Most people are familiar with the game called squash. It is popular almost all over the world but in America, it has a slightly different name.
Americans tend to have different names for many things, especially sports (football and soccer). So, what about squash?
If you are wondering what squash is called in America, it is hardball squash. The reason why they have a different name is that there are slight variations from regular squash like using a harder ball and a relatively smaller court.
The introduction and the journey of squash in America are quite fascinating. Although squash isn’t as popular here as some other sports, recent years have seen a rise in its audience. We will look at a brief history of squash and how squash came to America, along with some famous American squash players.
As an avid fan of squash and a regular player, I have been somewhat disappointed about how squash is still yet to become a mainstream sport in America. Along with my fellow squash players, we looked at different research articles to know about the game and its popularity in America.
What Is Squash?
Squash is a sport played with a ball and a racquet. It needs a maximum of four players to be played in a court with four walls. It is played with a small, rubber ball, hollow on the inside. The players must strike the ball alternately with their racquet and attempt to get the ball hit the playable surfaces on the court walls.
Squash is considered a racket sport, meaning it is an individual sport played with rackets.
The game can be played by two players (singles squash) or four players (doubles squash). In doubles squash, each team consists of two players who occupy opposite halves of the court.
How Did Squash Originate?
The game is thought to have originated in England, most likely during the early 1800s. It is also believed that soldiers stationed in India during the British Raj developed the game. From there, it spread to other British colonies, including Canada and America.
How Did Squash Come to America?
The game of squash made its way to America in the late 1800s, where it was initially played only by the wealthy. It wasn't until the mid-20th century that squash started to become more popular and began to be played by people of all socio-economic backgrounds.
What Is Squash Called in America?
While the game is called squash in most parts of the world, in America, it is also known as hardball squash. Hardball squash is played with a smaller, harder ball on a smaller court with higher walls. This form of the game is more popular in America, while softball squash is more popular in Europe and Australia.
History of Squash in America
The first squash court in America was built in 1884 at St. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire. The game then began to spread to other Ivy League schools, such as Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. In 1909, the first U.S. national championships were held at the Racquet Club of Philadelphia.
The game continued to grow in popularity, and by the mid-20th century, there were over 1,000 squash courts in America.
Differences between Hardball and Softball Squash
There are two main types of squash: hardball and softball. Hardball squash is the more traditional form of the game and is played with a harder ball that doesn't bounce as much as a softball. Softball squash, on the other hand, is played with a softer ball that bounces more.
Famous American Squash Players
There have been many great American squash players over the years, including:
- Jonathon Power: Won the World Open in 1998 and was ranked as the world's No. 1 player from 1999 to 2003.
- Peter Nicol: Won the World Open three times (1999, 2000, 2005) and was ranked as the world's No. 1 player from 2006 to 2008.
- Willam Talbot: Won the U.S. Open six times (1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959) and was inducted into the Squash Hall of Fame in 1971.
- Susan Devoy: Won the World Open four times (1984, 1985, 1987, 1990) and was inducted into the Squash Hall of Fame in 2000.
Is Squash a Popular Sport in America?
Squash is a popular sport in America, with there being many squash courts and clubs located across the country. According to the U.S. Squash website, there are over 1.5 million people who play squash in America.
While squash may not be as popular as some other sports, such as basketball or football, it still has a large following and is enjoyed by many people.
Governing Bodies of Squash in America
The two main governing bodies of squash in America are the United States Squash Racquets Association (USSRA) and the Women's International Squash Players Association (WISPA).
The USSRA is the national governing body for squash in America and is responsible for promoting and developing the sport. The WISPA is the international governing body for women's squash and is responsible for organizing and running events, such as tournaments, around the world.
There are also a number of regional and state-level organizations that play a role in promoting and developing squash in America.
Where to Play Squash in America
There are many places to play squash in America, with there being over 8,000 squash courts located across the country.
Some of the most popular places to play squash in America include:
- The New York Athletic Club: Located in New York City, this club has been home to many great squash players over the years, including Jonathon Power and Peter Nicol.
- The Philadelphia Cricket Club: Located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, this club is one of the oldest and most prestigious squash clubs in America.
- The Boston Athletic Association: Located in Boston, Massachusetts, this club has a long history of squash and is home to many top players.
- The Chicago Athletic Association: Located in Chicago, Illinois, this club is another one of the oldest and most prestigious squash clubs in America.
The Future of Squash in America
The future of squash in America looks bright, with the sport continuing to grow in popularity. There are many initiatives and programs being developed to promote squash in America, such as the SquashSmarts program, which is an after-school program that uses squash to help inner-city kids develop important life skills. With the support of organizations like these, squash will continue to grow and thrive in America for many years to come.
About THE AUTHOR
Since initially playing at the collegiate level, I have amassed several decades of experience playing racquetball, tennis, and pickleball. I have played thousands of matches and games, and won medals and awards in multiple tourantments. I am constantly improving my game and enjoy mentoring and coaching other players in strategy and technique. I have authored dozens of articles on the sport.Read More About Michael Stevens