The Eton fives court is a remarkably close copy of the court used by generations of Eton College boys on the steps of the school chapel. It is enclosed on three sides and open at the back. A shallow step divides the court into an upper and lower part, and the court has several physical irregularities, or hazards.
The game is played with four players, two on each side, who wear leather gloves to protect their hands. There is no recognized singles game. When the game starts, the server alone stands in the upper court. To begin the game he throws the ball so that it hits the front wall and then the right-hand sidewall and falls to the lower court.