Thursday, February 25, 2010


Firstly, I am somewhat astonished at the extent of the media coverage – worldwide - this has generated. Although I really shouldn’t be given the technological age we live in but when I was told that squash was on ESPN a couple of days ago I almost fell out of my chair. Really? Squash on US mainstream TV? Wow, I thought – what a coup for the sport. Of course, that initial excitement lasted about 10 seconds after I saw the video of Trinity’s number 1 player – 6 foot 5 inch Baset Chaudhry – celebrate his (and his team’s win) by an outrageous display of poor sportsmanship towards his 5 foot 7 inch opponent from Yale, Kenneth Chan.

If you haven’t already seen it, copy and paste this link and take a look at this clip. It’s self explanatory:

Over the past couple of days, more information has come to light – along with a video of what lead up to this now infamous incident. This clip shows Chan getting in the face (or upper chest!) of Chaudhry in the second game. Not very respectful of the lad, but in my opinion, hardly as vicious as Chaudhry’s exhibition:

Now, I don’t know who made this particular clip or who edited it, but I would bet a lot of money it was a Trinity fan. A lot of effort was put into making Chan’s transgression look worse than what it actually was. The slow-motion piece was totally unnecessary.

Okay. Both players were out of line. There was apparently a lot of trash talking going on during the match as well, but comparing the 2 confrontations, Chaudhry’s behavior (to me) is by far the greater evil here. Firstly, he just won the match easily. It wasn’t as if the match went down to the wire and both players were exhausted physically and mentally. (Not that that would be an excuse.) That’s like US Women’s hockey team spitting in the face of the Russians after annihilating them 13-0 at the Olympics. Secondly, he’s almost a foot taller and probably almost 100 pounds heavier. What a bully. Thirdly, he’s 25 and should know better. And fourthly, no matter what had transpired leading up to it, there is absolutely no excuse for Chaudhry’s actions.

That being said, we have all been at some time guilty of letting our emotions get the better of us and losing control. I will be first to put my hand up and admit that I have, in my youth, conducted myself dreadfully on the court and lost my temper. Looking back on my misbehavior, I still feel embarrassed and ashamed of myself – but I’m grateful that it wasn’t taped. Sadly, the difference with Chaudhry’s lapse of judgment is… that it was.

Check out this clip from ESPN ‘analysts’ who have probably never heard of squash much like mainstream America.

I felt sick to the stomach that the first time squash gets on this program is because of this ‘misdeed’. The analysts are giggling like school girls all the way through the segment, doing nothing but poking fun at the sport. Squash is virtually unheard of in the general public in the US, and first impressions last a life time. To all the millions of Americans who saw this clip – and squash for the first time – I dread to think what they think of squash now!! For a sport fighting for exposure – especially in the US – this to me is a step backwards.

By all accounts, Chaudhry is the nicest guy you’ll ever meet. (Although I have never met him myself.) This is so far out of character for the man and his coach, Paul Assaiante, is just as bewildered as anyone else. Apologies have been made all around, but should Chaudhry be punished? I think he should. Unfortunately for him, it was caught on video and has made its way across the globe and to television and has dragged the sport through the muck. It takes a lifetime to build a reputation; Chaudhry has taken a second to destroy it. What his punishment should be lies in the hands of the College Squash Association (CSA), but these guys are not professionals and do not get paid so a monetary fine is out of the question for the athlete (maybe not for Trinity?). Suspension? That would be the next logical step. The CSA is expected to rule on this in the coming days, but if nothing comes of this but a slap on the wrist, that’s an appalling precedent to set.

Regrettably, incidents like this in college squash have happened before. See this article relating to an incident this season at Dartmouth College involving fans heckling players from Harvard:

The CSA need to nip this in the bud before it gets out of control. Squash matches are not football or basketball games and fans and players need to respect their opponents with decorum and conduct themselves appropriately. Cheering is one thing, as soon as it becomes personal, it moves into another stratosphere. Especially in this politically correct world of the U.S of A.

And no matter what happens on court, after the match, that’s where it should stay – on the court. Shake hands, thank your opponent for the match, buy them a drink… basically, act your age.


Boasters League Round 8 –

It’s going to be close. Not only to see who will end up on top of the standings, but who will end up last and eliminate themselves from the play-offs. With 7 days to go before the deadline, the “Defending Champs” look comfortable in first place with a 14 point buffer over second placed “Duck or Bleed”, but have to sit out the final round next week and watch everybody catch up. If they can pick up another 15 or so points in make-up matches in that time, they may be safe but they certainly should not be feeling too relaxed in their current position.

