Return To Competition

Updated October 14 2021

In response to the current state of the coronavirus pandemic together with feedback from the community and learnings from the recent return to competition guidelines announced in August, US Squash has updated its COIVD-19 risk-mitigation guidelines and recommendations for accredited competition.

The changes are effective as of October 15, 2021. These protocols continue to be designed to support the desire for many members of the squash community to return to play and competition, while acknowledging that prioritizing the safety of the community requires ongoing adaptation to ensure all reasonable protective measures are in place to do so.

The updated protocols maintain the recommendation that masks be worn at all levels of play regardless of vaccination status, and the requirement for full vaccination for participation in all accredited tournaments (for those eligible to be vaccinated). Testing requirements have been adjusted for certain levels of tournaments as have masking requirements for spectators.

Summary of adjustments:

  1. Players are no longer required to take a rapid test on the first day of U.S. Championship and JCT-level events
  2. Players are still required to submit a negative PCR or antigen test taken with 3 days of the start of the event for all U.S. Championship, JCT, and Gold-level events
  3. While masks are still recommended for all spectators, masks will not be required for fully vaccinated individuals when allowed by local government and facility guidelines
  4. Masks remain required on and off court for all U13 and U11 players
  5. Vaccines remain required for those that can be vaccinated including players in the U15, U17 and U19 age divisions and all spectators. Religious and medical exemptions are allowed

The risk-mitigation and safety measures have been developed through consultation with the Medical Advisory Committee, Junior Squash Advisory Panel, and members of the squash community. The new guidelines will help mitigate risk and allow continued hosting of squash events subject to local rules, serving an important role in sustaining the sport for competitors, host facilities, tournament directors and teaching professionals.

Full details of the updated protocols and guidance is available at:

Accredited Tournament COVID Participaiton Protocols

 

Updated August 20, 2021

Following a recent surge in the pandemic,  shifting local government guidelines, and after extensive consultation with our Junior Squash Advisory Panel, our Medical Advisory Committee and our National Championships Committee, several additional safety measures are being put in place for accredited events effective from September 3, 2021.

We believe providing as safe an environment as reasonably possible is our responsibility and is what the community expects and wants from us. We certainly understand if some people remain hesitant to participate, or participate and travel extensively – these are unusual times, and everyone must individually and as a family balance the risks versus the benefits of the activities in which they engage.

It is our hope that these measures will help ensure squash events remain as safe as they have been, allowing them to continue, serving an important role in sustaining the sport for competitors, for the host facilities, tournament directors and teaching pros.

 

Download Adjusted Protocols

 

 

Accredited Tournament Eligibility RequirementsFrequently Asked Questions

Vaccination Requirements

  • Proof of vaccination must be provided, on or before the first day, by any player participating in a US Squash accredited tournament (except those participating in the U11 and U13 divisions of a junior tournament). All spectators at tournaments must also provide proof of vaccination. Fully vaccinated is defined as 14 days after the second shot if a two does vaccine or first shot if a one dose vaccine. For example, if the last shot was given on August 2, a player would be deemed to be fully vaccinated on August 16. The following lists tournaments included in this requirement.
    • All players in the U15, U17 and U19 divisions of any junior accredited tournament,
    • All players participating in an Adult or Skill level accredited event,
    • All players participating in a US Championship,
    • Any tournament spectators (limited to 2 per player)
  • Players and spectators must upload their vaccination record using this form
  • Exemptions on Medical or Religious grounds may be given for players only. In this case players must wear a mask on court at all times, as well as off court. They will also need to undergo rapid testing each day of the tournament.
    • To submit for a religious exemption, complete this form.
    • To submit for a medical exemption, complete this form.

