Thursday, October 28, 2010


Boasters League Round 4~~

This week saw another change and new leader on top of the standings. Team “Mongoose” went from 10 points behind the league leaders last week to 10 points in front as the league leaders this week! Helped along with the (so far) season record of 10 bonus points in one night, “Mongoose” also made up quite a few matches over the week. Last week’s leaders “Winky-Dinks” suffered with the bye and dropped to 5th, while week 3 cellar dwellers “The Beamers” managed to pull themselves out of the abyss and move into 6th. “Mr. Daniels Walking” appears to be "Mr. Daniels Staggering"and have slipped into last place picking up only 8 points last night.

Activity was healthy in round 4, and there were a few close encounters to mention. Doug Troszak (“Speed Ballers”) beat Chato Hill (“Courts and Pints”) 2-1, two of those games ended up 15-14; Joe Schaden (“Delta Force”) won 3-0 over Terry Lang (“Mongoose”) but two of those games also went 15-14; Ted Mabley (“Delta Force”) continues his winning streak with a 2-1 victory over Brian Rosman (“Mongoose”) and Bill Rivard (“The Underdogs”) held off Maureen D’Avanzo (“The Beamers”) for a tough 2-1 win.

[Photo: Jason Trombley (swinging) battles Mike Rock]

In the “All Star” race (based on individual season points), Tom Bergh (“Mr. Daniels Walking”), playing position 10 in the team, leads the league with 13 points. The top number 1 player so far is Eric Green (“Courts and Pints”) with 11 points, his closest rival is 4 points behind. In the number 3 position, Ken MacDonald (“Court and Pints”) with 9 points holds a slim one point margin to lead that level.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Never Fear! The “Underdogs” are Near!

Boasters League Round 3~~

From 7th to 2nd. That’s a big leap. “The Underdogs” got on their horse and started to get some much needed matches completed. Leapfrogging into 2nd, they were closely followed by their round 3 opponents – “Courts and Pints” (what does that mean?) who themselves jumped from 6th to 3rd. The fact that these 2 teams moved up, means someone had to move down. “Threepeat” had the bye so were expected to suffer a little and dropped to 5th while the “Speed Ballers” fell from 4th to 7th. “Winky-Dinks” extended their lead on top, but have the bye week in round 4. Incredibly, after just 3 rounds, the “Winky-Dinks” have collected 8 more bonus points than any other team. They have 52 points – 25 of which are bonus points! Just imagine if they played as much as turning up. On a side note, “The Beamers” sit in last place and have the least amount of bonus points. Coincidence?

There were a couple of tight matches to mention. In a battle of team captains, Rich Stimson (“The Underdogs”) took down Sean Fossee (“Courts and Pints”) 2-1, and Tom Bergh (“Mr. Daniels Walking”) just got past Glen Milligan (“Winky-Dinks”) also with a 2-1 win. Todd Baker (“Courts and Pints”) and Mark Monaghan (“The Underdogs”) ended up being one of the more exciting games to watch – not because of the score (Todd won 3-0), but because of some desperation rallies as seen in this photo. Mark is sacrificing his body for that little black ball! (It didn’t work… but it was entertaining!)

Teams should be taking note of “The Underdogs” and the “Winky-Dinks”: the formula is simple. Turn up and play your matches. Time to get going!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

No Pros Allowed on the “Pro Squash Tour”

Imagine there was this guy – we’ll call him Mo – who loved squash but was a little disillusioned at how the game was developing. Mo was becoming frustrated not with the style of squash, but with how the rules were being applied – specifically, the “let” rule. Rather than sit on his couch and simply grumble away, Mo decided to actually do something about it. Mo became a promoter. He got together with some professional players, they talked about the issues, and came up with the 5-let rule. They then put their theory into practice, ran a tournament, thought it was spectacular, and began to sell their product to clubs around the US. Exhibition tournaments that used Mo’s rule, Mo’s referee, started to pop up here and there. They called it the “Pro Squash Tour” or PST. Riding on their first year’s success, Mo decided to take it a step further and eliminate the let rule altogether. The PST steadily flourished. Their ‘no-let’ rule sparked controversy, but this was Mo’s tour and Mo could do what he liked. He even had a PST ranking. The PST invited current world class players from the “Professional Squash Association” (PSA) to play in their events. David Palmer, Wael El Hindi, Thierry Lincou, Shahier Razik, Julian Illingworth, are just some of the current top 30 players in the world that have played in a PST event. Even ex-world number 1 John White was a regular performer. Sounds like Mo achieved something that initially seemed rather improbable and his PST invention was bumbling along healthily.

