Why is Racquetball Not an Olympics Sport [Yet]? | Racket Sports World (2023)

No, racquetball is not an Olympics sport. And that is unfortunate at many levels, which is what we discuss here. What’s stopping racquetball from getting to becoming an Olympics sport and where do things stand currently.

All sports lovers look forward to the summer Olympic games (and the winter Olympics) where they can watch the most talented athletes partaking in competitive, world-class and exceptional sport.

For those people who have been watching the Olympics for decades, you will know immediately which are the most popular sports. All kinds of athletics, track and field, gymnastics, swimming, equestrian, boxing, hockey and weight-lifting reign supreme, although more recently, football, basketball, volley ball, golf, rugby sevens and tennis have been included.

* You can see a list of all the Olympic summer sports at the bottom of this article.

Table of Content

Why is racquetball not on the Olympics sports list?

Getting a sport into the Olympic games is not an easy feat.

There are 90 members in the International Olympic Committee, made up of various committees.

The IOC receive proposals via the Olympic Programme Commission for new sports and each proposal is evaluated very carefully before a decision is made. There have been proposals to include racquetball in the Olympics and while the sport has ‘almost’ made it into the Olympics, it has not yet met the requirements.

(Video) Why Squash is not an Olympic Sport

How is a sport evaluated for the Olympics?

  • The history of the sport is taken into account.
  • National federations and participation in world or European championships are considered.
  • Will the sport add value to the Olympics?
  • How popular is the sport?
  • Will the sport bring sponsorship, media attention and spectators?
  • Will the best athletes choose to participate in the Olympics?
  • Does the sport generate income.
  • What does it cost to stage the sport at the Olympics.

These are not the only considerations but they are a big part of the decision making. If the sport is popular around the world, has had and will increase television exposure, and if it will generate excitement, sponsorship and a good audience, the sport is very likely to be considered.

There are many Olympic purists who have always loved the athletics, swimming, gymnastics and martial arts, but have raised their eyes at sports like football, hockey or tennis being included.

These sports bring in a massive amount of viewers. Sure there are tons of football, hockey and tennis tournaments that are watched around the globe, but somehow, the Olympics are special.

If these sports can be included, why not racquetball.

Doesn’t racquetball have all of these things?

Racquetball has huge appeal, but truthfully, this is mostly only in the United States.

While various forms of racquetball are played worldwide, and there is an International Racquetball Federation, Racquetball is still most popular in America only. It is televised in the US but it is not that easy to find live Racquetball matches in Asia, Australia, Europe or Africa.

To qualify for the Olympics, a sport must have an international following.

Racquetball is certainly growing in stature and popularity, but not quite enough for the Olympics. It is a sport that is played in the USA and Canada too, by people of all ages and all genders, but it has somehow never reached the same popularity as has tennis.

Neither, by the way, has squash.

Saying that, the IOC will consider participation of a sport if the Olympics are held in the country where the sport is hugely popular. So if the summer Olympics are held in the USA, racquetball may well get the nod. And if the racquetball champions are well known around the world, then the sport has a bigger chance of being accepted into the Olympics.

(Video) The Rules of Racquetball - EXPLAINED!

Youth is an important factor too

The International Olympics Committee are aware of including sports that have a large appeal to the youth. Millions of people worldwide watch the Olympics on television. They are the largest staged sporting event with an enormous viewership.

The more, younger viewers there are, the better.

It means money!

This is why at the winter Olympics we see skateboarding and extreme snow sports that are also new. There is a huge audience.

Does racquetball appeal to the youth? We know that is should, and it certainly does in American and a few other countries, but not enough to qualify for the Olympics.

Also you may ask why handball and badminton are included at the Olympics as these sports don’t have the same amount of attraction as say, track and field, or gymnastics. Well, clearly their federations put forward very positive arguments as to why they should be featured, and if they can be featured, so too could racquetball.

Sports can be removed from the Olympics

Games or sports have included and then – removed. Sometimes the appeal of the sport was just not enough to warrant the cost of staging the sport, Olympic style.

If racquetball is going to be included at the Olympics, the sport and the players really need to show that they are going to stay. This means the appeal needs to be enormous.

This is not to put pressure in any way on racquetball players. Those who are professional are under enough pressure as it is and we know they themselves would love to play competitively at the Olympic Games.

