PAR DISCRIMINATES AGAINST WOMEN
The rules of our
sport, a sport played by both men and women, are under review. However
nearly all the views in support of changing the scoring system for the whole
sport come from men.
Those involved at
club level know that there are players, both women and men, who pick up
squash later in life and have limited technical ability. I imagine this
holds true for most countries. The women in particular (from local A grade
down) have said that Pro Scoring would without a doubt be the worst thing
for them. It would all be over too quickly.
These are people
with other professions who play squash for competitive enjoyment – like 95%
of the world’s squash playing community – people who look forward to their
weekly duel. For many it costs them a fee plus travel time and all in the
hope that they get a good battle. They want their money's worth. They will
feel ripped off financially and will not feel like making the effort if it
is over too quickly. Such players are the base of every club. The top
players are a very small minority.
The junior level
will also suffer. Kids will learn to give up rather than fight on and this
is not the makings of growing the sport in the future.
Is the WSF prepared
to be held accountable if clubs lose teams and also for the financial losses
to clubs? Some clubs are totally reliant on league competition at all
Is it really the
scoring system that is ‘to blame’ for the game’s recent decline? It is worth
looking back to the days when squash was the biggest participant sport in
Australia, and 3.5 million people played squash in England. There were
crowds of 3,500 at Wembley Conference Centre for the British Open. These
were the great days of squash, when every match used traditional scoring and
many were filled with drama and nail-biting comebacks.
"Pro Scoring" says
it all. Leave it with the pros. Pro Scoring demands a cool head, technical
ability and physical fitness. I know for sure that by making it compulsory
we would lose a lot of people to the game at competitive club level. This
will outweigh the small extra percentage that will start squash because the
scoring system is ‘simpler’. And if we don't get into the Olympics 2016,
what happens next? Is there a way back to the traditional game, to its
World no.2 (1994-95)
Coach to World No.1 Nicol David