COVID-19 Test Requirements - 3 days before event

  • For US Championships, JCT and Gold tournaments, which require national travel, all players in all age divisions must submit evidence of a negative COVID test taken within 3 calendar days of the first day of the tournament. For example, if a tournament started on August 13, the test must be administered on or after August 10. Please see below FAQs for details of types of test that are acceptable. Or players must be prepared to show documentation of recovery (proof of a recent positive viral test and a letter from your healthcare provider or a public health official stating that you were cleared to travel).
  • For Junior Silver and Bronze tournaments, and all Adult and Skill level tournament, where travel is restricted, evidence of a negative COVID test is strongly recommended.
  • No exemptions for testing will be given
  • If a player tests positive, they will not be accepted into the tournament. Players in this case will be refunded and no penalty will be applied.

COVID-19 Rapid Test Requirements

  • For US Championships, and JCT tournaments, all players will undergo a rapid test the day of the tournament.
  • If a player tests positive they will be allowed to take two further rapid tests. If both subsequent tests return a negative result the player will be allowed to participate in the tournament. If one more is positive the player will not be allowed to participate.
  • If a player tests positive, they will not be accepted into the tournament. Players in this case will be refunded and no penalty will be applied.
  • For Junior Gold, Silver and Bronze tournaments, and Adult and Skill Level tournaments, rapid testing of participants is recommended.

Masking

  • All players and all spectators must wear a mask at all times off court.
  • For US Championships and JCT tournaments players participating in the U15, U17 and U19 divisions and all Adult divisions will be allowed to play their match on court without a mask. Players participating in Adult or Skill level tournament will also be allowed to play without a mask. However, in this case players are still recommended to play with a mask to curb transmission of the virus whilst playing.
  • For Gold, Silver and Bronze tournaments U15, U17 and U19 players must wear a mask on court.

* where a tournament director of a Junior Gold tournament elects to carry out rapid testing, players in the U15, 17, 19 divisions will be allowed to compete on court without masks.

  • U11 and U13 players must wear a mask on court for all tournaments.
  • Players are recommended to continue to play and practice with a facemask.

Spectators

A maximum of 2 spectators per player will be allowed into the squash court area, be they parents, friends or coaches

Scheduling

  • For all tournaments the U11 and U13 divisions will be played at separate venues where possible. Where not feasible, these divisions will be played separately from U15, U17 and U19 divisions with as little mixing as possible between the two groups.

What types of COVID-19 test are acceptable to be taken within 3 calendar days of the tournament?

Players must be tested with a viral test that could be either an antigen test or a nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT). Examples of available NAATs for SARS-CoV-2 include but are not restricted to reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP), transcription-mediated amplification (TMA), nicking enzyme amplification reaction (NEAR), and helicase-dependent amplification (HDA). The test used must be authorized for use by the FDA.

Examples:

  • Diagnostic Lab Test (PCR): The RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel Test – NAAT is used to detect genetic material (mRNA) of the coronavirus and will be sent to a laboratory to determine results in a variable amount of time†.(Pixel/Quest) $119
  • Rapid Antigen Test
    • Abbott BinaxNOW™ COVID-19 Ag Card Home Test, Enabled by eMed, utilizes a digital platform to virtually guide the user through the test process from beginning to end. The test delivers results in just 15 minutes with no instrumentation, using proven lateral flow technology. Emed must be used.

NAVICA, Abbott’s complementary smartphone app, provides a Digital Health Pass with BinaxNOW test results to show where people gather such as workplaces, schools, events, and when traveling. This must be used for the result to be accepted. A photo of the result will not suffice.

  • Results reporting in 15 minutes
  • Test sensitivity of 97.1% and specificity of 98.5%
  • Third-party verification ensures authentication
  • Digital Health Results sent to mobile app with Digital Health Pass or Guide To Care Instructions
  • 24/7 Live Support – eMed certified guides & customer support agents

https://www.emed.com/products/covid-at-home-testkit-six-pack?hsLang=en)

  • Ellume COVID-19 Home Test – The test includes a nasal swab with protect child adapter, a dropper, processing fluid, and a Bluetooth®connected analyzer for use with an app on your phone. ($45)

https://www.ellumehealth.com/products/consumer-products/covid-home-test/

What information must be included on the test result?

