Play Squash as it is meant to be played: long rallies, skilful shots, tactical awareness, it all starts by playing with the right Squash Ball for your Level!
Did you know that there are different types of Squash Balls?
This beginners guide will help you understand what they are and which Squash Ball you should be using in your games and practices!
We also want to educate the more experienced players out there about the correct use of these different types of Squash Balls. There is definitely a large proportion of players, who in my view are playing with the wrong Squash Ball for their level or the Court Conditions at their Club. Sometimes it's ego - "I'm not a beginner so I must play with a Double Yellow Dot Ball" or sometimes it's not knowing what the different types of Squash Balls are designed for.
Even in competitive local leagues such as the North West Counties Squash Leagues, there is very stiff and rigid opposition to any suggestion that some Divisions would benefit from using a different ball to the Double Yellow Dot.
Below I will outline my views on the different types of Squash Balls and hopefully educate Players about the correct ball to use in the right situation!
WHAT DO ALL THE COLOURS MEAN?
Firstly, let's take a look at what the different coloured Squash Balls actually mean!
Basically, the different colours have varying levels of "hang-time" in the air after they bounce. For beginners, a Squash Ball with more hang-time gives them more time to get to the ball, get into position and play the ball. Because of this the rallies are longer and players can get the full benefit of the game!
As players progress and get better, they move onto a ball with less hang-time, meaning they must react quicker and do everything at a faster pace! Below is a list of the standard types of Squash Balls and their bounce:
Blue Dot (Intro / Beginners Ball)
The highest bounce, ideal for beginners new to the game!
Red Dot (Progress Ball)
This Ball is for improvers & occasional recreational players!
Single Yellow Dot (Competition Ball)
This Ball should be the standard for Club players on a cool Court. It has a 10% longer hang time than a Double Yellow
Double Yellow Dot (Pro Ball)
This Ball is most suited to professional, Tournament and good Club Players.
You can purchase Squash Balls at PDHSports.com
IS THE DOUBLE YELLOW DOT KILLING THE GAME?
When you repeatedly hit a Squash Ball, it warms up and as a result becomes bouncier. When you watch 2 Professional Squash Players playing a game of Squash, they are hitting the ball hard enough and consistently enough to keep the ball warm and keep the rallies going.
In lower leagues, Junior Squash sessions and for beginner players, a combination of shorter rallies and hitting with less power leads to the ball going cold. In turn this leads to shorter rallies, a colder ball and the cycle continues!
"In my opinion 90% of squash players are using the wrong ball. It drives me mad watching amateur and junior players using double yellow dots, having pointless two-shot rallies, not having to use skill, technique or tactical awareness, and coming off the court colder than they went on!" - Nick Taylor, former World Number 14 & Head Coach at the Nick Taylor Squash Academy https://squashmad.com/breaking-news/nick-taylor-choose-right-ball-help-players-learn-enjoy-game/
It's not just the standard of the Players that affects the way a ball performs in a game or Match. Sometimes a cold Court can suck the life out of a game of Squash!
Both in League and Friendly Squash, it's frustrating to watch Players stubbornly try to play with a Double Yellow Dot, with no rallies & little enjoyment on a cold Court!
A Single Yellow Dot Ball is the perfect solution for most Club Players. It plays exactly the same as a warm Double Yellow Dot Ball and allows player to play the game as it is meant to be played; with skill, tactical awareness and good technique to be able to control the ball!
I think it should be the standard ball used in Divisions 4 & 5 in the North West Counties Squash Leagues and in the Ladies Leagues, with the option to play with a Double Yellow Dot if both players agree! There should also be the option for Divisions 2 & 3 to use a Single Yellow Dot Ball if the conditions mean players would get a better game using one - i.e. playing on a cold Court in the middle of winter!
I often use Single Yellow Dot Balls in Coaching Sessions and Junior Coaching Sessions with our Academy Players! I want players to have the time to practice specific technique points and develop the ability to control a bouncy ball! There are of course times to use a Double Yellow - it's the standard ball for most Junior competitions so Juniors need to get used to playing with them.
All players in my view should make sure they have some Single Yellow Dot Balls in their Bag! Even good Club Players will benefit from using a Single Yellow from time to time in training and matches. For Beginners it can drastically increase the enjoyment of the game, with longer rallies, better Squash and more fun! Some Beginners might need to consider a bouncier ball if they are new to the game, which you can find out more about below...
RED & BLUE DOT BALLS
Again, both the Blue Dot Balls and the Red Dot Balls provide a higher bounce than the Double Yellow and Single Yellow Dot Balls. They are also slightly bigger, which in turn makes them feel slightly heavier. For this reason, I am not a massive fan of the Dunlop INTRO and Dunlop PROGRESS Balls other than for new beginner players looking to give Squash a go for the first time.
I do recommend, even more advanced players, to occasionally use and practice with Eye Red Dot Balls! These are the same size as a normal Squash Ball and are great for practicing ball control on drops as you really have to use the strings to shape the ball into the front corners, but also for grooving the swing on overhit drives that bounce before coming off the back wall - it's harder than you think!
Ultimately experiment with what works for you as to what gives you the most enjoyment out of the game! If you're looking for a really bouncy ball, you might consider playing Squash 57 (formally Racketball)! Keep an eye out for more information on Squash 57!
MINI SQUASH BALLS: JUNIOR SQUASH
Finally, it is worth noting that Dunlop have 3 types of "Mini" Squash Balls, which are designed for young kids who want to get involved with Squash!
They come in 3 Levels, starting off with the Red Ball! This is the same size as a Tennis Ball and bounces the most out of the three. It's great for the kids to rally with and play with their parents - it's great fun for the parents too and a fantastic family activity!
Kids then move on to Mini Squash Orange. This ball is about half the size of the Red Ball. It's a little bit firmer and faster but still bouncy enough for kids to have some amazing rallies!
Lastly the Green Ball, which is a lot closer to a Dunlop Blue Dot Ball.
Interested in getting your child into Squash? Take a look at our Junior Squash Academy Sessions here!
SO...WHICH SQUASH BALL SHOULD I USE?
Based on the above, hopefully you have a better understanding on which type of Squash Ball you should use. Unless you are a good Club Player and are playing on warm courts, I'd say give a Single Yellow Dot Ball a try!
The different Squash Balls are designed for different conditions as well as standards, so every player should have a mixture of both, and then use the right ball for the conditions!
If you're a complete beginner, start out with either a Blue Dot Ball or a Red Dot Ball. As you get better look to move on to a Single Yellow Dot. Maybe consider joining one of our Adult Group Sessions or having some 1-to-1 sessions with one of our Coaches to help you improve!
If you have any questions about the use of Squash Balls, or Squash in general, leave a comment in the section below or get in touch - we are always happy to help!