Squash

Photo of man playing squash

Squash is a highly energetic racquet sport that requires outstanding levels of fitness, combined with a deft touch for precise ball placement within the enclosed field of play.

In this traditionally strong Commonwealth sport, athletes will contest individual men’s and women’s singles events and pair up across men’s, women’s and mixed doubles competitions, where the width of the court is increased to allow for four players.

Competition will take place at Scotstoun Leisure Centre, where new permanent courts will be utilised in preliminary rounds. A purpose-built all-glass show court will be used throughout the Games for the medal matches, providing spectators with viewing angles from all four sides of the court.

Governing body

Scottish Squash and Racketball Limited (SSRL) is the governing body in Scotland for squash. The World Squash Federation (WSF) evolved out of the International Squash Rackets Federation (ISRF) in 1992. The WSF runs and promotes the game all over the world and campaigns for its inclusion in the Olympic Games. The WSF offers advice on development and coaching for members and conduct of referees and rules. It stipulates court and equipment specifications, as well as guidelines on medical, ethical and disciplinary matters.

History

Squash was invented around 1830 in Harrow School in London. It developed out of the older game of Rackets. Rackets players hit a non-squeezable ball against walls, instead of hitting over a net as in tennis. Pupils discovered that a punctured Rackets ball, which 'squashed' on impact with the wall, produced a game with a greater variety of shots than simply waiting for the ball to bounce back to them. The variant proved popular and in 1864 the first four squash courts were constructed at the school and Squash was officially founded as a sport in its own right.

In those early days, Squash was without any form of international standardisation and there were inevitablly slight variations in the way it was played, and the equipment used. Luckily only two main variants emerged, one in England, with its 21 feet wide courts and 'soft' ball, and the other in North America, with its 18.5 feet wide courts and 'hard' ball. Both courts had the same length of 32 feet.

Squash has been a Commonwealth Games sport since 1998, but, despite repeated lobbying, has not yet been included in the Olympic Games.

Squash - an introduction

Sports presenter Mike Bushell tries his hand at Squash with British number one James Willstrop. He is disappointed that the game will not feature in the 2012 Olympics. Improvements have been made to the game to make it more interesting to spectators, and young people are being introduced to the sport. (BBC video)

Venues

Other websites

  • Scottish Squash and Racketball Limited (SSRL)

    Scottish Squash and Racketball Limited (SSRL) is the governing body in Scotland for the rebound racquet sports – Squash and Racketball. They aim, with their member clubs, to create a long term viable future for the sports. Also to provide information about the sports in Scotland and represent the sport on the international stage.