Racquetball is a sport that takes aspects from many other racquet sports, with squash being the nearest. The racquet is taken from a paddleball with strings added to provide greater control and velocity for the player. The ball is hollow and made from rubber and the game can be played on an indoor and outdoor court. Unlike sports like tennis, badminton and table tennis, there is no net to hit the ball over. Unlike squash, there is not an out of bounds area at the bottom of the front wall. Apart from some designated areas, the floor, walls and ceiling are all legal playing surfaces in an indoor court.
The sport was initially named paddle rackets with the purpose of establishing a fast-paced game that closely resembled the rules of squash, paddleball and handball. It was in 1952 that the National Paddle Rackets Association was founded. The rules were also written and printed to be distributed as a booklet. After a rapid growth in popularity, the International Racquetball Association was established seventeen years later. Today the International Racquetball Federation (IRF) governs the World Racquetball Championships, with the first held in 1981. The sport also features part of the World Games. IRF was formed in 1979 with the sport now featuring in over 70 nations. Racquetball received IOC recognition in 1985.
In addition to the World Championships, there are also three World Tours. These are the International Racquetball Tour and the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour. A standard racquetball court is 40 metres by 20 metres, with the height being 20 metres. There is a service box formed by two short lines. One runs across the width of the court parallel to the front and back walls at 20 feet, while the second runs parallel to the short line and is 15 feet from the front wall. Apart from the racquet and ball, players often wear gloves like in golf. Protective eyewear is also another aspect of the sport that has become compulsory.