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How to deal with players that hinder


Racquetball dictionary



Subject:   Hinders

Date:      Wed, 05 Apr 2000 23:36:15 GMT

  I started playing again 4mos. ago after stopping playing in the late

80's.  It seems to me that players just don't get out of the way and

in "friendly" games are willing to be in the way and take the block

very often.  Many of these are avoidables but never called during a

friendly match.  To make matters worse the same persons are upset when

they get hit, and I am talking about lazy balls that float to the back

corner and come of the glass for backhand kills that strike them at

the short line 1-2 feet from the same side wall. They seem to think

the shooter should be looking for them instead of concentrating on the

ball and shot!  I've even heard the refrain "go to the ceiling if the

person is in the way", oh sure so much for me scoring any points.

        This practice is not just confined to any one skill level and

I have seen it at more than one club.  When did the practice of

staring at the front wall and ignoring everything else become the

norm?  In doubles often the  partner will serve a soft lob to the

opposite side and the opposing player has to take a block cause he

can't shoot down the line?  I mean you have about 5 minutes to get off

the wall.

        As someone else wrote the only solution may be calling

avoidables ALL the time, then maybe it will stop.  If year ago the

people stood around like this they would be bruised from head to toe.


 . . . .

Subject:   Re: Hinders

        Date: Thu, 06 Apr 2000 02:18:02 GMT

       From:  "Otto Dietrich" 

Hi Scott

Here, here!

In my experience, the type of "stare at the front wall" play you describe is

the result of poor instruction that taught two "terrible" rules:

1) Never look at the ball because you might get hit in the eye!


2) Always go to center court after you hit the ball because that's the best

place to be!

What I say to such players is wear acceptable eyewear so you can (almost)

always be aware of where the ball is. Even consider using the racquet

strings as a face shield!  But watch the ball!  Furthermore, you CANNOT take

center court if it interferes with your opponent in any way!  So, go there,

but ONLY if it does NOT interfere.


President, United States Racquetball Association 1998-Present

National Rules Commissioner 1988-1998

Member of National Rules Committee 1982-Present

. . . . . . . . . .

From Alex Glaros:


(1) Keep printed copies of rule 3.15(a) in your gym bag to hand out to

these people during a match. (copy of it below).

(2) Get an open or A player to talk to him.

(3) Have your friend watch watch some higher level players, and focus 

on how the player who just hit the ball gets out of the way.  Ask your 

friend to understand that those players are never in each other's way 

because they're watching the opponent and the ball.  

(4) Start playing with higher skilled players.

(5) Just use your friend for practice.   Practice your splat shot since

its a safe shot when your opponent is blocking your down-the-line shot.

(Unless your racquet will strike him.)  If he eventually moves way up to

cover the splat and he's still directly in front of you, hit a defensive

lob or around-the-world which will be effective since he's so far up.   

See also: How to get out of your opponent's way


Good luck!

Alex Glaros

QR03: Do I have to allow a clear shot to the entire front wall?

A: No, but you must allow him a down-the-line shot and a cross-

court shot. Here's what the rules say:


Rule 3.15 Avoidable Hinders

An avoidable hinder results in the loss of the rally. An

avoidable hinder does not necessarily have to be an 

intentional act and is the result of any of the following:


3.15 (a) Failure to Move. A player does not move sufficiently to

allow an opponent a shot straight to the front wall as well

as a cross-court shot which is a shot directly to the front

wall at an angle that would cause the ball to rebound

directly to the rear corner farthest from the player hitting

the ball. Also when a player moves in such a direction that

it prevents an opponent from taking either of these shots.


Note that this does NOT require that you give your opponent a

clear shot to the opposite corner of the front wall; only 

that you allow a shot to the "middle" of the front wall,where

"middle" is defined as the spot that would send the ball to

the opposite REAR corner.


Also note that this is an AVOIDABLE hinder, resulting in loss

of the rally!  (Although most recreational players would just

call you on it and do it over.) [Or else they'd just hit