A test result must be in the form of written documentation (paper or electronic copy). The documentation must include:

  1. Type of test (indicating it is a NAAT or antigen test)
  2. Entity issuing the result (e.g. laboratory, healthcare entity, or telehealth service)
  3. Specimen collection date. A negative test result must show the specimen was collected within the 3 days before the first day of the tournament. A positive test result for documentation of recovery from COVID-19 must show the specimen was collected within the 3 months before the first day of the tournament.
  4. Information that identifies the person (full name plus date of birth)
  5. Test Result

What if I have had a COVID-19 vaccine or have tested positive for antibodies? Do I still need a negative COVID-19 test or documentation of recovery from COVID-19?

Yes, at this time all players, regardless of vaccination or antibody status, are required to provide a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery.

What is the justification for letting people who recently recovered from COVID-19 participate without a negative test? What about reinfections??

People who have recovered from COVID-19 can continue to test positive for up to 3 months after their infection. CDC does not recommended retesting within 3 months after a person with COVID-19 first developed symptoms (or the date of their first positive viral diagnostic test if their infection was asymptomatic). Even if they have recovered from COVID-19, people who develop symptoms of COVID-19 should not participate and should seek care for testing and evaluation. This guidance may be updated as additional information about people who have recovered from COVID-19 becomes available.

Can US Squash help me get a refund for travel expenses if I have to cancel or delay travel because of testing requirements?

US Squash does not reimburse and is unable to help travelers get reimbursements for travel expenses as a result of canceled or delayed travel because of COVID-19 or testing requirements.

Will US Squash reimburse me for the cost of a COVID-19 test?

US Squash is not able to reimburse travelers for COVID-19 testing fees. You may wish to contact your insurance provider or the location that provided your test about payment options.

Updated June 14 2021

 

Operational protocolsDivision Size Limits for JCT-level Tournaments

Over the past year and as we transition back to accredited competition, US Squash has regularly reviewed tournament safety and operational protocols. Our policies are based on the most current health guidance available as well as the recommendations of the US Squash Medical Advisory Committee.  The safety of all individuals at accredited competition remains our top priority.

The CDC recently published new guidance with respect to the wearing of facemasks for vaccinated individuals, and many state and local authorities are adjusting mask mandates accordingly. Vaccines are also now widely available to all people aged 12 and over. Therefore, US Squash is adjusting operational protocols for accredited play, taking effect June 15, 2021, as follows:

Facemasks

  • Any player participating in the U15, U17 or U19 division of a tournament, and who can provide proof of being fully vaccinated, will be allowed to play matches without a facemask. This rule is subject to the host facility’s own guidelines, and local and state laws, also allowing vaccinated individuals to participate in indoor sports activities without a facemask.
    • To be considered fully vaccinated, players must be at least 14 days past the date of their second shot, or 14 days past their first shot in the case of single-dose vaccinations.
  • Any player who does not provide proof of vaccination, or who has not been vaccinated for any reason, is still required to wear a facemask on court.
  • All U11 and U13 players must wear a facemask on court, regardless of vaccination status.
  • All spectators, including players who are refereeing, must abide by facility, local or state laws with respect to the wearing of facemasks. This information will be published on tournament information pages.
  • Players must provide proof of vaccination to US Squash by completing this form: Vaccination Status Submission Form at least 24 hours before the start of the tournament. Players only need to submit this once and not for subsequent tournaments.
  • Players must agree to US Squash distributing their vaccination status to accredited tournament directors. The full vaccination details will remain confidential; tournament directors will only receive a Yes/No indication of whether the tournament participant has completed their course of vaccination.

Spectators

  • Capacity limits for indoor spaces vary based on host facility rules and state and local regulations. Therefore, the spectator policy for each tournament will be listed on the individual tournament information pages.

On review of the number and caliber of registrations for the East and West Coast Junior Open tournaments scheduled this summer, division size limits will be adjusted to the following. These updated numbers are now reflected on the tournament information pages. Players are encouraged to review their entry status based on this change.

Division Division Size Limit
BU11 24
BU13 32
BU15 48
BU17 48
BU19 32
GU11 24
GU13 32
GU15 48
GU17 48
GU19 32

Please visit the US Squash website junior guidelines page for all of the most recent information on tournament protocols and the return to competition and rankings. Contact us with questions at tournaments@ussquash.org.