It is up to the various Federations to work hard at getting them accepted and increasing their profile and it is up to the same Federations to ensure they do not get removed.

(Video) Charlie Brumfield: Paddleball vs. Modern Racquetball

What can be done to make Racquetball an Olympic sport?

This is up to the various Racquetball Federations or associations.

The more the sport is played and promoted, the better chance it has of being included. The difficulty with racquetball is that it is pretty similar (well, not really, but in the eyes of the public) to tennis, and tennis is already an Olympic sport.

There is no chance of racquetball being included in the 2020 summer Olympics; these are taking place in Tokyo, Japan, and there is not a lot of racquetball played in Japan.

The 2024 Olympics will be in Paris, France, and we don’t think racquetball is big enough in France for the French to take up this cause.

2028 is Los Angeles and you know what that means – a big MAYBE.

2028 may seem like a very long way away, and it is, but in sporting terms and Olympics planning, it’s actually quite close. We have no doubt that the International Racquetball Association are doing all they can to highlight the sport of racquetball and are going to try their best to get racquetball included.

No Racquetball in the 2020 Olympics

The next summer Olympic Games are in Tokyo, Japan. The official dates, including the opening and closing ceremonies, are 24 July 2020 to 09 August 2020.

You can get a list of the venues, and of course all the sporting events, and tickets have been on sale for a while.

We are sorry to say there is no racquetball!

The next winter Olympic Games are in 2022. They’re in Beijing, China, and the dates are 4 to 22 February, inclusive. You won’t see racquetball here, as it is not a winter sport! (well, in the USA racquetball is played year round which is a huge part of its appeal, but that is only in the USA)

(Video) Learning the art of racquetball

What is the best way to watch the Olympics?

Unless you are one of the lucky ones who can afford to get tickets and to travel to the Olympics, your best bet is to watch the Olympics on television.

We know people who do not leave their sofas or their television sets for the full two weeks.

There are usually several dedicated television channels so you can watch various sports simultaneously, or tape some sports and watch them later. There are always reruns and highlights too.

If you want to watch racquetball, don’t travel to Tokyo, but look online for the International Racquetball Association list of tournaments and travel to watch some of those games.

Again, in the USA and in Canada, and in some European countries, you may well find racquetball televised.

You can also watch online, live, on various Youtube channels. We acknowledge that Youtube is not quite the Olympics, but it is a pretty special event either way!

Sports included at the 2020 Japan summer Olympics

Here is a list of the sports that are going to be included at the 2020 summer Olympics:

  • Aquatics
  • Archery
  • Athletics
  • Badminton
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Boxing
  • Canoeing
  • Cycling
  • Equestrian
  • Fencing
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Gymnastics
  • Handball
  • Hockey
  • Judo
  • Karate
  • Modern Pentathlon
  • Rowing
  • Rugby
  • Sailing
  • Shooting
  • Skateboarding
  • Sport Climbing
  • Surfing
  • Table Tennis
  • Taekwondo
  • Tennis
  • Triathlon
  • Volleyball
  • Weightlifting
  • Wrestling

If racquetball wants to be included at the summer Olympics, it is going to take a lot of hard work and dedication.

In the meantime, racquetball is an exciting and wonderful ball game, fast and strategic, and certainly, popular in America and Canada. So if you want to watch great racquetball, look for it in these countries.

Watch online, watch on television or go to some of the tournaments. For now, that is!

(Video) U.S. Junior National Racquetball Championships Held In Fridley


Is racquetball an Olympic sport? ›

Why is racquetball not popular? ›

By the 90s, the initial excitement had worn off and racquetball saw a decline. This fall is due to multiple factors—the advances in racquets and balls made it harder for the average viewer to follow the ball, so televised matches were unusual. The increased pace made it likewise a more intimidating sport for beginners.

Why are certain sports not in the Olympics? ›

Previous Olympic Games included sports that are no longer included in the current program, such as polo and tug of war. Known as "discontinued sports", these have been removed due to either a lack of interest or the absence of an appropriate governing body for the sport.

Is racquetball a sport? ›

Today racquetball remains very strong as a sport played by over 5 million people each year. Racquetball can be played either on an indoor or outdoor court with anywhere from 2 to 4 players at a time. A complete explanation of tips on how to play racquetball is explained throughout this guide.

