Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Seriously, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I had inkling that we were set to receive a lot of registrations this year, and my tingling spider-sense didn’t let me down. We had so many in fact, that I had to stop taking in entries before the advertised deadline and actually turn people away. That is of course something I dread doing – but in the end, I really had no choice. As it is, matches will be extending into the late hours of Thursday, and into midnight of Friday.

When my tears (of joy?) evaporated I was left with 143 registrations. WOW! Many of which were playing in 2 categories. Now the problem lay in the scheduling which in all honesty, I did lose sleep over. It was like solving a 143-sided Rubik’s Cube. How to a) squeeze in all those matches and b) avoid time conflicts. Consider a player that has entered the 3.0 and 3.5 brackets. There are 10 possible times that player can play over the course of the weekend in the 3.0 level – if you take into account the path they take in the main draw and consolation. Add on another 10 possible times in the 3.5 draw and try to organize it so that none of the times in the 3.0 or the 3.5 clash. Now, do that for the 60 odd players that are playing in 2 levels and you start to understand the complexity of the dilemma… and the pain in my head… and the cross-eyed and glazed look on my face… and my search for a bus to throw myself under…

But, like any other dauntingly impossible task, the draws and schedules come together and hopefully what is left is a tournament that will appear to run smoothly and all mistakes / disasters / tsunamis / stress are kept hidden behind the scenes and the players are none the wiser.

Yes, the work is tough. Yes, the hours are long. Yes, the stress is high. But whose job isn’t from time to time? If all I did was look at it from that angle, I think I’d be finding that bus pretty quickly. But I look at it from the other perspective: Yes, the tournament is best value for money event around. Yes, the DAC do a phenomenal job on the service. Yes, the reward for running an exceptional event is reflected in the support you – the entrant – have shown. And yes, I get tremendous pride in running it.

The event kicks off on Thursday, February 4. I would like to extend a special thank you to the major sponsors of the tournament, and the incredible support from the London Squash Racquets Club and Windsor Squash. We also have players from our friends in Toledo, and one from Madison, Wisconsin. So get ready for the best weekend of squash you will ever experience. Love-All… play.


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