Impossible ???

Charles de Sainte Marie
When I was a kid (Wow, I sound like my dad) pro squash matches were out-of-this-world. Long, epic comebacks were a regular occurrence.

Mini exhibitions would break out in the middle of tight matches because players felt they had time to make up for it if they lost the point. Gentlemanly play was also more present. Can you see where this is going?

The new scoring system is a scary thing indeed. As a hands-on spectator of the Super Series Finals, I noticed that matches were shorter than usual. I also noticed that the underdog was usually beaten in the early stages of the match, without the real chance of getting the pendulum to swing back his way.

In the good ol’ days, a player with less talent but heaps of endurance could use time as a weapon. His legs could perhaps get him back into the match in the third game, to finally find his second wind, and make a show of it. This is now lost completely. Getting your first wind is now a difficult thing, the weaker player getting into a defensive stance right from the start.

I understand that “the show factor” was probably responsible for this change, thinking (wrongly) that players would be more aggressive, would shoot more.

Well, I can count on one hand the amount of cross-court nicks that were hit during this event. Don’t get me wrong, it was great squash, but someone seeing it for the first time (when our great game hits TV screens for good) might think, “Yeah, they hit the little ball along the wall all day long. Is there any mud-wrestling on?”.

In Canada, people want to see shots. Crazy Canucks are certainly different, but I think everyone appreciates spectacular shots. We will see less and less of these shots without the hand-outs, even fewer with international scoring to 9 or 11. Who is going to turn the match into a shootout when every tin means one step closer to 11 points for the other guy?

A bad call from the referee is also harder to take when the end of the game is in sight (as early as 6-6!).

Players tend to argue more (if that’s possible!) now that more importance is placed on each point; there is almost a sense of urgency in their voices…

Shorter matches, and I don’t mean time-wise, can bring boredom or excitement, depending on how the two players are geared. From what I’ve seen, that is a gamble that seems a tad too risky, especially where my favourite sport is concerned.

I’m a student of the old school for many things, squash being one of them. 


"My Two Cents
that Don't Always Make Sense"

Charles de Sainte Marie

Tim Garner's View

Also from Charles:

Safety-first at the Super Series?

Also on scoring:

Not Far Enough ???
It is always interesting how people perceive
the same thing so differently, says Tim Garner