The Rapidball Story

The following is an excerpt from the book by Leon Jackson Jr.: Racket Wars: Guide Book To All The World's Racket Sports, 2014, BookBaby. Kindle Edition, ISBN: 9781483525723. 

A new expanded edition of the book was published in 2024: Racquet Warriors: Guidebook for All Racket and Paddle Sports, available on Amazon in Hardcover, Paperback and Kindle format. The book includes a revised chapter on Rapidball.


Rapid Ball is a late 20th century racquet sport development, created by Peter V. Haighton. Peter had been playing Squash for over thirty-five years and suffered from the bodily wear and tear that comes with playing multiple times per week, over that long a period of time. He did not want to stop playing, but wanted a racquet sport that was not as demanding on his body as Squash, so he invented Rapid Ball.

Rapid Ball is an indirect racquet sport that combines the attributes of Squash and Racquetball. The sport is played in a standard size Squash court, but uses a Racquetball racquet and standard Racquetball ball for service and rallies. Three factors enhance the ease of play and reduce the body stresses: the use of a smaller court, a ball that is bouncier than a Squash ball, and a greater ability to utilize the back wall for returns. Combined, these factors significantly reduce the amount of side-to-side and forward and back movement that players have to execute in order to retrieve the ball for returns and gets in a regular Squash match.

Rapid Ball has proved to be popular in South America, Europe, and the United Kingdom. The sport has been promoted as a solution for the problem of reduced court use in fitness clubs that primarily cater to Squash play. Many older participates want to, and are willing to continue playing racquet sports, but not at the same physical intensity level required to play Squash. Rapid Ball provides a very good work out, with long rallies, but not the same physical exertion required in a Squash or Racquetball game.

Rapid Ball, is played in a singles format only, and follows most Squash rules. Starting from either court position, one serve (similar to Squash) starts a game. The server is required to bounce the ball first as part of the serve (similar to Racquetball) hitting the ball to the front wall bouncing back inside of the opponent’s quarter without touching the side or back wall before it bounces. Points can only be scored by the side that is serving. Rally point scoring is not used. Games are played to 15 points, but if a 14-14 score is achieved then the non-serving player may choose to play first to fifteen (15) points or first too seventeen (17) points, either with a one point winning margin. Matches are best two of three games, or best three of five games. [Note by Allan B. Christensen: Actually, point-a-rally where both players can score a point in each rally, can be used as well, and the scoring system can be best of 5 games to 8 where, at 7 all, the receiving part decides whether to play to 8 or 10 - see Rules].

Rapid Ball does have one unique scoring rule, "when the striker hits the ball against the front, front and side, or side and front walls and the ball then bounces on the floor and goes out of court without being touched by the opponent, then the striker wins two points."

Governing Organization: None

Racquet/Paddle: Standard Racquetball racquet

Ball: Standard Racquetball ball

References and Sources

1. Introduction To Rapid Ball, retrieved August 3, 2010,

2. Rapid Ball, retrieved August 3, 2010,

3. What’s That Racket?, retrieved August 3, 2010,

4. What Sports Use A Racket, retrieved September 22, 2010, Rapid Ball

(International Squash) Court:

Before This

For many years, was the official Rapid-Ball Website, with information in Spanish and English. The site has now been archived, but is still accessible at WaybackMachine