Rules for Match Play in RI Squash (last updated 12/3/2019)


1.0 Membership: Individual membership in Rhode Island Squash Racquets Association (RI Squash) is open to anyone.  A member is considered current when dues have been paid, a waiver signed, and any other requirements established by the Board of RI Squash have been satisfied.

Information about membership may be found on RI Squash's web site at, or by contacting RI Squash at P.O. Box 2771, Providence, R.I. 02906.


2.0 Principles: The intent of these rules is to promote play of organized squash matches such that:
1. The outcome of individual and team matches is determined only by the abilities of the players involved, and is settled on the court.
2. All players involved know and see that the contests are fair and unbiased.
3. The status of squash in Rhode Island is maintained as a game that mixes athleticism with courtesy and dignity.

2.1 Authority: Decisions about application of the rules belongs, first, to the league coordinator for the appropriate league (for team play) or to the draw expediter (for tournament play).  The President of RI Squash may review and overrule any such decisions, if he/she deems it in the best interests of RI squash.  In cases where the rules do not address a particular situation, or where unusual circumstances seem to require an exception to the rules, the President is empowered to make decisions as needed, in consultation with other RI Squash Board members as appropriate.  In all cases, decisions should transparently uphold the Principles described above.

In cases where a rule has been violated, the league coordinator or expediter is empowered to impose penalties in order to restore fairness to the results, in consultation with the President and other RI Squash Board members as appropriate.  This can include the action of awarding a forfeit for a match already played. Members who routinely or knowingly violate these rules may be suspended from league or tournament play by action of the RI Squash Board.

In any situation in which the league coordinator, expediter, or President may have a personal interest in a decision, such official will request a disinterested RI Squash Board member to make the decision.

2.2 Ball: All matches shall be played with the Dunlop double-dot squash ball. If both players agree, a Dunlop single-dot squash ball may be used in leagues B-D (adopted by Board vote 9/12/2018).

2.3 Rules: All matches will be played in accordance with the most recent rules of squash adopted by the World Squash Federation (WSF), except as otherwise stated in these rules (adopted by Board vote 9/16/2014)

2.4 Referees: All matches are to be refereed, unless no individual is available when a match is to be played.

2.5 Eye guards: The use of lensed eye guards meeting the ASTM standard or other protective eye guards as may be approved by the US Squash is REQUIRED for all RI Squash play. There are no exceptions to this rule. In those matches where the required eye protection is not used, the player using the eye protection shall win by default and the match shall not be played. The eye protection shall be worn properly for the entire match.

2.6 Scoring: All skill-level “A” matches will be played using PAR-11 scoring. All other B-D league matches will use PAR-11 scoring, unless both players elect to play PAR-15 (adopted by Board vote 9/16/2014, amended 9/12/2018).


3.0 Player eligibility:  To be eligible for league play, a player must be a current member of RI Squash.  Matches played by players whose dues are not paid or whose other membership obligations have not been met are automatically scored as defaults.  RI Squash members who are not members of a club may still join a team and play league matches as long as they are allowed to play home matches at the team's home courts.

3.1 Leagues: RI Squash will arrange competition among teams into leagues divided by skill level.  Each such league will be scheduled to play all of its matches on a particular night of the week. In the 2018-19 season the A league will play Mondays, B league Tuesdays, C league Wednesdays, and D league Thursdays, as determined by the Nicol Squash Club court availability for the entire A league playing at Nicol.

The RI Squash Board may, from year-to-year, alter the specific league nights as it deems appropriate.

3.2 Teams: In preparation for the season, each club shall submit a list of proposed teams to be entered in each league.  The RI Squash Board will review submissions to ensure that teams are placed in appropriate leagues.  In support of that review, clubs will have available lists of possible player rosters for each team.

3.3 Ladders: Each club is encouraged to maintain an active challenge ladder to determine player positions on each team. Ladder operation details shall be at the club’s discretion. However, player positions on league teams will be determined by US Squash ratings as of the day the team line-up is set by the captain (adopted by Board vote 9/12/2018). Exceptions may be made only for players returning after a long absence or from injury, when US Squash ratings may be outdated or for players who played a recent challenge match that has been officially reported to US Squash (adopted by Board vote 11/25/19) Player positions on a team MUST accurately reflect relative player skill.

Players may not be arranged in alternative order for tactical reasons.  To this end, the club's ladder and record of challenge matches must be available for review by the league coordinator and/or the President of RI Squash in case of any dispute.

A player may not play on more than one team in the same league during the season (e.g.: a Brown Red A League player may not play a match for the Brown Green A League team, nor for the U-Club A League team). The sole exception to this rule is that at the bottom position on the lowest level at a given club, a player may be moved from one team to another within that club (for example from Red to Green) with the approval of the appropriate League Coordinator. For any given player, this switch of teams may only happen once per season. This exception is to avoid forfeiture of matches when extra players might be available on a sister team; the exception is not to be used to gain tactical advantage by “stacking” a team. (exception adopted by Board vote 1/14/2010).  Second, since the A+ and Women's teams are not club based, but drafted to form roughly equal teams from the available players statewide, A+ and Women's league players can also play on the club-based B-D teams provided they meet the US Squash ratings cutoff (below 4.50 to play B league) (adopted by Board vote 9/12/18, reaffirmed by Board vote 11/25/19 with the caveat that a player right at the cutoff will be allowed to play unless her/his rating has been above the cutoff for 3 weeks before the match).

3.4 Lineups: Captains are required to exchange lineups prior to the league match by posting them to the US Squash website.

3.5 Rescheduled matches: Rescheduling matches is not allowed and all matches must be played on league nights. The only exception is in the D league, where rescheduling is allowed prior to league night, to avoid excessive defaulting (exception adopted by Board vote 9/12/2018).