Updated March 4, 2021

Current Phase: 2

The return-to-competition pathway is currently in Phase 2, which includes local and regional competition and junior rankings determined by player ratings. The transition process to reach Phase 3 – national competition with resumption of junior points-based rankings – will occur in three stages beginning in April 2021. The details of this transition are outlined below.

Planned transition process to reach Phase 3 (resumption of points-based rankings):

  • Stage 1: April 12, 2021 – Prepare for play
  • Stage 2: May 28, 2021 – Points-based tournaments resume
  • Stage 3: September 8, 2021 – Points-based rankings resume

Summary information of the transition process can be viewed on the tabs below. For detailed policies and procedures for junior squash, please visit:

ussquash.org/policies/junior

 

Transition StagesRankings and RatingsCompetition TypesParticipant/Spectator/Facility SafetyFrequently Asked Questions

 

Stage 1: Prepare for Play Stage 2: Points-earning Tournaments Begin Stage 3: Points-based Rankings Begin
Anticipated Start Date April 12, 2021 May 28, 2021 September 8, 2021
Rankings Ratings-based rankings only; all players with current rating are listed Ratings-based rankings only; all players with current rating are listed Points-based rankings resume
Play Types Box leagues
Ladders
Team leagues
Match play
Skill level tournaments
Age division tournaments resume; players earn points by finishing position Age division tournaments continue; players earn points by finishing position
Geographic Limitations Local/State/Regional based on what is allowed by government guidelines Local/State/Regional continues. National competition resumes if allowed under government guidelines Local/State/Regional continues. National competition resumes if allowed under government guidelines
Tournament Qualification First-come first-served registration Ratings-based cut lists Ranking points-based cut lists
Tournament Size Details to be provided based on government restrictions, facility restrictions and US Squash guidelines Details to be provided based on government restrictions, facility restrictions and US Squash guidelines Details to be provided based on government restrictions, facility restrictions and US Squash guidelines
Seeding Method Ratings Ratings Tournament Points
Division Qualification Co-ed, cross age divisions Standard age divisions (U11, U13, U15, U17, U19) Standard age divisions (U11, U13, U15, U17, U19)
Play Outcomes Ratings exchange All play: ratings exchange
Points tournament play: ranking points
All play: ratings exchange
Points tournament play: ranking points
Event Operations Protocols US Squash and facility risk-mitigation protocols: see “Participant/Spectator/Facility Safety” section. US Squash and facility risk-mitigation protocols: see “Participant/Spectator/Facility Safety” section. US Squash and facility risk-mitigation protocols: see “Participant/Spectator/Facility Safety” section.

Junior player rankings were unfrozen October 7, 2020, and since that time have been based on player ratings instead of tournament ranking points. During this time when national competition is not possible, ratings provide the fairest method to measure progress and improvement while allowing each player to engage in accredited competition to the extent that is most appropriate for their personal situation. Ratings also seamlessly integrate competition between players of different genders and ages, and between juniors and adults.

Junior tournament points-based rankings are scheduled to resume fully on September 8, 2021. The transition to points-based rankings will occur in 3 stages:

      • Stage 1: April 12, 2021 – Prepare for play
      • Stage 2: May 28, 2021 – Points-based tournaments resume
      • Stage 3: September 8, 2021 – Points-based rankings resume

 

Ranking Considerations by Stage

Stage 1 (Beginning April 12, 2021):

      • Ratings-based rankings continue
      • Tournament seeding based on player ratings
      • Players record matches through tournaments, leagues, ladders and accredited match play in order to count matches towards their Ratings Confidence Index (RCI). Friendly club matches will not count.

