US SQUASH

US Squash Rating Criteria by Skill and Level

Forehand/Backhand
Incomplete swing. Still working on consistent contact and direction. Avoids backhand; grip and footwork problems on backhand.

Fitness/Movement
N/A

Serve/Return
Learning how and where to stand, cannot hit the return consistently to the service line.

Volley
Has trouble with contact on the volley.

Special Shots
None

Playing Style
Does not understand depth, positioning. Cannot get balls out of corners.

Tournament Experience
None

Forehand/Backhand
Form developing. Can handle moderate paced shots. Still has grip and preparation problems.

Fitness/Movement
Typically not fit to play tournament squash; has trouble staying away from the walls; very little anticipation of opponents shot.

Serve/Return
Can hit the serve/cannot return deep with consistency

Volley
Can make contact on the volley, cannot control the ball.

Special Shots
Starting to lob but with little consistency. Ball is regularly out or hits the back wall on the fly.

Playing Style
Runs hard. Cannot consistently control the middle of the court.

Tournament Experience
Has played a few tournament matches.

Forehand/Backhand
Good consistency and variety on moderate shots. Over hits under pressure. On backhand, frequently prepared, starting to hit for depth.

Fitness/Movement
Has started to learn to stay out of the back corners. Still overruns the ball regularly. Barely has the fitness to play a 5 game tournament match.

Serve/Return
Has both lob serve and hard serve. Can now return to behind the service line with consistency. Good lob serves are still hard to return.

Volley
Starting to volley for power and direction. Cannot yet drop off the volley.

Special Shots
Can lob consistently on moderate shots. Goes for drop on ball in middle of court. Understands let point rule. Uses boast on occasion, but usually ineffectively.

Playing Style
Tends to run hard and hit hard. Tries drop only on easy shots.

Tournament Experience
Can beat other lower ranked players with good consistency.

Forehand/Backhand
Starting to hit for power. Can retrieve in the front and back corners. Can hit cross court and down the rail for power. Can lob off both sides but without much touch.

Fitness/Movement
Starting to regularly keep away from the ball, the walls and corners. Now is trying to anticipate opponents shots. This player is typically not balanced enough to have a wide selection of shots after a dash to the ball.

Serve/Return
Still occasionally hits a short return. Volleys to depth only.

Volley
Will volley off both sides on easy balls. Starting to drop off the volley.

Special Shots
Now uses boasts and lobs to augment drives.

Playing Style
Can retrieve or go for shots though not able to hit good shots consistently.

Tournament Experience
Has played and probably won a D level tournament.

Forehand/Backhand
Can drive the ball for width and power. Starting to hit drops from mid and front court. Hits the backhand hard but can drop. Misses drop under pressure.

Fitness/Movement
Can now play hard 5 game tournament matches, and have some reserves. Recovery to the T is a part of this player’s movement. Starting to show good balance and body control after a sprint to the ball.

Serve/Return
Serves hard and wide with consistency. Lob serve drifts to the middle. Serve returns are generally good shots.

Volley
Now volleys for depth, power and shoots on easy balls.

Special Shots
Boast, lob and drops are part of this player’s arsenal. Hits 50% of those shots well.

Playing Style
Physical make up now determines playing style. Big player powers the ball to the corners, tries drops. Smaller, quicker, fitter player plays retrieving game with counter punch shots.

Tournament Experience
Would win a “C” tournament. Could win a match or two in the “B’s”

Forehand/Backhand
Forehand is a strong shot with power, depth. On backhand, controls depth and power but still occasionally breaks down under pressure.

Fitness/Movement
Watches the other player as a key to moving properly. Recovery is a consideration on virtually every shot. Starting to pay attention to balance when stretching to the ball.

Serve/Return
Aggressive server, tries to use serve to advantage. Returns tend to be consistent along the walls.

Volley
Volleys for drops and length from the front and mid court, but not with great consistency.

Special Shots
Has two or three shots that he/she rallies to get. Can use the drop shot effectively.

Playing Style
Consistently keeps the ball in play against equal opponents. Controls T against the other players.

Tournament Experience
Would win a “C” or “CC” tournament. With minimal improvement, can compete with “BB” players.

Forehand/Backhand
Has purpose with each swing. Drives ball and boasts from same spot. Can throw up good lob from defensive position.

Fitness/Movement
Has learned to float rather than always dash to the ball i.e., starting to show good economy of movement. Has good fitness, can play hard matches with a 5.5 player. Usually well balanced except when on the dead run.

Serve/Return
Can attack with return of serve. Can lob serve wide and high.

Volley
Cuts balls off on a semi-regular basis. Volley to the nick but rarely makes it.

