The Global Gallery: Views on the world of squash by Martin Bronstein

Special: Full Scale Rebellion over balls in Britain

Global Gallery Special: Nov 19, 1999   ©1999 SquashTalk

[Who is Martin Bronstein?]

Read the past Global Gallery Columns:

[#Eleven, Nov 4, 1999]      [#Ten, Oct 4, 1999]      [#Nine, Sept 12, 1999]      [#Eight, Aug 3, 1999]      [#Seven, July 5, 1999]     [#Six, June 9, 1999]     [#Five, June 6, 1999 (Power/Nicol head-to-head)]     [#Four, May 5, 1999]     [#Three, May 2, 1999]     [#Two, April 2, 1999]    [# One, March 8, 1999]

November 1999, London England



[Dunlop press release issued today on the same subject]

It’s only a small ball, but it’s causing a near rebellion in British squash circles. The ball that is causing all the fuss is the new Prince ball which has been adopted by England’s SRA. They made this announcement in July on almost the same day as Dunlop introduced its brand new range of four balls – a multi-million dollar investment in R+D and production.

SRA selects different ball from rest of world

The Dunlop double yellow dot is the new competition ball endorsed by WSF, PSA and WISPA. In fact it is the ball that is used not only by the top professionals but nearly all competitive players, from national down through county and club level.

The new Prince ball is supposed to be used in all SRA events including the National League, many teams from which have top twenty players in them. But they are objecting to playing with the SRA ball because of inconsistencies.

SRA ball performing strangely

One player likened it to a lump of dough which takes forever to warm up. Worse still it loses its bounce very quickly – in the time between games – and has to be warmed up again.

Another player said it is inconsistent and produces strange, unpredictable bounces. Phil Songhurst, manager of Nottingham, England’s champion club, has accused the ball of being introduced before it is ready and says the manufacturers should do more development work on it.

All this must be music to the ears of Dunlop who must have felt betrayed when the SRA went along with Prince.

SRA not looking for this kind of PR

It is certainly the last thing the SRA needs right now as it still tangles with The Eye Group on the fine tuning of the contract for an eight-year promoter’s deal worth £1.2 million ($1.8million).

Money problems?

And if that ain’t enough, the Lottery people sent back the SRA’s application for more funds, which could well mean the SRA won’t get as much next year. Despite all the lottery money (£1.75 million) the SRA still seems to have money problems: they have recently fired Howard Harding Associates as their PR company as a cost saving device. Yet somehow they had the cash to send a whole team of managers, coaches and trainers to the World team champs. At one point the SRA had more ‘staff’ than players. Honest!


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page posted 11.19.99