Thursday, October 29, 2009
Boasters League Round 4 –
With the perfect opportunity for the bottom four teams to make up some ground, only the “Marauders” took advantage of the situation. They were all matched up against a team in the top 5 and with a good showing on the court, could have closed the gap considerably. The “Marauders” played “The Trolls” and the two teams played 10 of the 11 matches, five more than any other team. They also picked up 9 bonus points each. Although the “Marauders” jumped only 1 position on the ladder from 6th to 5th, they have now distanced themselves from the teams behind them and have given themselves every chance of climbing higher.
In a surprise result, the league leading “Defending Champs” played against last placed “Angry Dragons” and after the 6 results that have come in, they are tied at 15 points each. It goes to show the true parity of the competition, and the obvious importance of getting your bonus points and playing your matches!! Even taking into consideration that the “Angry Dragons” have had a bye week, and the “Defending Champs” don’t have theirs until the final round, a bye week is not worth the 41 points difference between the two teams on the standings.
In real trouble are the “Reach Arounds”. Sitting in next to last place, they have not yet had their bye week, and need to step on the gas for the remaining 5 rounds to have any glimmer of hope of rising up the standings. Round 5 match-ups present the same opportunities as in round 4 – the bottom four teams are playing one of the top 5 (“Duck or Bleed” have the bye) and with a strong performance on the score sheet, there is a solid possibility of making up plenty of ground.
Match of the round must go to Mark Monaghan and Justin Winkelman. Mark took the match 2-1, but two of the games were 15-14, and the third was 15-13. Great effort, guys! Looking at individual records, 3 players lead the league with 14 points and are still undefeated: Greg Davis (“The Trolls”), Mac Nutter (“Stimulus Package” - pictured right) and Rick Florka (“Defending Champs”).
Posted by Mick Joint at 11:49 AM
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised anymore, but every time this happens, I go away shaking my head wondering where it all went horribly wrong... This, the 8th Cross Border Challenge against Windsor (which quietly, have without a doubt become the nemesis of the DAC) was another episode of Wile E. Coyote getting excruciatingly close to its prize – the Road Runner – only to be slammed head first into a gigantic rock face.
We started off well. Patrick Petz and Rich Stimson avoided falling for the old Windsor “Let’s-put-hot-chicks-on-the-court-to-distract-their-players” trick and won their matches 3-0 over two women. Chip McDaniel, however, did not. (Please see photo – Chip, under the circumstances is forgiven). He lost 3-1 to Krista Leslie, and since it was the first time Chip was on court since March, he also lost a lung, about 6 pounds, and I think at one stage one of his eyeballs almost popped out. (As did some of the spectators.)
The DAC continued its success on the singles court with Ken MacDonald also grabbing a 3-0 win, and Jon Walton battling hard to take a 3-1 victory over his buddy Dan McClatcher. And, if you add on Ryan Bendzinski’s 3-1 triumph, we were looking pretty good with 6 wins out of the 13 total matches. Of course, we needed 7 wins to secure that elusive Cross Border trophy, which has found an all too comfortable place on the walls of Windsor Squash. The trophy has been hanging their so long it has melded itself into the brickwork and will probably need skilled workman to pry it off. (If ever it becomes necessary…)
The three doubles matches were always going to be tough. Windsor has an excellent and deep pool of doubles players to choose from. We lost the first 2 matches 3-0 and 3-1 and by the time the 3rd (and final match of the day) started, we were all tied at 6 matches each. I was of course worried – we had been in this position before and none of those outcomes turned out positive for us. Peter Logan and Mike Counsman represented the DAC against Tom Beneteau and Stan Furmanek. Peter and Mike actually played very well. The match was especially entertaining. The DAC took a 2-1 game lead and the 4th was a real ball-tearer. Great rallies, seemingly impossible gets, miraculous behind the back and between the legs shots, and at 12-all we were 3 points from glory… then that gigantic rock face came out of nowhere… Suddenly, we had lost that game 15-12, and to start off the 5th, Stan rolled off at least 3 ridiculous winners and the Windsor team did not look back. Peter and Mike fought as hard as they could, but the dice were simply not rolling their way. We lost the match, and for the 7th time in a row – yes, seven – we came up short.