Now imagine there was this other guy. We’ll call him Leo. Leo runs the “Professional Squash Association” or PSA. Leo was a happy chap. The PSA own and run the official world ranking tour and all the best male squash players in the world play in the PSA. Initially, Leo didn’t care what the PST did. Their ‘no-let’ rule was surely a gimmick that would never last. But Leo started to get worried when the PST continued to add tournaments to their schedule and the PST tour was growing. The gimmick wasn’t going away. Leo started to get jealous. He thought that the PST was ‘stealing’ potential PSA tournaments away. Were clubs raising sponsorship money to give to Mo rather than to him? So Leo thought of a deviously straightforward plan. Simply not allow any of his PSA players to enter any PST event. Without world class players, the PST would surely crumble…. MUWAHAHAHHA!!

Crazy, right? But true. The PSA have officially banned all of their players from entering any PST event. Now, I am by no means suggesting that the above description is anywhere near the specifics leading up to the ban, and just like the disclaimer on all “Law and Order” episodes: "Although inspired in part by a true incident, the following story is fictional and does not depict any actual person or event".

One of the many attractions of the PST events are – of course - the pros themselves. Current PSA ranked top 10 or 20 players in the draw gets bums in seats, and hands in wallets for sponsorship. Without the pros, the money stops. PST events are exhibition tournaments. Players compete for money, and PST ranking – which in the grand scheme of things doesn’t mean a whole lot on the world stage. They also play by their own rules. It is not a rival tour to the PSA. It is an extra opportunity for touring professional players to earn more money. Money the PSA cannot provide for them. And there are other pro events around the world. The UK runs the BSPA Tour (British Squash Professionals Association), and there are professional leagues in many countries around Europe. The PSA have not banned their players from entering these. So why single out the PST?

Have the PST become too successful? It’s way too early to suggest that. While it is no secret that I am not a convert to the “no-let” rule (see: ) it is beside the point. They can have their players playing in tutus and swinging frying pans if that is what fills the bleachers. (Ha ha! Can you imagine John White in a tutu? I’d pay to see that…) Here is the official reason behind the PSA’s decision: “Following consultations with stakeholders, primarily in the US, it was felt that the Pro Squash Tour was having an increasingly detrimental effect on the PSA World Tour's presence in North America, leading to confusion for potential promoters and sponsors.” Confusion? We can’t tell the difference?

Whether that is the truth or not, the PST have certainly struck a nerve. If I could guarantee the membership that for $30,000 (all-up) four top-20 players will play in a tournament here in a PST event, where for the same $30,000 I’d be lucky to get one top-20 player in a PSA event, add on PSA registration fees and a myriad of requirements the PSA ask for, what do you think the membership will go for? I don’t think any of them will ask if world ranking points will be at stake. They just want to see the players. On top of that, a PST event is done in 3 days, a PSA event (including qualifying) takes 6 which can be very taxing on a club to organize and run. Cheaper and easier… no brainer. The PSA should be looking at the PST as a reason to improve their own product - maybe even work with PST in sharing revenues, finding co-sponsors, co-coordinating schedules, etc. To simply stick out the bottom lip and try bully them into submission is a risky venture that may backfire – especially in the US where the underdog is often the crowd favorite.

For the official press release from PSA and PST go to:

For the official PST website go to:
For the official PSA website go to:

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Boasters League Round 2 ~~

Albeit, just by a couple of bonus points. Tied with “Threepeat” on top of the standings, the “Winky-Dinks” hold the tie-break by 2 bonus points. Impressively, they already have 17 out of a maximum 24 bonus points in the first 2 rounds and if they can keep that up throughout the season they will be a difficult team to overtake. Also, the “Speed Ballers” find themselves in a pretty good position. They are only sitting 4th, but have already had their ‘bye’ week.

Round 2 was a quiet night. Not a lot of matches on display – in fact all but 2 teams picked up more points by showing up than by winning games. Who was on display, was new DAC member Eric Green of “Court and Pints[Pictured right] (see interview: ). He looked rather imposing in his win over Blake Ellis (“Winky-Dinks”) with a resounding 3-0 win. It will be interesting to see as the season progresses who can step-up and seriously challenge him.

Probably the toughest match of the evening was Mike Petix (“Delta Force”) versus Andy Adamo (“Threepeat”). Mike is coming back from a 12 month hiatus and has been struggling to find his pre-break form whereas Andy is no slouch himself – he knocked off Jerry Rock (“Speed Ballers”) last week - but it was Mike who managed dust off enough rust to score his first win of the season with an arduous 2-1 victory.

