Squash is an unusual sport in that we have different balls to choose from. We have beginner balls, then on to the single dot and the most common double dot. The double dot is slower than the single dot making it the most advanced ball. The more advanced you are, the more capable you are to warming the double dot up so it becomes bouncy enough for your match.
Anyone who can hit the ball and have a half decent rally will automatically pick up the double dot. I think there’s a stigma attached to playing with a single dot. People think it means they are rubbish! If you are a club player and not a professional, do not discount the single dot. It bounces more meaning you have longer rallies. Longer rallies mean you play more shots so you have more opportunity to hone and improve your squash skills, not to mention your fitness can greatly improve. Most of us out there love squash and strive for improvement, no matter how small that may be. Surely this is worth considering (unless you have no interest of playing rallies and you want to win the match as quickly as possible gaining noting but points in your internal league?!).
I speak to many players who find it frustrating that they are not good enough to have longer rallies because the ball dies so quickly. If this is you, give a single dot ball a chance and see if you prefer it.
If you play in a club which gets cold in the winter months, even if you play at a good level, I personally believe the benefits a single dot ball can give you is worth considering, even if it’s just for a few months when it gets really cold.
Single dot balls are great for coaching. They bounce more so rallies can be longer, which is especially good if you are focusing on driving straight off the back wall, and again the ball will keep on coming back so it is great for repetition.
Don’t get me wrong, I think the double dot should be the go to ball for decent players, but do not discount a single dot ball just because you think you’re too good to be seen using one. At least buy one and carry it in your bag. Use it for solo practice, or when it’s really cold on court, or when you have a league match against that annoying old guy who has no intention of rallying so hits every service return to the front corner!
Squash balls can also deteriorate. As soon as your ball has been used more than a dozen times maximum, bin it! 2 things can happen. They become really dead and lose their responsiveness off the front wall, or they become super-shiny and skid around the court making it impossible to control. Definitely look out for shiny balls in your bag. Do not play with these, they are useless. Go through your bag now and bin any that look a bit shiny. If you do start to play with a shiny ball you will be able to tell straight away in the knock up; it will by “flying” off the front wall way faster than normal. As to change it immediately. It will lead to a scrappy match that becomes a lottery. It’s in the interest of both players to change.
If your ball is beginning to get a tiny bit shiny then you can rub it over your racket strings to take away the shine. You will see tiny bits of rubber come off. The surface will become rougher again, so it can grip the walls instead of skidding off them. This will prolong the life of your ball a little bit.
This is a ball I saw people playing with last week so I had to take a photo. It’s so shiny it looks wet! This ball was skidding all over the place. It was basically unplayable.