 


 

Stage 2 (Beginning May 28, 2021):

      • Ratings-based rankings continue
      • Tournament seeding based on player ratings
      • Players begin earning tournament points which are “banked” for the resumption of points-based rankings in Stage 3.
      • Ratings Confidence Index (RCI): Players will be assigned a RCI of low, medium or highThe Rating Confidence Index (RCI) is an indicator of the accuracy of a player’s rating. If a player has played many recent matches their rating will be reliable and stable which means their RCI will be classified as “high”. A player with fewer recent matches will have a “medium” or “low” RCI since the rating is not based on the same amount of recent information. Matches recorded since the restart of competition on October 7, 2020 through May 26, 2021 count towards the RCI match total.The RCI level will determine the percentage of available phantom tournament points (described in more detail below) that will be assigned to a player. The RCI, combined with the phantom tournament points, is designed to provide a balanced approach to players returning to a points-based ranking system for both players that have been playing actively and those who have not been willing or able to begin competition.

 

Matches recorded October 7, 2020 through May 26, 2021

RCI level

RCI percentage for phantom tournament points
7+ High 100%
4-6 Medium 90%
0-3 Low 80%
      • Phantom Tournament Points: Players will be assigned tournament points in 4 “phantom” tournaments. Phantom tournament points provide a starting level for player rankings for when points-based rankings return in Stage 3. Assignment of phantom points will be based on a player’s current rating and resulting RCI as of May 26, 2021, and will be released at the start of Stage 2 on May 28, 2021. Phantom points will be assigned in the age division based on a player’s age as of May 28, 2021. If a player ages up to a new division after May 28, 2021 but before the phantom points tournaments have rolled off, the standard age-up policies will be applied to the points. Any time a player earns points in a tournament in Stage 2 or 3, the points for that tournament replace those of one of the phantom points tournaments. If a player has not competed in points-earning tournaments, phantom points tournaments begin to be removed once per month at the end of each month from October 2021 until January 2022.

Phantom Points Assignment Table

 

Phantom Tournament Number

Roll-off date (if not already replaced by a points-earning tournament in Stage 2 or 3)
1 November 1, 2021
2 December 6, 2021
3 January 3, 2022
4 February 7, 2022

 


 

Stage 3 (Beginning September 8, 2021):

      • Points-based rankings released, incorporating the RCI and phantom tournament considerations listed above
      • Tournament seedings based on points, not rating
      • Player rating calculations continue, though ratings are not used for player ranking or tournament seeding

 


 

The current state of return to accredited competition involves two categories of events: local/regional tournaments and local league play. National tournaments will resume in stage 2 and/or 3 of the current transition back to competition, based on governmental regulations and the best information available at the time. US Squash will work closely with facilities, districts, and tournament directors to achieve a calendar that is as equitable and full of opportunities as possible within appropriate safety considerations.

Local/Regional Tournaments:
Active

      • Registration for any given tournament is limited geographically. These limits may be imposed at the facility, local, or regional level; each tournament will indicate the allowed geographic area from which players may register.
      • Limitations align with the competition state’s travel advisories and restricted states lists and required quarantine policies.
      • After May 28, 2021, players can begin earning rankings points in tournament play, which will be banked until the restart of junior tournament points-based rankings on September 8, 2021.

 

Leagues and Ladders:
Active

      • Players may compete in accredited leagues in their area, including organized team leagues and self-scheduled box leagues and ladders.
      • Leagues may be established either intra- or inter-facility and provide the flexibility to work within varied schedules and with limited exposure to additional groups of people. Squash community members interested in league play in their area are encouraged to reach out to their local facilities and districts to advocate for the establishment of accredited leagues in coordination with US Squash.

 

Mixed Competition:
Active

      • US Squash encourages competitions that mix genders and/or different ages – including between junior and adult players – during this transitional period.
      • Mixed competition further improves the accuracy of the rating system, increases the competition within divisions and broadens the experiences of players.

 

National Tournaments:
Not active; to resume in stage 2 & 3

*More information on the transition to national tournament play is available in the “Transition Stages” and “Rankings and Ratings” tabs of this webpage.

The safety of all individuals at accredited competition remains the top priority of US Squash. All accredited competitions – whether league or tournament play – may only take place in facilities that abide by all governmental guidelines as well as US Squash policies for return-to-competition.

