What Squash Ball Should I Use To Play Outside?
Playing Squash outdoors is new to avid and amateur players alike. In other sports, it’s common to adjust for different surfaces. Think about it, when Basketball is played indoors, it’s on a hardwood court. When outside, it’s on pavement. Same thing goes for Soccer. When played outside, the field is natural grass. When indoors, the field is artificial turf or a hard surface. And think about Tennis, there are concrete courts, grass courts and clay courts. You get our drift.
Regardless of location or surface, it’s still Basketball, Soccer and Tennis. What does change is the equipment, clothing, and footwear players use. Squash is no different. Today, we’ll discuss which ball should be used for outdoor courts.
When choosing a ball for indoor Squash play, the main selection criteria is based on skill level. Each ball has a different set of attributes and choosing the right one is critical for you to have fun and get the level of workout a good game of Squash should have. Here is a brief overview of existing Squash balls, their attributes, and recommended skill level:
PRO Squash Ball
(aka Double Dot, Double Yellow Dot, 2 Dot) – This ball is used in professional competitions and recommended for skilled players. The ball is smaller in size and has less bounce. It is not recommended for the casual or youth players. This ball also needs to be “warmed” up or it will not play true.
Competition Squash Ball
(aka Single Yellow Dot) – This ball is recommended for above average and moderate level players. The ball has 5-10% longer hang time than the PRO ball, which means it bounces slightly higher after each hit.
Progress Squash Ball
(aka Improver, Red Dot) – This ball is recommended for casual and recreational players. It has a longer hangtime, approximately 10-20% more bounce than the PRO Squash ball. This ball is commonly used for training, since players can work on specific shots and finesse techniques without the power needed for a PRO ball.
Intro Squash Ball
(aka Beginner, Blue Dot) – This ball is perfect for beginners. It has a longer hang-time of 15-40% over a PRO Squash ball. It is recommended to use this ball to help new players learn basic Squash mechanics, and includes attributes that keep rallies alive longer for more enjoyable gameplay.
Kids/Mini Squash Balls
There are many Squash balls that help kids and beginners learn proper mechanics and footwork. Some of these products are made from non-rubber materials, but all aim to help improve fundamental Squash skills and make the game engaging and fun right from the start.
Now, the real questions is – What ball should I choose when playing on an outdoor court? We have tested all types of balls on the NYC Public Squash Court in Hamilton Fish Park (Lower East Side NYC) and found that it really comes down to the weather conditions and of course skill level.
In warmer weather, using any of the ball types should be fine. The PRO (double dot), which requires more effort to “warm up”, works great on hot sunny days since the outside temperature helps speed up the warming process.
On cold and damp days, using an INTRO, PROGRESS, or COMPETITION ball is recommended since the bounce is higher, and takes less time to “warm up”. While these are recommended for beginners or casual players, we also suggest advanced players try using these Squash ball types for better gameplay on cooler days.
One area we did not cover yet is the color of a Squash ball. Most Squash balls are black, however, white balls are commonly used on glass courts. We have found that on the NYC Public Squash Court, a black ball works best. Over the coming months we will be testing out other colors, such as orange, red, and tennis neon to see if visibility is enhanced.
We will report back soon!