for the league). My feeling is that he did try to get out of the way and especially as it was a match point, I think a let would be more appropriate. What should he have done. Would it have been better to run into his opponent or do as he did. Thanks, Barend
  44. Is a player entitled to an explanation of a let/stroke decision and does it apply where there is a single official - i.e. acting as marker & referee?
  45. You say (in Category: 05. Making Decisions): 1. "The striker is entitled to play the ball when he/she wants..." 4. "...the striker is entitled to play the ball when he wants..." 33. "A player has the right to delay the return as long as he or she wants..." 36. "You may delay your shot as long as you want." I have read the rules closely, and can not see any rule that explicitly supports these statements. Rule 12 says: 12.1 The player whose turn it is to play the ball is entitled to freedom from interference by the opponent. 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 follow- through; 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. These requirements are fulfilled by a player who strikes the ball from deep, and then moves forward towards the tee, if his opponent has freedom to play from in front of the tee. The requirements above do not explicitly state that the (now) receiver should step back or away from the tee if the (new) striker holds his/her shot and steps back towards the tee. Indeed, if the (new) striker has been given such freedom as is required by the rules above, but does not take the shot, then it could be argued that any subsequent interference has been generated by him. Please understand that I play (mostly) by the interpretation in your statements, but my beef is that the rules as currently formulated do not seem to clearly support that interpretation. I am interested in whether I have missed something in the rules (http://www.worldsquash.org/ws/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/110920_Singles-Rules-V6.pdf)...
  46. The rules use the idea of a "winning return" when a decision between a let and stroke is needed. How is whether a stroke would be a winner determined? Informally it seems to be when a shot direct to the front wall is prevented by interference (e.g when "crossing the flight of ball" occurs). Is this just a rule of thumb?



  1. What happens if a player can play the ball but decides to step back and finds his opponent in the way?
    The striker is entitled to play the ball when he/she wants to, not when the opponent thinks he should. So the striker can delay the shot. The opponent must move out of the way of the striker's swing in that case. If he does not and the striker is unable to complete the shot, then it is correct that a stroke be awarded to the striker. The opponent must always make every effort to move clear.
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  2. If you don't move after hitting the ball and completing your follow through can the opponent call a let ?
    Once you have completed your shot with a 'reasonable' swing, you must provide your opponent with freedom to get to and play the ball. This could well require you to move out of the opponents' way. So if you do not move, certainly your opponent is entitled to ask for a LET. It is then up to the Referee to decide what decision to make. The decision could be Yes let, or No let or stroke to the opponent depending on the circumstances. This is a matter of 'Interference' and is dealt with in Rule 12 and guidelines referenced therein
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  3. When confused between a minor difference between a let and stroke what should the referee give?
    Whenever the Referee is unsure or in doubt the decision is a LET.
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  4. A player backing off backwards to play a shot cannot get sufficient space for a swing - opponent in the way - Let or Stroke ?
    If the player is 'prevented' from playing the ball because of interference from the opponent the ruling is a stroke. The rules do not specify moving backwards and/or holding the shot, but the striker is entitled to play the ball when he wants and the opponent is required by the rules to make every effort to be out of the way.
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  5. Please explain the term "Fair veiw of the ball". It has been my playing experience that many players use their bodies to shield the shot and I would like to know what is legal.
    "Fair view" is the term used to try to ensure that the player whose turn it is to hit the ball has adequate time to sight the ball AFTER it has left the front wall to play the ball. We have NOT defined any specific distances over which this applies as it has always been considered that it would be too difficult to apply a tape measure to such matters. You will gain a feeling for this from experience and asking other players. When it comes to masking a shot, the striker is entitled to do this while he remains the striker. As soon as he has completed his stroke, which includes a follow through, he must move out of the way for the opponent to get to and play the ball.
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  6. If, after hitting the ball, my opponent is standing too close and I hit him with my racket and hold up my shot, is it a stroke? What if my racket hits him during the downstroke and I make contact with the ball?
    In both instances you describe your opponent is 'crowding' you and you should receive a stroke in both cases, providing you appeal during the process of playing the shot and don't wait to see what happens to the ball. Regards, Don.