US Squash has released minimum risk-mitigation guidelines for which facilities must positively affirm compliance, including enhanced air filtration and surface sanitization requirements. Facilities around the country are currently collaborating with US Squash to confirm that the appropriate measures have been put in place at their facility.

US Squash is continually reviewing safety regulations and operational protocols based on the current available information. Changes will likely be prompted by future potential availability of reliable rapid testing, vaccine approval and distribution, further research on risk mitigation, changes to governmental guidelines, and overall changes in the course of the pandemic. The input of the community as a whole is welcome in this area.

Mask use on court for players, and off court for all spectators, will be required during all accredited competition. This policy is informed in part by a unanimous recommendation by the US Squash Medical Advisory and Sports Science Committee. While the wearing of masks does not fully eliminate risk, their use on court by both (or all four in doubles) competitors likely limits the potential dosage of viral particles emitted into a facility during play, and also provides a level of protection to others. Mask use during competition is required already under the guidelines produced by many states for indoor recreation; requiring mask use for US Squash accredited play creates a level field of competition to all players nationally.

  • Operational Protocols:
      • Each player will be allowed only one accompanying spectator, whether that is a parent, coach, or other guardian.
      • Players will not be allowed to enter facilities until immediately before their match times and are required to leave facilities after completion of their match or requisite officiating duties.
      • Only the winner from the previous match will referee the following match. Social distancing protocols should be observed at all times.
  • Competition Structure:
      • Many tournaments will be limited to a single day of competition.
      • The total number of competitors in a given tournament or league will be restricted based on facility size, court availability and state gathering limits – specific caps per event will be noted on tournament registration pages.

Further detail and the most current information on tournament procedures and facility guidelines will be posted on the US Squash website as it is available.


 

Player Situation Chart

Player Situation Rating Phantom Points RCI Recommended Action
I have played and recorded many recent matches (7+) since October 2020. Because of your entered match results, your rating is a reliable indicator of your level of play. You will be awarded 100% (high RCI) of your allocated phantom tournament points. High (100%) You are in a good position to resume ranking points tournament play. Continue to train and keep fit and you will be ready to compete for tournament points in Stage 2 (beginning May 28, 2021).
I want to play matches and the guidelines allow that,  but I can’t find any events or other players with whom to compete. Your rating still reflects your relative ability as of the time you last played. You still show on the ranking list and you will be seeded in the appropriate range once you are able to participate in tournaments during Stage 1 or 2.

However, the longer the gap is between recorded matches, your first matches back are more likely to have a significant effect on your rating.

Record matches if you can prior to May 26, 2021 in order to help maximize the phantom tournament points allocated to you beginning in Stage 2.

If you can record 7 or more matches through organized play between October 1, 2020 and May 26, 2021 then you will be allocated 100% (high RCI) of your possible phantom points; if you record between 4 and 6 that percentage will be 90% (medium RCI); fewer than 4 will result in 80% (low RCI).

High (100%), Medium (90%), or Low (80%) Playing matches by May 26, 2021 is recommended so that you benefit from a stable rating and receive a “high” RCI percentage. This will also take pressure off the significance of your first matches when you return.

Try to find opponents within +/- 0.5 rating of yours. The age and gender don’t matter.

Talk to the teaching professional at your facility, or other local facilities, to see if they can help organize some programming. Review the tournament schedule on the US Squash website to see if events are coming up in which you are eligible to participate. Events are being added regularly.

I can’t play matches currently due to my facility being closed or it being otherwise not allowed, but I will when I am able. Your rating still reflects your relative ability as of the time you last played. You still show on the ranking list and you will be seeded in the appropriate range once you are able to participate in tournaments during Stage 1 or 2.

However, the longer the gap is between recorded matches, your first matches back are more likely to have a significant effect on your rating.

If you can record 7 or more matches through organized play between October 1, 2020 and May 26, 2021 then you will be allocated 100% (high RCI) of your possible phantom points; if you record between 4 and 6 that percentage will be 90% (medium RCI); fewer than 4 will result in 80% (low RCI).

