If you are a squash fan looking for some squash trivia, we have a list of some very interesting facts about this sport for you.
1. Squash was first played in London in the United Kingdom.
2. However, the first ever association for the sport was formed in the USA when the United States Squash rackets Association (USSRA) was formed in Pennsylvania. The name was later changed to U.S. Squash. This happened in 1904.
It was only in 1928 that UK’s Squash rackets Association got its act together and set rules for squash in Great Britain.
3. Squash was earlier called ‘squash racquets’.
It was first played in London in prison and was called rackets or racquets. When students of a school discovered a hollow ball made it tougher to play this sport because the ball squashed on hitting the wall, it added another dimension to the game.
4. International competitive squash is managed by the World Squash Federation.
5. The Titanic ship had its own squash room for its first-class passengers. Its measurement was 30X20 feet, there was a coach Frederick Wright who helped those who wanted to play and people were charged 2 shillings or $0.50 for 30 minutes of squash action.
6. Squash has had multiple variants of it played across the world. Some of the more famous ones at one or the other time include hardball (which was played with a harder ball and a change in the size of the court), doubles squash, squash tennis and racketball or racquetball.
7. This is an obviously changing figure, so by the time you are reading this it would have increased but the number of countries playing squash is currently at 188. This includes countries with at least one squash court.
England (8500), Germany, Egypt and USA are the top four countries in the list of those with most squash courts.
8. Currently, squash sees the player reaching 11 points with a difference of two points winning the game. It was not always like that. Game to 15 points, or to nine with points only won on one’s serve have also been used earlier.
9. Squash is said to be one of the healthiest sports in the world with an hour-long squash workout helping people lose around 800 calories. However, do read about the risks associated with playing squash here.
10. It is one of the few sports which uses different types of balls depending on temperature, atmospheric pressure and the level of play.
The bounce of the squash ball is dependent on its color with the squash balls at the highest level needing the most amount of force to bounce as much as the lower-grade balls.
Interestingly, at the highest level of tennis, a squash ball needs to be warmed up before it can be suitably used for play.
11. The quickest moving recorded squash ball had a speed of 281.6 km/hr. Australia’s Cameron Pilley holds this record when he served a couple of balls at that speed few years earlier.
12. Pakistan’s Jansher Khan is the most successful male player in the history of the World Squash Championships with eight titles under his belt. In the women’s singles category of the same tournament, Nicol David has also won the same number, eight, titles.
13. Jahangir Khan, another Pakistani squash player, is said to have a 555-match winning streak in his career. It has been questioned by some, but he is said to have gone more than five years without a defeat.
14. Despite Egypt’s recent brilliant run in the World Team Squash Championships, Australia’s eight wins in the men’s category and nine in the women’s category has been the most by any team.
15. Squash is a part of a sport called Racketlon, which consists of three other racket sports. All of these sports combine to be played in a manner similar to the triathlon or heptathlon.
16. Tennis players like Stefan Edberg and Roger Federer have played squash, with the latter having also attempted to promote squash in a bid to push it into the Olympics. According to some reports even Andre Agassi has attempted to play the sport.
17. While squash is a part of both, the Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games, it is yet to make it debut at the Olympics till the 2021 edition in Tokyo. Its bid to become a part of the 2024 Olympics in Paris was also rejected in favor of, hold your breath, breakdancing.
This was the fourth time squash’s bid to make it to the Olympics had been rejected. (here’s why squash is not yet an Olympic sport according to us)
18. While exhibition squash matches have gone on for much longer, the longest competitive match in the history of squash came at the Holtrand Gas City Pro-Am in 2015, when Hong Kong’s Leo Au edged out Canadian Shawn Delierre 11–6, 4–11, 11–6, 7–11, 16–14 in two hours and 50 minutes.
Interestingly, Delierre has been involved in two other really long matches which lasted at least two and a half hours apiece.
19. The longest rally in squash came in March 2017 when Mark James and Peter Buchan played 3408 shots in one that lasted an hour, 22 minutes and 40 seconds. This came at Montrose in the UK, with the purpose being to raise funds for Comic Relief.
20. Vicki Botwright, a former world number 18th player from England, created quite a stir in the squash world when she said she would like to wear “skimpy clothing”. She explained her reason to be able to do that “as some of the more conventional outfits we wear can be quite restrictive”.
While the Women’s International Squash Players’ Association first rejected the idea, it reversed its decision and said it was happy for its players to wear what they pleased if it conformed to “accepted standards of decency and cultural/religious traditions of the country in which the competition is taking place.”
21. The oldest professional squash tournament is the Tournament of Champions which began in 1930 with the men’s singles tournament. The women’s tournament was first played in 2001.
This tournament is held every year at the Grand Central Station in New York City, USA.
22. Some of the other celebrities who play and love squash include the likes of Kevin Keegan, Ellery Hanley, Sachin Tendulkar, Tommy Steele, Ming Tsai, Leonard Rossiter, David Brent, Don McLean, Sean Connery and Michael Douglas among others.