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  7. In my club there is a player who bends over after playing a shot, taking up a lot of room. For the opponent it is not easy to pass through to play the next shot. What can you do in this situation in a match?
    Your opponent is bound to provide you with direct, unobstructed access to the ball, and if he fails to do so you are entitled to ask for a let. Depending on the severity of the obstruction, and the amount of effort your opponent makes to allow you to get to the ball, you may receive either a let or a stroke.
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  8. Many moons ago when I was first learning squash, my teacher told me that if the ball goes through the striker's legs once the ball returns from the front wall, then it is an automatic hand-out to the opponent (even if the receiving player is not ready)
    There is no 'automatic stroke' for the ball passing between your legs. As long as it does not hit you then the ball is still in play, and normal decision-making applies. i.e, if you are preventing your opponent making a return it's a stroke to him, but if he is unable to return it then it's your point.
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  9. What is the correct way to ensure your own freedom of swing and your opponent's safety? In endeavouring to show my likely follow through to avoid injury to my opponent I have been penalised for interference.
    Provided your follow through swing is not excessive, you may have been hard done by. The rules allow the striker to complete the shot which inlcudes a 'reasonable' follow through. I do not follow the logic of extending the left arm. I do not see that this would help you at all. In fact this sounds as if you were acting contrary to the rules in taking up more space than was required by your reasonable swing! Your left arm is certainly not part of your swing. So you were indeed fortunate to be given lets then. Two wrongs do not make it right though. To summarise - the striker is entitled to freedom of stroke including a reasonable followthrough. If the opponent is NOT making every effort to provide such freedom the referee should award a stroke to the striker. If the swing is not prevented but just interfered with a let is appropriate. In playing your shot you are entitled to hold your shot until you want to play it.
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  10. In a recent game, my opponent's racquet came out of his hand accidentally after striking the ball, and flew across the court (NOT in my direction). Otherwise his shot was good, and I could not get my racquet on it, let alone return it, for what would have
    An interesting situation, fraught with potential danger! As you say this was an accident, and one is not looking to 'punish' unnecessarily the player who 'lost' the racket. (If the racket had caused you an injury then Rule 16.3 would be applied with the injury being regarded as totally caused by the opponent. i.e. category 16.3.1.3 and the referee applies rule 16.3.3.3 which could lead to a warning, stroke, game or match being awarded via Rule 17, or the award of the match if the injured player could not continue the match.) In your case no injury was involved and the player has "dropped" the racket. The rules allow the rally to continue in this situation unless the racket flying across the court was viewed by the referee as a distraction to you which it could well be. Again in your case the racket flew off in a direction away from you so the element of distraction may have been minimal. If distraction was considered then the referee may allow a let under rule 13.1.3. To be awarded a let it would NOT be necessary under the rules to have been able to return the ball. However if the distraction prevented you from playing a winning return the referee can award a stroke to you. The short answer to your query is that the 'shot' was legal; if you had stopped and asked for a let for distraction the referee may have allowed a let, though I would say that would have been an incorrect decision; the rally should be allowed to continue and you would lose the rally due to not being able to return the ball. Rule 7.8 deals directly with a 'dropped' racket. You will see there that there are some other possible implications which need to be considered. If the 'thrown/dropped' racket was a result of interference, then rule 12 is applied; if the ball touches the dropped racket rule 13.1.1 applies and a let is allowed; if the referee considers the dropped/thrown racket contravened the code of conduct, rule 17 is applied. In the case you described none of these scenarios seemed to apply.
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  11. During the rally, the player felt there has been interference and immediately called "Let", but still hit the ball and made a winning return / good return or the ball was down. What should the Referee be awarded?
    Technically the rally stops when one player makes an appeal, so what happens to the ball is irrelevant. A referee may take action against players who consistently ask and then continue to play the ball (sometimes they do this to prove they could have got to it).
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  12. Does the referee have the power to stop a rally and award a stroke/let if he sees a player is about to hit the ball into his opponent ?
