Discover (or Rediscover) Racquetball!

Posted by Greg Leibfried on October 31, 2019

Racquetball is a fun and exciting game that just about anyone can learn to play.

It was invented around 1950 and had a big boost in popularity through the 70’s and into the 80’s. The RAC is lucky enough to have 4 high quality racquetball courts that have been well maintained since the club opened. While it is not as popular as it was at its peak, it is still a great sport to play and is easy and fun to learn.

What is the game of racquetball?

Racquetball is played in a 40 foot long by 20 foot long court, enclosed with 20 foot high walls and a ceiling. Two players take turns hitting the ball back and forth to each other off of the front wall (with a few other rules). Except when serving, all the walls are in play. Basically, you win points when your opponent fails to hit the ball back to the front wall. Two players can play against two players as well. There are also informal games that allow three people to play.

What equipment do you need to play racquetball?

Racquetball requires some basic equipment to play:

  • A racquetball court to play in
  • A racquet
  • A racquetball
  • Eye protection is recommended and a requirement for all RAC organized events
  • Tennis/athletic shoes, that won’t mark the floor
  • Your preferred workout clothing

Why play racquetball?

  • Playing racquetball is a great way to add a fun, “calorie burning”, work out to your exercise routine. A 30 minute casual game of racquetball can easily burn 200-300 calories for most adults. The more intense you play, the more calories you will burn! Some club players have reported their “fitbits” reporting over 1000 calories burned in a 90 minute session.
  • The pace of the game of racquetball is uniquely suited to improving quickness and fast reflexes. After only a few weeks of playing, you will notice that your eye/hand coordination is better and that your foot speed and “fast twitch” reflexes will be noticeably improved.
  • Another unique thing about racquetball is that because you are “inside” a racquetball court, this sport is relatively easy to practice and have fun with on your own. No chasing balls!
  • It is also a fun sport to share with young people. The racquet is lighter and easier to swing than in other racquet sports. The ball also bounces more and you can add informal rules to accommodate learning (for example allowing ‘multi-bounce’ for younger players).
  • It is a relatively inexpensive sport to play. As a member you can actually play for free at the RAC and as a regular player if you want to buy your own equipment you only need a racquet, racquetballs, and eye protection.

How do I get started?

Just grab a friend, and give it a try! The RAC has 4 Racquetball Courts next to our main Basketball Courts and for members there is no charge to use the courts. You will want to check with the Activities Desk to see if there are any courts available and reserve your court. You can also reserve a court in advance by stopping by or calling the desk at (507) 287-9300.

The Activities Desk provides equipment that can be loaned out if you would like to try the sport. Simply ask at the desk. There is also an ‘Abbreviated Rules of Racquetball’ sheet at the Activities Desk which can help you learn the basics. If you are a more experienced player, Thrive Boutique and Sportshop rents racquets at a very reasonable price ($2) and also has racquets, balls and eye protection for sale.

Finally, know you can also contact one of our racquetball staff at the RAC for any questions about rules or if you would like to learn more about the game. You can also schedule to meet with one of them for a quick introduction to the game. They are:

What else does the RAC offer for racquetball?

We offer racquetball leagues throughout the year. League participation is a great way to plan regular play sessions as part of your workout routine. It’s also a great way to meet other players and see other playing styles, and gradually improve your skill and fitness at the same time! There is a small fee for joining a league that covers league set up and prizes for league winners.

There are also racquetball events throughout the year, ranging from informal “mixers” to help players meet other players, to one-day or weekend tournaments that provide a way for RAC members to test their skills against other players from the region. Look for announcements of these events by joining the Racquetball Group on the RAC App or by looking for posters throughout the Club or on the Racquet Sports bulletin board found just outside of the Men’s Locker Room.


Racquetball is a fun game that has a lot to offer to the people who play. Its social, its fun and I can’t think of a better place than at the Rochester Athletic Club to learn about and enjoy playing the game. Please let us know if we can help you discover, or rediscover, racquetball!

Greg Leibfried

Greg Leibfried

Greg joined the RAC in 1994 and 10 years later became part of our racquetball staff in 2004. He teaches all junior and adult racquetball classes as well as introduction to squash at the club. Greg likes camping, canoeing, and enjoying two golden retrievers with his wife.​

Contact Greg Leibfried at (507) 287-9335 ext. 323.

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