Congratulations – again – to the Windsor team. A special thank you to Mike Counsman and Steve Toseland (Detroit Racquet Club) who, although not DAC members, were kind enough to play for us and help make this event happen. We will have our chance for revenge in April 2010 when the next Cross Border Challenge is scheduled at the DAC. I am already on the phone to ‘ACME’ for their latest and greatest Road Runner trap…
Posted by Mick Joint at 12:30 PM
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Boasters League Round 3 –
Although the “Defending Champs” reclaimed top spot on the standings this week, the most impressive move was made by “Stimulus Package” led by captain Rich Stimson. After round 2, “Stimulus Package” were sitting in 7th spot, twenty points off the leaders. Now, a week later, they are 5th, but only nine points from first, which has tightened up the competition considerably. The surge is even more notable when you consider they did it by playing “Duck or Bleed” who were the number 1 team last week.
Not coincidentally, the top 5 teams on the standings also have the top 5 amount of bonus points so far as well. A point that the other 4 teams may want to take note of if they wish to catch up any time soon.
Looking further down the standings, those last four teams are already lingering badly. Sitting in 9th (and last) place are the “Angry Dragons” who have no excuse not to be angry – at themselves. Picking up only 4 points last night, they are 12 points behind 8th place “The Deconstructors”, who only picked up 8. The good news for these 2 teams is that they have a lot of matches to make up; the bad news is they have a lot of matches to make up. And the clock is ticking…
On an individual note, congratulations to Shelly Tucker of “Hell’s Kitchen” for picking up her first win of her squash career. Also deserving of a mention is Jim Fair’s victory over Peter Fortune 2-1. I believe it is the first time that Jim has ever beaten Peter.
The match-ups for week 4 have four of the top five teams playing the bottom four teams. Should be interesting to see if the differences in the standings are only on paper and not on the court as well.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Do you know someone that would like to try out the best sport in the world? Ask them to take part in the Beginners Squash Clinic designed for people who have never played squash before.
This is a basic introduction to the game. The rules, technique, footwork and game play will be covered. Racquets and eye-guards can be provided.
It is also a great way to learn the game and meet fellow members at the same time! Clinic runs for three 1-hour sessions from 6-7pm on Tuesdays, November 10, 17 and 24.
Registration deadline is Friday, November 6. Cost is $55 per person. Limited spots available.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Earlier this year, during a NACAD (North American Association of Club Athletic Directors) meeting that went deep into a Saturday night, inspiration was born. Our very own Athletic Director, Rob Barr, along with 3 of his counterparts were tossing around the idea of creating an annual squash event incorporating all of their respective clubs. Trying to keep it relatively straightforward to start off (and then in future years build on that success), it was decided that each club would put forth 8 man teams and each club would play against the other in 8 singles matches and 1 doubles match. To throw a little unpredictability into the mix, the team for each doubles match would be pulled randomly out of a ‘hat’. That meant, that from the 8 players on the each team, there was a 25% chance that the best doubles players would not get to play. Hmmm, devious…
And so, slowly, the McQueenie Cup was fashioned. The event is named after Jim McQueenie. Jim was a lifelong squash professional and a long time athletic director who worked numerous clubs in North America over his career, and in some positive way managed to touch the lives of the 4 Athletic Directors responsible of putting this competition together. Jim passed away in November of 2007.
The inaugural McQueenie Cup will be held at the DAC on November 13 and 14. Teams from the Toledo Club, the University Club of Chicago, and the Union League Club of Chicago will be competing for the beautiful trophy donated by the NACAD organization. The DAC team is being handpicked by Rob Barr and myself. We encourage all of our members to come down and watch, support, enjoy the competition on court, and push our competing members to glory… They will no doubt have their work cut out for them!
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Boasters League Round 2-
A quieter night for round two had the “Defending Champs” a little on the back foot. Tackling “Hell’s Kitchen”, they lost their first 3 matches of the evening in very close fashion. Pat Petz had the inauspicious task of taking on Al Iafrate who has been working quite hard on his squash game over the summer, dropping some pounds, and gaining fitness and confidence every week. It was a great battle, both players not giving an inch, a few passionate discussions over the ‘let’ rule, a tragic victim in the shape of a twisted racquet frame, and in the end, Al came up with the 2-1 victory. Al’s teammates followed suit with both Sean Moran and Tom Fabbri pulling out 2-1 wins as well. Newcomer Bob Rogers kept the ball rolling for “Hell’s Kitchen” with a 3-0 win over Tom Healy although the contest was a lot tougher than what the scoreboard indicated.
