I get the question a half dozen times a week, usually after exchanging the required pleasantries, “you playing any squash?” almost immediately followed by, “any dubs?”. The answers to those questions, if you care to know, are “once a week” and “sometimes.” It’s not entirely clear to me whether I actually connect with more doubles players than the average squash CEO or doubles players are just that much more committed to squash. I do know from experience though that squash doubles players have a level of commitment to the game that goes far beyond squash, truly another level, and I get why.
Growing up in Rochester, NY we had two doubles courts in town and were proud hosts of the Lapham-Grant on several occasions. Every holiday my two brothers, my dad and I would head out on a dark, cold, lake-effect-snowy afternoon to play squash. Being the most committed to the sport, I carried my dad every time. In fairness to my brothers, one of them literally never played other than during these outings. It didn’t matter; the experience of a single match carried us and provided fodder for our family jokes and teasing for a whole year. Doubles is fun, inclusive, fast, social and truly brings people together.
Squash doubles and its passionate community are core to US Squash, and we are anxious to return to developing the sport from the club level all the way to the pros. Credit to Graham Bassett who served as the Victor Elmaleh Director of Squash Doubles and managed our partnership with the SDA and therefore the pro tour for many years. Graham is a force of nature and we were sorry to see him leave US Squash during the pandemic to further his career in technology. When good people like Graham move on, they leave a big gap, which we’re filling with several core employees including Charlotte Knaggs, who manages doubles support day-to-day, and two names we all know: many-time squash doubles national champions Preston Quick (who is officially in communications) and Narelle Krizek (officially our Director of Women & Girls Squash).
We’re grateful to the SDA, now merged with the WSDA, for their continued partnership and trust. US Squash and SDA both realize that we’re stronger together and will continue to collaborate to develop the sport across the board. Kevin Luzak has done and continues to do an incredible job chairing the SDA and providing the tour leadership and stability during these last few years especially.
National Championships and boosting participation are our current areas of focus, and supporting teaching pros in developing activity in their clubs and locally will follow on. We’re thankful to the entire doubles community for their commitment and willingness to help advance and grow the sport. We appreciate all those who volunteer to be part of supporting every level of the game. Along those lines, I encourage anyone willing to get involved to do so. We’re thankful for Josh Schwartz’s many years of service as US Squash Doubles Committee chair and are very fortunate to now have Steve Scharff serving in the leadership role as we look towards the future. That future involves more activity, on more courts, with club and league play, inter-club and inter-city matches with deep histories, nationals of course, and the women’s and men’s pro tours with the popular pro-ams as a highlight for so many. These are all parts of the fabric of doubles which makes our connection to each other and the sport that much stronger.
President & CEO, US Squash