Squash pros speak in support of rules change

August 9, 2010

*Natick, MA — * The US based Pro Squash Tour last week released its Rules of Play for the 2010/2011 season. The traditional “let” will no longer be a part of the game. This change, which will take effect beginning with the Baltimore Open in September, was immediately hailed by opinion leaders as a positive step for the game. Some of their feedback is below:

John White (Former World #1 Squash Player; Head Coach at Franklin & Marshall College)

It has been years of frustration in trying to figure out the best way to clean the game of squash up. It has turned into a game where players are fishing and stroke hunting for the cheap point, creating their own interference when being out played and blocking. There are too many easy ‘lets’ given when players should be punished when looking for the cheap point or let.

I believe the ‘no let’ rule will be the best thing for squash and spectators. It will take time but the rule will clean all the ugly squash up and get it back to where players get rewarded for out playing their opponent. It will punish the blockers and players who Stroke Hunt. It will make the game a lot more enjoyable to watch and make the players think a little more of what shot they should play to get them out of trouble rather than a shot that may create the interference when clearing which will result in a stoke against them. Referees will have to be more strict in making this new rule work from day one.

It will take time to get across to all squash lovers but in the long run this is the best way forward in improving this great sport we all love.

Shahier Razik (Touring Pro, 4-time reigning Canadian National Champion)

The no let rule creates more flow in the rallies which will result in more excitement for the spectators. Once players and referees fully adapt to the system, it will prove to be a positive move for squash. There is no doubt the game will change, but to the better!

Christopher Gordon (Touring Pro, U.S. National Team Member)

By instituting no lets, the U.S. Pro Squash Tour continues to be on the cutting edge of sport entertainment by bringing a new brand of high paced, more free flowing squash that the spectating public is bound to enjoy. As a player, I am very excited to be a part of these unprecedented changes.

Wade Johnstone (Touring Pro based in Baltimore, BD)

“Regarding the no let rule, it’s the way to go. There’s too much bending of the rules with the let calls. I think it’s a purer game of squash with no lets. Players can now play squash instead of playing the referee.”

Nathan Dugan (Former Touring Pro, Head Squash Pro at Cleveland Racquet Club)

“In general I like the idea a lot of making players play and clear the ball. There are going to be situations where a no let call will be perceived as harsh. But I want to see progress toward a cleaner game.”

Tyler Hamilton (Touring Pro)

“I think the new [no] let rule is a step in the right direction. I agree that it provides the spectators overall with a more exciting experience as the players will have to try and play through everything. Although from the players perspective I am still undecided as I have never played with the new rule. I think it will take some getting used to but it definitely has the potential to create a game with much less blocking and delays.”

Bob Hanscom (US Nationally Certified Referee)

FINALLY….! I’ve been writing, lecturing and advocating this concept for over five years, i.e. that movement interference should result in either a “No Let,” or a “Stroke” decision. It goes without saying that racket interference should always result in a “Stroke” being awarded.

Paul Ansdell (US Nationally Certified Referee)

“Taking away the ‘yes let’ will make the players work harder to play the ball and get out of the way, thus making the game far more exciting and enjoyable to watch.”

“Our elimination of the traditional let is a dramatic leap forward for both players and fans,” said Pro Squash Tour Commissioner Joseph McManus. “We did retain a small provision to protect player safety and allow for equipment failure,” added McManus. “These will be exceptional occurrences though.”

More than 150 years old and played by more than 20 million people in 175 countries, squash has shown sustained growth at the junior level in the US. in recent years. The US based Pro Squash Tour was founded in 2009 and coordinates a tour with stops across the United States. The season begins in September and runs through April.