Tuesday, August 25, 2015


Cross Border Challenge – September 12 @ Windsor

For the 18th time, the Cross Border Challenge is up for grabs. Still fresh off our phenomenal win in April, it’s our turn to trek over to the ‘dark side’ of Windsor which cowers in the imposing shadows of the Detroit skyline, and show them that we haven’t lost our touch over the summer.

Of course, if we do fail miserably with this quest, we need a contingency plan. If we can’t beat them at squash, we cannot leave their shores without some sort of victory over them. We could challenge them to a baseball game, but since the Canadians defeated the US on the diamond recently at the Pan-Am Games, maybe we should suggest a more unique, weird competition…

"Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!"
How about Fireball Soccer? This is soccer with a catch – the ball is on fire. Apparently, this is practiced in Indonesia where the ball is made from a coconut that is soaked in kerosene, then lit on fire for the duration of the game. A perfect way to train yourself to have quick footwork. Oh, and they play barefoot. Obviously, why wouldn’t you?

Highly skilled "Pooh-Stickers"
Not weird enough? How about Pooh Sticks? This involves standing on a bridge, dropping a stick into the water below, then racing to the other side of the bridge to see whose stick appears first. I can’t make this stuff up. The 2015 World Pooh Stick Championships was won by a Mr. James Smith. At least his name is normal enough. His costume isn’t.

Okay, one more: Gurning Sport. I am sure, we would beat the Canadians hands down at this without even trying. Gurning is… face pulling! Competitors must wear a horse collar during their… performance, as if the act of pulling an asinine face isn’t humiliating enough. Defines the term “winning ugly”!  Yes, there is a women’s division…

So, to avoid having to demean ourselves in one of the above disciplines, we may as well win the squash:
  • This is for ALL players who want a match – ALL levels, men and women
  • Singles matches. Working with the Windsor squash pro, we will do our best to match you up with a member from the Windsor squash club for a best of 5 games match.
  • Doubles matches. We will need at least 3 teams, preferably one A, one B and one C level team.
  • Matches are in Windsor starting at around 2pm.
  • There will be a keg available. Be social. Hang out, drink, support, drink…
  • You are representing the DAC and also the USA! So, although it’s not required, it is highly encouraged that you dress in red white and blue. The more obnoxious the better. If you aren’t sure about your costume, speak to Sante or John Mann. They are experts in ostentatious fashion.
  • It’s free to play.

Registration deadline is Monday September 7. Just e-mail me if you wish to have a delightful afternoon of squash and mingling. Don’t worry, we won’t set your squash racquet ablaze, or drop it in the water... but I do expect to see some face pulling…

Tuesday, August 18, 2015


Believe it or not, in the almost 40 years I have been playing squash, I cannot ever remember playing on a brand new squash floor. And, this maybe even harder to believe (or not!), I have almost zero knowledge of construction and have absolutely no idea how a squash court floor is put together. I actually couldn’t make a square building from a bunch of Lego pieces without it falling over.  If you thought that having new floors on our courts wouldn’t make that much of a difference, you thought wrong.
The concrete slab floor

Step one was to remove the old flooring. There is an amazing amount of wood on one court and the company we hired to do it is in the business of recycling so rather than simply ripping out the boards without caring, they made sure to preserve the wood the best they could and removed the boards literally one at a time. It took them some time to reach the concrete slab and the amount of wood they removed looked like it was half the Amazon Rainforest.

Laying the planks
Anderson Courts were hired to install the new floor. Their first day on the job was spent unloading the truck. The court area looked like a wood factory as they hauled in the other half of the Amazon Rainforest and the guys were exhausted. The painstaking task of the installation started the next day. Once they the measured the concrete slab with lasers to make sure they would be laying the floor absolutely flat, planks of wood were then laid length-wise down the courts, each plank with blocks of rubber attached underneath for cushioning.

For the squash courts, on top of these planks were then laid another row of planks, but this time cross-wise. The handball / racquetball courts, however, were laid panels of ply-wood instead. The reason is that handball / racquetball courts are supposed to be a little harder than squash court floors. I do not know why, maybe it needs to be firmer for a greater bounce?
Dave nailing in each individual floorboard

Then the meticulous work of laying down the pine wood flooring pieces that we actually end up playing on. Hundreds and hundreds of them per court. Each one individually laid and nailed in, many needed to be cut to size. This part took the 2 Anderson Courts workers (Dave and Jordan) a full week to do all 6 courts, and these guys busted their humps from early morning to late afternoons – including the weekend.

Jordan on the sanding machine
But their jobs still were not complete. Each court was then sanded, and of course the red lines were painted on. Not forgetting they also re-installed the tins on the squash courts (the doubles tin is brand new!) and replaced the strips of wood that we have outside the court next to the back glass, I was rather amazed at how much work went into the process.

Painting the lines
The new floors are surprisingly rough. The old ones were as smooth as glass (not slippery) but 25 years – give or take – of playing and sanding and screening had taken its toll. It was time to upgrade. And the difference is stunning. Not only are they significantly brighter, but softer as well. We have the latest and greatest floors available, and you’ll be able to test them out in very soon!

The hope is that everything will be ready to go the day after Labor Day. It will be well worth the wait.

The finished product!

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