    Yes the referee can stop a rally to award a stroke or allow a let. However it is generally recommended that if the ref feels it necessary to stop a rally it should be a serious enough situation to warrant the award of a stroke. This would be the case where the opponent would be hit as you mention. Regards Don
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  13. The obstructed player is about a meter of the back wall holding centre, the opponent is on the back hand side just in the service box and has just returned the ball down the centre to the obstructed players backhand, the obstructed player does have a clea
    The boast is is only going to be a winning shot if the non-striker is so out of position that he would be unable to retrieve the ball. However if both players agree then that should be it! A winning shot situation menas a stroke to the player. Regards Don
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  14. In a situation where a player asks for a let and interference does occur such that either a let or stroke would be awarded by the referee and then proceeds to play the ball - as a marker under each of the instances (let/stroke) what should be the correct
    Once a player has called for a let, the rally stops. Whatever the player does after that is not of concern. The referee disregards any supposed continuation and makes a decision based on his perception of the interference - i.e. let or stroke or even no let if the interference was minimal. Regards Don
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  15. If a player asks for a "Let please" can the Referee award a stroke or do they have to award a Let. Should the player have just said "Please" and appealed for the Referee to award a stroke? In this particular case, the referee thought a Let was justifiable but the player then thought a stroke should have been awarded, yet asked for a Let.
    Yes, a player has to appeal by saying "let please". In response the referee can respond by either allowing a let, awarding a stroke or refusing to allow a let ( a no let). Regards Don
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  16. From the back right side of the court, I lobbed a shot down the middle, and moved to about 5-6 inches to the right of the ball's path. My opponent being in the back left court, had plenty of time to play the ball earlier, but backed off to the point were the ball was beside me (nearly 2nd bounce). His raquet struck me full on in the back of the legs, so I can only assume he was trying to hit the ball from right to left. While he had a valid point that he can play the ball at any time, couldn't players do this all the time in order to call interference ? In fact, what is stopping a player from switching over to the backhand in order to call for "crowding" ? Would this not also be dangerous for players who are caught against the wall ?
    If you were only about 5 -6 inches from the ball's path, I would say you were "interfering" with your opponent's shot. Remember, when you are the non-striker you must get out of the way so that your opponent can play the ball when he wants to and not when you think he should. Yes, you must always get out of the way when it is your opponents turn to play the ball. Squash really requires both players to play the game in a fair and 'gentlemanly' way. If you do not the whole game breaks down. So if you were hit it sounds as if you may have deserved it! A player can also switch from backhand to forehand if he can manage in the time available and provided he does not "turn" which has other criteria to meet. If a player is 'caught' against the sidewall it means he has probably moved badly and into the wrong place and is now preventing then other player playing the ball and a stroke should be awarded against him. Regards Don
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  17. If a player on court plays the ball (and subsequently realises his opponent was in the way and would have been awarded a stroke) but completes a full swing and the ball was good, and the appeals for a let what should the correct decision be? Does this mean he has accepted the interference and played on?
    If the player plays the ball it is taken that he accepts the situation from which he played and the rally continues. He cannot then subsequently ask for a let. In such situations the striker has two options. Either play the ball even though there was interference, or stop play and ask for a let. He cannot hope to have benefit from both options. Of course in a situation in which the striker could clearly hit the opponent with a shot going to the front wall, the referee should stop play and award the stroke. This does not always happen as play takes place too fast for the referee to be able to interrupt play. Regards Don
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  18. Hi, I will try and make this as clear as possible! I play in a local club to a fairly good standard. There is a general opinion that rule changes now mean that you cannot be awarded a stroke due to your opponent being in front of you if the ball has hit the back wall. I think that people are confusing this with the turning rule. If my opponent hits a very loose lob which comes off the back wall and I am set up to hit the ball (without turning) and he is standing directly in front of me, then surely it is a stroke to me??
    The 'general opinion' is incorrect. If your opponent is between you and the front wall and no turning was involved, a stroke should be awarded to you even if the ball came off another wall including the back wall. Regards Don
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  19. Can a referee call stop when no player calls let but they are continuing with a rally he considers dangerous due to frequent interference during play.
