College squash follow the rules of squash from the World Squash Federation What follows is a summary of some of the key elements of marking and refereeing, as they apply to intercollegiate squash.


Selection of markers and referees: For team competitions, players from the home team (or, at neutral sites, from the team designated in advance as the home team) will referee the even-numbered matches and mark the odd-numbered matches. Players from the visiting team will mark the even-numbered matches and referee the odd-numbered matches. For more information, see Match Play Rules.

Location of marker and referee: The correct location for the referee and marker is at the center of the back wall, as close to that wall as possible, above the out line on the back wall and preferably with seating.

Focus: The referee and marker may not talk to people while the match is being played, in between points, or during the 90-second interval between games.  Their attention should be completely focused on the match that is underway.

Cheering: The marker and the referee may not cheer or show favoritism while officiating and should attempt to be without actual or apparent bias. They should not applaud or verbally encourage the players.

Clarity: Markers and referees should make their calls loudly and clearly so that players and spectators can understand them easily.

Interference from coaches/spectators: Coaches, parents, and other spectators should not interfere with or comment verbally in any way about or to the referee or marker. If a coach feels that there is a problem with the refereeing or marking, they need to address the problem with the opposing coach, at which point both coaches will observe the match and discuss the issue at hand. For more information, see Ethics Guidelines.


The referee is responsible for:

  • Timing the pre-match warm-up and 90-second breaks between games
  • Ruling on all requests for lets and strokes
  • Overseeing the marker’s calls and overturning them as necessary
  • Making calls for which the marker is responsible if the marker fails to do so or makes an incorrect call

The referee makes the following calls:

  • “Half-time” (after 2 minutes of warm-up when players switch sides)
  • “Time” (when warm-up ends and the optional 90-second break prior to play begins)
  • “15 seconds” (said loudly when 15 seconds remains in the 90-second break before or between games)
  • “Yes let,” “no let,” or  “stroke to ____” (in response to requests for lets)
  • “Out,” “not up,” “down,” or “fault” (when marker has failed to make an obvious call, or if the referee is positive the marker’s call was incorrect)
  • “Conduct warning to ____” (see section 17 of the World Squash Federation rules for guidelines regarding misconduct on court)
  • “Conduct stroke to ______”
  • “Conduct game to _______”
  • “Conduct match to ______”


The marker is responsible for:

  • Announcing the score
  • Keeping a written account of the score
  • Repeating all decisions by the referee
  • Announcing the service side (only when asked)

The marker makes the following calls:

  • “Best of 5 games, love all” (to begin play in the first game)
  • “Fault” (service out of court)
  • “Foot fault”
  • “Hand out” (change of server)
  • “Out” (ball goes out of court)
  • “Down” (ball hits the tin or the floor before reaching the front wall)
  • “Not up” (double bounce, double hit, or carry)
  • “10-all; a player must win by two points” (when the score is 10-10)
  • “Game ball” (said each time except match-ball)
  • “Match ball” (said every time it applies)
  • “Yes let,” “no let,” “stroke to ____” (the marker repeats the referee’s decisions for the players and spectators)


The officiating player from the home team should introduce the match before it starts. The recommended format for the introduction is as follows:

Playing on court __ in the number __ position representing __________ [visiting team] is __________ [player A’s name].
Representing __________ [home team] is __________ [player B’s name].
[Marking/refereeing] this match is __________ [other officiating player’s name] from __________ [visiting team].
I am __________ [officiating player’s name] from __________ [home team] and I will be the [referee/marker].
__________ [name of serving player] from __________ [player’s school] to serve.  Players ready. Love all.


Markers and referees should be familiar with the World Squash Federation rules regarding injuries. The chart below outlines the proper actions markers and referees should take in cases of illness or injury. The College Squash Association recommends that a copy of the chart below be provided on the clipboard with the score sheet for each match (click on the chart to enlarge).

During the 2018-2019 season, the CSA approved a new bleeding rule that expands upon the existing WSF bleeding rules for only college squash matches. The rule and its rationale can be found here, and it should be implemented for all bleeding incidents during college matches moving forward.



*Example of Opponent Inflicted: Due to an unruly swing player “A” bloodies the nose of player “B” (big follow-through, legally too big — Referee’s judgment call). After a timeout to stem blood flow, player “B” comes back on court and attempts to continue play, but bleeding restarts.

A fair outcome of the example above is that the match is awarded to injured player “B” since player “A’s” illegal swing prevented “B” from completing the match.


Below are the levels of enforcement required of a Referee at match venues in response to On-Court Conduct violations:

  1. Warning
  2. Stroke awarded to opponent (called a conduct stroke)
  3. Game awarded to opponent (called a conduct game)
  4. Match warded to opponent (called a conduct match)

Updated on October 23, 2019