“Defending Champs” struggles opened the door for “Duck or Bleed”. Of the 7 matches they played yesterday, they only won 3 of them, but the 4 matches they lost were all 2 games to 1. Add on the 7 bonus points, and they leapfrogged themselves into first place. “The Trolls” also took advantage and jumped to second place, pushing last week’s top team down to third.
Occupying the cellar are the “Angry Dragons” and “The Deconstructors”, but both of these teams have had the bye week. They play each other in round 3
Posted by Mick Joint at 10:41 AM
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
NOVEMBER 6-8, 2009
1. Tough competition
3. Great hospitality
5. Tournament t-shirt
7. Dinner on Saturday
9. Breakfast on Saturday and Sunday
All for CAD$60 (+GST)
Events include Open; A; B; C; Women; 40+; 50+; A Doubles; B Doubles; Mixed Doubles; Juniors
You can contact me to register or you can contact the tournament director, Dave Guthrie, directly at email@example.com
Registrations close on Wednesday, November 4.
Posted by Mick Joint at 11:24 AM
Monday, October 12, 2009
As hard as it may be to believe, I have now been working at the DAC for close to 5 years! Over that time, I like to think I have built up an excellent relationship with the members and my fellow staff. So, I think the time is ripe for me to pilfer a few liberties every now and again and take a light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek jab at our club with, of course, absolutely no intention of offending anyone… or is there…?
Click on the photo above to get an enlarged view and answer the following question:
What happened to Paul Aubrey?
A) He told George Haggarty he didn't think the DAC would win the Farris Cup this year
B) He put on too much make-up and it ran while he was playing
C) After finding out the keg was ‘Bud Light’, he burst into uncontrollable tears.
D) Received a hardball in the face—then soldiered on to win the match anyway.
E) His headband was too tight — it was actually a wristband
F) Was just plain exhausted and malnourished from waiting hours for that darn Athletic Elevator
G) Another squash player thought he was playing racquetball — and hit him.
Answer: D) During the 2007 Farris Cup doubles match, Paul was struck in the face with the ball on match-point. In true spirit, Paul and John Dunwoody won the match on the very next rally.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Boasters League Round 1-
A busy night on the squash courts welcomed in the first week of league matches for the season. Captain of the defending champs, Pat Petz, (who has named his team this season “Defending Champs”) rallied his troops for a flying start with 10 of the 11 team members claiming bonus points which helped them become the early leaders of the competition. Just one point behind them are their round 1 opponents, “Duck or Bleed” led by captain Joe Bobzin. It is of course only week 1 and as always, all teams already have matches to make up, but it would be dangerous to wait too long to do play them. They have a nasty habit of adding up very quickly and before you know it, time has run out.
The longest match of the evening goes to league newcomers Rick Florka and Kimberly Farnen in the number 11 position. Misunderstanding the rules, the two decided to play hand-in / hand-out to 15 points rather than the point-a-rally scoring. The almost 45 minute encounter was a close affair even though Rick pulled out 3-0 victory. At least they got a work-out!
We have 23 new faces in the league this year – a terrific sign for squash growth given these undesirable times. Hopefully the activity level this week can be matched every week. Remember – communicate with your opponents, confirm a time to play and get on court!!
Posted by Mick Joint at 11:10 AM
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
NOW TAKING REGISTRATIONS
It seems that Windsor's reputation (and their continuous whippings) have certainly scared us off! For the third consecutive time, we have failed to reach a minimum amount of registrations to run this event - so we have decided to push it back one month and try again. The new date is now Saturday, October 24 at the Windsor Squash Club, and we are in search for brave players at all levels in the singles categories and a doubles pairing at the A, B, and C levels. Matches start at 2pm, which coincidentally, is the same time the keg will be available! Maybe we should start drinking before we play? Who knows, we may even defy the odds and snag an unseen, unpredicted, completely shocking upset! Stranger things have happened...
Registrations close Tuesday, October 20.
LET'S SUPPORT THIS EVENT AND BRING IT BACK TO THE LEVEL IT DESERVES!
Monday, October 5, 2009
There is nothing more pleasing from an organizers point of view when matches in a tournament like this are played well ahead of deadlines! Although (so far) three forfeits were recorded, the communication and attempts have been present to complete the rounds. There have been a couple of very close matches. John Dunwoody and Bob Bendzinski squeaked out a 5 set victory over Kevin Parsons and Chato Hill and then in a father - son battle, the pair beat out Ryan Bendzinski and Jim Fair in 4 in the second round. Jim Stroh and John Chouinard also won their first round in 5 over Rich Stimson and Drew Creamer in an ‘emotional’ encounter, where they now play Chris Terry and Andrew Spohn in what should be another close game. The winner of that match will meet Shail Arora and Peter Fortune in the semi.
