Playing Equipments

Standard rackets are governed by the rules of the game. Traditionally they were made of laminated wood (typically ash), with a small strung area using natural gut strings. After a rule change in the mid-1980s, they are now almost always made of composite materials or metals (graphite, kevlar, titanium, boron) with synthetic strings. Modern rackets have maximum dimensions of 686 mm (27.0 in.) long and 215 mm (8.5 in.) wide, with a maximum strung area of 500 square centimetres (approx. 90 sq. in.), the permitted maximum mass is 255 grams (approx. 9 oz.), but most have a mass between 110 and 200 grams (4-7 oz.).
Squash balls are 39.5 mm and 40.5 mm in diameter, and have a mass of 23 to 25 grams.
They are made with two pieces of rubber compound, glued together to form a hollow sphere and buffed to a matte finish. Different balls are provided for varying temperature and atmospheric conditions and standards of play: more experienced players use slow balls that have less bounce than those used by less experienced players (slower balls tend to 'die' in court corners, rather than 'standing up' to allow easier shots). Depending on its specific rubber composition, a squash ball has the property that it bounces more at higher temperatures. Small coloured dots on the ball indicate its dynamic level (bounciness), and thus the standard of play for which it is suited. The recognized speed colours indicating the degree of dynamism are:

COLOUR SPEED BOUNCE
ORANGE SUPER SLOW SUPER LOW
DOUBLE YELLOW SUPER SLOW VERY LOW
YELLOW SUPER SLOW LOW
GREEN OR WHITE SLOW AVERAGE
RED MEDIUM HIGH
BLUE FAST VERY HIGH

Balls are manufactured to these standards by Prince, Dunlop, Pointfore, Wilson, Black Knight and others. The "double-yellow dot" ball, introduced in 2000, is currently the competition standard, replacing the earlier "yellow-dot" ball. There is also an "orange dot" ball, which is even less bouncy than the "double-yellow dot" ball, intended for use in areas of high altitude such as Mexico City, Calgary, Denver, and Johannesburg. The lower atmospheric pressure at these high altitude regions means that the ball bounces slightly higher, resulting in the need for such a ball.
Other balls available are:
Dunlop "Max Blue" (aimed at beginners), which is 12% larger and has 40% longer "hang time" than a "double-yellow dot ball" and has "instant bounce"
Dunlop "Max Progress" (red) (for players wishing to improve their technique), which is 6% larger with a 20% longer hang-time than a "double-yellow dot ball" and has instant bounce

Given the game's vigorousness, players wear comfortable sports clothing and robust indoor (non-marking) sports shoes. In competition, men usually wear shorts and a t-shirt or a polo shirt. Women normally wear a skirt and a t-shirt or a tank top, or a sports dress. Towelling wrist and head bands may also be required in humid climates. Polycarbonate lens goggles are recommended, as players might be struck with a fast-swinging racket or the ball, that typically reaches speeds exceeding 200 km/h (125 mph). In the 2004 Canary Wharf Squash Classic, John White was recorded driving balls at speeds over 270 km/h (170 mph). Many squash venues mandate the use of eye protection and some association rules require that all juniors and doubles players must wear eye protection.