Monday, August 22, 2011


Sometimes, we change to keep things fresh, sometimes we change just because we can, and sometimes change is thrust upon us because of impending doom. The latter just happened to be the case with the MSRA (Michigan Squash Racquets Association).

Even though financially the MSRA was pretty healthy, it was a dying entity, barely surviving from year to year, membership was steady but low, and the board was about as opinionated and divided as the Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill. The most prevalent, most turbulent issue being the realignment with US Squash. (See article: That problem is now resolved as we are once again back in the US Squash family, but it didn’t happen easily nor without casualties. The board went through an overhaul of sorts and when that happened, things started to finally move along with everybody pushing in the same direction with the same agenda.

I have been attending as many MSRA meetings as possible, and have in fact joined the board. I have to admit, it has been refreshing. Things are actually getting done, motivation to improve and grow is the driving factor. Name change for one – they are now called “Michigan Squash” and have a new logo - as you can see above. The website is also completely new. It has a lot better lay-out than the old one and easier to navigate. Go to: . The most important aspect of the website will be to keep it up-to-date. Current information needs to be available all the time, and old information removed in a timely manner. Whether this will happen only time will tell, but all board members are responsible for the constant upkeep. However, now that Michigan Squash is together with US Squash again, they can utilize all of their on-line tools in regards to ratings and rankings, tournament software, etc. That should be a huge help.

In another notable improvement, the schedule for the coming up season has already been set. That sounds like a no-brainer, but in recent years the dates for all the tournaments they ran were decided only a few weeks before they started. That’s not to say it may have to be altered later on depending on the availability of the hosting clubs but at least there’s a starting point and tournaments are spread out over the season rather than jammed into a 2-3 month period. The same goes for the travel league itself. In years past, by the time the schedule for that was planned, it gave clubs only about 1 week to register teams, and often the playing schedule was sent out the same week it began! The travel league is another major component of the Michigan Squash agenda, and I will be posting a separate article about that soon. Be prepared for a significant transformation.

All that aside, the most crucial piece of the puzzle lies with YOU – the squash player. Michigan Squash can work as hard as possible, but without membership it will be a lost cause. They rely on people joining and supporting. The way to do it is through the US Squash website. Joining US Squash includes the Michigan Squash membership. Go to: . Some of you may already have an account with US Squash (not membership) if you are (or have been recently) on the box ladders. For a small annual fee your contribution goes a long way for squash in our community.

The street goes both ways. Now that Michigan Squash are doing their part to grow the sport, it’s up to you to do yours.

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