Squash’s little brother


Photo: luminum – d.raub & l.šavrdová

In the age of modern sports, a layman will be practically unable to tell the difference between ricochet and squash. Likewise, few would know that ricochet was invented precisely in order to eliminate the shortcomings of other racquet games.

TWELVE YEARS AGO ricochet was born in Holland, fortunately for those who could never master tennis or squash. Thanks to its slower tempo and more simple technique, even less gifted athletes can learn to enjoy it. It’s easy to keep the ball in play, so this sport is also ideal for people who are looking for a degree of physical difficulty.

What is ricochet?
It’s a game like squash for two or four players, but with some notable differences.
Court – In both directions it’s about a meter and a half shorter than a squash court – or 8 meters long and 5.5 meters wide. But the basic difference from squash is that one also uses the 2.7 meters high ceiling for playing. The back wall of the court is made of special hardened glass. Lines are painted on the floor and the front wall to demarcate the playing surface and to help players orient themselves.
Racquets – Ricochet racquets are shorter than squash racquets, and their heads are larger. Their very light weight markedly decreases the risk of arm injuries and makes the game easier for beginners. There is an extensive choice of racquets on the market, from aluminum to graphite, designed for more demanding players.
Balls – Very similar to squash balls. They are made of light material and are about the size of golf balls. There are three types according to player performance that move at different speeds and with varying bounce force. They are differentiated by color – red (the fastest), intended for beginners, violet for advanced players, and gray (the slowest) for competition. Prices start at CZK 120.

Rules in brief
Scoring – Most ricochet courts are equipped with electronic scoring. There are three sets in a match. Fifteen points wins a set, and you have to win by two. Otherwise play continues until one player gets the required two-point edge. If one player reaches 21 the set is automatically over, even if the difference is only one point.
Serving – The server stands with at least one foot in the service area. The ball must travel straight to the front wall on the opponent’s side, and the opponent can play the ball even if it doesn’t strike the floor. The player who won the last point always serves, from the right on even scores and from the left on odd scores.
Play – The players can use the side walls and the ceiling, but the ball must always strike the front wall above the marked line. The ball can touch the floor only once (and can be played without hitting the floor). The players must not obstruct each other in play, and a violation of this rule means a point for the opponent. If a player hits the opponent with a shot a new point is played.

WHERE TO PLAY

Ricochet Centrum Quatro, Jana Růžičky 1232, Praha 4 – Kunratice, Mirek Bubeník, tel.: 608 782 876, uptaka@seznam.cz, www.ricochetklub.cz

SquashPoint, Květnového vítězství, Praha 4, Tomáš Urban, tel.: 272 940 089, 602 354 092, squash@squashpoint.cz, www.squashpoint.cz

Sportcentrum Nové Butovice, Ovčí hájek 2174, Praha 5, Jiří Vtípil, tel.: 265 188 169, 608 811 200, chaboval@sport-butovice.cz, www.sport-butovice.cz

Sportcentrum u Drahušky, Ke Goniu 123, Praha 6, Tomáš Cigánek, tel.: 220 960 494, 602 294 885, tomas.ciganek@fckopanina.cz, www.fckopanina.cz/klub/areal.html

Ricochet Club Gracia, Česká 879, Hostivice, Pavel Sochr, tel.: 220 980 547, 602 320 639, rkgracia@volny.cz

Hotel Duo, Teplická 17, Praha 9, tel.: 266 133 803, 602 340 687, fitness@hotelduo.cz, www.hotelduo.cz/sport.php

Squash centrum PRO-6, Za černým mostem 1425, Praha 9, Irena Veselá, tel.: 281 941 004, 606 424 400, pro6@g-net.cz, http://pro6.g-net.cz

Svět pod Palmovkou, náměstí Dr. Václava Holého 13, Praha 8, tel.: 266 331 295, rezervace@svetpodpalmovkou.cz, www.svetpodpalmovkou.cz


 

Photo: archiv
Martin Bohuslav (33),
head of IT, EssoxIs ricochet really that easy to learn, even for beginners in racquet sports? Why?
” Ricochet is a combination of speed, technique, a sharp eye, and judgement. All this in one fun package. For those who want to develop and improve these qualities, ricochet is an ideal game. Personally, apart from improving my form, and in addition to the feeling of well and actively spent time, I like that I always leave the court with my head cleared from daily stress.”

Why do you prefer ricochet over other racquet sports?
” Clearly ricochet can be compared to squash. I prefer ricochet because it is more ‘playfull’, there are more tactical possibilities, and it is very dynamic. As a youth I used to play volleyball, and perhaps that’s the reason why I was looking for a higher endurance sport.”


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