Which sport is not an Olympic sport? ›

The correct answer is Cricket. Cricket is not included in Olympics. Cricket was penciled in as an event in the very first modern Olympic Games at Athens in 1896, it was listed in the original program but was later shelved due to an insufficient number of entries.

Is racquetball still a popular sport? ›

However, there were still many loyal racquetball players who devoted themselves to the sport and kept the spirit of the game alive. Even with the decline of its popularity, today, there are still well over 20 million people worldwide that compete in this sport.

What is the most unliked sport in the world? ›

11 Least Popular Sports in the World
  • 7 | Canadian football. ...
  • 6 | Sailing. ...
  • 5 | Archery. ...
  • 4 | Polo. ...
  • 3 | Fencing. ...
  • 2 | Motocross/motorcycle racing. ...
  • 1 | Kabbadi. ...
  • You may also like… 11 Most Popular Sports in the World.
19 Mar 2018

Is racquetball the most physically demanding racquet sport? ›

The ball doesn't bounce as readily as in racquetball, so you must move quickly to keep it in play. This is why squash is the most physically demanding of the racquet sports.

What's more popular racquetball or squash? ›

Popularity. Squash is by far the more popular sport of the two, with 20 million players across the world; racquetball, on the other hand, only has 5.6 million.

What are the 5 new sports for 2024 Olympics? ›

Paris 2024 submitted its proposal to the IOC to integrate four new sports that are closely associated with youth and reward creativity and athletic performance. These sports are breaking, sport climbing, skateboarding, surfing.

What sports should be in the Olympics but aren t? ›

  • Cricket. Cricket, a British sport, is the second most watched sport in the world, with over 2.5 billion fans.
  • Polo. One of the poshest sports around, polo has seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years, but hasn't been a part of the Olympics since 1936.
  • Darts.
  • Squash.
  • Bowling.

What 10 sports are not in the Olympics? ›

It was a demonstration sport in the 1928, 1932 and 1948 Games.
Great Britain taking on the United States in the tug of war during the 1908 Olympics in London.
  • Cricket. ...
  • Tug of War. ...
  • Water Motorsports. ...
  • Distance Plunging. ...
  • Basque Pelota. ...
  • Rope Climbing. ...
  • Croquet. ...
  • Lacrosse.
14 Jul 2021

Is squash or racquetball in the Olympics? ›

The governing body of Squash, the World Squash Federation (WSF), is recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), but the sport is not part of the Olympic Games, despite a number of applications. Supporters continue to lobby for its incorporation in a future Olympic program.

What is the point of racquetball? ›

The object of racquetball is to win points by winning rallies, the exchanges of play between players where the ball must be hit against the front wall and returned with no more than one bounce. Matches are played as the best of two games, with a third, shorter tie-break game if the scores are level after two games.

What is the goal of racquetball? ›

Racquetball is a competitive game in which a strung racquet is used to serve and return the ball. The objective is to win each rally by serving or returning the ball so the opponent is unable to keep the ball in play.

Why is polo not an Olympic sport? ›

Polo is expensive for the Olympics

The decision behind removing polo from the Olympics is that it is expensive and complicated to organize sport for many countries. Not all countries or cities have a polo field, as these require at least 5 hectares per field.

What sports are not in 2022 Olympics? ›

  • Alpine Skiing.
  • Biathlon.
  • Bobsleigh.
  • Cross-country Skiing.
  • Curling.
  • Figure Skating.
  • Freestyle Skiing.
  • Ice Hockey.

What sports have been removed from the Winter Olympics? ›

  • Ski Ballet. 8 of 10.
  • Synchronized Skating. 7 of 10. ...
  • Winter Pentathlon. 6 of 10. ...
  • Bandy. 5 of 10. ...
  • Snowshoeing. 4 of 10. ...
  • Ice Stock Sport. 3 of 10. Years Demonstrated: 1936, 1964. ...
  • Military Patrol. 2 of 10. The modern biathlete has roots in the sport of military patrol. ...
  • Dog Sled Racing. 1 of 10. Dan Joling/Associated Press. ...

Is racquetball the fastest sport in the world? ›

About Racquetball

Racquetball is the fastest racquet sport in the world. At the elite level, service speeds can reach 150 miles per hour. The playing area is made up of a four-wall racquetball court that is 20 feet wide, 40 feet long and 20 feet high.

