Jonah Barrington, six times British Open Champion, Britain’s greatest
ever squash player, and regarded as one of the sport’s ‘Greats’ has, after
keeping his own counsel for some time, today come out and publicly denounced
the new PSA scoring system to 11.
When I first heard the news, I genuinely thought it was some kind of joke
and a poor one at that.
Sadly it was not and very shortly the men’s pro game will furnish the squash
world with yet another scoring system – PAR to 11. The Professional Squash
Association (PSA) Chief Executive, Gawain Briars, has said that the core
elements of the game will be retained. That of course is arrant drivel.
There have been two substantially successful scoring procedures at the
highest level of expertise – the traditional to 9 and PAR to 15. Those have
placed similarly unique demands on the technical, physical and mental
attributes of the players – only the very few have managed to match up to
the requirements at world-class level. PAR to 9, despite currently in place
for the UK National and Super Leagues, is merely convenient fodder for
evening entertainment, a diverting sop and nothing more.
The arbitrary implementation of PAR to 11 may well be supported by the
majority of professionals, although it certainly was not placed before the
It will inevitably, despite the asinine spin, be a neutering, a levelling
down to the weaker willed, to the less disciplined, and to those who seek
the eternal comfort zone in preparation and play. It will certainly not be a
provision for that most singular test of character vividly manifested by so
many great players down through the ages.
It is a bastardisation of a wonderfully competitive sport and will not
reflect the true characteristics that have made international men’s squash
so special and so compelling. It is a disgraceful concept imposed for a host
of spurious reasons. Gawain and the PSA Board should be thoroughly ashamed
The whole business simply stinks.
6-time British Open champion
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