Squash scoring systems have evolved over time. The original scoring system is known as English scoring, also called hand-out scoring. Under this system, if the server wins a rally, they receive a point, while if the returner wins rally, only the service changes (i.e., the ball goes "hand-out") and no point is given. The first player to reach 9 points wins the game. However, if the score reaches 8–8, the player who was first to reach 8 decides whether the game will be played to 9, as before (called "set one"), or to 10 (called "set two"). At one time this scoring system was preferred in Britain, and also among countries with traditional British ties, such as Australia, Canada, Pakistan, South Africa, India and Sri Lanka.
The current official scoring system for all levels of professional and amateur squash is called point-a-rally scoring (PARS). In PARS, the winner of a rally always receives a point, regardless of whether they were the server or returner. Games are played to 11, but in contrast to English scoring, players must win by two clear points. That is, if the score reaches 10–10, play continues until one player wins by two points. PARS to 11 is now used on the men's and women's professional tour, and the tin height has been lowered by two inches (to 17 inches) for all PSA events (men's and women's).
Another scoring system is American scoring. The rules of American scoring are identical to PARS, apart from games are played to 15. This system is not widely used because games were considered to last too long and the winner would usually be the fitter player, not necessarily the better player.
Competition matches are usually played to "best-of-five" (i.e. the first player to win three games.
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