Singles Squash Rules

Rule 8 – INTERFERENCE

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Clive Pollard

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8 INTERFERENCE


8.1 After completing a reasonable follow-through, a player must make every effort to clear, so that when the ball rebounds from the front wall the opponent has:

8.1.1      a fair view of the ball on its rebound from the front wall; and

8.1.2      unobstructed direct access to the ball; and

8.1.3      the space to make a reasonable swing at the ball; and

8.1.4      the freedom to strike the ball to any part of the entire front wall.

Interference occurs when the player does not provide the opponent with all of these requirements.

 

8.2 A striker who believes that interference has occurred may stop and request a let, preferably by saying “Let, please.” That request must be made without undue delay.

Notes: Before accepting any form of request the Referee must be satisfied that the player is actually requesting a let.

A request for a let includes a request for a stroke.

Normally, only the striker may request a let for interference. However, if the non-striker requests a let for lack of access before the ball has reached the front wall, that request may be considered, even though that player is not yet the striker.

 

8.3 The Referee, if uncertain about the reason for a request, must ask the player for an explanation.

 

8.4 The Referee may allow a let or award a stroke without a request having been made, stopping play if necessary, especially for reasons of safety.

 

8.5 If the striker strikes the ball and the opponent then requests a let, but then the ball goes down or out, the opponent wins the rally.

 

8.6 General

The following provisions apply to all forms of interference:

8.6.1      if there was neither interference nor reasonable fear of injury, no let is allowed;

8.6.2      if there was interference but the striker would not have been able to make a good return, no let is allowed;

8.6.3      if the striker continued play beyond the interference and then requested a let, no let is allowed;

8.6.4      if there was interference, but it did not prevent the striker from seeing and getting to the ball to make a good return, this is minimal interference and no let is allowed;

8.6.5      if the striker would have been able to make a good return but the opponent was not making every effort to avoid the interference, a stroke is awarded to the striker;

8.6.6      if there was interference that the opponent was making every effort to avoid and the striker would have been able to make a good return, a let is allowed;

8.6.7      if there was interference and the striker would have made a winning return, a stroke is awarded to the striker.

 

In addition to Rule 8.6, the following provisions apply to specific situations.

 

8.7 Fair View

Fair View means enough time to view the ball and prepare to strike it as it returns from the front wall.

8.7.1      If the striker requests a let for lack of fair view of the ball on its return from the front wall, the provisions of 8.6 apply.

 

8.8 Direct Access

If the striker requests a let for lack of direct access to the ball, then:

8.8.1      if there was interference but the striker did not make every effort to get to and play the ball, no let is allowed;

Note:     Every effort to get to and play the ball should not include contact with the opponent. If any contact that could have been avoided is made, Rule 15 (Conduct) must be applied.

8.8.2      if the striker had direct access but instead took an indirect path to the ball and then requested a let for interference, no let is allowed, unless Rule 8.8.3 applies;

8.8.3      if the striker was wrong-footed, but showed the ability to recover and make a good return, and then encountered interference, a let is allowed, unless the striker would have made a winning return, in which case a stroke is awarded to the striker.

 

8.9 Racket Swing

A reasonable swing comprises a reasonable backswing, a strike at the ball and a reasonable follow-through. The striker’s backswing and follow-through are reasonable as long as they do not extend more than is necessary.

If the striker requests a let for interference to the swing, then:

8.9.1      if the swing was affected by slight contact with the opponent who was making every effort to avoid the interference a let is allowed, unless the striker would have made a winning return, in which case a stroke is awarded to the striker;

8.9.2      if the swing was prevented by contact with the opponent, a stroke is awarded to the striker, even if the opponent was making every effort to avoid the interference.

 

8.10 Excessive Swing

8.10.1   If the striker caused the interference by using an excessive swing, no let is allowed.

8.10.2   If there was interference but the striker exaggerated the swing in attempting to earn a stroke, a let is allowed.

8.10.3   The striker’s excessive swing can contribute to interference for the opponent when it becomes the opponent’s turn to play the ball, in which case the opponent may request a let.

 

8.11 Freedom to strike the ball to any part of the entire front wall

If the striker refrains from striking the ball because of front-wall interference, and requests a let, then:

8.11.1   if there was interference and the ball would have hit the non-striker on a direct path to the front wall, a stroke is awarded to the striker, unless the striker had turned or was making a further attempt, in which case a let is allowed;

8.11.2   if the ball would first have hit the non-striker and then a side wall before reaching the front wall, a let is allowed, unless the return would have been a winning return, in which case a stroke is awarded to the striker; or

8.11.3   if the ball would first have hit a side wall and then the non-striker before reaching the front wall, a let is allowed unless the return would have been a winning return, in which case a stroke is awarded to the striker.

 

8.12 Further Attempt

If the striker requests a let for interference while making a further attempt to strike the ball, and could have made a good return, then:

8.12.1   if the non-striker had no time to avoid the interference, a let is allowed.

 

8.13 Turning

Turning is the action of the player who strikes, or is in a position to strike, the ball to the right of the body after the ball has passed behind it to the left or vice versa, whether the player physically turns or not.

If the striker encounters interference while turning, and could have made a good return, then:

8.13.1   if the swing was prevented, even though the opponent was making every effort to avoid the interference, a stroke is awarded to the striker;

8.13.2   if the non-striker had no time to avoid the interference, a let is allowed;

8.13.3   if the striker could have struck the ball without turning, but turned in order to create an opportunity to request a let, no let is allowed.

8.13.4   When the striker turns, the Referee must always consider whether the action was dangerous and rule accordingly.

 

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