    Yes the referee can stop play especially if it looks like a dangerous situation where a player maybe injured. Regards Don
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  20. If my opponent plays a bad shot so that I am able to play a drop in the corner, is he able to ask for a let if I am 6+ feet away from where the ball lands on the basis that I am in a direct line between him and the ball (even if he does not make it past me)?
    The simple answer is Yes. Having completed your shot it is up to you to get out of the way so that your opponent can have direct access. In fact if you make no effort to move and the opponent could clearly get to the ball if you had moved a stroke would be appropriate. The only reason for refusing a let would be if your drop shot went into the nick, or if the opponent was so far away that, even if you were out of the way, he would not have reached the ball before it had bounced twice on the floor. Regards Don
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  21. My opponent is in front of me, and hits a soft shot into the corner. I can get to it, but only through him, but he's in the midst of his follow-through. Is this a let? Does my right to access (12.1) still exist even though he has the right to his follow-through (12.2)?
    Yes your right of access certainly exists as does the opponent's right to complete the shot with a reasonable follow through. By the nature of things his shot must be completed first. Once his shot is completed your right to access follows. You cannot expect to run through him before he has completed his shot. It sounds like a let would be fair. Regards Don
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  22. Can you define fair view a little better than the rules. I play a guy regularly who does a nasty drop shot to the front left of the court just after I have dropped one up there. So he is already right up the front of the court on the left and I am on the Tee, he drops the ball in direct line of sight from me to the wall so I can not see the ball untill it rebounds and clears his body. I then jhave so little time to react that it appears as though I would never be able to have reached the shot, or I actually attempt to make the shot and miss by a small margin, the interference actually occured in the flight of the ball to the wall and briefly on the rebound. but I dont call the let till I miss the shot as I dont know where the ball is at that stage. He claims I should call the let when the inteference occurs but at that stage I am unawareof anything thats going on.
    We have never tried to be specific when reviewing the rules to define fairview. Players were expected to develop a sense of what is fairview. So I cannot define it any further. All I can say is that if you believe you were unable to sight the ball adequately to play the shot you should not attempt to play the ball but stop and ask for a let. Your opponent, if at all sporting, should allow you the let unless his shot hit the nick so being unreturnable. Your opponent is correct that you should ask for the let at the time of the interference. Once you attempt to play the ball you are no longer entitled to claim a let. Regards Don
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  23. My opponent is behind & clear of me on my right, playing a deep shot on his right - but not turning. He stops, asking for a let (stroke), because I am in front of him (though I'm not interfering with his swing). Surely it's just a let?
    Your opponent is the striker and so is entitled to hit the ball to any part of the front wall. If your position is such that his shot would likely hit you on its way to any part of the front wall, then it is a stroke to him. As the non-striker you have to move out of his way and out of the way of his shot. Interference does not just refer to the swing though that is part of it. From the information you have given me I would say stroke is correct. Regards Don
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  24. The player plays a short ball and then makes every effort to clear the way before the opponent, but doesn't guess right and stands in the way of the opponent, who tries to get round him. Despite the slight physical contact opponent manages to reach the ball and hits a medium shot (definitely not a winner), but player has already stopped assuming he obstructed opponent (through not fault of his own). What could be the decision there?
    Even if the player makes every effort to clear but remains in the way of the opponent getting to the ball and playing the ball, he has caused the interference and the correct decision is a stroke to the incoming player if the obstructed player stopped and asked for a let. However if the incoming obstructed player plays on, so accepting the interference, the rally continues. If the previous striker stopped play because he expected the obstructed player to ask for a let, the request for a let is not allowed. If he obstructed the opponent IT IS HIS FAULT. It cannot be "no fault of his own". Regards Don
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  25. In a situation where "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," rule 12.8.2 says the player gets a stroke, while 12.9 says he gets a let. The rules are contradictory. The wording above is copied from rule 12.8.2. The conditions addressed in 12.9 are: "if there was interference, which the opponent made every effort to avoid, and the player would have made a good return." Logically, 12.9's conditions are satisfied whenever 12.8.2's conditions are satisfied. So the rules conflict. (Note: I'm assuming that "the player would have been able to make a good return" and "the player would have made a good return" are equivalent.)