Already, many players have the first 2 rounds to make up – so don’t hesitate in organizing those matches. It will only become more difficult the longer you leave it.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Boasters League Round 1~~

Pat Petz has made a bold statement in naming his team this season “Threepeat”. As the current winning captain of the previous two seasons, his brash prediction of three in a row is simply rubbing salt into everyone else’s wounds and really designed to ruffle some feathers. However, his team already finds themselves in familiar territory: top of the standings.

Of course, when you play 8 of 12 matches and pick up 9 bonus points in the first round then it’s not too shocking to see them in that spot. Their round one opponent – “Speed Ballers” – also picked up 9 bonus points and are second. So already, the rest of the crowd will be chasing Pat and his team down. I know, I know: the season is long and it’s early. But no team can afford to take it easy now and expect to make up ground later on, from experience, that usually never happens.

We had 3 matches that literally went down to the wire. Pictured left, Brian Schrage (“Threepeat”) beat Doug Troszak (“Speed Ballers”) 15-14 in the 3rd for a 2-1 victory, as did Tom Fabbri (“Winky-Dinks”) over Terry Lang (“Mongoose”). Anil Kathuria (“Winky-Dinks”) and Bill Seymour (“Mongoose”) actually forgot about the no tie-break rule and played on in the 3rd until Anil took it 19-17. No wonder they crawled off the court close to tears. (Of course that feeling went away once they got their beers!)

Just a couple of important points to make coming off some incidents last night:
1. CALL YOUR OPPONENT. I simply cannot say or stress this enough. We had at least 4 players who turned up without contacting or confirming with their opponent. You cannot expect your opponent to show if you do not communicate with them. It is a courtesy to everyone involved if you simply call and confirm (or if you have to, rearrange) your match time. Avoid no-shows at all costs.
2. Let Calls. This is an in-house social, friendly league. Yes, we all want to win. But arguing has no place on the squash court. If a disagreement occurs between you and your opponent, then compromise with a ‘let’. We are all here for the camaraderie, fun and healthy competition. Please keep that in mind.

So, don’t delay with getting any matches done that you may have missed. They pile up very quickly. Get pro-active, and do what you signed up in the league for: playing squash.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Revenge is just around the corner. Although we didn’t fair very well at the recent Cross Border Challenge (see: the opportunity to get back at least a little pride comes on November 5-7 when they host their annual “Fall Down Classic” event.

All players should be eager to soak up some much needed tournament experience and this one is an easy hop over (or under) the river. For $60+ tax Canadian (or $3500 US) you receive a tournament souvenir, food, beer, and prizes if you win your category. Plus not to mention all the squash and fun you could swing your racquet at over the 3 days.

There are singles and doubles categories for men and women. The singles categories includes consolation events so you will get a second match even if you happen to lose (God forbid!) your round one match. Please see the attached poster for all the details. I will be playing too, so come and join me!

You can enter through me and I will pass on your registration details or, you can contact the tournament director directly – the information is on the poster. Registration deadline is Sunday, October 31st… BOO!


Tuesday, October 5, 2010


The squash program continuously sees fresh faces taking to the courts. We all have joined a club at some stage in our lives, and it can be slightly daunting task to get involved and meet others as the ‘newbie’. So, every now and then, I plan to help that process and assist in ‘breaking the ice’ by splattering their face and some personal information on the blog in order for the ‘newbie’ to be better recognized!


The Squash Joint (TSJ): “Tell us how you came to join the DAC”
Eric Green (EG): Upon moving back to Detroit from San Francisco, I was inclined to investigate the DAC because of the reciprocity with the Olympic Club. Once I met a few people, I knew it was the right place for me.

TSJ: “Where did you learn to play squash? Who got you started?”
EG: I learned to play squash when I attended the United States Naval Academy. While participating in a tennis tournament during "Plebe Summer," the squash coach approached me to learn the game. Despite the techniques to convince me to play (think water boarding), I actually like the game. Ironically, the person most instrumental to my development was another former DAC member, Casey Garwood.

TSJ: “Pizza or Hot Dogs?”
EG: Only after a big night in Vegas.

TSJ: “What line of work are you in?”
EG: I work in the private equity world. We buy and sell companies in the $1 - $10 million revenue range.

TSJ: “What racquet are you using?”
EG: Not really sure as I picked it up from the lost and found at the Olympic Club. I have been meaning to steal one from your office Mick.

TSJ: “You recently moved back to Michigan from San Francisco. Was that a difficult decision to make?”
EG: The decision was easy; getting my wife to move 6 months earlier than me, pregnant with our two other kids so I could have a 1/2 year man-cation in SF prior to my moving was hard. I don't think I am up for either father or husband of the year, but I did have a nice time. [Photo: Eric with his famliy]

TSJ: “What’s your all time favorite movie?”
EG: Snatch

TSJ: “Describe your best ever squash match?”
EG: Penn vs. USNA, fall 1992. The match was for a ranking of 4th in the nation. We won 5-4; I won 3-2. I didn't really understand all the implications and pride that was on the line from all the prep school guys on the Penn team. I was just a kid from Detroit looking for some liberty in Philadelphia. Did I ever describe my best post-match ever . . . ?