Who is the best racquetball player in the world? ›

Best Pro Racquetball Players
  1. 1 Kane Walselenchuk. He is the Donald Bradman of racquetball. ...
  2. 2 Marty Hogan. This is a very easy decision. ...
  3. 3 Cliff Swain. ...
  4. 4 Sudsy Monchik. ...
  5. 5 Mike Yellen. ...
  6. 6 Mike Ray. ...
  7. 7 Charlie Brumfield. ...
  8. 8 Ruben Gonzalez.

What two sports made racquetball? ›

Racquetball is a relatively new sport. It was created early in the 1900s by combining several popular sports like handball, tennis, squash, and jai alai. The game first appeared in the United States in the 1920s. A professional handball, tennis, and squash player from Greenwich, Connecticut named Joseph G.

What is the most mentally draining sport? ›


Gymnastics is one of the most physical and most mentally challenging sports in the world. Many people don't realise the amount of strength that it takes to tumble, twist, and vault and also many people don't realise the constant pressure of competing against yourself.

What is the healthiest sport in the world? ›

The study suggests that squash is ultimately the best sport to play to ensure a long life. So what's so great about squash? According to Forbes, 30 minutes spent on the squash court gives you 'an impressive cardio respiratory workout.

What is the hardest racket sport? ›

Squash is the toughest – and the healthiest – racket sport in the world and among the toughest of all sports. When you watch it live you realize why, not to mention when you play yourself.

What is the easiest racket sport? ›

Putting in perspective all the three sports, for the ease of it and the simplicity, Badminton could be the sport one should pick at first. Squash could be another easier sport to pick with it having an option to play with a wall.

What type of injury is common with racquetball? ›

Ankle sprains or fractures are common injuries in racquetball. Although less common than eye and ankle injuries, elbow injuries such as bursitis, sprains, and tendonitis can occur from playing racquetball. Foot or toe sprains and fractures are other injuries that can be sustained in racquetball.

Does racquetball build muscle? ›

Racquetball works almost every muscle group in the body, especially the larger muscles of the lower body and the core. In addition to building strength and quickness, playing racquetball improves coordination, agility, balance, explosiveness and suppleness.

Is racquetball hard on your body? ›

This sport burns a lot of calories since every muscle group is worked during play. An hour on the racquetball court will leave you sweaty and tired.

What is harder racquetball or squash? ›

Squash is also considered more difficult skill-wise. It has a smaller ball, smaller racket and requires more skill to hit. Racquetball makes up for this though by being easier to get started playing.

Which game is removed from Olympics 2024? ›

In July 2018, the IOC confirmed it would not consider esports for the 2024 Olympics.

What new sports will be in the 2028 Olympics? ›

Motorsport, cricket and karate are among the nine sports invited by Los Angeles 2028 to present their case for inclusion at the Olympics. Baseball-softball, lacrosse, breaking, kickboxing, squash and flag football were also granted permission to submit Request for Information proposals for the sport programme review.

What is the newest sport invented? ›

Bossaball is a ball game between two teams, combining elements of volleyball, football and gymnastics with music into a sport. It is played on an inflatable court featuring a trampoline on each side of the net. The trampolines allow the players to bounce high enough to spike the ball over the net.

What is the least interesting sport? ›

  • Bowling. ...
  • Snooker. ...
  • Horse Racing. ...
  • Croquet. ...
  • Curling. ...
  • Chess. ...
  • Golf. Ranked second among the most boring sport to watch, we have Golf. ...
  • Fishing. You would have already guessed by now that Fishing is the most boring sport to watch.
9 Aug 2022

What is the easiest Olympic sport? ›

Running is the easiest Olympic sport to learn. It's ridiculously hard to master to the point where you are one of the world's best, but most of us learn to run before we are 2 years old.

Why is rugby not an Olympic sport? ›

Because the Olympics is a multisport event, the rugby world didn't perceive it as an important competition. After the United States captured the gold medal in 1924, Coubertin's successor, concerned about the size of the Olympics, eliminated many team sports from the competition, including rugby.

Why was cricket removed from Olympics? ›

Cricket was pencilled into the calendar at the 1904 Olympics in St. Louis as the USA played host to the Games for the first time. However, when the final event list was released, cricket was dropped due to lack of participation. The sport has since made an appearance in three other multi-sport events.

