Archive for World Squash News

Matthew To Carry The Baton For Squash

Source: TheBigHit

CommonWealthEngTriple world champion Nick Matthew will spearhead squash’s involvement with the Queen’s Baton Relay when it arrives in England this weekend on the penultimate leg of its journey to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

The reigning Commonwealth men’s singles and doubles champion will welcome the Baton to the South Yorkshire village of High Bradfield on Sunday morning at around 9am, along with the Lord Mayor of Sheffield, Councillor Vickie Priestley.

The Baton then moves on to the Concord Sports Centre in Sheffield, where Matthew will be giving some free coaching master classes from 11.30am to 12.45pm, before taking part in a 30-minute question-and-answer session from 1 to 1.30pm.

It finishes its stint in South Yorkshire at the English Institute of Sport, which is staging a private event to mark Matthew’s third world title by unveiling his image in the EIS Hall of Champions at 3pm.

“I am thrilled to be part of the Queen’s Baton Relay in my home town,” said the world no.2. “It will be a great opportunity for people to see some of the fantastic sporting activity that takes place in Sheffield.”

The Baton’s first day in England is tomorrow, when it will visit Manchester and Congleton. The Baton will start at the National Cycling Centre and then move to the city’s National Squash Centre, where Laura Massaro, England’s other world squash champion, will be involved in some free coaching sessions from 10 to 11.30am and a Q&A.

The NSC will be open from 9am to 12pm for anyone wishing to try out squash and racketball for free, and there will be a similar opportunity from 11.30am at the Congleton Leisure Centre in Cheshire. Local coaches will be in attendance at both venues.

After Sheffield the Relay moves to Birmingham on Monday, when squash will again be represented as one of several Commonwealth Games sports taking part in SportsFest in Centenary Square from 4 to 7pm. Local coaches will be on hand to demonstrate how to play the sport on an inflatable court and to encourage the public to have a go.

There will be a similar arrangement at the Festival of Sport in London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on June 8, when squash will be one of over 30 different sports and activities for members of the public to try across the Park from 10am that morning.

Squash’s final involvement in the Relay before it heads to Scotland after a 190,000-kilometre journey across the Commonwealth nations comes on June 11 and 12, when it returns to Yorkshire.

On June 11 it will visit Hull, where there will be an inflatable rebound wall in Queen’s Gardens from 5 to 8pm for passers-by to have a hit on, before switching to Leeds the following day, when the rebound wall will be in action again at the John Charles Centre for Sport from 11.30am to 3pm,

Around 1,000 children from schools in the West Yorkshire city will be encouraged to try squash along with other Commonwealth Games sports and Jenny Duncalf, Yorkshire’s world no.12, will be there to support the event.

For further information on Matthew’s involvement in the Relay, please see:

For a full rundown of the Baton’s journey around England, please see:

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Squash’s Olympic 2020 dream could be revived

Squash’s 2020 Olympic bid could be set for a dramatic revival after International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach revealed that the number of Olympic sports could still be increased ahead of the 2020 summer Olympics in Toyko.

The sport’s third Olympic campaign in the past decade was overlooked in September as wrestling was controversially re-elected into the Olympic programme, just months after being dropped.

But a week after Bach claimed that baseball and softball’s bid could still prove successful, it would appear squash’s 2020 inclusion could be under consideration as well amid wholesale changes to the IOC.

“We’ve started to study the possible procedural changes,” the new IOC chairman told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“Two limits are insurmountable – the number of athletes taking part and the minimum number of fixed stadiums required from the cities. Currently, we have 28 sports, or better, federations, taking part.

“Perhaps we won’t have to cancel disciplines to increase and keep the number of athletes fixed but just reduce the quota. First, the concept has to be clarified and then we’ll act. We can go from 26 to 27, 28, 29 or 30 sports.

“The [Olympic] Charter can also be amended, also removing the limitation of the choice to be made seven years before.

We’ll talk to Ricci Bitti, chairman of the ASOIF (Association of Summer Olympic International Federations) and a very open and constructive man, about it. Perhaps a change can already be made with a view to Tokyo 2020,” added the 59-year-old German.

