Hinders in Racquetball
I still get baffled and even frustrated by hinder calls in racquetball. If you are a racquetball player you understand what I mean. Hinders are the calls that truly separate the good players from the mediocre players.
During my years of playing, I have experienced some of the most ridiculous hinder calls ever. I have even been in a racquetball match that turned into a shouting match over a lousy hinder call.
I am not talking about tournament matches. I am talking about a friendly, competitive match at the local racquet club.
Type of Match
Tournaments have referees for each match. The referee is responsible for calling hinders, not the players. Having a referee call hinders makes a better match.
But in a non-tournament match, the players are responsible for calling hinders. That can lead to trouble if hinders are called incorrectly.
Bad hinders calls typically break down a game. Some players call hinders too much and players get frustrated. Some players don’t call hinders enough and players get hurt.
A good player is consistent with hinder calls. He sets up his standard and sticks with it. Some players change their standards as they play the game, which can be frustrating.
One rally they hit around the player, the next rally they call a hinder. Another rally they cross in front of you, so you can’t swing.
Play Same Levels
It’s a good idea to play with someone at your level of the game. That way the hinder calls are more likely to be mutual.
Playing with someone at your level of the game can mean less hinder calls, too. That means fewer injuries and fewer frustrations.
You could have close calls in the game and decided not to stop, that is fine. You just continue the game and stay with it.
It’s a good idea to set the rules for hinder calls and follow them. That way, the calls are consistent and steadfast.
These rules may be between players or individually followed. The key is to be consistent with the calls. You don’t want to call a hinder one way and then another way. That can be baffling and frustrating for other players.
Player Calls the Hinder
Unless the hinder is blatant, do not call a hinder. Let the player have his shot or his win of the rally.
Make all hinder calls fast and loud — no wishy-washy calls. “Well, I think you were in my way.” “I am pretty sure…”
Second guessing doesn’t work. You want to eliminate any confusion as to whether the play had a hinder or not.
You cannot call a hinder for another player unless safety is involved. “George, look out!” “Hinder!”
A player running into another player does not automatically mean a hinder. The player runs into another player, but still manages to get the ball, is fine.
But if a player runs into another player and continues after the ball, misses his shot, he can’t call a hinder. The hinder has to be called before the player tries his shot.
Also, if the player runs into another player but could not have retrieved the ball anyhow (kill or pass), there is no hinder.
Safety first is the main factor. Always call a hinder immediately when safety is an issue. From my experience, it’s better safe than sorry.
I will cover more hinder calls next week. In the meantime, have a fun and safe racquetball game. Watch out for those hinders!
Top photo by Shane and second photo by Holly Ogren