RACQUETS, a game played in a pre pared court, open or close, with a small hard ball and a bat like that used for playing tennis. The closed or roofed court is now generally preferred for playing in. It is an oblong, rectangular area, 80 feet long and 40 broad when of full dimensions, and having high walls. The floor is divided into two chief areas of unequal size by a line, called the "short line," drawn across it at two fifths of the length of the court from the back wall, the smaller area being again divided into two equal parts by a line at right angles to this, and two small areas being marked off in the other space next the short-line, called "service spaces." Two horizontal lines are also drawn across the front wall, one 2 feet 2 inches above the floor, below which if the ball strike it is out of play, the other, the "cut line," 7 feet 9 inches above the floor. The game may be played with either one or two persons on each side. It is decided by lot which side goes in first, and the first player assumes which side of the court he pleases (usually the right), while the other stands in the opposite corner. The first player then
begins to "serve," which consists in striking the ball with the bat so as to make it strike the front wall above the cut line, and then rebound into the op posite corner. If the ball is properly served the second player must strike it before it has made a second bound, so that it strikes the front wall above the lower line; but in returning the ball in this manner the player may if he likes first make it strike either of the side walls. The player may also return it before it touches the floor. The first player then returns the ball in the same way, and this goes on until either player fails. If it is the first player who fails, it is then the turn of the second player to serve. If it is the second player, the first scores one (an ace), and continues to serve, but goes to the opposite side of the court. In general 15 is the game.