One of the great collegiate tournaments on the national squash scene turns fifty next week. The Price-Bullington Invitational will be held on 29-31 October 2021 at the Country Club of Virginia in Richmond.
In 1970 Ted Price, Salty Hawkins and other Virginian squash players founded the A. Holt Bullington Invitational. They named it after a beloved junior squash player who had died in 1969. Held originally at the Westwood Racquet Club, the event always had a draw of sixteen: in the first years it was men-only, mostly adult amateurs. “It really depended,” Price said, “upon who could be persuaded to come to a small city in a state just below the Mason Dixon Line that had only two but two very fine hard maple squash courts.”
In 1976 the tournament used the 70+ hardball, becoming one of the earliest sanctioned tournaments to adopt what soon became the standard ball. In 2013 a women’s draw was added. Through the half century, players have been billeted and travel expenses were offered for collegiate players. In the 1980s, the tournament slowly morphed into a totally collegiate draw. (There were notable exceptions. In 1987 a senior at Haverford School, Rudy Rodriquez, topped Rob Hill, then a touring pro. In 1993 Bob Hetherington, who graduated from college in 1963, came through the qualifying tournament and managed to win one match and nearly a second in the main draw.) By the switch to softball in the 1990s, the entire draw was college players (although local players like Hetherington were given the chance to qualify in) and usually a dozen college programs sent players. The level has always been very high: Ali Farag, for example, won three straight titles in 2011-13 while at Harvard.
A few decades ago, the tournament was renamed the Price-Bullington Invitational, to honor Ted Price, the longtime tournament director who was honored with the 2015 President’s Cup for his contributions to the U.S. game. Price is still at the helm as the P-BI, after skipping a year because of the pandemic, reaches the half-century mark.
The 2021 P-BI men’s draw features Princeton’s Youssef Ibrahim, Virginia’s Aly Hussein and Drexel’s Lucas Rousselet, and the women’s draw features Harvard’s Hana Moataz, Cornell’s Sivasangari Subramaniam and Penn’s Yoshna Singh.
Follow results on the P-BI tournament page, October 29-31.