TSJ: “You are a Naval Academy graduate. I’m sure you have a juicy tale you could tell us about from those years?”
EG: Speaking of the devil. The four years in Annapolis are some of my best memories. In fact, I returned there to get married in the Chapel. Most of the juicy tales are probably best left unwritten but suffice it to say . . . if the streets could talk, they would recognize my face right near the sewer.

TSJ: “And the most important question of all… Did you enjoy the Sex and the City movie?”
EG: I enjoy sex and the city; both have served me well.

Thank you to Eric for spending the time to answer these tough questions! Make sure you welcome Eric to the DAC when you see him wandering the courts and halls!

Monday, October 4, 2010


Why, oh why, is there a reluctance to play these events? It was unfortunate that not one DAC member could make the easy journey to play this year’s London Squash Tournament. The event is growing in popularity as they accommodated 140 entries along with their professional category. Here is what you all missed:

The Squash
I’ll start with the professionals since they were the stars of the show. With world ranking points up for grabs and a total purse of $6,500, the draw had three top 100 players enter. They may have received more, however the US Open in Chicago and the Commonwealth Games in India were running at the same time and that no doubt hurt them. Czech Jan Koukal came in as the top seed and that is the way he left. But it wasn’t easy for him. A win in five games in round 2, a tough 3-1 victory in the semi, and a spectacular final that went 4 games earned him the title. His surprise finals opponent was a qualifying Mexican ranked 114 places lower than Koukal. Alfredo Avila just turned 19, and is a petite 5 feet 5 inches, weighing around 135 pounds, 120 of which must be his lungs since this guy can run. I mean run. And run, And run, and run… you get my drift. Avila knocked off the second seed in the first round on his way to the final. Although he couldn’t pull off the unlikely victory, he definitely made Koukal work for it. Avila gave new meaning to the words “court coverage”, and somehow reminded me of Speedy Gonzalez, the fastest mouse in all Mexico. I truly mean that in the nicest possible way.

The amateur categories ran smoothly and late into the night. Since no DAC member entered, the results wouldn’t mean too much. But it was a weekend for the youngsters. A 13 year old won the C draw, and a 14 year old won the B draw. In my case – the Open – all four of matches were against players from the Western University Squash Team. Luckily when the players are that young, they do not have the experience, and when the games got tight the unforced errors seemed to appear out of nowhere. I won the event, dropping only one game. My body now feels like it was run over by a truck. Twice.

The Extra Curricular Activities
Beer Pong. Yes, that famous ‘sport’ of Beer Pong is becoming somewhat of a tradition at this tournament. Setting up the table after the pro final on Saturday night, beer pong takes center stage. There is no need to go into details, I believe everyone has some inkling of how it works. I don’t know who won it, but the one staggered out the court with his pupils looking in two different directions didn’t.

Drinking. What!? Drinking at a squash tournament? Startlingly, yes. Libations a plenty. Funny how the consummation of such liquids makes everything hilarious.

The Bars. London has many of them. All walking distance. It was homecoming weekend as well, so the town was awash with college kids, partying hard and filling the bars. The negative side of that is that it does make getting into the bars somewhat difficult but luckily on Friday night we had a helping hand from Ted Hickey (London Squash Club member) who ‘knew people’ and could open doors for us. The walk back to the hotel at 2am was a challenge as you had to negotiate yourself though the throngs of drunken students that zigzag down the sidewalks and trip over the curbs. Felt like I was playing human Frogger.

The Drive Home
Scene: at the Sarnia Border Crossing, US customs booth…

Customs Officer: Nationality?
Me: Australian
CO: What do you do for a living?
Me: I’m a squash pro.
CO: (Eyebrows raised) Really? Didn’t know that went professional.
Me: Ummm, yeah. Been professional for a while now.
CO: What were you doing in Canada?
Me: Playing a squash tournament in London.
CO: Wasn’t it too rainy for that?
Me: Excuse me?
CO: You’d get wet.
Me: Only in the shower after the match.
CO: Isn’t squash outdoors?
Me: (Sigh). No. It’s similar to racquetball.
CO: (Tilts head, inquisitive look on his face – just like your dog when it doesn’t grasp a concept. It was obviously too difficult for the custom’s officer, or he didn’t what to feel like more of a moron as he hands me back my passport.) Have a nice day.

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