Are you often getting hit by the ball in the back of your legs or in your back?
Do you often have large red circular raised welts in your skin which slowly turn into black bruises?
Are you are standing directly in front of your opponent while they are hitting the ball?
Do you look at the front wall while your opponent is shooting the ball?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you are playing bruiseball instead of racquetball.
And, you are breaking a fundamental rule of racquetball in which you must allow your opponent to hit directly to the front wall or cross court:
3.15 – Penalty Hinders
(a) Failure to Move. A player does not move sufficiently to allow an opponent a shot straight to the front wall as well a cross-court shot which is a shot directly to the front wall at an angle that would cause the ball to rebound directly to the rear corner farthest from the player hitting the ball. In addition, when a player moves in such a direction that it prevents an opponent from taking either of these shots.
Your opponent has the right to stop his swing and call a penalty hinder if you violate the Failure to Move rule. A penalty hinder results in the loss of the rally.
So how do you stop playing bruiseball?
- Never take you eyes off the ball. And especially watch the ball when it is moving behind you. You should be able to watch your opponent hit the ball.
- You cannot stand in center court if it interferes with your opponent in any way.
So get out of the way! You are not allowed to take away your opponent’s offensive shot after you have hit a terrible shot that rebounds to the center court. If you get hit standing in your opponent’s hitting lane, it is a penalty hinder and you should lose the point!
Note — the many benefits of watching the ball were discussed in this post.