Special Shots
Rallies to set himself up for a winner, does not rush shots except when playing a much better player.

Playing Style
Knows that rallies must start with drives for depth. Tends to play for a shot a little early at times, but can run down balls if shot sets opponent up to take control of the T.

Tournament Experience
Would win a “B” tournament. Could win a match or two in the “A’s”. Needs to work on the consistency of the quality of his/her shots to get to the “A” level.

Forehand/Backhand
Can drive, boast, lob, and drop. Can put any player into the corners with a set up. Drives the ball powerfully enough to get it past a good volleyer. Can hold the shot to take advantage of a player that guesses or leans.

Fitness/Movement
Can get to almost any ball. Knows how to run as hard as necessary to get to each ball to hit the desired shot. Fit enough to defeat all lower rated players.

Serve/Return
Consistently returns a very good shot. Can boast or drop off the return. Serves rarely put this player into an immediate defensive position.

Volley
Volleys whenever possible to length, drop or boast. Uses the volley the way lower level players use their ground strokes.

Special Shots
All shots are hit to the nick. This player has a shot that can finish a rally with a high degree of consistency.

Playing Style
Plays patiently to the opening. Will still rush an occasional shot but patience and shot quality separate the 5.5 player from the 5.0. Is great practice for any level player.

Tournament Experience
Would win every “B” tournament. Might get upset in a “BB” but would win these 80% of the time. Gives the pros a reasonable match.

Forehand/Backhand
Holds almost every shot. Takes advantage of the open court. Defensive shots are very good. Has great wrist. Knows when to lob and drop. Dominates the court with a ball at the T.

Fitness/Movement
The most fit player. Virtually no ball is ungettable. Shows the highest levels of anticipation and balance. These players are most economical in their movement.

Serve/Return
Consistently serves very well. Returns are hit such that the server cannot attack, and may even put the server on the defensive.

Volley
Tremendous volleyer with reach, precision and touch. Likes to volley to the nick.

Special Shots
Has all the shots. Can play the ball high and deep from the back corner.

Playing Style
Plays both his style and the style that makes the opponent look bad. Exploits opponents weakness.

Tournament Experience
Has great results at national tournament level. Usually fairly dominant in local play.

2.0 (E)
Incomplete swing. Still working on consistent contact and direction. Avoids backhand; grip and footwork problems on backhand.

2.5 (D)
Form developing. Can handle moderate paced shots. Still has grip and preparation problems.

3.0 (DD)
Good consistency and variety on moderate shots. Over hits under pressure. On backhand, frequently prepared, starting to hit for depth.

3.5 (C)
Starting to hit for power. Can retrieve in the front and back corners. Can hit cross court and down the rail for power. Can lob off both sides but without much touch.

4.0 (CC)
Can drive the ball for width and power. Starting to hit drops from mid and front court. Hits the backhand hard but can drop. Misses drop under pressure.

4.5 (B)
Forehand is a strong shot with power, depth. On backhand, controls depth and power but still occasionally breaks down under pressure.

5.0 (BB)
Has purpose with each swing. Drives ball and boasts from same spot. Can throw up good lob from defensive position.

5.5 (A)
Can drive, boast, lob, and drop. Can put any player into the corners with a set up. Drives the ball powerfully enough to get it past a good volleyer. Can hold the shot to take advantage of a player that guesses or leans.

6.0 (AA)
Holds almost every shot. Takes advantage of the open court. Defensive shots are very good. Has great wrist. Knows when to lob and drop. Dominates the court with a ball at the T.

2.0 (E)
N/A

2.5 (D)
Typically not fit to play tournament squash; has trouble staying away from the walls; very little anticipation of opponents shot.

3.0 (DD)
Has started to learn to stay out of the back corners. Still overruns the ball regularly. Barely has the fitness to play a 5 game tournament match.

3.5 (C)
Starting to regularly keep away from the ball, the walls and corners. Now is trying to anticipate opponents shots. This player is typically not balanced enough to have a wide selection of shots after a dash to the ball.

4.0 (CC)
Can now play hard 5 game tournament matches, and have some reserves. Recovery to the T is a part of this player’s movement. Starting to show good balance and body control after a sprint to the ball.

4.5 (B)
Watches the other player as a key to moving properly. Recovery is a consideration on virtually every shot. Starting to pay attention to balance when stretching to the ball.

5.0 (BB)
Has learned to float rather than always dash to the ball i.e., starting to show good economy of movement. Has good fitness, can play hard matches with a 5.5 player. Usually well balanced except when on the dead run.

