Women's Team '03 Criteria Announced
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The U. S. Women's National Team Committee has published the criteria for membership on the team that will represent America in the 2003 Pan American Games in Santo Domingo, which are scheduled for August1-17. This will be only the second time that squash is included in this prestigious quadrennial hemisphere championship, which was hosted by Winnipegin 1999, though an annual squash-only Pan American Federation Cup event is held on each of the interceding years, and the women will be looking to improve on their second-place finishes to Canada both in that 1999 event and in Quito, Ecuador in the Pan Am Fed this past August.
That team, which is currently preparing to participate
in the World Team Championships in Denmark later this week, consisted
of three-time and current
As is the case with both the 2002 Pan Am Fed Cup in Ecuador this past August and World Team Championships currently taking place in Denmark, the roster for the 2003 Pan American Games women's squad will consist of four players, three starters and an alternate. Invitations to compete in the Team Trials will be issued to the top eight players based on rankings, and the final team selection will be weighted 40% on these end-of-season rankings, another 40% on performance in the early-June Team Trials themselves and 20% on the results of the U. S. Nationals.
She wound up playing Ivy Pochoda on the last day of the Trials in an all-or-nothing battle for the last available position, which she secured with a 10-9 fifth-game victory, and played mostly at No. 3 during the subsequent Fed Cup in Ecuador.
On the men's side, Tim Wyant had an excellent season highlighted by his advance to the final of the Trinity Open, but a mid-spring groin injury proved so balky that he couldn't participate in the mid-June Trials, though he wound up playing a challenge match a little more than a month later with Richard Chin, the fourth-place finisher in the Trials, who survived that extra-tournament meeting and joined Damian Walker, Preston Quick and Dave McNeely on the American squad that placed fifth overall.
Despite the ultimately amicable resolution of the men's
team composition in the wake of Wyant's injury, the men's committee has
decided that the increasingly litigious nature of today's society and
the number of controversies that have attended such exemptions in the
past make it inadvisable to leave any "wiggle room." The Committee
has therefore decreed that their best course of action is to establish
some hard and fast rules and live wit wherever the chips wind up falling.
Conversely, despite the bitterness surrounding the Beaver situation last
summer, the women's committee has resolved that a strict application of
a no-exemptions policy could well have the potential effect of depriving
the roster of one of its
In this one area, the two Committees
are simply adopting differing philosophical approaches to a thorny issue
that somehow tends to make an appearance almost every years. But at least
both Committees are confident that the criteria they have arrived at separately
will result in a fair playing field that hopefully will lead to the best
possible rosters to represent America in next year's international team
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