    Rule 12.8.2 refers specifically to interference with a player's swing and emphasises the need for the striker to be given space to play the ball. Rule 12.9 tacitly assumes a swing was possible and therefore only a let is allowed. There is an important difference between the two, though future rewording may be useful. Thank you for your commnets/suggestions Regards Don
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  26. Hello, I've a question about stroke/let situation. I'm positioned on T and my opponent hits deep cross-court into right rear (my forehand) of court. I chose not to volley the X-court but instead chose to wait for the ball to come off side, back and then into middle of court. My movement to the ball is therefore a leisurely step backwards into the back left quarter in readiness to line drive the ball back down right hand side. Meanwhile my opponent moves to take position on T. By the time I've prepared to hit the ball my opponent is now in front of me to the point where he would not only impede my follow-through but direct access for me to hit the ball to the front wall. I think it is a stroke against him since he is now bloking my short. He thinks that because I chose not to volley and waited to play into a 'let' situation rather than making every effort to hit the ball, I'm lucky to be offered a let. He also thinks that because the ball came off the back wall it would never be a stroke (I didn't mentally/physically turn on the ball though). Could you please clarify the ruling? Thanks.
    If your opponent is in the direct line between your shot and the front wall it is a stroke even if the ball came off the back wall, and provided, as you indicate, there is turning of any sort. Your opponents assertion that because you chose not to volley it should be a let is wrong. As the striker the choice of shot is yours, and the opponent must be out of the way whatever shot you play. Regards Don
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  27. I have a maddening situation with some people that I play with frequently, and it involves the propriety of calling a let when my opponent is out of position behind me and I hit a drop. The opponent simply lines up behind me, and then makes no effort to move around me at all. Rather, he simply takes a step or two and then requests a let, claiming that I've not given him a direct path to the ball. My belief is that almost any drop shot in that situation (short of a nick) can therefore be a let, and that is contrary to the letter and spirit of the rule that calls for "making every effort to play the ball," and may also constitute created interference. Bottom line, doesn't the opponent have an obligation to move around me in that situation, or at least make an effort to begin moving around me as the professionals do?
    The rules do not say your opponent has to move around you. What has to happen is that once you have completed your shot you have to provide a direct path to the ball. If the direct path is not available your opponent can ask for a let. If there is a ref he has to decide whether the opponent would be able to reach the ball. If deciding he could not make a good return the appeal could be refused - i.e. no let. If the previous striker made no attempt to get out of the way the decision would be a stroke to the opponent. If there is no referee a let would obviously be fairest as both players have a very subjective view. Regards Don
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  28. May I ask for a let after playing and losing a rally?
    I am afraid the answer is "No". If you want a let you must stop play immediately and request a let at that instant. i.e. there are two options. 1. stop play and ask for a let. 2. play on. It would be unfair if you were to expect to take both. You are allowed only one in terms of the rules. So either play one or stop and ask for a let. If you decide to play on you essentially give up the option of asking for a let. Regards Don
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  29. Hi Don Last night my opponent completed his backswing on 3 occassions and then held his shot and got a stroke each time. I queried thia as I felt that there was NO interference as he had managed to complete a reasonable backswing and as I was behind him there was no chance of hitting me on a follow through. What do you think? My 2nd question is: On another 2 occassions he held his shot as he thought I was interfering but the referee awarded a let both times. I thought this was unfair as the rules state there has to be interfernce and this is an error of judgement on the strikers part? My final question: My opponent served to my backhand but hit the ball straight down the middle. I did not turn and took a forehand backswing. My opponent was in my direct path to the front wall. The referee awarded a let. Was this correct?
    Making a backswing preparation is not an attempt to play the ball. An "attempt" is defined as a forward movement of the racket. As long as the striker holds the backswing, you must stay clear. Without seeing a video of the situations you describe, it is impossible to say what the correct decision should have been. Re: service. If the ball comes down the middle of the court and you allow it to pass down one side of your body, hit the back wall, adn come out the other side of your body -- that is considered to be turning, and if you stop and request a let (which you should), it is a let.
