Squash is a racket and ball sport played by two or four players in a four-walled court with a small, hollow rubber ball. The players must alternate in striking the ball with their racket and hit the ball onto the playable surfaces of the four walls of the court. The game was formerly called squash racquets, a reference to the squashable soft ball used in the game.
The game is now commonly referred to as simply squash. The governing body of Squash, the World Squash Federation (WSF), is recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), but the sport is not part of the Olympic Games.
Squash was invented in Harrow School, England, in the early 1830s. The game was played with racquets and an inflated rubber ball. The first set of squash rules was published by J.H. Walsh in October 1864. The game spread rapidly throughout England and the United States.
The first squash court in North America was built in 1884 at the St. James Club in Montreal, Canada. The first U.S. National Squash Championships were held in 1907.
The game of squash has been governed by the WSF since 1967. The game is now played in over 185 countries by an estimated 20 million people.