> Letters to the Editor > Charlie Baker on Nov 09 US Adults Opinion Piece

head darwish


squash zag

Dec 2, 2009.        [also read: Klipstein’s letter to his board]

In response to Ron Beck’s article on USA Adult Squash Action Plan :

Dear Editor,

Having been an active squash player for over 70 years I feel I can speak with some authority about what has transpired in the game.

The Hardball game prior to 1985 was a story of success. Participation grew at about 5% every year and after college most players continued to be very active in the game. League play in Phila. ,Boston, NYC, and many other locations prospered and grew fed by an active adult community.

The Hardball game that prospered and grew over more than 70 years was unique. The main thrust was offense, shot making. Defensive play was secondary. It required excellent reflexes and racquet skills but not super human conditioning. This made it ideal for the after college adult who had a job, could not spend a lot of time training, and had lost a step or two.

The softball game is for young players. Its most important aspect is physicakl conditioning which can be obtained mostly by those younger than 20.After college only exceptional athletes can play at a competitive level. Your idea of rejuvenating league play for adults is mostly impractical. What mitigates against this is not attitude. It’s the game.

You talked about the Ron Beck list of things to work on.

  1. US Adult squash rankings.You are right on.
  2. A real tournament series. You forget that the pro league of several decades ago was Hardball, a wonderful exciting game to watch. As a spectator sport Softball is boring.You can’t recreate excitement with a boring game.
  3. Rebuilding city leagues. Forget it. You have the wrong game for enthusiastic adult participation. What do we do? Bring back Hardball played on the International court. The fuschia ball tends to skid or squirt on the wide court but the Astral ball or doubles ball can play fairly well.

I don’t think there is any future for widespread adult play with the Softball on the international court. I think the future of the adult game is to play Hardball on the international court.

                                                                                              Charlie Baker