... A to Z
| B | C | D |
E | F | G |
H | I | J | K
| L | M
O | P | Q | R
| S | T | U |
V | W | X | Y | Z
Ace -- A serve that is goes unreturned by
the receiver, gaining a point for the server.
Alley -- The lane along both side walls that
is the target area for down-the-line shots.
Appeal -- The process by which a player "appeals"
to line judges to reverse the referee's decision.
Around-the-wall shot -- A shot that hits a
side wall, front wall, and then the other side wall, before touching
Backhand -- One of two basic strokes hit
across the body, starting on the side opposite the racquet hand.
Back wall -- The rear wall.
Bottom board -- The lowest point on the
front wall; the target for kill shots.
Bye -- When a player does not have to play a
match in the first round of a tournament in order to advance to the
Ceiling shot -- A defensive shot that hits
the ceiling before the front wall. It should land deep in the back
Center court -- The area of the court
directly behind the short line and in the middle of the court.
Position in this area gives the greatest control of the game.
Cross-court pass -- A shot from one side of
the court that passes the opponent on the opposite side. A passing
shot hit from the left side of the court to the right, or from the
right to the left.
Cut-throat -- A variation of the game played
by three players. The server plays against the other two players, with
each player serving in turn.
Dead ball -- A ball no longer in play.
Defensive shot -- Any shot designed to
maintain the rally, such as ceiling, around-the-wall, and "Z"
shots. A shot that attempts to maneuver an opponent out of the center
Donut -- A 15-0 game. The loser is said to
have received the "donut" or zero.
Doubles -- A variation of the game with two
teams of two players each who oppose each other.
Down-the-line shot -- A shot hit near a side
wall that hits the front wall directly and then rebounds back along
the same side wall.
Draw -- The process of selecting the
starting positions of players in a tournament. Also refers to the "drawsheets"
or brackets posted to indicate winners of each round.
Drive -- A powerfully hit ball that travels
in a straight line. Drive serve A hard-hit, low serve.
Drive service zone -- Area in the service
zone between a side wall and the three-foot line.
Eyeguards -- Protective eyewear manufactured
specifically for racquet sports, required equipment for all sanctioned
Fault -- An illegal serve or infraction of
the rules while serving. Two faults result in a side-out. An illegal
serve, such as: short, long, ceiling, three-wall, out-of-court, foot
fault, screen or serving when the receiver is signalling "not
ready." Two consecutive faults result in loss of serve.
Five-foot line -- The broken line 5 feet
behind and parallel to the short line. Also called the receiving line,
and marks the boundary of the safety area on return of serve.
Foot fault -- Illegal serve in which a
server's foot touches the area outside of the service area during
serve, or, in doubles, when the server's partner is not in the service
box during the serve.
Forehand -- A shot hit on the racquet-hand
side of the body. A fundamental stroke hit across the body from the
same side as the racquet hand. A right hander's forehand stroke is
from the right to left across his or her body.
Forfeit -- A loss for a player who does not
appear for a tournament game.
Front court -- The first 15 feet of the
court. The part of the court from the front wall to the service line.
Garbage serve -- A half-lob serve that
reaches the opponent at shoulder height.
Grip -- Position of the hand on the racquet.
Also the way in which the racquet handle is grasped or the cover
material of the racquet handle.
Half-out -- Loss of service by the first
server on a doubles team, indicates that "half" of a
side-out has occurred.
Hand-Out -- same as above
Hinder -- Interference or screen of a ball
so that the opponent does not have a fair chance to make a shot. If a
hinder is called, the point is replayed.
Jam serve -- A serve that is directed into
the opponent's body; forcing the opponent to move.
Killshot -- An offensive shot hit hard and
low, which should bounce twice before the opponent has a chance to
Line judge -- Helps decide appeal calls. Two
line judges can overrule the referee on appealable calls.
Lob serve -- A high serve that rebounds in a
high arc, landing just short of the back wall.
Long serve -- A fault serve that hits the
back wall before hitting the floor.
Match -- A complete racquetball contest made
up of two or three games, with one player winning the best two of
three. The first two games are played to 15, with a tiebreaker to 11.
Match point -- When the serving player or
team is going for the point that will win the match.
Mid-court -- The area between the service
line and the receiving line/the area of the court between the service
line and the short serve line.
Novice -- A beginning player.
Offensive shot -- A shot designed to end a
Out of court ball -- A ball that leaves the
Out serve -- Results in loss of service;
includes non-front wall serve, touched serve, crotch serve, illegal
hit, out-of-order serve, safety zone violation, or fake serve.
