Minimal equipment is required for the sport.
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Racquetball is a game of athleticism, quickness and agility. You need impeccable hand-eye coordination and cardiovascular stamina to chase and dodge the ball in the 800-square-foot enclosed court. Playing racquetball is a workout that burns a significant number of calories, but it's fun and engaging so you don't even realize the intensity of your effort.
A Casual Game
You can play racquetball in more than 3,500 facilities across the world. A casual 30 minutes of play burns 238 calories for a 150-pound person. In an hour, this jumps to 511 calories if you weigh 160 pounds, and 763 calories if you weigh 240 pounds.
If you're playing competitively, you may burn more calories because you are trying to keep up with skilled opponents and you possess a greater desire to win. A competitive 30 minutes of play burns about 342 calories for a 150-pound player. The International Racquetball Federation hosts competitive racquetball tournaments worldwide, while USA Racquetball holds events in the United States.
Control Your Intensity
During an intense match while the ball is in play, your heart can maintain 70 to 80 percent of its maximum, which qualifies as vigorous-intensity cardio. Whether or not your heart rate reaches this level is up to you, however. The harder you play and the more you move on the court -- the greater the calorie burn and benefits for your heart.
Compared to Other Sports
A half hour of racquetball burns about the same number of calories as a half hour of ice skating or playing soccer. It burns more calories than a slow walk-jog or a game of golf, even if you carry your own clubs. Basketball, football, swimming and volleyball all trump racquetball's calorie burn, however.