Following the October 1 season-opening update that announced US Squash’s new Sportsmanship & Character landing page, US Squash has experienced an encouraging uptick in the number of conduct reports received compared with the same period last year.
The increase in reporting is attributed primarily to the heightened emphasis on conduct and increased awareness through digital communications, and on-site tournament posters and fliers with the ability to report violations to the US Squash Code of Conduct. In response to guidance from the Sportsmanship & Character Committee, new materials also provide examples of conduct violations and outline expectations for behavior in the areas of safety, respect and fair play. QR codes provide easy access to conduct reporting and encourage the community to also report exemplary behavior.
Essential to elevating conduct and maintaining a culture of sportsmanship is the process of holding accountable those who violate the Code of Conduct. US Squash has operated in coordination with the professional tour and college squash in order to provide and support a consistent message to the community.
As important, at national level junior events US Squash honors acts of good sportsmanship contemporaneously. Post-match a player is recognized and receives a new squash ball as a small token of appreciation for setting a positive example for others–34 players have been recognized for their good sportsmanship since this summer so far.
Conduct Violations By The Numbers
Since January a total of 64 incident reports have been filed, nearly half of them by parents of junior players. The remaining reports were filed by US Squash officials or designated tournament officials or coaches. Two were filed by players.
US Squash’s Disciplinary Subcommittee of the Judicial Committee reviews each report and collects further information if warranted. Based on the reliability and verifiability of the report and severity of the infraction, the subcommittee imposes and communicates a Disciplinary Action. This process is overseen by the Judicial Committee.
Of the 64 incidents, 45 were considered Minor Infractions, the large majority of which were committed by junior players, the balance by junior parents or a coach. Examples of infractions include influencing the referee, celebrating excessively, swearing and throwing a racquet. Two incidents were considered Major Infractions, one by a junior player, and one by a parent.
For details on Disciplinary Actions as well as examples of what constitutes Minor and Major Infractions, see the US Squash Code of Conduct here, US Squash will continue to report regularly on the violations and actions taken.