Monday, September 28, 2009


September 23-27, 2009.

Although this was not a DAC event, I feel I should share with you all my experience at Annapolis on this weekend. The purpose of the trip (apart from sampling the local brews) was to play against the Naval Academy Squash Team. A group of very fit young men that make us all feel the age we really are. Organized with the help of John Seidel (Squash pro at the Toledo Club) since his son is on their team, Casey Garwood whom many of you know as DAC Club Champion in 2003 and a Navy Academy alumnus (now residing in Seattle), and Jon Uffelman (BAC member) who was kind enough to allow us to stay at his house 20 minutes outside Annapolis in a place called Sherwood Forest - a paradise on Earth that simply makes you happy to be alive.

The house overlooks the lakes and rivers. Jon has a boat which we were able to utilize for water skiing and for transport to downtown Annapolis. The views from the house and from the boat were nothing short of spectacular. The air simply ‘tasted’ better.

Nine players formed the “Great Lakes” Squash Team. Most of us arrived on Thursday night. Unfortunately for me, as soon as we arrived at the house I fell ill with food poisoning. I am guessing it was that turkey wrap I ate Detroit Airport. (At least I think it was turkey…) Bed ridden for the evening, I bid farewell to my fellow travelers as they left to taste the local seafood and appraise the bars.

By Friday morning I was feeling human again. I joined a couple of the lads on the boat for a morning ski, and then after breakfast and a mid-morning coffee, the team tackled the imposing 9-hole golf course that crisscrosses through the village, over streets and extremely close to the houses, cars, and anyone walking by. Because of that, I only walked and watched. It was way too risky for me to swing the clubs. The likelihood of me hitting, damaging, killing someone was close to 100%.

Friday afternoon was the official match-up against the Navy Team. They had been warming up for about an hour when we arrived, ready to chew nails, and use us as appetizers. We actually believed we had a strong team with 3 teaching pros, Mark Eugeni – an ex-pro-doubles player, and a group of 5.5 players. We were wrong. Youth, vitality, stupid fitness levels, a Thursday night in bed rather than in the bars, took advantage. We won 3 of the 9 matches, although 2 of our losses came down to the wire and could have made all the difference. The lad I played was a Navy Seal in training. I heard of some of the training he does and it makes my squash lessons look like kindergarten. Sick.

The Saturday re-matches at 11am worked out better for us. I guess a second night touring the local establishments made us stronger. Admittedly, the Navy Team had a couple of subs step in, but we weren’t to be denied and won the day 6-3.

After a quick tour of the Academy (impressive!) we were off to the football game to see Navy against Western Kentucky. It was raining, but we did get to see the cadets march onto the field and the F16’s fly overhead (also very impressive!). Standing outside in the rain and cold wasn’t terribly inviting so we left half way through the 3rd quarter and headed out for our 3rd tour of duty. It was, without a doubt, a night to remember. Jon Uffelman is the host of all hosts, his dancing ‘expertise’ must be seen to be believed and his ability to get everyone involved and laughing is a fine art few people can match.

It was a pleasure, privilege and an honor to be a part of the team, and a weekend I will cherish and remember forever. It is an annual event and I hope I will be invited next year. There could not have been a nicer group of gentleman to be associated with.



Scheduled for Friday, October 16.
This is a great opportunity to play against people you would not normally step on court with. Matches will be scheduled to start at 5pm. Join in on a great fun, social evening of squash!

Take note of the following:
• This is for ALL levels of players
• Maximum 40 players – minimum 16
• Players will be randomly arranged into groups to play a round robin format
• Players will be handicapped according to their level
• Each ‘match’ is one game to 15 points using point-a-rally scoring, no tie-break
• The top 2 players in each group will move onto a knock-out draw. In the event of a tie, straws will be drawn to see who advances
• Prizes for 1st, 2nd, 3rd
• Keg provided
• You must be a Blackballer to participate

Registration deadline is Wednesday, October 14

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Many of you may be familiar with the name Hashim Khan. A true legend of the sport, Hashim won 7 British Open titles while overcoming economic, geopraphic and cultural boundaries, and turning himself into one of the most recognized and loved characters in the squash world.