Posted by Mick Joint at 12:59 PM
Bernardo Samper looks composed whilst lunging for a backhand during his final against Laurence Delasaux.
Ontario, that is. Despite how this particular event was run, this tournament is actually a great fun weekend. I found a few organizational decisions were a little strange, not to the point of turning everything into a disaster, just… weird. However, the London Squash Racquets Club has a very social membership and their hospitality is second to none. The tournament did run smoothly, which is more than I can say for my hotel booking fiasco…
...Reserving the room on-line, I was told from Brian Porter (whom I was sharing the room with) specifically not to book a certain hotel that we had already experienced 2 years ago. In the attempt to book the hotel we stayed in last year, but not remembering the name, I ended doing exactly what I promised not to. This particular hotel is a little out of London, in a seedy part of town and is right next to the “Beef Baron” – a less than world-class strip club. Driving up to the entrance and noticing a prostitute standing at the door, I decided I would turn around and beg for mercy at other hotels in central London. It was also homecoming weekend for Western University, so hotels we jammed. I luckily found a room at the Hilton for a reasonable price, then cancelled my other reservation, paying (gladly) a one night penalty. The Hilton only had smoking rooms left, but I would have taken the janitor’s storage room over the Beef Baron...
One of the advantages of playing this tournament is the chance to watch the professionals. We were fortunate to be able to watch the final between Colombian Bernardo Samper (ranked #81) and Brit Laurence Delasaux (#297). Back in 2006, Delasaux was ranked at 77 before an injury took him out of the game for over 3 years. He has now started his climb back up. The match was very even for the first two games. Samper worked the Brit hard who had to come all the way through qualifying to reach the final. The long rallies took its toll. Delasaux hit the wall hard. Samper controlled the 3rd and 4th games easily and closed out the match.
On a personal level, I played in the Open (amateur) event and although I did not produce my finest squash, I managed to scrape through the semi final in 5, and the final in 4 to take the title. Jim Fair also made the trip to play in the D category. He lucked out in the first round playing someone who should have been at least one category higher if not two, then going down in a solid contest for the consolation.
We hit the bars on the Friday and Saturday night, the homecoming weekend showing off some attractive local talent. London is only 2 hours away – and you would find it difficult not to enjoy yourself. Do yourselves a favor and mark it down for next year!
Friday, October 2, 2009
Yesterday I ran the Referee Clinic. Just as the 3 previous years, only a handful of squash players turned up. That always surprises me for a couple of reasons. One, because I am often asked to run such clinics as many members on many occasions have many issues whilst on court. And two, we have a bunch of new squash players – beginners – in the league this year who I know do not know the rules (especially the interference rules) and should at least get a background on the basics.
One of the major problems with the ‘let’ rule (at the DAC) is that you do not have the luxury of a referee outside your court to make those decisions for you. All interference judgments rely on the two players on the court, both of whom have a different perspective on the situation and of course a different interest on the outcome. I hear arguments all the time. Even on simple black and white calls such as a ball being out of court or bouncing twice. But most disputes occur from the infamous “let please” request. On numerous occasions I have been asked to step on court to make a decision for the players regarding a ‘let’ call. However, on most of these occasions, the players cannot even come to an agreement of where they were standing or where the ball was. Both players see the same circumstance as entirely different. Hence the squabbles, which are in my opinion, regularly childish. Compromise and play a ‘let’ – then come and see me after your match for clarification.
We are all adults. We do not behave like that off the court, so why behave like that on it? Does winning a practice match or an in-club league game mean that much to you? The DAC Squash Committee put together a list of 20 Commandments of Squash Etiquette which should be followed by every court player in the club. If you read down the list (click on the poster) the points seem to be very common sense based. But we all know that common sense is not that common, and in the heat of battle on the squash court, it is very easy to lose one’s cool. Calling and offering of ‘lets’ is listed, so take a couple of minutes and read down the items and just think how many of them are you guilty of? I always like to put the shoe on the other foot – how annoyed do you get when your opponent does them to you?
Posted by Mick Joint at 11:31 AM