US Squash hosted a virtual forum for the junior squash community Tuesday, December 1.
The session featured updates regarding the current state of play and competition, and explained the process US Squash will undertake over the coming months in coordination with the community to plan for the resumption of national competition.
The forum was attended by nearly 100 families, and featured panelists from the US Squash staff: Kevin Klipstein, President & CEO; Kim Clearkin, Vice President of Programs and Events; and Harry Smith, Director of Junior Squash Development; the forum was moderated by Dent Wilkens, Senior Vice President of Operations.
A recording of the forum can be watched above. General topics that were covered in the forum included:
Current Status of Competition:
- Accredited competition is occurring in varied forms across the country within the US Squash return-to-competition framework. Play and competition must be in line with all federal, local and state regulations, and meet US Squash guidelines for COVID-19 risk mitigation. Competition is currently local and regional only, and flexibility is required to adjust formats, or in some cases cancel competitions, as updates occur to state and local guidelines. Families should ensure they understand travel advisories or restrictions in their state of residence before registering to compete in any competition.
- Any facility that hosts accredited competition must positive affirm that they meet US Squash standards for safety and risk mitigation. Adjusted operational protocols are also being followed, including the use of face masks. Players are reminded that ASTM approved eyewear remains a requirement for accredited play.
- For an interim period, junior rankings are based on player ratings instead of junior tournament points: read more here. The rating system provides a long-term measure of playing level and shows a trend in a player’s ability.
- Families are in different personal situations, with some players significantly more able and willing to compete during this time than others. Players should take advantage of opportunities where they exist, but are not at a disadvantage if they do not have the opportunity to compete. The current system of accredited junior competition is designed to allow for adjustment and flexibility, for both families and events.
Planning for the Reintroduction of National Competition
- US Squash is more formally beginning the planning process for the eventual transition back to national junior competition. Over the next several months, US Squash will collaborate with its committees and constituent groups from across the community to gather the feedback and information required to develop proposals for the return to national competition. These include but are not limited to teaching professionals, facilities, players and families from across the country and the Medical Advisory Committee.
- It is expected that there will be a phased approach to restarting national junior competition, allowing players the opportunity to rebuild their fitness and rankings and have ample opportunity to re-engage in competition.
2021 National Championships
- All 2021 National Championships remain postponed indefinitely including the U.S. Junior Squash Championships and the U.S. High School and Middle School Squash Championships. However, US Squash is committed to exploring the feasibility of hosting these events in 2021 and will continue to update the community as more information becomes available.