The Hashim Khan Documentary "Keep Eye on Ball" has a free screening at the Acheson Theater in Birmingham on Saturday, October 10 starting at 7.30pm. Anyone who plays the game should make the effort to go and watchg this fascinating story of Pakistan's first national hero. Donations will gratefully accepted for Roeper's Scholarship Fund.

If you are planning on attending, plesae contact Walter Oehrlein at to reserve a seat.

Monday, September 21, 2009


Wednesday, September 23. The first Blackballer Dividend gets underway for the 2009-2010 season. Enjoy this free evening in the court area with open play on courts 7 and 8 from 5pm – 7pm, fee keg, food and bar. Enjoy the camaraderie with your fellow squash members, handballers, racquetballers, and basketballers! We are expecting over 100 people.

The draft for the Boasters League will take place starting at around 6pm. The 9 captains will have to sort through 99 players – where will you end up??

Even though the evening is free for all Blackballers, registration is a must – please contact the Illene Lipski on 313-442-1016 or

Friday, September 18, 2009



After speaking with the organizer of the event, the $50 entry fee does not allow the entrants to watch the pro matches for free. Friday night you will be permitted to view if room permits without a ticket, however for the final on Saturday night, a ticket is required. You can guarantee seating for Friday and Saturday for a $50 ticket.

For a great squash weekend getaway, London is as good as it gets. Only a 2 hour drive from Detroit, the tournament will run from October 2-4.

This is for singles players only (sorry, no doubles categories!) at the A (5.5 and up); B (4.5 - 5.5); C (3.5-4.5); D (3.0 and below); 40+; and 50+ levels. This event also runs a Professional category over the weekend, so it would be a fantastic opportunity to watch some pros in action.

The London club are a very social group and they support the DAC Squash Classic extremely well. We should all do our best to reciprocate that support. I will be going and hope many of you can join me (I will be playing in the A category). Please see me on how to enter, or copy and paste this link into your web browser:

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Need a few pointers for your doubles game? Here is your opportunity to pick up some important tips and technique to improve your game and enhance your enjoyment.

The Beginners Doubles Clinic is scheduled for Tuesday, September 29. This is aimed at players that are new to the game of doubles. There are 2 sessions to choose from. One from 5-6pm, and the other from 6-7pm.

The Intermediate Doubles Clinic will also run in two sessions on Wednesday, September 30 from 5-6pm and 6-7pm.

There must be 3 players per clinic, and the cost per person is $20.

Registrations deadline is Wednesday, September 23.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009



“Let?” “Stroke?” Of all the beauty in our sport, this is the ugly side. What, why, when, is it a ‘let’? What do you have to consider while determining the difference between a ‘no-let’, ‘let’ and a ‘stroke’? Chances are that each and every one of you have some time during your squash career had an argument on the squash court with your opponent (or referee) over a ‘let’ call. Myself included. On Thursday, October 1, I hope to at least make your understanding of the rules a little clearer as I run a Referee Clinic. I will cover basic and common situations, such as ‘turning’, getting hit with the ball and / or racquet, and what you need to do in order to clear your shot properly. I recommend this clinic not just for new squash players, but for all squash players in the club - too often I still see and hear arguments amongst our upper level players based upon myths and ‘old wives tales’. The clinic starts at 5pm, is free for all squash players although registration is necessary, and is an open forum. Come with your questions prepared and be ready to discuss any and all of your issues. Don’t go home wondering! As an added incentive, if you are a regular in the Boasters League and you attend the referee clinic in its entirety, you will receive a bonus point for your team. Registration deadline is Tuesday, September 29. No need to bring your squash gear, this is purely an informational session to make you better prepared and more knowledgeable.

