Sunday, April 25, 2010

What's Urtak? Some Recent Findings ...

It's time for another look at what's doing at The Squashist's Opinion Emporium, made possible by our good friends at Urtak (accessible to the right of this blog, as well as here: Squash Urtak).

So far Urtak's squash forum has over 10,000 responses, so thanks very much for those who have taken the time (it doesn't' take long!) and thanks in advance for those who will respond in the future.

Here are a few interesting findings:

1.  When asked if they are addicted to squash, 79% said yes. Of those who said yes, 74% said they can tell a lot about someone from the way they play the game; but to those who said they weren't addicted, only 53% said squash was a good barometer of personality.

2. The squash-addicted proved to be more generous with their time, as 83% of addicts claimed they happily played the game with less talented players, while only 69% of non-addicts did so.

3. Addicts also hung out with fellow squash nuts more: 85% of them said they did, as opposed to 70% of the non-addicts.

4. Beer seems to play a larger part in the addict's worldview. 83% of the squash-addicted said a beer tastes great after squash, while only 56% of non-addicts admitted as much. Perhaps they prefer wine?

5. There was a big difference in scoring preference. 71% of addicts have changed completely over to the 11-point scoring system; only 44% of non-addicts have done so.

6. Addicts seems to be willing to put their money where their enthusiasms lie, as 81% of the addicted belong to private clubs, as opposed to 64% of non-addicts. Learning to play the game with your nose up in the air takes considerable fine-motor control.

7. Squash addicts are also much more supportive of US Squash's efforts on behalf of the game. When asked if USS is doing a good job, 66% of addicts said yes, but only 20% of non-addicts agreed. As one of the addicted who believes without question that USS is indeed doing a good job -- I'd say a great job, in fact -- I'd cheekily like to venture the opinion that squash addicts have a deeper knowledge of the challenges and successes we see in our sport, and that as the non-addicts become ever more ensnared in the addictive joys of the sport, they will come to see the light.

And finally, racket manufacturers should take note that the response
was evenly divided to the question whether the quality of a racket makes a significant difference in performance: fully 50% thought it didn't make a perceptible difference. That, dear sirs, strikes me as a marketing problem! You all should be buying more advertising and supporting more squash tournaments as a way of gaining dedicated adherents! I'm sure the same nonchalance can be said for squash sneakers and squash clothing. 

Hey Nike! You have a worldwide sport here that has yet to embrace a particular manufacturer en masse. Wake up! Throw us some money and we will be yours!


  1. The Squashist got game!

    As a squash and urtak addict, I can't get enough of your blog posts! With both addictions, science and art come together as means for participation, exploration, expression, and growth. Thanks so much for sharing your insights. Keep up the great work, US Squash.

    PS. If any of the squash equipment manufacturers want to sharpen their brand's competitive edge, I know a very creative adman who can help!

  2. Unless you are playing with a wooden behemoth, most racquets are the same once you get used to them. The odd thing is some racquets are a lot easier/faster to get used to. But I have not found any science to why that is so.

  3. Also interesting stat. about how addicts are more supportive of One thing I have learned from years of volunteering is that one should never criticize them. Volunteers are not being paid, so one can not have any expectations from them. If you criticize them then you better be prepared to pay them for their efforts.

    Volunteers spend thousands of hours of their own time to build something useful. You can not compare their work to professionally run commercial ventures.

  4. So many racket variables that have litle to do with the frame -- the grip, string, tension, vibration dampener. A blind testing would be revealing. Points to Black Knight and Technifibre for durability.


Sorry, but due to increasing spam, I've added the Word Verification step. My policy on comments is anything goes, as long as it is about squash and as long as it isn't unnecessarily nasty....