The real battle, however, is at the other end of the ladder. “The Trolls” had a bye week this week which has ended up hurting them enormously and placed them on the brink. They were 22 points ahead of last place, but complacency had them pick up only 2 points in make-up matches and now they have dropped from 5th to 8th and just 2 points ahead of 9th. “Stimulus Package” are still last and as fate would have it, they play “The Trolls” in the final round. The “Angry Dragons” are still wobbling on the precipice as well and need to perform well this week, and the “Reach Arounds” are by no means out of the woods either and need to be careful as their 12 point cushion over “Stimulus Package” can be quickly eroded.

Match of the week for round 8 is a difficult choice. So many matches ended up with a 2-1 score line (14 of the 22 so far) and were very closely contested that I really can’t (or shouldn’t) pick one above the rest. But I will anyway. George Kordas (“Marauders”) [pictured left] and Jim Stroh (“Hell’s Kitchen”) had some excellent long rallies and both displayed some impressive court coverage. George has been on a notable improvement curve this season and has really stepped up his game (as he proved at the DAC Classic). Still, Jim held his own very well and although he ended losing 2-1, he can be pleased with the result.

One week to play before the play-offs. The team finishing last can start polishing their golf clubs. There are 7 days left to get your results in. The mad scramble starts… now!

Monday, February 22, 2010


Even though the DAC Squash Classic tournament was a success and the positive feedback has been nothing short of flattering and rewarding, I thought I would share with you all a couple of letters I received from our friends in London, Ontario, who took the time to put that feedback on paper and send it to me.

The first letter is from all the players from London Squash Racquets Club and the second letter is from one of their members, Ted Collins. Ted lost the final of the 3.5 division to his fellow club member John Anderson.

These letters are not just a reflection of the quality of the tournament, but the DAC and all the members and staff as a whole. We should all be proud!


Who will be the next pair to have their names forever etched onto the legendary DAC Championship Boards? It is time for the 2010 DAC Doubles Club Championships. This year, we are adding a fourth category to the event. You now have the option of playing in the A; B; C; or D draw.

The event is scheduled to start on Monday, March 15. Please take careful note of the following:
• You MUST register with a partner
• All matches are best of 5 games
• There will be NO consolation draw
• Each match will have a deadline to complete. It is the player’s responsibility to complete the match by the deadline or risk being defaulted.

The winners of the A category not only immortalize themselves on the hallowed championships boards for all eternity, they also qualify for selection for the next Farris Cup scheduled for early January 2011 (@ the DAC).

So do your homework, pick your partners carefully and start preparing for competition! Registration deadline is Wednesday, March 10.

Thursday, February 18, 2010



Scheduled for Friday March 12.
A unique in-house event, the Blitz Tournament gives members a chance to play against people you would not normally step on court with. Every effort is made to mix up the levels and get you the widest variety of players possible. Matches will be scheduled to start at 5pm. With handicapping issued on all the matches, the games can take anywhere from 15 minutes to just a couple of rallies – hence the name “Blitz”! 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
• 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
• Players will be handicapped according to their level
• Each ‘match’ is one game to 15 points using point-a-rally scoring, no tie-break
• Prizes for 1st, 2nd, 3rd
• Keg provided
• You must be a Blackballer to participate

Registration deadline is Wednesday, March 10.


Boasters League Round 7-

As week 6 saw the standings tighten up, week 7 has once again spread them out. With only 2 weeks of the regular season to play, the top 4 teams have pretty much guaranteed a place in the play-offs, while the bottom 5 teams fight to stay out of last place and avoid elimination. “Stimulus Package” were already sitting in that position and had to suffer through the ‘bye’ this week but they actually came out the other side with minimal damage. Four points off 8th last week, they are only 5 points back now, and have a real possibility of catching the “Angry Dragons” who are apparently determined to get through the season playing the least amount of matches they can.

Defending Champs” and “Duck or Bleed” have opened up a small gap on the rest of the field and week-to-week are flip-flopping the 1st and 2nd spots. However, it is no guarantee that finishing first makes it an easy run through the play-offs (as history has proven many, many times) and from the 7 rounds played so far this half, the “Defending Champs” have a 4-3 record (and have the last round ‘bye’), and “Duck and Bleed” have a 4-2 record which just goes to show that all teams are vulnerable.

Match of the week goes to Anthony Fracchia (“Duck or Bleed”) and Ken MacDonald (“Marauders”). From the grunts, groans, and loud grumblings that were rather audible sitting outside the court, these two were really leaving it all on the floor. The good-spirited contest had terrific scrambling rallies and left them both breathing heavily – Anthony finally took the match 2-1 and extends his record to 5 and 1.

And don’t forget… DEADLINE TO COMPLETE ALL THE MATCHES IS THURSDAY, MARCH 4. Late results will not be taken into consideration so don’t wait too long to organize!!