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  30. A simple theoretical situation: I'm at back right; my opponent is at the T; an easy shot comes to him which he could place wherever he wants, and he purposely chooses front left, where I would have to go through him to get to ball. Is this let or stroke? Thanks
    Your opponent may hit any shot he chooses (as long as it is safe), but once he has completed his follow-through, he must provide you with direct, unobstructed access to the ball. If he makes no effort to clear, you win the rally. If he does make every effort to clear and there is still interference with your direct access, it is a let (as long as you would have been able to reach the ball).
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  31. I am having a problem with a player at my club, where we are repeatedly disputing 'stroke' calls. The same situation keeps on recurring. What happens is that I hit a cross court shot (usually from the back of the forehand court). I hit the shot high and slightly too wide, so the ball will strike the side wall roughly in line with the back of the service box. I hang back from the tee in the forehand court in case he decides not to volley the ball and allows it to bounce, thereby ensuring that I don't get between the ball and the right hand corner of the front wall. He moves forward to the ball to volley it and raises his racket as if to strike the ball. Seeing this, I step towards the tee to get in position to cover his volley. He then withdraws from his stroke and steps backwards, allowing the ball to bounce off the sidewall back towards the centre of the court. The ball is now deep in the backhand corner, halfway between the wall and the centreline. Having stepped towards the tee (I am now 2-3 feet behind the tee in the centre of the court), I am effectively wrong-footed and cannot retreat backwards again quickly enough to clear his line to the right corner of the front wall. As a result, I am now in a line from the ball to the right hand corner of the front wall. He is in position to hit the ball and has not turned. If my opponent had not 'faked' to hit the ball, this would be a stroke to him. However, if he had not 'faked' to hit the ball, I would not have moved forward and his shot would be clear for the whole front wall. I argue that he can only claim a let as his 'fake' to hit the ball means that the shot that he is now attempting constitutes a 'second attempt' and therefore he cannot claim a stroke. I accept that he has the right to choose how to play the shot and whether to volley it or not. However does he retain this right if he fakes to hit it on the volley and then decides not to? I also feel that this is unsporting and ungentelmanly conduct, as he is making no attempt to play the ball and is deliberately trying to generate a stroke situation where none is necessary if he played the ball in a sporting manner. I have made every reasonable attempt to ensure that he has a clear path to the ball and freedom to hit it as he wishes. Of course, I cannot be certain that his fake is 'deliberate', he may simply have changed his mind about playing the shot just before he hit it. Who is right? Should this be a let or a stroke?
    The Rules are clear on this: "Fake' or not, you must make every effort to clear for your opponent's second (or "further") attempt.
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  32. Player asks for a let while turning on a serve. When the ball strikes the back wall it hits the crack of the door and becomes unplayable (i.e. rolls along floor). Is a let awarded as the player asked for it before it hit the crack, or is it "no let" as the ball became virtually unreturnable?
    The call of "let" does not give the player an automatic right to a let. If the ball is unplayable, it is no let.
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  33. Dear Don I read you FAQ-section with much interest as there is a discussion in especially Danish squash not to award a stroke to the hitter anymore who is deliberatly delaying his/her shot as to make an interference with the other player considering this player is moving away from the opponent but also holding his ground reasonably to recover the hitters expecting return. My question is: "Can I wait as long as I want to, to hit the ball and thereby create an interference with the aim of getting a stroke?" If I strike the ball where my opponent should expect me to do, there would be no interference and play would continue. However, I see I can catch my opponent in an interference by moving i.e. backwards as the ball is going in the same direction and I would thereby be awarded a ... stroke (previosly) or a let (as to keep playing as it is intended).
    A player has the right to delay the return as long as he or she wants. The opponent must stay out of the way.
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  34. If,during the course of a rally you break a string, or your racquet suffers a crack, does the rally continue or is the player holding the disabled racquet entitled to ask for the rally to stop, effectively requesting a let?
