Friday, July 16, 2010

The Secret Handshake of Doubles Squash

I've had the good fortune to be in regular contact with Guy Cipriano, a well-known hardball and doubles squash player and aficionado. He and I don't always agree on all matters related to squash, but I have definitely come to respect and look forward to receiving his musings on the sport. We both hold to the same core belief: namely, that squash is a fantastic, wondrous, multi-layered game, and that we are privileged to play it.

Guy is the capo di tutti capi of EI Associates—an architecture/engineering/planning/construction firm that has done large and small projects all over the place—and is one of those smart guys who effortlessly graduated from Princeton. (I interviewed to get into Princeton, but my rejection slip was waiting in my mailbox by the time I got back from the interview!) Since Guy is a big mucky-muck in both the world of business and the world of squash, he knows people, and one of the people he knows is this fellow named Peter Briggs.

Briggs is a well-known savant in the world of squash. I've never heard anyone say a disparaging thing about either the man or his squash knowledge, and I never will.  Briggs runs the squash program at the Apawamis Club in Rye, New York, widely regarded as one of the very best, and has coached an astonishing number of kids who have gone on to captain their college squash teams—over 70!

But Briggs also knows and loves the game of hardball doubles squash, and I have the document to prove it. Back in 2007, Guy Cipriano, master builder and master squashist, built a doubles squash court in one of the buildings he owns in New Jersey. On the occasion of the court's opening day, Peter Briggs gave his friend Guy a printed primer on the most important points to consider when playing doubles squash. For anyone interested in this great version of squash, this is must reading. 
According to Guy, Briggs "has so much doubles knowledge it defies description—he's like Yoda, or maybe Moses. This document emanated directly from the Burning Bush on top of Mt. Sinai!" I read his email to me and thought, Nah, no way, it can't be THAT good! But then I read the primer and agreed, this IS great stuff. As Guy put it in his note to me, "Congratulations, you now know the Secret Handshake of Doubles Squash."

And you, dear reader, will too. But you have to wait until my next blog ....

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