Friday, February 12, 2010


Now that the DAC Squash Classic has whet the appetite of our members, the Toledo Squash Classic is the perfect opportunity to satisfy that craving. Running from February 26-28, this is the one road-trip a year that you’ll be talking about for the next 12 months.

John Seidel (squash pro and athletic director of the Toledo Club) does a remarkable job in getting this event together. Emphasis is on the festivities rather than the squash and when you walk in the club on Friday night and ogle 4 models walking around serving you beer, you know you are in for a delightful weekend! That is not to suggest that the squash is taken lightly – although it is an experience in itself to play on those shoe-boxes… I mean courts.

Their five courts are two and half feet narrower than ours – the old hardball size. It takes a bit to get used to the new angles. I’ve played this tournament for the past 5 years and I still cannot figure out the proper ‘tactic’ to use! Click on the picture above to see all the details of playing categories and special hotel rates. I urge you to enter this event and support them as they have supported us over the past few years at our tournament. I will be playing in the ‘pro invite’ category, and I already know of at least 2 DAC members committed – join in, you will not regret it!

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Boasters League Round 6-

Six rounds in, and less than 20 points separate first from eighth. I can’t remember the standings being this close with only 3 rounds to play before the play-offs start. Keeping in mind that the 9th team will be eliminated, “Stimulus Package” currently holds that distinction and even though they are only 4 points from 8th, they have the ‘bye’ week in round 7. Their play-offs are fading quickly unless they start making up many of the matches they still have open.

The Deconstructors” made the biggest move this week jumping from 8th to 4th with a solid showing last night against “The Trolls” who are now 3rd and only 4 points off the league leading “Duck or Bleed”. It was rather quiet on the courts for a league night, which I suppose after the weekend tournament is not too surprising, but if a couple of the teams would have a played a few more matches, the standings could have a very different look. The “Defending Champs” and the “Marauders” only had 2 (out of 11) results completed – they are only hurting themselves.

Time is winding down – there are only 3 rounds to go and the deadline to complete all the matches is Thursday, March 4 (inclusive). As always, I expect a scramble to complete them, so no one should wait until the last few days to start to organize their opponents!

Match of the week goes to Ted Mabley (“The Deconstructors”) and Rick Florka (“The Trolls”). Both new to the league this year and playing in the number 10 position, these two had a very close contest and both players after the match complemented each other on a great game – Ted ended up with the 2-1 victory.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


As Peyton Manning started his final drive in the 4th quarter poised to tie the game and send the Super Bowl into overtime, I was lying on my couch praying for the impossible – he wouldn’t do it. I was exhausted and was struggling to keep my eyes open even though it was a thrilling game. Sure enough, a miracle occurred, Manning was intercepted, the Saints scored a touchdown and the game was over. I could go to bed. As determined as I was to watch the whole game, I doubt I would have stayed awake for a 5th quarter. On top of that, I wanted the Saints to win anyway because my boss is a die-hard Colts fan and has been rubbing our noses in it…

The overtiredness was welcoming. The DAC Squash Classic had come and gone and I was quietly content with the outcome. 144 registrations spread over 7 singles and 3 doubles categories, 90 of which were non-members, we got though almost 200 singles matches and over 35 doubles matches, 170 people at the dinner, and for me, countless hours of organization and prep work that was worth all the effort and time, made the countless hours I worked this week a lot easier.

Now for the results:

Doherty Dominates Doubles
London’s Rob Doherty hits a mean doubles ball. He covers the court remarkably well. He paired up with his wife Laurie in the C draw (brave, brave man!) reaching the final in comfortable fashion where they met tough resistance against Mark Stone and Teresa Ashworth from Windsor. The Stone / Ashworth pair won their first round 17-16 in the 5th, the semi in 5 as well, and took the Doherty’s the distance too. They couldn’t pull out another 5-set victory, but made the Doherty’s earn every point. It was an excellent final. Rob paired up with Caleb Quinlan in the A draw and again reached the final without too much trouble. There, they encountered the very tough duo of Mark Eugeni (Windsor) and Jon Uffelman (BAC). Another 5 set contest as the London pair countered Mark’s well known power skillfully and fed more off a few of Jon’s errors. They dictated the 5th game and ran away 3-2 winners. In the B draw, the father-son team of Gerry and Sean Guay (Windsor) performed well above expectations taking out fellow club members Mike and Kevin McKittrick 3-0 in the final.

Fabulous Fabbri…
Playing in his first ever squash tournament, Tom Fabbri in the 2.5 category did a lot better than I am sure he predicted. Reaching the final, he dropped only one game. Unfortunately for Tom, his finals opponent – Justin Jacobs from Franklin – was a little too strong and he went down 3-0, but he can be very proud of his achievement.

