USAR Official Rules & Regulations

2-Courts and Equipment

Rule 2.1 Court Specifications

The specifications for the standard four-wall racquetball court are:

(a) Dimensions. The dimensions shall be 20 feet wide, 40 feet long and 20 feet high, with a back wall at least 12 feet
high. All surfaces shall be in play, with the exception of any gallery opening, surfaces designated as out-of-play for a valid
reason (such as being of a very different material or not in alignment with the back wall), and designated court hinders.

(b) Markings. Racquetball courts shall be marked with lines 1 1/2 inches wide as follows:
  1. Short Line. The back edge of the short line is midway between, and is parallel with, the front and back walls.

  2. Service Line. The front edge of the service line is parallel with, and 5 feet in front of, the back edge of the short line.

  3. Service Zone. The service zone is the 5-foot x 20-foot area bounded by the bottom edges of the side walls and by the outer edges of the short line and the service line.

  4. Service Boxes. The service boxes, used in doubles play, are located at each end of the service zone and are designated by lines parallel with the side walls [see 4.2(b)]. The edge of the line nearest to the center of the court shall be 18 inches from the nearest side wall.

  5. Drive Serve Lines. The drive serve lines, which form the drive serve zones, are parallel with the side wall and are within the service zone. For each line, the edge of the line nearest to the center of the court shall be 3 feet from the nearest side wall.

  6. Receiving Line. The receiving line is a broken line parallel to the short line. The back edge of the receiving line is five feet from the back edge of the short line. The receiving line begins with a line 21 inches long that extends from each side wall. These lines are connected by an alternate series of six-inch spaces and six-inch lines. This will result in a line composed of 17 six-inch spaces, 16 six-inch lines, and 2 twenty-one-inch lines.

  7. Safety Zone. The safety zone is the 5-foot x 20-foot area bounded by the bottom edges of the side walls and by the back edges of the short line and the receiving line. The zone is observed only during the serve. See Rules 3.10(i) and 3.11(a).

Click for larger image

Rule 2.2 Ball Specifications

(a) The standard racquetball shall be 2 1/4 inches in diameter; weigh approximately 1.4 ounces; have a hardness of 55-60 inches durometer; and bounce 68-72 inches from a 100-inch drop at a temperature of 70-74 degrees Fahrenheit.

(b) Only a ball approved by the USAR may be used in a USAR sanctioned tournament.

Rule 2.3 Ball Selection

(a) A ball shall be selected by the referee for use in each match. During the match, the referee may replace the ball at his own discretion or at the request of a player or team. Balls that are not round or which bounce erratically shall not be used.

(b) If possible, the referee and players should also agree to an alternate ball, so that in the event of breakage, the second ball can be put into play immediately.

Rule 2.4 Racquet Specifications

(a) The racquet frame, including bumper guard and all solid parts of the handle, may not exceed 22 inches in length. The racquet frame may be any material judged safe.

(b) Using a racquet frame that exceeds 22 inches will result in forfeiture of the game in progress or, if discovered between games, forfeiture of the preceding game.

(c) The penalty for playing with a racquet frame that does not exceed 22 inches, but has a grip extending beyond the 22-inch limit, if noted during the course of a game, shall be a technical foul and a timeout to correct the problem. Subsequent violation will result in the loss of the game in progress. If a player challenges a racquet during a game that is found to be within the 22-inch limit, then a timeout is charged to the player who made the challenge. There is no penalty if the grip issue is noted and corrected between games.

(d) The racquet frame must include a cord securely attached to the player's wrist. The wrist cord can be no longer than 18 inches as measured from one end of the cord to the other. When stretched to its maximum, the cord cannot be longer than 24 inches. Players using non-complying cords will be charged with a time-out to make the change and, if none remain, a technical foul will be assessed to make the change.

(e) The string of the racquet must be gut, monofilament, nylon, graphite, plastic, metal, or a combination thereof, and must not mark or deface the ball.

Rule 2.5 Apparel

(a) All players must wear lensed eyewear that has been warranted by its manufacturer or distributor as having:

(1) Been designed for use in racquetball and

(2) Met or exceeded the then current and full ASTM F803 standard.

This rule applies to all persons, including those who wear corrective lenses. The eyewear must be unaltered and worn as designed at all times. A player who fails to wear proper eyewear will be assessed a technical foul and a timeout to obtain proper eyewear (see Rule 3.17(a)9). A second infraction in the same match will result in immediate forfeiture of the match.

Certifications & Compliance. The USAR maintains a reference list of eyewear so warranted by their manufacturers, and provides that list to each sanctioned event (an eyewear list dated more than 90 days prior to the first day of the tournament will be deemed invalid for the purpose of determining compliance with this eyewear rule). In addition, the list is available online at the website (indexed under “eyewear”), and individual copies may be requested by calling the USAR National Office at (719) 635-5396.

To be used in sanctioned competition, protective eyewear must:

• bear a permanent, physical stamp of the appropriate “ASTM-F803” citation on the frame itself, or

• appear on the ASTM reference listing, or

• bear the “Protective Eyewear Certification Council” [PECC] seal of approval for the ASTM standard, or

• be certified in writing by the maker that it complies with the required ASTM standard (in such instance, the player must be able to provide written, adequate proof - on demand - at any sanctioned event, before such eyewear may be used).

(b) Clothing and Shoes. The clothing may be of any color; however, a player may be required to change wet, extremely loose fitting, or otherwise distracting garments. Insignias and writing on the clothing must be considered to be in good taste by the Tournament Director. Shoes must be worn as designed and have soles, which do not mark or damage the floor. Players may not play in socks only or in bare feet.

(c) Audio Devices. Players may not wear audio devices during play unless they are needed to amplify one’s hearing.

(d) Equipment Requirements During Warm-up. Proper eyewear [see 2.5(a)] must be worn and wrist cords must be used during any on-court warm-up period. The referee should give a technical warning to any person who fails to comply and assess a technical foul if that player continues to not comply after receiving such a warning.

Go Back to Rules