Overhead shot -- Shot hit above one's head
at shoulder level or higher.
Pass shot -- A knee-high shot hit out of an
opponent's reach but short of the back wall. May be cross-court or
Pinch shot -- A low shot aimed into a
corner, hitting first the side wall then the front wall.
Plum -- A promising set up or offensive
Rally -- An alternating exchange of shots
after the serve that is continued until play ends, through either a
point or sideout.
Ranking -- The relative ability of
competitors in tournament play, or position in official USRA published
Receiver -- Player awaiting the serve.
Receiving line -- A line five feet behind
the short line. The receiver must play the ball behind this line. The
Referee -- Makes all decision during the
match with regard to the rules. The person who makes all the judgment
calls in tournament play.
Reverse pinch shot -- A low shot that hits
into the opposite corner of the stoke, such as a forehand shot to the
left corner for a right-handed player.
Roll out -- A perfect kill shot that hits
the front-wall floor so close to the floor that it rebounds without a bounce by rolling
back into the court. A sure point because it is impossible to
Safety hinder -- Occurs when a player holds
up the shot in order to avoid hitting an opponent with a racquet or
ball. In such cases, the point is replayed. The interruption of a
rally when continued play could cause an injury.
Safety zone -- The five-foot area bounded by
the back of the short line and the dashed receiving line. This zone is
observed only during the serve.
Safety zone violation -- Occurs when the
receiver crosses the dashed receiving line before the ball either
bounces in front of the receiving line or crosses the receiving line
on the fly. Also if the server's partner enters the safety zone before
the serve has crossed the short line.
Screen -- Serve or shot that passes so close
to the shooter that the receiver's view of the ball is obstructed by
the hitter. During a rally it is replayed without penalty and on a
serve is considered a fault.
Serve -- Shot used to begin play. The act of
putting the ball in play at the 3 foot service line.
Server -- The player who initiates a rally
by putting the ball into play. Only the server can score a point.
Service box -- The 18-inch box at each end
of the service area. In doubles, the server's partner must stand in
this area until the serve has crossed the short line.
Service line -- Front line of the service
area positioned 15 feet from the front wall.
Service return -- The shot used to return
the ball after the serve.
Service zone -- The 5-foot by 20-foot area
between the service line and the short line. The server must remain in
this zone during the serve. The court area between the short line and
the service line, from side wall to side wall.
Set up -- A shot during the rally that
should be an easy scoring opportunity for the hitter.
Short serve -- Fault serve that bounces
before passing the short line.
Short hop -- A shot or return of serve where
the player contacts the ball on the rise immediately after it has
bounced. Requires excellent timing and hand speed to execute.
Short line -- The back line of the service
zone that divides the court into equal halves. Back line of service
zone positioned at mid-point of the court (20 feet from front wall). A
legal serve must rebound past this line.
Side-out -- Loss of service by a player or
doubles team; usually simply referred to as an out in singles.
Singles -- A racquetball game with two
players, in which one player opposes the other.
Skip ball -- Any low shot attempt that hits
the floor before it hits the front wall, or any shot that hits the
floor before reaching the front wall.
Splat -- An offensive shot hit from close to
the side wall directly to the side wall at high speed. Named for the
sound of the shot when it rebounds to the front wall and caroms at a
Thong -- The nylon strap that is attached to
the butt of the racquet and must be wrapped around the player's wrist.
Three-foot line -- A line in the service
zone, parallel to the side wall, which limits the direction a straight
drive serve may be hit.
Three-wall serve -- A fault serve that
touches three walls before it bounces on the floor; a serve striking
the front wall, side wall, and opposite wall; counts as one service
Tiebreaker -- A game played to 11 points; used after a
different player or team wins each of the first two games of a match.
Time out -- Each player is allowed three 30-second time outs
per 15-point game, and two 30-second time outs per 11-point
Tournament -- A formal, organized system of play to
determine a champion.
Twinkie -- A game in which the losing player
scores only one point.
USRA -- (United States Racquetball
Association) The official national governing body for racquetball,
based in Colorado Springs.
Wallpaper serve -- A serve that hugs the
side wall; difficult to return.
Wallpaper shot -- A shot that hugs the side
wall, making it difficult to get a good free swing at the ball.
"Z" ball -- A shot that hits the
front wall, then each side wall, and then hits the floor near the back
"Z" serve -- A serve that hits the
front wall near the side wall junction, then hits the side wall, the
floor and then the other side wall near the back wall. Variations are
a "z lob" which is hit high and soft, or "half z"
hit at mid-height, or "drive z" hit with power.
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