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?


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