5.5 (A)
Can get to almost any ball. Knows how to run as hard as necessary to get to each ball to hit the desired shot. Fit enough to defeat all lower rated players.

6.0 (AA)
The most fit player. Virtually no ball is ungettable. Shows the highest levels of anticipation and balance. These players are most economical in their movement.

2.0 (E)
Learning how and where to stand, cannot hit the return consistently to the service line.

2.5 (D)
Can hit the serve/cannot return deep with consistency

3.0 (DD)
Has both lob serve and hard serve. Can now return to behind the service line with consistency. Good lob serves are still hard to return.

3.5 (C)
Still occasionally hits a short return. Volleys to depth only.

4.0 (CC)
Serves hard and wide with consistency. Lob serve drifts to the middle. Serve returns are generally good shots.

4.5 (B)
Aggressive server, tries to use serve to advantage. Returns tend to be consistent along the walls.

5.0 (BB)
Can attack with return of serve. Can lob serve wide and high.

5.5 (A)
Consistently returns a very good shot. Can boast or drop off the return. Serves rarely put this player into an immediate defensive position.

6.0 (AA)
Consistently serves very well. Returns are hit such that the server cannot attack, and may even put the server on the defensive.

2.0 (E)
Has trouble with contact on the volley.

2.5 (D)
Can make contact on the volley, cannot control the ball.

3.0 (DD)
Starting to volley for power and direction. Cannot yet drop off the volley.

3.5 (C)
Will volley off both sides on easy balls. Starting to drop off the volley.

4.0 (CC)
Now volleys for depth, power and shoots on easy balls.

4.5 (B)
Volleys for drops and length from the front and mid court, but not with great consistency.

5.0 (BB)
Cuts balls off on a semi-regular basis. Volley to the nick but rarely makes it.

5.5 (A)
Volleys whenever possible to length, drop or boast. Uses the volley the way lower level players use their ground strokes.

6.0 (AA)
Tremendous volleyer with reach, precision and touch. Likes to volley to the nick.

2.0 (E)
None

2.5 (D)
Starting to lob but with little consistency. Ball is regularly out or hits the back wall on the fly.

3.0 (DD)
Can lob consistently on moderate shots. Goes for drop on ball in middle of court. Understands let point rule. Uses boast on occasion, but usually ineffectively.

3.5 (C)
Now uses boasts and lobs to augment drives.

4.0 (CC)
Boast, lob and drops are part of this player’s arsenal. Hits 50% of those shots well.

4.5 (B)
Has two or three shots that he/she rallies to get. Can use the drop shot effectively.

5.0 (BB)
Rallies to set himself up for a winner, does not rush shots except when playing a much better player.

5.5 (A)
All shots are hit to the nick. This player has a shot that can finish a rally with a high degree of consistency.

6.0 (AA)
Has all the shots. Can play the ball high and deep from the back corner.

2.0 (E)
Does not understand depth, positioning. Cannot get balls out of corners.

2.5 (D)
Runs hard. Cannot consistently control the middle of the court.

3.0 (DD)
Tends to run hard and hit hard. Tries drop only on easy shots.

3.5 (C)
Can retrieve or go for shots though not able to hit good shots consistently.

4.0 (CC)
Physical make up now determines playing style. Big player powers the ball to the corners, tries drops. Smaller, quicker, fitter player plays retrieving game with counter punch shots.

4.5 (B)
Consistently keeps the ball in play against equal opponents. Controls T against the other players.

5.0 (BB)
Knows that rallies must start with drives for depth. Tends to play for a shot a little early at times, but can run down balls if shot sets opponent up to take control of the T.

5.5 (A)
Plays patiently to the opening. Will still rush an occasional shot but patience and shot quality separate the 5.5 player from the 5.0. Is great practice for any level player.

6.0 (AA)
Plays both his style and the style that makes the opponent look bad. Exploits opponents weakness.

2.0 (E)
None

2.5 (D)
Has played a few tournament matches.

3.0 (DD)
Can beat other lower ranked players with good consistency.

3.5 (C)
Has played and probably won a D level tournament.

4.0 (CC)
Would win a “C” tournament. Could win a match or two in the “B’s”

4.5 (B)
Would win a “C” or “CC” tournament. With minimal improvement, can compete with “BB” players.

5.0 (BB)
Would win a “B” tournament. Could win a match or two in the “A’s”. Needs to work on the consistency of the quality of his/her shots to get to the “A” level.

5.5 (A)
Would win every “B” tournament. Might get upset in a “BB” but would win these 80% of the time. Gives the pros a reasonable match.

6.0 (AA)
Has great results at national tournament level. Usually fairly dominant in local play.

 

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