What sports should not be considered a sport? ›

Games not Sports

Games such as chess, poker (and other card games), billiards/pool game types games (carom billiards, cribbage (pool), cushion caroms, cutthroat etc) may not be considered a sport by everyone. A game like marbles has the physical skill to be a sport, but lacks regular competition.

Why is there no squash in Olympics? ›

There are many reasons being bandied around as to why it could not make the cut. Among them are that the squash courts were expensive to set up; that the rules were difficult to understand; and that the poor marketability of the sport was unappealing to the IOC.

When was squash removed from the Olympics? ›

Squash is not an Olympic sport. The World Squash Federation (WSF) is recognised by the International Olympic Committee, but its 2024 Olympic bid was foiled by others such as skateboarding, surfing and even breakdancing.

Is handball the same as racquetball? ›

It is similar to racquetball, though substantially more difficult and strenuous. Handball is played on a court with either 1, 3, or 4 walls, and with a variety of balls. Each version of the game is similar in that the ball must hit the front wall in the air once it is struck by a player's hand.

What are the 3 most important serves in racquetball? ›

The three most important serves in racquetball are the Power Serve, the Lob and the Zee. The power serve (or “Power Drive”) is the most common serve used by skilled players. When done correctly, this serve is difficult for the player's opponent to return.

Is it weird to play racquetball alone? ›

Racquetball can be played alone, against one opponent as a singles game, or with four players as a doubles game. “There are a lot of good racquetball players out there, but playing the game and knowing the game are two different things.

Can you hit a racquetball before it bounces? ›

The player who is hitting the ball must hit the ball before it bounces twice on the ground. The ball may be into any wall and/or the ceiling, as long as the ball reaches the front wall before hitting the ground. If a player hits the other player with the ball, the rally is replayed.

What is a skunk in racquetball? ›

Games will be played to 11 points. 3. The winner of each match will be responsible for reporting the scores to the supervisor on site 4. 7-0 skunk rule- If a player gets ahead 7-0 that player will be declared the winner of the game.

Why do you need a glove for racquetball? ›

Gloves are not required for playing racquetball but are widely used and highly recommended. The primary reason for using a glove is to improve the grip and comfort of your racquet during play.

Is racquetball same as handball? ›

racquetball, game similar to handball but played with rackets. The game is played on a four-walled court with a short-handled racket and a ball larger than that used in handball.

How is squash different from racquetball? ›

As far as rules go, the most important difference between racquetball and squash is that the ceiling is out of bounds in squash but not racquetball. Squash courts have a marked "out" line around the upper wall. To serve, squash players must stand in a specific box in the court and serve to the opposite corner.

Is racquetball the same as squash ball? ›

Both racquetballs and squash balls are hollow and rubber. Although, racquetballs are larger than squash balls by 42% in diameter and they are bouncier. Notably, squash owes its name to those mischievous school kids who realized a punctured Racket ball 'squashes' on impact, making it harder to hit.

Can you use a racquetball for tennis? ›

Can you play tennis with a racquetball or a squash racquet? Simply speaking, no, tennis must be strictly played with tennis racquets and you must avoid using other sport racquets like squash or racquetball for it.

Who invented racquetball? ›

Racquetball was invented by local resident Joseph G. Sobek. He developed the game at the Greenwich YMCA since he was looking to increase his exercise. There's a plaque at the YMCA which commemorates this event in the 1950s.

What is racquetball without a racket? ›

It is similar to racquetball, though substantially more difficult and strenuous. Handball is played on a court with either 1, 3, or 4 walls, and with a variety of balls. Each version of the game is similar in that the ball must hit the front wall in the air once it is struck by a player's hand.

Is a racquetball softer than a tennis ball? ›

A: They are squishier than a tennis ball, slightly smaller, bare rubber, no felting. They are practically indestructible.

Can you play racquetball alone? ›

Racquetball can be played alone, against one opponent as a singles game, or with four players as a doubles game.

Is squash or racquetball more popular? ›

Popularity. Squash is by far the more popular sport of the two, with 20 million players across the world; racquetball, on the other hand, only has 5.6 million. But honestly, thinking about it, that's pretty impressive for a game that was made up only 70 years ago by a guy named Joe.


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