Magnificent MacDonald…
Waving the DAC flag with gusto, Ken MacDonald is our lone title holder for this year. He won the 3.0 final in probably the best match of the day with a memorable comeback after finding himself 2-0 down against Dan Driscoll (Life Time Fitness). Urged on by his fellow members who were watching, Ken refused to crack under the pressure and pulled out the 5th game 9-7. Taking into consideration that he won his semi final earlier that morning 9-7 in the 5th as well, it makes the victory all the more sweeter.

Kordas So Close…
DAC’s third finalist was George Kordas in the 4.0 draw. Admitting he was sore on Saturday morning (he did play in the 4.5 as well), George was in unfamiliar territory. Pain from playing was new to him, but it wasn’t surprising after his Friday night marathon 3-2 victory over Brad Steel (Life Time Fitness) which took well over an hour. However, like a real trooper, George soldiered on and reached the final where Scott Fisher from London was waiting for him. With not much left in the tank, George’s run ended with a 3-0 loss, but looking over the result it was a terrific accomplishment.

The Rest…
Not diminishing the importance of the other categories, but the DAC membership was only present on the other side of the glass. The 32-man 3.5 draw had two buddies from London battling it out where Jon Anderson got the better of Ted Collins 3-0. Jim Stroh did reach the semi final of the 3.5 and lost 3-1 to Jon, and there is never any shame in losing to the winner! The 4.5 category went to a youngster from Windsor. Sean Guay won a very long and hard fought 5-setter over Ted Hickey (London). Sean played very well all weekend and every time I see him play I can see not only improvement in his game, but in his on-court temperament. The 5.0 final featured the up and coming junior Michael Snower (BAC). At 17 he is definitely an impressive player as he carved his way to the final with consummate ease. He met his match, however, in the form of Mike Twiner (Windsor) although it wasn’t easy. Mike won the challenging match 3-1. It was a great effort from Michael and I am sure by this time next year he will be competing for the 5.5 title. Speaking of which, in the 5.5, Mark Eugeni repeated his 2009 effort and went through the draw without dropping a game. He played Damon Bourne (Madison, WI) in the final who found himself simply out played as Mark took advantage of every loose opportunity that came his way.

The Party Left-Over’s…
No DAC tournament is complete without the party. Mike Counsman couldn’t make it this year, but the lads from London made up for it. Saturday morning had Caleb Quinlan stagger into the court area 5 minutes before his doubles match still in his Friday night get-up, his tie down to his belly-button, shirt a mess, and what was later to be determined as his socks (not underwear) hanging out of his pockets. Still disorientated, he asked how to get to his hotel room. I also heard rumblings of other queasy stomachs, and I am thankful none of the ‘festivities’ ended up on our court floors!

It’s all about having a fun. It was. It was a success, I believe most (if not all) had a great experience, and many are marking it down for 2011. If you do us the honor of entering our event, we will do you the honor of looking after you the best we know how.


Thursday, February 4, 2010


Boasters League Round 5-

Despite a poor showing last night with only three round 5 matches completed, ‘The Reach Arounds’ have taken over the reins as Boasters League number one team. The fact that ‘Duck or Bleed’ had the bye this week unquestionably helped matters, and ‘The Reach Arounds’ tenure atop the standings will most likely be short lived in any case as they are scheduled to sit out in week 6.

Only 2 points off the leaders, the ‘Defending Champs’ jumped from 4th to 2nd as they beat up on ‘The Deconstructors’ who are still tenuously holding on to the last finals position in 8th spot. Currently on the outside looking in, ‘Stimulus Package’ are on a free-fall and need to pick up their game. Dropping from 5th to last place, even though they are picking up a fair amount of bonus points and playing a decent amount of matches, they need to start winning a few games as well. They have only won just over 20% of the matches they have completed so far. I can’t forget to mention the ‘Angry Dragons’ who at last have scraped themselves off the cellar floor and moved into 7th place and are actually now only 7 points off 4th. It appears they are on their way up.

I am giving match of the week to Matt Hayduk (‘Marauders’) and Blake Kenny (‘Stimulus Package’). Matt has been working on his game recently with a few lessons and regularly taking part in the Court Conditioning Training and the ‘sacrifice’ is starting to pay off. He won 2-1, and was very pleased with the way he played and the improvement he is making. I have to mention Bob Rogers (‘The Reach Arounds’) who extended his incredible win streak to 29 with his 2-1 victory over James Van Dyke (‘Hell’s Kitchen') - and in saying that I have probably just placed a huge target on his back.

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