    There are nom lets for defective or broken equipment.
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  35. My opponent plays the ball and I am wrong footed and take one step forwards. I still have time to make the play with another step sideways but my first step has moved me to a position where I am now obstructed by my opponent who has not moved since striking the ball. Can I call let?
    Yes -- if you were still able to reach the ball and make a godd return.
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  36. a rephrasing of question 1 -- striker stands ready to hit the ball,which he has ample room to do, notices opponent is behind him, steps back and asks for a let. may this not be construed as "creating the interference"? or as a fellow i know says, "it's fishing".
    You may delay your shot as long as you want, and your opponent must stay clear until youb have made an attempt.
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  37. A player overhead smashes the ball which directly hits the front wall then bounces on the floor and goes out on the back wall. What would be the referee's decision? I thought that it would be a winner and point to the player that hit the ball, by analogy with tennis. However, I've checked the rules again and found Rule 13.2.4 which stated that the Referee shall allow a let if the ball goes out after its first bounce. Would you please confirm that I've just answered my own question not that I've ever seen this happen?
    I don't think that anyone has ssen it happen! But under the current Rules it is a let.
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  38. Hi Don, Let's say my opponent hits a drive up the right side wall. He's off balance so ends up not getting out of the corner. The ball is coming back about 2 feet off the wall. He has nowhere to go but hug the corner, or he will interfere with my shot. I'm in perfect position with the whole court to work with. He steps into the path of my backswing. Is this let or point? Does the fact that he has to purposefully steps into the path of my backswing influence whether it’s a let or a stroke? Is it a let or stroke? Thanks.
    It should be your stroke because he has a) prevented your swing, and b) it was probably a winning shot anyway.
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  39. If the hitter boasts and the ball hits the receiver after the side wall, who wins the rally if.....a)the ball was reaching the front wall b) the ball was not reaching the front wall c) the receiver assuming the ball was not reachinmg the front wall and deliberately caught the ball. I am of the opinion the ball is 'in play' until it hits either the floor or front wall after the hitter strikes it.
    If the ball comes off the side wall and hits the opponent -- and if the ball would have been good at the front wll -- it is a let (even if the opponent catches the ball). If the ball would not have been good at the front wall, the striker loses the rally.
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  40. Hi Don, In a recent match I had a foehand lined up and my opp was dangerously in front of me when I looked up. I called lett I hit an off speed shot half way up the wall as I decellerated. This was not a "real" attempt but an effort to avoid the opp. Should he honor the lett call? Thank you.
    The call of "let" stops play, and the situation is judged at that precise moment. Yes, you deserve a let -- but it would be far better if you did not hit the ball at all.
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  41. If a striker plays a return, that the opponent would not be able to reach hm and it contacts them or their clothing when returning from the front wall, even after bouncing once, is it a stroke to the opponent who would not have been able to make the return? Is there a difference if in the same situation the ball hits the striker on the full?
    If you hit yourself with your own shot, you lose the rally -- no matter where the opponent is.
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  42. When marking, the service hits the Service line or the side wall first or the Tin What should the marker say for each one? Thanks
    Service line -- Fault Side wall -- Fault Tin -- Down
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  43. My son played a match point where he received a drop shot against the side wall. His opponent was inside of him not allowing free movement away fro the wall. He then opted to hit the ball back down the wall. As the opponent was now behind him he was basically left with one of two options to allow access to the opponent, either step back into the opponent causing "deliberate infringement" or try and move away parallel to the wall. He opted for the second running back as quickly as possible. Unfortunately the ball caught up with him leaving the opponent without free access. It was deemed a stroke because "he did not do enough to get out of the way". This resulted in the opponent winning the match point (12-10, resulting in a fixed second place in the team for the league). My feeling is that he did try to get out of the way and especially as it was a match point, I think a let would be more appropriate. What should he have done. Would it have been better to run into his opponent or do as he did. Thanks, Barend
    It is difficult to answer your question without seeing a video of the incident. However, some simple principles may be applied: 1. Whatever shot you hit, you must make every effort to clear, so as to afford the opponent clear access to the ball, a reasonable swing, and the entire front wall to hit to. 2. If you hit a shot that does not give you the chance to clear properly, you are at fault and will probably lose the point. 3. The only exception to this Rule is if the opponent anticipates your shot and runs into you, blocking your exit path. From your description of the episode it seems that your son hit the ball back to himself and thus prevented the opponent from having clear access and a reasonable swing. Thus the Referee's decision was correct. What should your son have done? Hit a different shot that gave him the chance to clear properly. The fact that it was match point is irrelevant: the Rules must be applied equally and consistently to every point of the match.