If you remain unable to play, you should not worry, however. The transition to competition structure is designed to be balanced; even if you have a “low” RCI score, you will still receive a reasonable amount of phantom points and your ranking will return to an appropriate level once you are able to begin competing in tournaments again.

As a reminder, if you do participate in tournaments in Stage 2 (starting May 28th, 2021 and before September 10th, 2021), player seeding is based on rating. However, your rating could adjust significantly depending on those first results, which could impact  your seeding in future Stage 2 events.

High (100%), Medium (90%), or Low (80%) Playing matches by May 26, 2021 is recommended so that you benefit from a stable rating and receive a “high” RCI percentage. This will also take pressure off the significance of your first matches when you return.

Try to find opponents within +/- 0.5 rating of yours. The age and gender don’t matter.

Talk to the teaching professional at your facility, or other local facilities, to see if they can help organize some programming. Review the tournament schedule on the US Squash website to see if events are coming up in which you are eligible to participate. Events are being added regularly.

I have the opportunity to play, but I am choosing not to because of personal concerns about returning to court, or because I’m worried about my rating adjusting. While your rating still reflects your relative ability as of the time you last played, and will adjust along with other players who are actively competing, the longer the gap is between matches recorded, your first matches back are more likely to have a significant effect on your rating.

Depending on your results upon returning to competition, your rating may adjust more significantly, up or down, compared to if you have many recent matches recorded.

If you record fewer than 4 results by May 26, 2021, you will be allocated phantom points at 80% (low RCI) of what is potentially available to you.

However,  the transition to competition structure is designed to be balanced; even if you have a “low” RCI score, you will still receive a reasonable amount of phantom points and your ranking will return to an appropriate level once you are able to begin competing in tournaments again.

As a reminder, if you do participate in tournaments in Stage 2 (starting May 28th, 2021 and before September 10th, 2021), player seeding is based on rating. However, your rating could adjust significantly depending on those first results, which could impact  your seeding in future Stage 2 events.

Low (80%) Playing matches by May 26, 2021 is recommended so that you benefit from a stable rating and receive a “high” RCI percentage. This will also take pressure off the significance of your first match when you return.

Try to find opponents within +/- 0.5 rating of yours. The age and gender don’t matter.

Talk to the teaching professional at your facility, or other local facilities, to see if they can help organize some programming. Review the tournament schedule on the US Squash website to see if events are coming up in which you are eligible to participate. Events are being added regularly.

I can play matches now but I am choosing not to because of COVID considerations. I may not be able or comfortable to start to compete until the fall. While your rating still reflects your relative ability as of the time you last played, and will adjust along with other players who are actively competing, the longer the gap is between matches recorded, your first matches back are more likely to have a significant effect on your rating.

Depending on your results upon returning to competition, your rating may adjust more significantly, up or down, compared to if you have many recent matches recorded.

If you remain unable to play, you should not worry, however. The transition to competition structure is designed to be balanced; even if you have a “low” RCI score, you will still receive a reasonable amount of phantom points and your ranking will return to an appropriate level once you are comfortable competing in tournaments again. Low (80%) Take your time and make sure you feel comfortable and ready before resuming tournament play. Make sure to train and practice to prevent injury first, then start competition.

All accredited competition will adhere to government regulations and US Squash guidelines for safety protocols and risk mitigation as described above. Furthermore, US Squash recognizes that each area of the country and specific facilities have varied rules and protocols, and families have different risk factors and willingness to engage in competition. For these reasons, the competitive opportunities and structure are designed to provide flexibility for different levels of engagement and participation.

During the return to any form of competition, it is incumbent on the entire community – players, facilities, administrators, coaches, and families – to work cooperatively to ensure the best and safest possible experience. While it’s been said many times before, the pandemic has created unprecedented challenges that we must face through creative solutions, patience, and understanding. There almost certainly will be changes of course along the path before prior models of competition are possible again, and some of those models may be forever altered.

US Squash remains deeply grateful to the all members of the squash community for their commitment to the sport, and for their input throughout the process of planning for a return to play and competition. Stay informed with the most recent updates and information on the COVID-19 and return-to-play section of the US Squash website here.