Racquetball Rules for the Screen Line

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The screen line in racquetball is also known as the drive serve line. It must be 3 feet from and parallel to the side wall, creating an 18-inch wide box adjacent to the service box. The line has a back and front edge. The former is closest to the back wall and the latter closest to the front wall.

Drive Serve Zone

  • The drive serve line outlines the drive serve zone and forms a separate section within the service zone. The drive serve zone is sandwiched between the short line and the service line, 25 feet and 20 feet, respectively, away from the front wall. The screen lines reduce the drive service zone to 14 feet wide. This is to prevent players from obscuring the ball from their opponent by serving too close to the side wall. The lines themselves should 1 1/2 inches wide, the same dimensions as all lines on the court.

The Drive Serve

  • A drive serve is a powerful shot against the front wall. As with all serves, it must first be bounced once on the floor and then be hit before the second bounce. It must then rebound back and beyond the short line. No part of the player, racquet or ball must cross the screen line and enter the drive serve zone during the continuous motion that makes for a service. Once the ball is served, the player is free to move into the zone, if he wishes. Returning a drive serve follows the same rules as normal--the returner must not step beyond the encroachments line before the ball has bounced or passed the encroachment line, and before a second bounce.

When is the Screen Line Not Used?

  • According the U.S. Racquetball Association (USRA) official rules, the screen line is not "observed for cross-court drive serves, the hard-Z, soft-Z, lob or half-lob serves."

Faults

  • If your opponent is not ready to receive and you didn't visually check his readiness, then that is a fault. You are not permitted to end your serve by crossing the screen line farthest from the near wall. You may rebound the ball onto the side wall once after a serve; twice means a foul serve. See the official rules in References for other service faults.

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