Saturday, October 9, 2010

How the BEEB Sees Squash

At the risk of protesting too much, I was interested to read this BBC blogger's report of the squash competition at the Commonwealth Games. The squash tournament was viewed positively in this blog, and he argues that it should certainly by an Olympic sport. Great. But he also comments on the tumult over lets: "There is scope to bully your opponent [and] shout at the officials with seeming impunity." 

And: ..."Both players at times were furiously asking for lets. Getting a let in squash is part tactic, part truth and a lot of bravado. The encumbered party looks angrily back to the panel of officials, miming the action he would like to have taken with his racquet, while the blocker looks aghast and points to some area of the court with palms up and a shrug - the full Mediterranean "What's he on?" The officials have a quick vote between the three of them and deliver a polite "yes, let". The point is replayed sometimes more than once and the sweat goes on."

This is the part of squash that I'd like to say goodbye to.That's why I'm in favor of no-let squash. Does the idea need tweaking? Yes, of course. But I say, 'Tweak away..."


  1. I've heard a lot of positive comments regarding no-let squash. It seemed a bit of a crazy suggestion at first but I'm definitely coming around to the idea.

    Whilst watching some of the matches in the Commonwealth Games, I almost felt uncomfortable as both players (I think it was the Selby/Iskandar match) were starting to get frustrated and asking for more and more lets. Half of them could have been avoided.

    Another problem within the game it would help solve is the manufacturing of lets. Although this is sometimes "within the rules", I don't see this as being part of squash and it's unsportsmanlike.

  2. I think McManus and Squashist are pissing in the wind with No Let squash rules.

    Unless those in the existing inner circle at top of squash hierarchy come up with an idea, it is unlikely to receive full and proper consideration.

    This is yet another example of wrong people, with wrong skills, wrong attitudes in positions of influence and decision-making contributing to stagnation of squash.

  3. These same decision makers at squash national bodies, PSA, WSF and WISPA rather than look inwardly and critically at squash for improvement and change (such as No Let for pros) are stuck in a endless hope that getting TV exposure or Olympics status will solve all the sports ills.


    Just means there is more funding and exposure for top of squash pyramid, while grass roots whithers.

  4. PST appears to be the only innovative group in squash.

    I like that they are more focused on fans than anything else.

  5. Proliferation of Squash? One word: Juniors.

  6. Something I wrote in December 2006:

    I too believe we need to "refill the pipeline" of our sport by looking at junior development initiatives to address the demographic realities of current squash participation, supporters, brain trust

    Don't get me wrong, I donate $$ to this end, BUT focussing on increasing junior participation is a medium term initiative that on the surface appears to be a reasonable, appropriate and worthy endeavour to help our sport

    BUT I believe it to be a simplistic, convenient, safe and trite "solution" or strategy that fails to:
    - challenge status quo
    - dream bigger for growing our sport
    - build "paying" squash players/spectators/sponsors/advertisers in the short-term
    - make a more significant and immediate impact and improvement to our sport

    Need a muli-pronged approach to protecting the future of our sport which isn't afraid of looking at, challenging, each and every aspect of squash, squash marketing, PSA, tournament promotion, etc to see if there opportunities to do things differently, better, collaboratively?

  7. More thoughts on Juniors:

    Juniors are NOT the Holy Grail of improving Squash's future

    I think Promoting Juniors is a trite solution that seems to stifle more thorough, comprehensive and more challenging efforts to address demographic and economic challenges facing squash.

    By suggesting efforts be placed on attracting juniors, it's easy to shuffle efforts and responsibility to a Squash Pro, or other similar roles ... short circuits a frank discussion, examination of other aspects of squash hierarchy, stakeholders, or other sources of new blood to our sport (players, administrators, marketers, partners, etc)

    Besides addressing systemic changes long overdue in our sport, on the topic of gaining new members, I think we should be looking to market the:
    - cross-training benefits of squash
    - weather independent aspects of squash (rain, snow, UV)
    - specifically market and create strategies to reaching out to specific sportsmen (ladies) that might be inclined or be pre-disposed to squash (tennis? rugby? hockey?)


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....