March 9, 2017

Competitive Club Squash in the US is Confirmed Dead

 by Ted Gross

Another US 'Nationals' is underway. If you go out on a limb and call it that.

The Men's 35's with FIVE players participating.

The Women's 35's with ZERO players.

The Women's 40's with ZERO players.

Presenting a national championship with barely any players is only detrimental to the sport, and US Squash should retire the event.

Clearly, few, if any college players are interested in competing after they graduate.

The game is not enjoyable enough.

The ball is too slow.

The scoring system is too dull.

Traveling and committing a weekend to it is a positively dreary prospect.

You can't blame the non-players. They got it right.


  1. Anonymous12:01 AM

    Well said & insightful

  2. What are they thinking? $190 to sign up then take Friday off from work, hotel, traveling cost additional 6 to 7 hundred dollars.

  3. Anonymous10:10 AM

    Tons of players are interested in competing after graduation -- and do compete after graduation, just locally. Issue is outlined in the above post re: travel, logistics, etc. If you're a college all american caliber player, and have competed with the best during your prime, winning a 40+ nationals probably doesn't mean a ton in comparison, especially with work/family commitments that take priority. Nonetheless, agreed a 5 person draw means US Squash should rethink how they garner participants.

    'The ball is too slow' - characteristic of the backwards American miss-the-good-old-hardball-days mindset. And confirmed this is your mindset given your criticism of the internationalization of college squash - will save that for another day...

    The ball is maybe too slow for beginners just picking up a racquet, but once a player cracks the ~3.5 level, the double yellow dot is perfect. However small the draws are for the nationals divisions you outlined, am pretty sure they can manage and enjoy a game of squash with a double yellow dot...

    Squash is growing in the states and US Squash has done great work growing and promoting the game. Still lots to be done, but things are looking up.

    1. Most age-group players can't handle the double yellow. We took a look at the World Masters from 2014 and it appeared 97% of the matches couldn't break 40 minutes.

      Even worse, it appeared the majority of the matches did not last a half hour.

  4. Anonymous10:45 AM

    The decrease in participation in the nationals is an issue that goes way beyond squash. Tennis tournament participation is also way down, the famous bowling alone book, etc.

  5. Anonymous11:03 AM

    The New York Squash League has a Men's Open division with ten teams and more than 70 players competing this season. The level of play and sportsmanship is quite high. And the age range spans at least Andrew Douglas to Richard Chin.
    There is plenty of competition, and even tournaments, to be had locally, for both varsity and ex-varsity level players and all the skill levels below.

  6. Anonymous3:32 PM

    Perhaps it's the other way around: Folks have enough competitive squash in their own backyards that they don't have much appetite for the travel/hassle/expense of a tournament somewhere else (National or otherwise).