Dear Junior Players, Parents and Coaches,
As part of our ongoing efforts to improve your family’s experience in squash, we have continued to listen and learn from you.
Parents often express support, even appreciation, for the unique aspect of junior squash in which players work together to referee their peers immediately after competing against each other. We understand this intentional feature also creates challenges, but the greatest of these is not making the correct calls. Rather, it is enduring the reaction of parents and coaches, and sometimes the players, to the calls made through the best efforts of the referees.
Just as the players need to know what is expected of them on court, coaches, parents, officials and spectators all have a role to play in creating and sustaining the culture we want in squash. In the education of players and officials, emphasis is being placed on players making every effort to clear and deliver an unobstructed path to the ball, and for the striker to take a direct line to the ball. Referees must determine when a player has not appropriately cleared—or when the striker is not making his or her best effort to play the ball—and penalize the offending player with a ‘stroke’ or ‘no let’ call.
Officiating can often feel complicated, but the expectations for players are simple:
- make play as continuous as possible
- take a direct line to play your shot
- fully clear to allow your opponent to play
For coaches, fans and family members, the expectations are equally clear: cheer positively, let the players play, and allow the referees to perform their duties without interference. US Squash will continue its efforts in rules and officiating education, work with the community to communicate clear expectations, and support sportsmanship at all accredited events both on and off the court. Enforcement of the Code of Conduct will also remain a priority for us, as will recognition for those who exemplify the ideals of sportsmanship we all strive to meet.
We encourage all parents and coaches to take the opportunity to model for your children how we should all behave in the moment—by showing respect for others, and by taking personal responsibility. If you are a parent who can’t control your own behavior while watching your child, remove yourself. If you’re a coach who struggles to refrain from coaching during play, recognize you are violating the rules, and simply don’t do it.
We all—US Squash, players, parents and coaches—have a joint responsibility to ensure fair play and a positive experience at events, and to uphold the standards of sportsmanship that makes squash unique. This can only be achieved when the squash community shares common expectations. It is important for officials, players and spectators to uphold the highest standards of conduct, and that the rules of squash are understood.
Providing an enjoyable, healthy and safe environment at competitions remains our goal. Through our communications, and our actions, we intend to make our expectations clear, and also to be clear to the entire community that violations to our Code of Conduct will not be overlooked.
I look forward to seeing many of you at tournaments throughout the season, and encourage you to share your thoughts and input with me directly.
President & CEO, US Squash