Racquetball – Shots

Players play various types of shots based on the situation during the match. While different types of shots are there in racquetball, all shots are categorized in two categories called offensive shots and defensive shots. During the serve also players play different kinds of service shots based on their own style. Brief descriptions about all these shots are as follows −

Service Shots

Service shots vary from player to player based on their style. Typically a service shot can be either an offensive shot or a defensive shot. Mostly players prefer offensive shots on their first serve and while failing to make a proper first serve, they opt for defensive serve on their second serve.

Drive Shot

One of the offensive serves is the Drive shot. This shot travels low and fast to any of the back wall corners which give the opponent very less chance to hit back.

Jam Shot

Jam shot is another type of offensive serve where the server tries to catch the opponent player off balance by using difficult angles as well as play space.


Pinch Serve

Another type of offensive serve in called pinch serve, where the ball touches the side walls very low and very much near to the service box. The ball has a little bounce and good spin and is very hard to return.

Once all these offensive shots fail in the first serve, the player opts for defensive shots on his second serve. Defensive serves are mainly meant for generating weak return from the opponent putting the server on advance. Different kinds of lob serves are considered as defensive serves.

Lob Serve

In case of a plain lob serve, the player hits the ball so hard, that it moves in a curved way to the back walls and falls near the back walls, giving the opponent very little chance to hit back a good return.

Junk Lob

In case of junk lob, the ball takes a shallow arch and falls mostly around the receiving area and confuses the receiver of being in advance, but it is meant to be a set up for an offensive shot by the server.

Offensive Shots

The Offensive shots in Racquetball are as follows −

Straight-in shots

Straight-in shots are meant to hit the front wall as low as possible. If the shot bounces twice before it passes the service line, then it is called a kill shot. A Straight-in shot hits areas which would be hard for the opponent to cover. Straight-in shots that are very hard to be returned are called down-the–line and cross court passing shots.

Pinch Shot

In case of pinch and splat shots, the ball first hits the side wall before hitting the front wall, which makes it bounce twice really fast. The pinch shot first hits the side wall that is just a few inches apart from the front wall and then hits the front wall very low before going backwards diagonally. It usually bounces twice in front of the short line which makes it really hard for the opponent player to return.

Splat Shot

Splat shot is very much similar to the pinch shot. This shot is played mostly when the ball is very much near to the side walls around 6 inches to 1 ft. The ball is hit with the tip of the racquet so that it hits the side wall, gets a spin and slows down while travelling low to the front wall and almost hit the front wall in the middle.

After hitting the front wall, it again moves towards the opposite side wall while bouncing very fast before hitting the wall. The fast bounce makes it really hard for the opponent player to return it. If the player hits the ball really harder while hitting this shot, it makes a distinct splat sound.


Another effective shot is called the Z shot, where the player first hits the ball really hard on the side wall. After which the ball hits the front wall and move towards the opposite wall. After hitting the opposite wall, it again moves towards the original wall while bouncing. If done correctly, it makes a z shape. This shot has confusing and is very tiresome for the opponent to hit.

Defensive Shots

Defensive shots are those which are not returned low to the front wall.

Ceiling Ball Shot

Ceiling ball shot is considered as a primary defensive shot where the ball first hits the part of the ceiling that is nearer to front wall and then the front wall. After hitting the front wall it in bounces one on the fore court and then moves towards the back wall in a high arc which makes it difficult to hit back for the opponent.

Defensive Shot

High Z Shot

Another shot is the high z where the ball is hit around 10 ft high or more on the front wall. Then it hits the side wall and then to the opposite side wall usually travelling over the opponent. After hitting the opposite side wall with a spin it moves almost perpendicular to the wall which makes it really confusing for the opponent to hit back. It is performed mostly when the opponent is near to the front wall.

Three Wall Shot

The three wall shot is the defensive version of the pinch shot. Here the ball is hit really high on the side wall near the ceiling and then it hits the front wall and then moves towards the opposite wall moving around the court in a high trajectory.