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Racketball – what is it?

Racketball racket, ball and shoes

Racketball is an ideal game for older players looking for a sport that is relatively easy to learn and play and gives a good level of exercise. Currently the fastest growing racket sport in the UK, it is played on a squash court with similar rules. It uses a larger, bouncier ball and a shorter racket and is less physically demanding. Like most other racket games, it consists of rallies where players take it in turns to play the ball until one of them fails to return the ball. Anyone who has played tennis, table tennis, badminton or squash will be familiar with this. Previous racket experience is not necessary as even complete beginners have found it quick to learn and get a good workout right from the start. It is an ideal game for men, women and players of different abilities to play together. It also has the advantage of being played indoors so is ‘weather proof’.

Another significant benefit of playing U3A racketball is the opportunity to meet players from other nearby U3As racketball groups to play socially or in friendly tournaments. Not everyone is competitive of course and most start playing as an enjoyable way of getting some exercise and burning off a few calories.  Competitive or not, the more skilful and fitter we get the more we enjoy the game and the more benefit we get from the sessions. There is no doubt friendly rivalry contributes to the fun and motivation.

U3A racketball groups play at a local club sports centre and, because they play during the day on a weekday when courts are underused, usually get a preferential rate for court fees. A typical charge for session of 90 minutes would be £2 to £4 per head.

So racketball is an ideal sport for older players. It is easy to learn and safer than squash and usually beginners can play decent rallies and have good games quite quickly. It is particularly suitable for men and women of mixed ability playing together. It gives you a good workout, burns lots of calories, and is very sociable and great fun.  If you have access to the internet a short video entitled ‘Why I Love Racketball’ gives a good idea of what is involved, the benefits of playing and the wide range of people who play and enjoy the sport – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThQSJRGWp5c. For those that have Facebook accounts there is a U3A racketball group where we post notices and share ideas and information. You can join this at https://www.facebook.com/groups/U3Aracketball/. If you would like more information about racketball or how to set up a group or develop an existing group please look at my pages on the national website.