As Labor Day marks the transition into fall, squash facilities around the U.S. continue to reopen to limited types of play. Concurrently, US Squash is working with representatives from across the community to plan for a gradual return to competition over the coming months in a phased approach.
The US Squash COVID-19 resources pageaggregates the most current information and guidelines. These resources include the latest news, a squash opening status by state interactive map, community FAQ’s, resources for players, clubs & coaches, and guidelines for resumption of play.
The reopening status for squash varies significantly from state to state as well as locally. All facilities are advised to follow the regulations and guidelines of local, state, and federal health authorities before considering their specific situation and what is most appropriate for their players and staff, and then the application of US Squash guidelines for a safe return to play.
Junior Return-to-Competition Planning
Over the past several months, US Squash has followed a process of aggregating feedback from the squash community to form plans for a safe, fair, and gradual return to junior accredited competition. Six open focus-group virtual sessions drawing hundreds of parents were held with the broader community in July and August. Committees including the Junior Squash Advisory Panel (JSAP), the Teaching Professional Advisory Council (TPAC) and the newly formed Medical Advisory and Sport Science Committee have also provided in depth input. US Squash staff has been aggregating plans based on the feedback received and is currently reviewing proposals with the COVID-19 Working Group made up of representatives from facilities, players, community programs, teaching and medical professionals, District leaders, and US Squash staff and board members.
Overall, as communicated during the community focus group meetings, competition will begin locally and then expand to regional and national competition when it is appropriate to do so. Specific recommendations will continue to be reviewed in the coming week and communications will be sent to the junior community with details about the path forward to competition the week of September 14 with the goal of resuming some accredited competition by early October.
Recordings of several of the focus group sessions are available on the US Squash YouTube page.
US Squash is in contact with District leaders to provide information on guidelines for return-to-play and to collect information on preliminary plans for the fall and winter seasons. Should the start of district-wide team league competition be delayed, individual facilities will be able to provide competitive opportunities through friendly match play, ladders, and box leagues were appropriate – all available through Club Locker software. Club Locker is already used by over 300 facilities nationwide to facilitate play, and also offers a powerful court-reservation system that has been optimized for implementation of facility-specific booking policies during the pandemic. Facilities interested in adopting Club Locker technology should contact email@example.com more information.
US Squash and the College Squash Association (CSA) are working closely together as colleges and universities evaluate the possibilities for winter sport competition in the 2020-2021 season. The organizations have partnered to host two round table discussions featuring panels of a cross-section of varsity coaches and staff members from US Squash and the CSA. More information and links to recordings of the sessions – which covered varied aspects of the college recruiting process – are available here.
The CSA and US Squash are also collaborating to plan a series of showcase events in the fall, run in partnership with local facilities, where players of recruiting age will have the opportunity to gain exposure to college coaches and showcase their abilities while traditional junior tournaments and high school play are on hold. More information will be communicated directly to the junior community in the coming weeks.
US Squash thanks all members of the squash community for their commitment to the sport, and for their input throughout the process of planning for a return to play and competition. Stay informed with the most recent updates and information on the COVID-19 and return-to-play section of the US Squash website here.