Monday, September 14, 2009


Conduct unbecoming. By now, we have all seen – or at least heard about – Serena Williams’ melt down in her semi-final match at the US Open. It was nothing short of embarrassing and Ms Williams should be ashamed of herself. Even in the post-incident interviews, she refused to apologize, and put it down to being in the ‘heat of the moment’. Her punishment (so far) has been a fine of $10,500 which to her is not even pocket change and won’t even be noticed after being subtracted from her semi-final winnings. Basically, she got away with it. As far as I am concerned, she should have her winnings rescinded, cop a suspension and be forced to go to anger management. Serena is undisputedly a phenomenal player with 11 Grand Slam titles and countless other tournament victories. And when she is winning, she is the darling of the tennis world. She waves and kisses the crowd, twirls around in her self-designer kits, and praises herself to the point of nausea. But when she loses… racquets go flying, as do four-letter words, the world is against her, it’s not fair… Waaaaa!

Being a professional is not just about how you win. It’s about how you lose as well. Taking a beating on the chin, without excuses or complaints, no matter what the situation, speaks volumes about ones character. If you are on the court, you are fair game. You have no defense. If you cannot cope with losing, then maybe you should be on the court in the first place.

Now, comparing the US Open to DAC Squash is a stretch to say the very least, we are not playing for hundreds of thousands of dollars and world ranking points – simply pride and bragging rights. However, with some of the incidents I have seen on court, one may believe otherwise.

For some reason, squash tends to bring out the ‘devil’ in some people. The competitive nature of the sport and the physical exertion required probably has a lot to do with it but arguments during singles and doubles matches have been loud and abusive. The ambiguity of the interference rule (‘let’) is the spark, and compromise in many cases does not appear to be an option. It’s the “I’m right, you’re wrong” attitude and conversations I am having post-match with some members are a little disturbing. “I’m never playing with them again!” is a common line.

It has been an on-going problem since I can remember. Since there is no referee to make ‘let’ decisions for you, players are left to rely on their own honesty, etiquette and sportsmanship. If a player asks for a ‘let’ during a rally, it is because they believed interference occurred and that interference hindered that player in making his shot. So to argue ‘no let’ is pointless. Unless the ‘stroke’ is obvious, claiming one will also simply cause a dispute as well, so a ‘let’ would be the best concession. After the match, you can come and see me for clarification. Ideal? No. But playing squash is about playing squash, not arguing. Win by out-playing your opponent, not by shouting louder. And, as an added bonus, they may just want to play you again next time when you are searching for a game.

We are not world champions here fighting for the number one ranking. We are a squash community trying to enjoy the best sport in the world and get a great work-out to boot. Be competitive, try to win – but be fair, sincere and truthful.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Want a great experience and an excellent way to improve your squash, see other clubs, meet other squash players around the city, and enjoy the social aspect of the sport?

Then join the 2009-2010 Michigan Squash Racquets Association (MSRA) Travel League and represent your club!

This is the perfect opportunity to match your skills against players from other clubs around Detroit. Matches are scheduled once a week and half of the matches will be played at the DAC and the other half at the opposing clubs. Each level is scheduled for a different day of the week, but I do know exactly which day that is until all the teams from all the clubs have been submitted.

Teams must consist of 4 regulars per week, and each team will need at least 6 players registered. We need players at the 3.0; 3.5; 4.0; 4.5; 5.0 levels. We can even register more than 1 team per level. Also, we need a motivated and dedicated individual to captain each team, to organize the weekly line-up and make sure communicate with the other teams on the roster. (It sounds like more work than what it actually is).

The season is scheduled to start in October, and goes through to March.
Please e-mail me if you are interested in playing. I need all registrations in by September 28.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Doubles Select Tournament - Draw

A great response to the Doubles Select Tournament with 30 registrations! The draw was done completely randomly - I literally pulled the teams out of a hat to see who would play whom.

I will update the draw over the next couple of months as the tournament progresses, so make sure you keep checking back in.

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