3.6 Forfeits: If necessary, teams may forfeit a match at any position. However, teams may not move players down from a higher position in order to fill a vacancy. (If the #3 player must default, a captain may forfeit the #3 spot, or may move players up from #4 and #5 to forfeit a lower spot, or may fill the vacancy with a substitute. In any event, rule 3.3 must be followed, and the skill order of the team as fielded must be maintained.) Teams are encouraged to borrow players from a lower league and/or a list of substitutes to avoid forfeiting matches. It is not permissible to borrow substitute(s) from a higher league to fill in missing spots from the top down.

For purposes of this rule, a player who forfeits at a position more than two weeks in a row or more than six times for the season will be considered to have abandoned this spot. In that case, all lower players on the team must be moved up to fill the defaulted position, and any forfeit, if necessary, shall be at the lowest spot on the team. Again, rule 3.3 requires that the skill order of the resulting team be maintained.

Unless otherwise agreed upon, the forfeit time for league matches is 7:00 p.m. on the scheduled evening. At Brown, and only at Brown, the forfeit time for league matches is 7:30 p.m. 

3.7 Substitutions: A player may play in two league levels during the same week provided he/she substitutes in a HIGHER league, (i.e.: a B Division player may substitute in the A Division as well as play in the B Division during the same week, but an A Division player may not substitute in the B Division.) A player may not substitute under this rule for two consecutive weeks. 

Note that there is no rule against a player moving back and forth between two league levels, playing only one match a week, week after week, perhaps because of other player absences and/or challenge match outcomes.

No player may fill more than one spot in the lineup for a team in a given week’s match. (adopted by Board vote 1/14/2010)

3.8 Scores: Home team captains should enter scores in the US Squash web site within 3 days of the match date. Visiting team captains should confirm the results expeditiously.

3.9 Standings: Within a league level, team standings are determined by a point system, as follows:

A team receives 2 points for an individual match won by play or by forfeit
A team receives 1 point for an individual match played and lost
A team receives 0 points for an individual match forfeited

A tie in the standings is broken as follows:

First, the team that earned the most points in head-to-head play among the tied teams is placed ahead, but if still tied, then
Second, the team that has forfeited the fewest matches for the season is placed ahead, but if still tied, then
Third, the team whose players have won the most games for the season is placed ahead, but if still tied, then
Fourth, the teams will be placed using a coin toss, performed by a RI Squash Board member who is not a player in the league in question.

In leagues that have two divisions, the standings for each division are determined as above, and are independent of the standings of teams in the opposite division.


4.0 Player eligibility: To play in team playoffs, a team member shall have played a minimum of four league matches, either as part of that team or as part of a lower level team or any combination thereof. However, if a member who is eligible to play in a higher level league is displaced from that league to a lower league by a challenge he may play in that lower league’s playoff matches.  In those cases where there is no lower level team, a player may be substituted who has not played four league matches.  The substitutions during playoffs will follow the same rule as 3.7: a player may play on two teams during a round of the playoffs, provided she/he substitutes in a HIGHER league team; but player cannot substitute for two consecutive weeks (or rounds of playoffs) in a row (adopted by Board vote in Spring of 2016).

4.1 Rescheduled matches: Rescheduling matches is not allowed.

4.2 Team selection: Teams are seeded in a playoff tournament draw based on their league or division standings at the end of scheduled league play. 

In single-division leagues with 8 or more teams, the top 8 teams enter the playoffs. In single-division leagues with fewer than 8 teams, all teams are in the playoffs, and first-round byes are given to the top-seeded teams as necessary to make the draw even. In two-division leagues, the top four teams in each division enter the playoffs.

4.3 Scoring: The winning team of a playoff match is determined as follows: 

The team that won more individual matches will be the winner, but if tied, then
The team that won more individual match games will be the winner, but if still tied, then
The team that won more total points will be the winner, but if still tied, then
The #1 players on each team will play a one-game tie-breaker match.

Players and captains are expected to retain a record of game scores for each match in team playoffs, in case they are needed for tie-breaking.

4.4 Playoff format: Team playoffs are done as single-elimination draws. For all playoff matches except the finals, the higher-seeded team shall have home court.

  1. Single-division leagues: In a full 8-team format, the first-round matches will be #8 at #1, #7 at #2, #6 at #3 and #5 at #4. If fewer than 8 teams are playing, the highest seeds receive a bye, and there are to be enough first round matches among the lowest seeded teams such that four teams advance to the second round. The winners of the second round advance to the finals.

    The second round shall be played with the winner of 8/1 playing the winner of 5/4 and the winner of 7/2 playing the winner of 6/3

  2. Two-division leagues: The first round of playoffs will be matches within each division, with #4 at #1, and #3 at #2.

    The second round shall be cross-division, with the winner of 2/3 in division A playing at the winner of 1/4 in division B, and vice versa. 

4.5 Forfeits: The regular season rule regarding forfeits (see rule 3.6) shall also apply to team playoff matches.

4.6 Courts: Playoff matches are to be played on 21’ courts unless both teams agree otherwise.


5.0 Tournaments: The following tournaments may be held for participation on an individual basis:

5.1 Player eligibility: To be eligible for a State Championship Tournament, the player must be a residentof Rhode Island or affiliated with a member club or be invited by the RI Squash Board.  To be eligible for skill-level, age-level, and handicap tournaments, players must have played in a minimum offour league matches during the current season, or must meet entry requirements established by the RI Squash Board.  A player who has won a skill-level championship must enter the next higher level tournament the following year.  The RI Squash Board reserves the right to assign a player to another tournament draw.  A player may enter one skill-level draw and one age-level draw.

5.2 Court: All matches are to be played on a 21-foot wide court, unless both players agree otherwise.