10 Types of Racquetball Shots Will Help You Improve Your Game (Proven)
There are a lot of different shots that you can make when playing racquetball.
In general, they’re split up into pass shots and kill shots.
- Passing shots are those that you use to get past your opponent to move them out of their position on the court.
- Kill shots are used to end a rally.
Each specific shot is performed a certain way and will have its outcome.
The more you play, the more you’ll figure out which shot is the best.
Let’s get started
Down the Line Pass Shot
One pass shot that you can use is the down the line pass shot. This is a pass shot that goes to the front wall and comes back into play parallel to the sidewall. It’s a common shot and quite effective.
It’s best to hit this shot when you’re about four to six feet back from the sidewall. Aim the ball one to two feet up from the floor. Don’t hit the ball too close to the sidewall otherwise; you’ll hit it and send the ball to the center of the court. That would set up an easy return for your opponent.
Cross Court Pass Shot
This is a shot that you hit toward the middle of the front wall when you’re standing close to one of the sidewalls. Your goal here is to bounce the ball once in the middle of the court and bounce again as close to the corner of the court opposite from you.
Keep your racquetball racquet angled facing the middle of the front wall to push the ball across the court. Try to hit the ball in front of your stance instead of in the middle of your stance.
As mentioned earlier, this is one category of racquetball shots. Generally speaking, a kill shot bounces two times before the short line. There are also rollouts which are when the ball bounces two times before reaching the foot fault line. A flat rollout is a ball that rolls out completely without bouncing from the front wall.
Your goal is to aim six inches up the front wall or lower. They’re not the easiest shots to make consistently. Stand behind the dotted line in the middle of the court and try to drop and hit shots in this fashion. You should want to hit the ball somewhere between your ankle and knee while maintaining a level and complete swing.
There are two types of kill shots that you can try out: the one wall kill shot and the two wall kill shot. The one wall kill shot, also known as the straight in kills, are pass shots that are hit lower causing them to bounce twice before the short line. The two wall kill shot is a shot that impacts the sidewall before hitting the front wall.
This is a specific type of kill shot that you hit the right sidewall (if you’re right-handed) as close to the corner of the front wall as you can. When done right, the ball will rebound to the front wall and bounce away making the second bounce close to the front wall leaving your opponent no chance to get to it before that second bounce.
There is also a reverse pinch shot which is when you hit the ball to the corner on the opposite side of your dominant hand (the left corner for right-handing people).
The ceiling shot is a common one in racquetball. It’s when the ball bounces off the ceiling first before hitting the front wall and finally hitting the ground near the serve box. Ideally, you want the ball to hit the crease of the wall and the ground, so the ball loses momentum, but that’s difficult to achieve. Simply try to aim the ball, so it lands about one foot from the back wall or one foot high on the back wall. Anything that hits higher will set up a good return from your opponent.
When aiming your ceiling shot, aim the ball at the ceiling three or so feet away from the back wall. Experiment with how much power you should use to make sure that the ball doesn’t bounce too high off of the back wall. You might see that you need less power than you first think. Ceiling shots can be hit cross court or down the line similar to passing shots described earlier.
Off the Back Wall Shot
This isn’t as common as some of the other shots and is considered to be a last-ditch effort when nothing else is working. The idea here is just to keep the ball in play and make your opponent hit the ball again and hopefully give you a better return. It isn’t always recommended because more advanced players know how to defend this shot easily (running to the frontcourt to cut off the ball).
To do this, keep your racquet at a 35-degree angle and hit the ball into the back wall. It should rebound high and go toward the front wall as either a ceiling ball or a high lob. It doesn’t have to be a power shot as long as you keep the angle of the racquet where it needs to be.
Into the Back Wall Shot
This is pretty self-explanatory. Here, you simply bounce the shot directly to the back wall. Use a little bit of power and hit it at an angle so the ball flies from the back wall to the front wall.
This is a defensive shot that most uses in the same fashion as the off the back wall shot, as a last resort. It might end up in a good return from your opponent, however, because it’s hard to control the accuracy of this shot.
Similar to the pinch shot, this is a shot that you hit while standing right near the sidewall. The goal is to hit the ball right into the sidewall nearest you.
Use the tip of the racquet and hit the ball hard at an angle between 20 and 40 degrees to the sidewall. This should make the ball spin when it bounces off the wall so that it makes a “splat” sound when it hits the front wall. If done right, it will bounce multiple times close to the front wall before rolling out.
Around the Wall Shot
Also known as an around the world shot, this is hard for your opponent to return as it travels from a sidewall, to the front wall, and to the other sidewall before hitting the floor. It’s effective against less experienced players who don’t know how to wait for a kill shot.
Z Ball Shot
Finally, the Z ball shot is when the ball bounces off the front wall near a corner before it hits the nearest sidewall and then bounces to the other sidewall without touching any other wall, the floor, or ceiling. This should create a spin rebound that will be parallel (or close to parallel) to the back wall. This can’t be done during a serve as it’s illegal to hit three walls on a serve, but during a rally, it’s legal and is encouraged since it’s quite effective.
It’s hard for your opponent to return thanks to the spin of the ball and the uncertain momentum due to hitting so many walls.