The International Racquetball Federation (IRF) has set specific Racquetball court dimensions determining the length, width, and height. These specifications are of utmost importance for all those inclined to hold racquetball matches, competitions, and tournaments in the court. The dimensions are mentioned by IRF in order to maintain a standard indoor racquetball court size across all the racquetball courts.
Racquetball Court Dimensions
As per IRF, a standard indoor racquetball court must have-
- Length- 12 meters (40 feet long)
- Width- 6 meters (20 feet wide)
- Height- 6 meters (20 feet high)
Many interior court designers comply with the set standards dimensions, while many court builders do not follow them. It is better to build according to the stated court size as courts are being inspected by International Racquetball Federation Association (IRFA) before official racquetball matches. No tournaments are played in the courts failing to meet the standard court dimensions.
Along with the court dimensions, the specifications regarding walls, floor, and door also play a significant role.
In the game of racquetball, all the four walls, floor, and ceiling are used. Therefore, each needs to be well-constructed meeting the necessary guideline of IRF. Let’s have a look at the wall specifications of a racquetball court.
- Height: The front & side walls need to be 20 feet high and the back wall has to have a height of 12 feet (minimum) and 20 feet (maximum).
- Material: Developers are free to construct the court walls with any suitable material but only one type of material is to be used for all the walls.
- Windows for audience viewing: To offer the audience a view of the racquetball match, there is some slack offered for the construction of windows on the rear wall. Protective materials are to be used in constructing the windows. The windows must flush with the rear wall so as to not cause any obstruction.
- Surface: The surface of the wall has to be smooth. Any form of hole, bump, dimple or unevenness should not exist in the walls.
- Reflectance: The wall’s reflectance should be similar all the way through. A clean racquetball court wall must have 80% reflectance on average. Anything lower than that won’t work as per IRF standards.
- Sturdiness: The racquetball court’s wall has to be tough enough to endure all kinds of blows from the players. The wall will be hit by balls or racquets! The wall must be built accordingly to take-up any kind of strikes without getting dented or smashed.
- Deflection: The ball’s deflection depends on the wall. Thus, the wall should be constructed appropriately so that the ball doesn’t deflect heavily. Uniformity has to be maintained throughout the ball keeping in mind that the ball’s rebound being true at all times.
- Color: All the walls of the racquetball court must be painted with a single color (in case the court does not use glass walls).
- Glass wall: Anyone opting for glass walls for the racquetball court has to build it as per the International Building Code, Section 2408 set in the year 2009. The builder must obtain a testing report issued by a testing lab (having a proper license). The report must then be submitted to the concerned authorities.
- Joiner: Caulking is the only joiner permitted to use. For a flawless look, the joiner ought to be the same color as the color of walls & ceiling. Moreover, there shouldn’t be any notch at the point where the ceiling & walls meet.
Here’s a brief idea on each of the Racquetball Court flooring pre-requisites:-
- Material: Wood is the most common floor material preferred by maximum racquetball court builders. Wooden flooring is not only easy to maintain but is also lasts long. It should be noted here that the entire floor needs to be built with the same material, be it wood or any other material which can offer a solid traction during play.
- Joints: The joints need to be flush meaning that they need to be as smooth as though not even there. The reason being that even a slight bump in the joints can cause an obstruction in the court for the players. The open joints have to be 3/32 of an inch (2mm) wide and not bigger than that.
- Color: If the floor material used is not hardwood, then an even color needs to be used for the whole court floor. This does not apply for the markings on the court which are done in red color.
- Finishing touch: A coat of polyurethane needs to be applied on the floor as finishing tough to guarantee good foothold.
The racquetball game uses all the walls and ceiling as mentioned earlier. Since all the four walls are being used, there are precise guidelines regarding the door’s size, placement, its material, latch etc. Let’s have a look at them for better understanding:-
- Size: 42 inches by 84 inches is the door size. It cannot be bigger than this.
- Placement: The door has to be placed on the back wall because the front wall is necessary for making the serve
- Texture: The door’s interior ought to be smooth. It has to free of any marks, scratches or designs.
- Flush Door: To avoid any kind of obstacle the court door needs to be flush with the rear wall.
- Door handle: The door must feature a flush handle
- Opening: The door must open inwards rather than outwards to the court. The door must have a mechanism attached so that the door doesn’t hit the court’s side walls when opened to enter or exit.
- Latch: A latch system on the door is essential to avoid all possibilities of the door suddenly opening while a racquetball game is on.
All the details stated above with respect to a racquetball court’s dimension, walls, flooring, and door are key to getting it approved by IRFA for playing the game and holding tournaments.