The Howe Cup

The Howe Cup is the United States’ largest squash event for women and an annual team championship tournament run by US Squash. The annual women’s five-person team tournament began in 1928 as an inter-city competition between New York, Philadelphia and Boston. It received the Howe Cup title in 1955 when Virginia Griggs of New York City donated a permanent trophy, the Howe Cup, named in honor of Margaret Howe and her twin daughters Peggy and Betty. Margaret A. Howe was the US Champion in 1929, ’32 and ’34. Peggy Howe White was the US Champion in 1952 and ’53. Betty Howe Constable was the US Champion in 1950, ’56-’59 and then went on to become the Women’s Squash coach at Princeton University from 1972-1991.

The B Division was started in 1958, the C Division was added in 1968 and the D division in 2008. In 1993 the Howe Cup tournament converted from hardball to softball. Since the conversion participation in the tournament has grown so much that often regions send several teams in each division. The Howe Cup has been held all over the country and in 2004 in New York City an A Doubles draw was included for the first time.

2023 Howe Cup Photos

Howe Cup Results

RULES

TOURNAMENT NAME

The competition or the national team championships in the U.S. shall be called the “U.S. Women’s Howe Cup Team Championships” (The Howe Cup Championships, or simply Howe Cup). The Howe Cup, a permanent trophy, was presented by Mrs. Virginia Griggs of New York in 1955 in honor of the leading family in women’s squash. The ‘B’ Howe Cup was given in 1959 by Mrs. Henry Flynt and Mrs. Mary W. Knapp. The ‘C’ Howe Cup was donated in 1969 by Mr. James Traviss of Toronto. The ‘D’ Division was first played in 2003 and formally accredited with a trophy in 2008.

TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR
The Howe Cup Championships shall be operated by US Squash, with oversight provided by the US Squash Women’s Committee. The event shall be managed by a local Howe Cup Committee dedicated to running an outstanding women’s squash tournament.

ELIGIBILITY
1. The competition shall be a US Squash accredited tournament open to members of the Association and invited international teams.

  1. The tournament shall be divided into Skill Level divisions (A, B, C, D)  conforming to such definitions which are established by US Squash. Additional categories such as Age Division and Doubles may be added at the discretion of the Women’s Committee and US Squash.

TEAM FORMATION
1. Teams consist of 5 players, rated within the Skill Level range associated with their division and represent a Region.

  1. The members of a Regional team must be residents of that Region, except as provided below:
  2. Any player not residing within a Region may represent the Region geographically closest to her residence.
  3. Any Region not able to field a complete team in any category may complete the team with players who do not reside within the boundaries of that Region provided, however, that at least 3 members of the team from a given Region are made up of members from that Region. The captain of any co-mingled team must be a member of the Region the team represents.
  4. The Howe Cup Committee, in cooperation with the Women’s Committee and US Squash, will make every effort to find an appropriate Howe Cup level team for every woman who wants to play, and to find players for teams that are incomplete
  5. Rating guidelines to describe the A, B, C, and D divisions are given below and will be strictly enforced. A player’s rating is her US Squash end of the previous season’s rating. If a player is either new to US Squash or does not have an end of season rating, they are encouraged to enter at least 2 results, one a win and one a loss to establish an initial rating. A player may play at or above her US Squash established rating level, but not below. Appeals for exceptions will be reviewed and approved by the Women’s Committee in consultation with US Squash. If a player is found to be playing below her skill level without approval, penalties will be determined by the Women’s Committee in consultation with US Squash.
  6. Players must be in High School (14 years old or older). No team may have more than one junior player on their roster. (U19 players).

The rating guidelines are below:

  • A division – Above 4.01
  • B division – 3.3-4.01
  • C division – 2.8 – 3.3
  • D division – below 2.8

ENTRIES
1. Entries are processed by US Squash

  1. All players MUST be current members of US Squash through the last day of the tournament.

PLAYING RULES
The event will be played according to US Squash accredited tournament guidelines including the requirement for all players to wear eye guards.

Line-up Rules –

  1. The order of the line-up is strongest player at position 1 to weakest player at position 5. The strength of the players is determined by the captain but is strongly recommended to follow player rating.
  2. The line-up submitted by the captain before the first match and online is final and may not be changed at any point during the tournament unless there is a challenge made to the tournament director of an egregious error in the strength and lineup of players. Any change in lineup is at the discretion of US Squash after consideration of the appeal.
  3. If any player is injured or otherwise unable to play in the first round match, the team may default that position and keep all other players in their standard line-up positions.
  4. Substitutions are allowed if there is an injury or medical reason, however, that match result will not count.

MANNER OF PLAY
The Women’s Committee, in collaboration with US Squash, will determine the manner of play. For example if four or fewer teams are entered in one skill level division, a round robin may be played.

DETERMINATION OF THE WINNERS
1. In the event of a round-robin, the team winning the greatest number of team matches shall be declared the winner.

  • In the event of a two-way tie, the team winning the head-to-head match between those two teams shall be declared the winner.
  • In the event that three or more teams are tied, the following criteria will be used until there are two remaining teams, at which time the head-to-head match between those two teams will be used to determine the winner:
    1. Most total team matches won
    2. Most total individual matches won
    3. Most total individual games won
    4. Fewest total individual games lost
    5. Most individual points won
  1. In the event of an elimination tournament, the winner of the final round shall be declared the Winner.

TROPHIES
1. The Howe Cup (A Division) shall be awarded at the completion of matches to the Region represented by the winning team in each category. The captains of the winning teams may retain custody of the Cup until the next competition, and will be responsible for bringing the Cup to the tournament if they housed it. The winning region shall have the year and its name engraved on the trophy at the expense of the US Squash.

  1. Individual prizes shall be awarded to the members of the winning team in each category. There shall be a minimum of five prizes per team.

REFERENCE
US Squash determines the definition of Regions, which may be changed from time to time. They are currently defined as:

REGION GUIDELINES

  • The Central States Region AR, CO, KS, LA, NE, OK, TX-D, TX-H
  • The Great Lakes Region IA, IL, IN, KY, MI, MN, MO, ND, OH-CI, OH-CO, OH-D, OH-NE, OH-NW, SD, WI, WV
  • The Mid Atlantic Region DC, DE, MD, NJ-C, NJ-N, VA
  • The New England Region CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT
  • The New York Area Region NY-A, NY-B, NY-M, NY-R
  • The Pennsylvania Area Region PA-PH, PA-PI
  • The Southeast Region AL, FL, GA, MS, NC, SC, TN
  • The Western States Region AK, AZ, CA-N, CA-S, HI, ID, MT, NV, NM, OR, UT, WA, WY

DOCUMENT HISTORY
Updated September 2023
Updated August 2018
Updated September 2009
Updated May 1983
Originally created 1978