Squash is considered one of the best racket sports for fitness. However, its complex rules and varied equipment types can, at times, be confusing. Most racket sports, such as tennis or badminton, allow people to almost instantly start playing the game, with a very short warm-up. Squash does too, but it depends on the type of ball you are using.
Scroll down to read our breakdown of what the different types of squash balls are and which type of ball is most suited to your skill level or training!
There are four main types of squash balls used by senior players to play the game. While there are other squash balls for juniors and beginners to have a hit, we breakdown the four main types of squash balls – the Single Blue Dot, the Single Red Dot, the Single Yellow Dot and the Double Yellow Dot.
There are a few companies that make the different types of squash balls but the most popular choice, by far, is the Dunlop brand. They usually stand out in terms of quality, life, and value-for-money, relative to other brands.
Dunlop splits these balls into 4 brand categories: Blue Dot (Intro), Red Dot (Progress), Single Yellow Dot (Competition) and Double Yellow Dot (Pro). These terms help with determining the level of the balls, and who should be using them.
Other brands that produce squash balls include Artengo, Wilson, Black Knight, Tecnifibre, Victor, Eye, Head, Karakal, Oliver and Prince.
It is important to note that sometimes, depending on the company, the colours may vary, but usually, the four mentioned colours are the most commonly found balls in stores, squash clubs and at tournaments.
Some basics that are common across all four types of squash balls are:
- They are all made of rubber.
- They need to be warmed up before full play.
- They include at least one dot to represent their level of difficulty.
The Blue Dot (Starter’s ball)
The Single Blue Dot ball is mostly used by juniors and beginners. It is the ideal choice for someone who is new to the game, learning how to play at the very start of their journey or has not previously played a lot of racket sports in general.
The Blue Dot ball is also larger in size (12% larger than the Double Yellow Dot ball) and has more bounce (40% more bounce than the Double Yellow Dot ball).
This means that it requires less time to ‘warm-up’ the ball, or get it started for play. It is also easier to hit, due to significantly more bounce than the Double Yellow Dot ball and has far more time in the air (known as hang time).
The Red Dot (Intermediate ball)
The Single Red Dot ball is mostly used by intermediate players or people who want to have a fun and quick game. It is mostly used for recreational purposes, without being too competitive (this does not mean that a red dot ball game cannot get competitive!).
However, it is a favourite of coaches during training sessions, and people looking to have a hit in between or just after work. A lot of people with experience in racket sports often start off playing with the Red Dot ball as well.
It is also larger than the Double Yellow Dot ball (6% in size) and has 20% extra bounce. Its hang time is less than the Blue Dot ball, but more than both the Yellow Dotted balls, making it a recreational favourite.
The Yellow Dot (Advanced ball)
Until 2001, the Yellow Dot Ball was the official squash ball for professional squash tournaments and was mostly used by advanced players. The key difference between this ball and the Double Yellow Dot ball is that it offers 10% extra bounce.
This is of critical importance in colder climates, especially with open-air coming into the squash court (through vents or gaps), as the bounce of a squash ball is impacted due to the weather, and the more bounce, the easier it can be to play the game!
More bounce naturally means more hang time too, but this is often mitigated and balanced out when the ball is used in colder climates.
It might not be the go-to ball for professionals in the blazing heat of warmer regions, but in parts of the world where it is cold most of the year and the courts are freezing, advanced players tend to opt for the Single Yellow Dot Ball
The Double Yellow Dot (Professional ball)
Since 2001, the Double Yellow Dot Ball is used as the official squash ball for all professional games. With very little hang time and bounce, the Double Yellow Dot ball is the ball of choice for professionals and highly-skilled players.
A sound technique, the ability to play a variety of strokes and of course pristine agility, flexibility and strength are all required to make the most out of the Double Yellow Dot ball.
More often than not, newcomers to squash assume that this ball is the only choice or rather the preferred ball, as it is what they’ve seen others use when they first come acroos the game. However, not having a thorough understanding of the purpose of this demotivates people after their first few games of squash (it isn’t easy to use if you don’t know what you’re doing). In turn, it is not uncommon to see people give up the game after using the ball the first time around.
Unless you are a professional or a highly advanced player, it is recommended that you do not play with this ball.
No matter where you’re playing, what brand you prefer is or how much you know about squash, you should determine which ball is best suited to your playing style in advance. This will help you enjoy the game, develop and further your abilities, and allow you to continue playing the game with enjoyment.