Squash – To Single dot or Double dot, that is the question…


It’s amazing how many club players are using the wrong ‘speed’ ball to play their games.  Squash balls are almost unique in that they are all but unusable until warmed up.  Racket balls and Tennis ball also warm up when hit but they will still bounce easily at typical room temperatures.  Squash balls don’t.  To heat them up requires force and repetition IE:  Hit them hard against a wall and have long rallies…unfortunately not all of us are at the level where we are able to do this reliably.

So why are so many club players struggling to have good games of squash especialy in cold weather…is it just pride?

Below, Aubrey explains in detail why and provides some guidance and further reading..

Choose the right ball!

This is a brief explanation covering:

  • The range of squash balls available
  • Some background to squash ball speeds
  • Recommendations for CBLTSC squash players

1. The Available Range of Squash Balls

There are four different types of squash ball:

Double yellow’

Double yellow balls are intended for pros, elite players, strong club players… and very hot days

Single yellow’

Single yellow balls are designed for regular, club level players

Red dot’ (so called ‘Progress balls’)

Red dot balls are designed for improving or recreational players

Blue dot’ (so called Max balls)

Blue dot balls are larger and bouncier, good for beginners, inexperienced players and players who otherwise might change to Squash 57, IE: Racquetball

2. Background to squash ball speeds

There is a tradition in most squash clubs that players use the double yellow ball, whatever level they are. This is a macho approach. Club players think they are playing the same game as the pros, but in fact, for better or worse what they are playing is a low energy variant, lowball or deadball squash, which for many will be less fun.

The World Squash Federation tests that standardise squash ball bounce (‘rebound resilience specification’) are carried out at 23° and 45° Celsius. That means it is anticipated that the ball may reach 45° in normal play. At 45° a double yellow ball is very bouncy, which is one reason we see the extraordinary gets from the better players. They can reach anything. Feel a ball at the end of the game between two of our players in League 1. It will be HOT! With average players the double yellow never gets anywhere near 45°. You end up with the dreaded dead bounce that kills the fun.

To achieve an equivalent bounce for ordinary players, a single yellow (5-10% bouncier) or even red dot ball (10-20% bouncier) is needed. Even pros use single yellow balls in preparation for tournaments in warmer countries.

Another thing to remember is that balls get slower with age. The shiny ones you sometimes see in the ball dispenser at the club will be even less bouncy, use a new or slightly used one where possible.

Further Reading




Nick Taylor: Choose the right ball to help players learn and enjoy the game