Court Etiquette

or how to behave on court!

Each season we have queries from league players about what should be the position with such and such an occurrence. Many players lack confidence in their knowledge of the rules and others, while willing to referee, are put off by the behaviour on court of some players.

Here is a list of dos and don’ts for your consideration.


  • Use the 4 minute (2 minutes each side) warm-up fairly. Strike the ball back to yourself twice and then to your opponent. There are few things as annoying as a player who hogs the ball to themselves!
  • Call your ‘lets’ properly, that is, use the words “Let please”, ask on time and only when it is a genuine let.
  • Wear squash shoes on court and make sure they are clean. It safeguards the courts and they are better for yourself than ‘runners’ that are designed for forward movement only!
  • Do your fair share of refereeing and read up on the rules. Consider becoming a club grade referee where you can be of use to your club mates.
  • Always shake hands after your match and thank the referee if there was one.


  • Call for ‘lets’ when there is no case for one.
  • Argue with the referee’s decisions.
  • Play the ball when it is dangerous to do so – remember that it is probably a ‘stroke’ to you anyway.
  • Use bad language on court. Apart from the rudeness of it, referees are required to penalise it under the rules!

Rule 15 deals with conduct. It says:

  1. Players must comply with any tournament regulations additional to these Rules.
  2. Players may not place any object within the court.
  3. Players may not leave the court during a game without the permission of the Referee.
  4. Players may not request a change of any Official.
  5. Players must not behave in a manner that is unfair, dangerous, abusive, offensive, or in any way detrimental to the sport.
  6. If a player’s conduct is unacceptable, the Referee must penalise the player, stopping play if necessary. Unacceptable behaviour includes, but is not limited to:
    1. audible or visible obscenity;
    2. verbal, physical or any other form of abuse;
    3. unnecessary physical contact, which includes pushing off the opponent;
    4. dangerous play, including an excessive racket swing;
    5. dissent to an Official;
    6. abuse of equipment or court;
    7. unfair warm-up;
    8. delaying play, including being late back on court;
    9. deliberate distraction;
    10. receiving coaching during play.
  7. A player guilty of an offence may be given a Conduct Warning or penalised with a Conduct Stroke, a Conduct Game, or a Conduct Match, depending on the severity of the offence.
  8. The Referee may impose more than one warning, stroke or game to a player for a subsequent similar offence, providing any such penalty may not be less severe than the previous penalty for the same offence.
  9. A warning or a penalty may be imposed by the Referee at any time, including during the warm-up and following the conclusion of the match.
  10. If the Referee:
    1. stops play to issue a Conduct Warning, a let is allowed;
    2. stops play to award a Conduct Stroke, that Conduct Stroke becomes the result of the rally;
    3. awards a Conduct Stroke after a rally has finished, the result of the rally stands, and the Conduct Stroke is added to the score with no change of service-box;
    4. awards a Conduct Game, that game is the one in progress or the next one if a game is not in progress. In the latter case an additional interval of 90 seconds does not apply;
    5. awards a Conduct Game or a Conduct Match, the offending player retains all points or games already won;
  11. When a Conduct Penalty has been imposed, the Referee must complete any required documentation.