Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The American Tennis and Paddle Tennis Association

England's National Racketball Championships will be held May 6 - 8 at the Edgbaston Priory Club!

Or so England's squash association tells us. That's because in England the squash association is called England Squash & Racketball. And therein lies the rub.

If I remember correctly, England's squash association decided only a few years ago to welcome lovers of racketball into their warm, suffocating embrace. I didn't understand why they did that then, and the rationale for it still eludes me. 

Racketball is a different game. It uses different rackets than squash and a different ball. It is played, in England at least, on the same court as squash, but that is its only similarity. True, squash players can readily pick up the game of racketball, and indeed the current top-rated men's racketballer in England is squash's own Daryl Selby. But this is akin to a top tennis player picking up a paddle tennis racket and having a go at it. Those are different games. No one has proposed incorporating the American Tennis and Paddle Tennis Association.

I think this is a question of a sporting association forgetting that, for the purposes of effective governance and good marketing, it needs to consistently tell a story to the public. What is squash's story? Why would England Squash want to bifurcate its message by throwing in another sport that is kinda like squash but not really?

I suspect there is money at the root of this issue, although I don't know what it is. I do strongly believe that it is not good for squash to have a national sporting association also promoting another sport. I think it's a really bad idea. 


  1. Played on same court, with a tin? And same lines?

  2. Yes, same court, and no hitting the ceiling. There is a distinction made in spelling: racquetball is the american game, with a different court and different lines. Racketball is played on a squash court. I believe the serve is done in racketball much like it is done in racquetball, so I think the lines are similar in both racquet- and racketball. Don't get me wrong, there is a lot to be said for racquetball and I'm sure racketball, but they are different, and that detracts from the message.

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  4. Partly Money - in as much as generally racketball players in the uk are not squash players too and can access courts at times of day when clubs are quiet.


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....