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  44. Is a player entitled to an explanation of a let/stroke decision and does it apply where there is a single official - i.e. acting as marker & referee?
    No, according to the rules, a player is not entitled to an explanation. However Referees can give an explanation if he/she wishes. Yes, this applies equally if there is just a single official.
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  45. You say (in Category: 05. Making Decisions): 1. "The striker is entitled to play the ball when he/she wants..." 4. "...the striker is entitled to play the ball when he wants..." 33. "A player has the right to delay the return as long as he or she wants..." 36. "You may delay your shot as long as you want." I have read the rules closely, and can not see any rule that explicitly supports these statements. Rule 12 says: 12.1 The player whose turn it is to play the ball is entitled to freedom from interference by the opponent. 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 follow- through; 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. These requirements are fulfilled by a player who strikes the ball from deep, and then moves forward towards the tee, if his opponent has freedom to play from in front of the tee. The requirements above do not explicitly state that the (now) receiver should step back or away from the tee if the (new) striker holds his/her shot and steps back towards the tee. Indeed, if the (new) striker has been given such freedom as is required by the rules above, but does not take the shot, then it could be argued that any subsequent interference has been generated by him. Please understand that I play (mostly) by the interpretation in your statements, but my beef is that the rules as currently formulated do not seem to clearly support that interpretation. I am interested in whether I have missed something in the rules (http://www.worldsquash.org/ws/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/110920_Singles-Rules-V6.pdf)...
    You make a very good point and a convincing argument by your close reading of the Rules! However.... The key Rule in the scenario that you describe is 12.1: "The player whose turn it is to play the ball is entitled to freedom from interference by the opponent." This is interpreted to mean that the "freedom from interference" is absolute and must extend until the player has struck the ball -- as specified in 12.2.3: [The player must be provided with] "freedom to hit the ball with a reasonable swing" and 12.2.4: "freedom to play the ball directly to any part of the front wall." Those two freedoms must be granted, no matter if the striker changes his mind about where or when to hit the ball. The Rules nowhere state that the opponent must clear only once and has no further obligation to keep clear. On the contrary, two other Rules (9.2.2.2  and 10.3.2) require the opponent to make every effort to clear after the striker turns on the ball or is making a further attempt. Thus the obligation to clear and to keep on clearing if the striker delays his return or changes his mind is consistent in every phase of the game. It would, indeed, be better if the Rules were completely clear about this obligation to keep on clearing until the striker has completed his strike at the ball by stating it explicitly, but the expression "is entitled to freedom from interference" makes the point concisely.
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  46. The rules use the idea of a "winning return" when a decision between a let and stroke is needed. How is whether a stroke would be a winner determined? Informally it seems to be when a shot direct to the front wall is prevented by interference (e.g when "crossing the flight of ball" occurs). Is this just a rule of thumb?
    Basically, there are two ways of winning a rally in squash: 1. Your opponent fails to give you direct, unobstructed access to the ball, or the freedom to make a reasonable swing at the ball, or the entire front wall to hit to. An opponent who fails to make every effort to clear and give you those three "rights" loses the rally (assuming that you could have reached the ball and made a good return). The fundamental Rule of Squash is: Hit the ball and get out of the way. If you don't, you suffer the consequences (loss of rally). 2. You hit a return that your opponent cannot reach and return to the front wall. This may be a drop-shot that your opponent cannot reach, or a return across the court or down the wall that your opponent cannot reach because he/she is out of position. This is a true "winning return" -- i.e. a return that the opponent cannot retrieve.
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