B2 Reading Gapped Text Exam 10


Squash is a racket sport played by two players in a four-walled court with a small, hollow rubber ball. The players must alternate in striking the ball with their racket and hit the ball onto the playable surfaces of the four walls of the court. It was formerly called squash rackets, which was a reference to the "squashable" soft ball used in the game, compared to the harder ball used in its parent game of rackets.There is also a doubles version of the game with four players.

In squash, both players face the same wall and the objective is to hit the ball onto the wall in such a way that the other player is unable to hit the rebound. The court is divided into two sections, with service squares in each, one on the left and one on the right. At the start of a game, the player serving first decides whether to serve from the left or right service box and one of the server's feet must be in that box when they take their shot.

The horizontal line in the middle of the wall is called the service line, and when a player serves, the ball must hit the wall above the service line. Once the ball hits the correct part of the front wall, it must land within the service area of the opposite court, without hitting the side wall above the line, otherwise it is considered 'out'. The receiving player has the choice of hitting the served ball without letting it bounce, 'on the volley' so to speak, or the ball can be allowed to bounce once, and then hit. It is not allowed to bounce twice.

This may be done by first hitting either of the side walls or the back wall first, within the line, otherwise the shot is considered out. This exchange is called a rally, and continues until one player makes a mistake.There are several different scoring systems used around the world, but with the British scoring system, if the person serving wins a rally, they get a point.

The first player to get to nine points is the winner. But anyone playing squash would be wise to understand the risks involved, and there are several. It is an extremely fast-moving and vigorous game, and those with heart conditions are advised not to play. It is also 'high impact', meaning that playing often places great strain on a player's joints, particularly the knees and wrists. Finally, there is the possibility of being hit by a fast-moving ball or racket, because in professional games, the ball has been known to travel at speeds of over 270 kilometres per hour.

Within the game, different styles of player have been identified.
An 'all-round player' is one who plays well in all parts of the court, and can adapt their style of play to their opponent's style, while a `power player' makes great use of their strength to hit the ball as fast as possible, and a 'shooter' is a player who relies on accuracy and trickery to gain advantage over their opponent.

Squash has become very popular recently because it is gives a very complete cardiovascular workout, both for the upper body and the lower body. It is played in over 150 countries worldwide.It has become so popular that many people would like it to become an official Olympic sport.
At present it is recognised by the International Olympic Committee but is not part of the official Olympic programme.

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