US Squash has created the Universal Squash Rating (USR) Junior Circuit—a category of accredited junior tournaments based on player ratings to establish a broadly accessible competitive environment for all youth squash players. USR Circuit tournaments will be hosted in cities nationwide and will represent a new pathway for players to easily engage in fun, developmental play. The USR Junior Circuit sits alongside, not in replacement of, the current structure of junior points-based rankings and tournaments.
The USR, formerly known as a player rating, is a number assigned to each player as a measure of their relative level of play. As before, every match informs the USR algorithm, whether it’s a friendly club match, league play, or a USR Circuit tournament.
USR Junior Circuit tournaments will group players into divisions based on skill level to create meaningful and competitive play for all players regardless of their age, gender or playing ability.
The USR circuit is expected to grow overall junior participation and create new opportunities for play by:
- Lowering barriers for player participation
- Creating a fun and supportive competitive experience
- Empowering local communities to run competitions in formats that meet their needs
Lowering Barriers for Player Participation
Confirmed Entry: In USR Junior Circuit tournaments, registrations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis until the entry number limit is reached. All players will enter the same player pool, and then will be split into divisions of similarly rated players after all entries are received. This allows players to know immediately upon registration that they will be able to compete in the tournament, unlike points-based ranking tournaments in which players must wait to see if their ranking qualifies them to make the cut list.
Group/Program Friendly: Larger groups of players from the same school or program can enter a tournament together, knowing ahead of time that they will be able to attend the tournament if there is enough entry space.
Reduced Time and Travel and Cost: Tournaments will also attract players from the immediate city or region, shortening the amount of travel required to compete. Many USR Junior Circuit events will also be held over shorter time periods—some in a single day or even part of a day—reducing time and resource impact on families.
Competitive Match Play: Even if there aren’t enough players in an area from a specific age division, USR-based divisions will group players of like ability together and provide a tournament experience where one might not normally be possible.
Creating a Fun, Supportive Tournament Experience
USR Junior Circuit tournaments will group players into divisions by playing level—regardless of gender or age (though all players must be 18 years old or younger)—which will ensure that more matches are competitive in each tournament.
These events are also ideal for players looking to practice and improve their level of play in a less-pressured atmosphere than those with ranking points on the line.
Empowering Local Squash Communities
Local facilities and tournament directors are best positioned to understand the needs of their local squash community, and the USR Junior Circuit provides them with the flexibility and scalability to be responsive. Tournament Directors can schedule and host as many USR Junior Circuit events as they deem there is demand for in their area. These events are not regulated by strict policies that limit their structure and format.
USR events can be hosted at any size of facility—each tournament can determine the appropriate number of players and size of divisions. These events can be run on shorter timeframes, lowering the impact on facility costs and court time.