Squash3: Three-player squash!
-- prepared by Beau Lebens,
game created by Beau Lebens, Daniel
Veryard and Daniel Kaars
Table Of Contents
- Rules Of The Game
- The "Toss"
- Game Order
- Gameplay and
- Photos of
Squash3 being played
A group of friends and I had a regular squash game on Tuesdays, at lunch
time. There was a large pool of people, with varying numbers turning up each
week. After a couple months of this, the numbers basically died off and it ended
up that there were 3 of us who always turned up, and most of the others
Obviously, squash is a 2-player game, so having 3 people meant that there was
always one person off. This was ok, because it meant that they got a rest, or
could be the umpire, or whatever, but we found that since we only had the court
for an hour (on lunch-break and all) we didn't get enough games each, and didn't
feel like we'd had a decent work-out when our hour was up.
What was born from this, was a wonderful innovation in the otherwise stable
world of squash (racketball for you Yanks out there). We put all 3 of us on the
court, made up some rules, and then bashed our way through the refining process
to create Squash3.
Nothing spectacular, basically just 3 people, decked out to play a game of
squash, and a court.
- 1 x squash court
- 3 x "open-minded" squash players
- 3 x rackets
- 1 x squash ball (pro-series of course)
Rules Of The Game
In a game of Squash3, there are obviously 3 players who will be
contendiing for the starting serve during the "toss". Since most rackets are
only equipped to provide a "heads/tails" style outcome, an improvisation is
2 players are to spin their rackets on the ground, one goes first, then the
other. All players need to elect a combination from the following options (each
- Up - Up
- Down - Down
- Up - Down
- Down - Up
The first racket is "tossed" and then the second. In the case of the fourth
alternative being reached (i.e. no player selects the correct outcome) then the
rackets are "tossed" again (until someone wins). Thus the first server is
Game Order Selection
The winner of the "toss" gets to decide who will return their ball. This is a
strategic decision, as it will effectively choose who that person plays against.
The winner (Player 1) chooses who will return their ball (Player 2), and thus
Player 3 will return Player 2's ball, and Player 1 will return Player 3's ball
Player 1 --> Player 2 --> Player 3
--> Player 1 --> Player 2 --> Player 3 --> Player 1--> etc.
Figure 1. Game Order
Gameplay and Scoring
Due to the nature of the game, the scoring system has been
modified to ensure that the game is fast, strategic and enjoyable. The following
points will serve as a good guide to the scoring process:
- The player who won
the "toss" serves first
Order determines who receives the serve (and consecutive plays).
- Whoever is supposed to return a ball and fails to do so, loses
that point (points are not subtracted).
- Whoever hits a winning ball (i.e. the person returning their ball fails to
do so) wins a point, whether they served or not.
- When a player wins a point, they get the serve as well.
- Games are played to 9 points.
- A player must win by at least 2 points to finish a game, so a game at the
score of 8-5-9 is not complete, since the player on 9 is not 2 points ahead of
the player on 8.
- In the situation where there is no umpire available, players must keep
track of their own score.
- The "3rd player" (i.e. the player not hitting or returning a ball at any
point) does not count when determining an obstruction call. If the player who
hits the ball gets in the way of the player returning, then the point is
either played again, or the returning player gets the point (depending on the
seriousness of the obstruction). If the 3rd player is in the way of the ball,
they must attempt to move, but will not create an obstruction situation if
Because this is a new game, there is a need to consider new strategies to
win! Here are a few thoughts you might take onto court for your next game of
Squash3, to ensure that you come out on top of the pile.
- If you win the toss, the obvious choice for the person to return your ball
is the best player, this way, you won't have to return a difficult ball played
by them. The problem with this strategy, is that it obviously makes it harder
for you to hit "a winner". If you select the "weaker"player as the person to
return your ball, then you should have a better chance of hitting a winner
each time. Obviously this arrangement will mean that you also have to return
the ball of the "stronger" player, but if you can do that, then this may be a
- "Collusion" on the court can make an interesting game. To win any point, a
person needs to hit a ball, and have the next person fail to return it. To
"break" a winning cycle, the other 2 players on court may decide that one of
them will fail to return the other's ball, thus giving one of them a point,
and the serve, and at the same time "breaking the serve" of the other player.
- Due to the obstruction rules, the 3rd player is a good place to put the
ball :) Since there can be no obstruction call if the 3rd player obstructs the
ball (unelss it is intentional), it is a good strategy to hit the ball towards
where they are, this is a simple case of returning the ball to where it came
from before you hit it. That way, the 3rd player will hopefully confuse the
other player, who is supposed to be returning the ball, and you may win the
Photos of Squash3 being played
Photos coming soon...
Play safe, play hard, play in threes!
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