I’m not talking about the US doubles version – the hardball version we play at the DAC – I’m talking about the softball doubles version. Yes, the version I bet none of you (DAC members) not only have never played, but have never even seen played. Or even seen a court. Or even know where to find one. Or know the rules. Or – most importantly – care. So why on earth does squash doubles need to be included?
Alas, this red-headed stepchild subspecies of squash exists. And if squash is successful in its bid, it will be Olympic. Since no one is familiar with it, you can click here to view a sample. If you can force yourself to sit through at least the first rally of the clip – which takes 1 minute and 26 seconds – world number 1, James Willstrop (the one in the red shirt), hits the ball only once – 59 seconds in. Otherwise the majority of the exchange is comprised of the two ladies having I-can-hit-it-harder-than-you cross-court practice. It looks like they are warming up. Clearly they are making every attempt to avoid hitting it to either of the fellas – who may as well not even be standing on the court. It is not just dull, it’s embarrassing and absurd – it’s everything squash singles isn’t.
Squash is part of the Commonwealth Games. In 2006 in Melbourne, squash doubles made headlines not because of the quality of the game, but for the sheer boredom of it. Now, this has nothing to do with the players – they are fighting for medals and understandably will do what it takes to win for their country. Even if it means staying on the court for hours. Which they did. The Men’s final was won by England over Australia three games to one. Thankfully there was not a fifth game – the four they played took 3 hours and 17 minutes. Zzzzz... Zzzzz... Zzzzz... I am a squash addict, but I much rather stab myself in the head with a pitchfork than have to watch 200 minutes of squash doubles.
The Olympic Committee will make their decision on which sport to include into to 2020 Games in September 2013.