Home to one of only seven racquets courts in the country, players have an unrivaled passion for this unique game. Historians generally assert that Racquets began as an 18th-century pastime in London’s King’s Bench and Fleet debtors prisons. The prisoners modified the game of fives by using tennis rackets to speed up the action. They played against the prison wall, sometimes at a corner to add a sidewall to the game. Racquets then became popular outside the prison, played in alleys behind pubs. It spread to schools, first using school walls, and later with proper four-wall courts being specially constructed for the game.
Racquets is now known to be the world’s fastest racket sport and is credited with being the catalyst to the invention of squash. In 1830, the slower game of squash was invented out of necessity at the Harrow School in England. Racquets proved to be too fast of a game for beginners so squash was invented as a means to become acclimated to the rules and speed of the game.
The video below shows the two best players in the modern game competing against each other. James Stout, who begins the match with the serve, has been the World Champion since 2008.
Horace Trumbauer designed the Club to accommodate two racquets courts, but the second court is now the location of the Doubles Squash Court. During events and tournaments, you will find a raucous Racquet Club crowd cheering on the brave players who dare to engage in the sport. When spectating, members and guests must pay careful attention to the game as the ball can travel upwards to 150 mph and sometimes finds its way into the seating. The court at The Racquet Club is said to be one of the “fastest” courts in the world.