Bach’s comments will come as a major boost to the World Squash Federation, who are currently in a state of turmoil after the cancellation of the WSA World Open and postponement of the World Series Finals.


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Sport England ploughing £13.5m into Squash – Lymm hope to get Involved

Sport England has committed £13.5 million to squash and Racketball with the twin aims of increasing the number of people playing the sport while maintaining the national squad’s world number one status.

Squash is one of three non-Olympic sports whose elite programmes are supported by Sport England alongside its talent development investment. Over the next four years they will invest £4.98 million in the England Squash and Racketball’s talent and elite programmes.

Much of this investment – £700,000 – will help to take players through from junior squad level to England national squads, via regional and super-regional tiers. This will support the development of more than 3,500 talented players between 11-and 18-years old.

Sport England is making an initial one year investment of £2.5m into the organisation’s work to support the sport’s grassroots, this will give England Squash and Racketball the opportunity to demonstrate that its plans for tackling the sport’s challenges are working. If there is clear evidence of sustainable progress, then further investment from a ring-fenced budget of £6.04 million may be made.

Currently around 263,000 people regularly play squash and there has been a gradual decline in numbers over the last five years. The biggest drop has been amongst 35-44 year olds – squash’s traditional heartland – and a decline in number of women playing means the sport is now nearly 90% male.

Squash’s biggest issue, however, may be the closure of public courts. More and more leisure operators are replacing under-used squash courts, which take up a lot of space and are typically only booked during peak times, with more flexible and profitable sports facilities.

To address this decline England Squash and Racketball is planning a range of activity focused on getting new players into the sport and keeping more of them playing including:

  • Headline promotions under the Big Hit brand and the creation of an online players portal
  • Peak and off peak programmes that make better use of courts stock and encourage recreational occasional players who play during the day to play more often
  • A scaled-up version of the successful higher education programme that attracts students to the sport through its social and fun aspects
  • Disability initiatives with organisations including UK Deaf Sport, Mencap and Mind that make use of off-peak court capacity
  • A mixture of new build and refurbishment capital investments to meet identified demand for additional courts

Quarterly participation and court-usage surveys will monitor the results of this work and check the governing body’s progress against agreed targets and milestones.

Sport England’s Director of Sport Lisa O’Keefe said: “On the world stage, squash is an incredibly successful sport for this country. Of course we want that success to continue but England Squash and Racketball needs to prove it can be equally successful at a grassroots level. The sport will only thrive if we can get more people picking up a racquet more often.”


England Squash are running great mini squash programmes and offer great advice to grass roots clubs.

This is something we are looking to emulate now at Lymm Squash, to give back to our community and potentially develop the professionals of the future.

Coach Darren McCann will be leading the initiation of a Mini-Squash programme, aiming to launch a taster event shortly after the Christmas break, followed by another several further advertised taster events throughout the year.

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2014 Squash Singles Rule Amendments

Earlier this year, the attendees of the World Squash AGM decided several changes to the Squash Singles Rules for 2014, that will apply at the club from 1st January 2014.

Up to date Squash Singles rules can be viewed and downloaded here.

The 2014 Rules contain very few changes compared to the current Rules, so that squash players, referees and spectators will need to make very few adjustments. However, the 2014 Rules have been restructured (e.g. Rule 12, Interference is now Rule 8) and the number of Rules has been reduced from 20 to 15. In addition, the 2014 Rules have tried to simplify the English as an aid to better understanding.

The following are the major changes:

1. There are no “Guidelines”. As a consequence the 2014 Rules contain 1500 fewer words (8500) than the current ones (10 000).

2. The Interference Rule (Rule 8) has been restructured to help players, referees and others understand the central concept of interference better and reach the correct decision more easily.

3. In the case of an injury or bleeding caused solely by the opponent, a distinction is now made between an injury or bleeding caused by a deliberate act by a player and an injury caused by an accidental act, where the opponent is unable to continue play immediately. Whereas under the current Rules the penalty for an injury to the opponent caused accidentally is loss of match, under the 2014 Rules the penalty is less severe (see Rule 14.3.3 & 14.4.2/3). The same principle applies to a deliberate distraction and an accidental distraction (Rule 12.2).

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