There is some confusion among the public about what this new sport Squash 57 is. Many people think the name sounds quite odd.
Squash 57 is just a rebranding of the sports racquetball, having the same rules and playing style. So then, why was there a need to change the name?
If you are wondering why it is called Squash 57, it was done to appeal to a larger audience and bring more attention to this sport. The 57 refers to the number of strikes on the ball before it can be bounced on the ground.
While the name change may sound odd, the reasons behind this decision seem convincing enough. We will look at a brief history of racquetball, or shall we say Squash 57, and the reasons behind it along with the reaction from the international community.
As avid fans of racquetball, I, along with my fellow racquetball players are curious to see how the name change will affect the sport. As long as the sport gets more recognition, it shouldn’t matter. I have gone over different articles on the reasons behind this name change.
What Is Squash 57?
The sport Squash 57 is nothing more than the new name of Racquetball. Racquetball is a sport played with a racquet and a rubber ball with a hollowed inside. It can be played on an indoor or outdoor court.
Where Did Racquetball Originate?
Racquetball is a relatively new sport, having been invented in the early 1900s. It is believed to have originated in the United States, although the exact location and date of its inception are unknown.
The game of Racquetball is thought to have been inspired by other racquet sports such as tennis and squash. It is also similar to handball, another sport that was popular at the time of Racquetball's invention.
History of Racquetball
Racquetball was invented in 1950 by Joseph Sobek. He was a professional tennis and handball player and was looking for a game that could be played indoors during the winter months. Sobek combined elements of squash, tennis, and handball to create the game of racquetball.
The first recorded game of racquetball took place in 1909 at the Pelham Country Club in New York, USA. However, it is unclear whether this was the first-ever game of Racquetball or simply the first recorded game.
The first indoor racquetball court was built in 1909 at the Yale Club in New York City, and the first national racquetball tournament was held there in 1926. The game quickly spread across the United States, and by 1952, there were an estimated 1 million players.
Racquetball became an official sport of the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) in 1969 and was added to the lineup of the Pan American Games in 1975. The first world championships were held in 1981.
In 2016, the sport's governing body, the World Squash Federation (WSF), in collaboration with England Squash, announced that the game would henceforth be known as Squash 57. The name change was made in an effort to make the sport more accessible and attractive to a wider audience.
Popularity of Racquetball
Racquetball is a popular sport in many countries around the world. It is especially popular in North America, where it is played by millions of people.
The game has seen a decline in popularity in recent years, but the name change to Squash 57 could help to increase its popularity once again.
There are many reasons why people enjoy playing racquetball. The fast-paced nature of the game makes it exciting to play, and the rules make it easy to learn.
Many people also enjoy the social aspect of the sport. Racquetball is often played in clubs and leagues, which gives people a chance to meet new friends and compete against others of similar skill levels.
In 2019, the International Olympic Committee announced that racquetball would be added to the lineup for the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. As a result of this, the name change to Squash 57 was seen as a way to increase the visibility of the sport and attract new players.
How Many Countries Play Racquetball?
Racquetball is played in over 70 countries around the world. The sport has a large following in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia.
The 2028 Summer Olympics will be the first time that Racquetball is included as an official Olympic sport. However, the sport has been included as a demonstration sport at previous Olympic Games.
Governing Bodies of Racquetball
Racquetball is governed by the International Racquetball Federation (IRF). The IRF was created in 1969, and its headquarters are located in Colorado, USA.
The World Squash Federation (WSF) is the governing body of squash. The WSF was founded in 1904, and its headquarters are based in England.
The United States Racquetball Association (USRA) is the national governing body of Racquetball in the United States. The USRA was founded in 1969, and its headquarters are based in Colorado, USA.
Reasons Behind the Name Change
The sport of Racquetball was officially renamed to Squash 57 in 2016. The name change came about as part of an effort to grow the sport globally and appeal to a wider audience.
In an article written by Courtney Danforth, Vice President of Communications for USA Racquetball (USAR), it is stated that "Racquetball has seen declining participation numbers over the past several years while squash has been growing in popularity."
The decision to rename the sport was made by the USRA Board of Directors after a year-long process that included feedback from players, coaches, and administrators from around the world.
The new name and brand identity were created to try to appeal to a younger demographic and get them interested in the sport.
There are several reasons why Racquetball was renamed to Squash 57.
With the word "squash" in the title, the sport will now be included in searches for the popular game of squash. The word "racquetball" is not as commonly used as it once was, so the name change will help the sport appear more relevant.
The goal is to grow the sport by making it more accessible and appealing to a wider audience.
The number "57" refers to the maximum number of strokes a player can hit the ball before it must bounce on the ground. This rule was put in place to make the game more fast-paced and exciting.
For clubs and federations, it will eliminate their need to keep adding the phrase "and squash" in their titles.
It will help to promote Squash and Squash 57 together. Regardless of the scope of events, whether they are local or international, this will help keep Squash and Squash 57 as one sport in the public's mind.
Reaction from the Community
Positive Reaction for the Name Change
While there has been some mixed reaction to the name change, there have also been many people who have voiced their support for it.
Some people believe that the new name is more reflective of the sport itself. They feel that "Squash 57" is a better description of what the sport is and how it is played.
Others believe that the name change is a necessary step to help grow the sport and make it more popular. They feel that the word "racquetball" is not as commonly used as it once was, and the name change will help the sport to grow naturally.
There are also those who believe that the name change will help to promote Squash and Squash 57 together. Regardless of the scope of events, whether they are local or international, this will help keep Squash and Squash 57 as one sport in the public's mind.
Negative Reaction for the Name Change
While there is some positive reaction to the name change, there is also a negative reaction from people who are worried about the potential consequences.
Some people have voiced their concern that the name change will cause confusion and make it difficult for people to find information about the sport online. Others believe that the name change is unnecessary and could even hurt the sport of racquetball.
They feel that the sport does not need to be renamed in order to grow and that the name change could actually cause more harm than good.
Some people have voiced their concern that the name change will cause confusion and make it difficult for people to find information about the sport online. They worry that the sport will lose its history and identity.
Possible Issues from this Rebranding
There are a few possible issues that could arise from the rebranding of Racquetball to Squash 57.
The first issue is that there could be confusion among the public about what Squash 57 is. The name change may cause people to believe that it is a completely different sport when in reality, it is just Racquetball with a new name.
Another issue is that some of the history and tradition of Racquetball could be lost in the transition. The name change may cause some people to forget about the origins of the sport and how it came to be.
There is also a huge possibility that not everyone will embrace the new name and brand identity. Some people may continue to refer to the sport as Racquetball, which could lead to a split in the community.
Racquetball is governed by an international organization, the International Racquetball Federation (IRF). The IRF is itself making efforts to promote the game, which will make it harder to accept the new name as there might be a conflict of interest.
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