Squash Mad

ALAN’S BLOG: Let’s sort out lets, and get behind Nick’s SPOTY campaign

Sporting players acknowledge the crowd and the referees

Why it’s finally time to address our refereeing system and end all debates
By ALAN THATCHER – Squash Mad REPORTER 

Leaving aside for one moment the reported discussions between Alex Gough and a PSL referee, it was revealing to learn that the PSA boss had been given a hard time by Sky TV and the new BT Sport channel because they felt top-level squash had too many stoppages caused by lets.

The issue certainly has costly ramifications for squash if that is regarded by major TV channels as a reason to justify NOT covering the sport. This is not a new issue. I have written many times before about the often-toxic relationship between professional players and referees.

Other racket sports have nets to separate the players. But not squash. Because the nature of our game requires both players to seek to dominate the same piece of floor space inside the court, our game is prone to accidental or sometimes deliberate physical contact.

We have our own unique lexicon to cover these events, with words and phrases like interference, direct access, clearing the ball and, my favourite, minimal interference.

We teach our players to minimise the risk of causing such events by hitting the ball into the four corners. We teach our players incredible footwork patterns to try to improve their movement around each other on court. But still the lets keep coming.

Because of the speed of the game, it’s not always possible to be in perfect balance as you chase the ball to the front of the court, play a drop shot and try to complete a smooth exit to allow your opponent “direct access” to the ball … especially if he or she has read your intentions and their forward movement, with an optional push in the back, has prevented you from completing your retreat.

Many professional players are often just as guilty as their club counterparts in hitting straight drives that bounce around the middle of the court.

If the ball bounces around the front of the service box, then the incoming player is likely to be impeded by his opponent as he tries to get out of the way.

In the back corners, club players often have the misguided notion that, after hitting a shot to a decent length, they must immediately get back to the T area. Wrong. Their immediate priority is to allow their opponent a direct line to the ball, and adapt your footwork accordingly.

Just watch the footwork patterns of the top pros as they move around each other in the back corners, allowing each other just enough room to get through, sometimes with the occasional brushing of shirts and shoulders.

Sometimes an elbow might be involved. Sometimes not enough room is given at all. That’s when the fireworks begin, and a talented referee needs to be aware of all these subtle episodes to keep control of the match.

I believe the video appeal is a huge advance for the game, especially when the crowd are involved. But this too has produced irritating little side-effects, with the spontaneous flow of applause at the end of a game or match often delayed while the losing player opts to use a spare video appeal just for the sake of it.

Many players feel that if referees seek to manage matches at the highest standard then they need to have playing experience close to that level to understand what happens on court.

I wrote an article some months ago when I voiced the opinion that successful promoters in other sports would not allow the situation surrounding rules and referees to deteriorate to the detriment of the sport as we see so often in squash.

A professional organisation such as the PSA really ought to be recruiting former players and training them to the necessary standards, but apparently not a single PSA member sees this is a chosen career-path (let alone offer to help solve such a damaging dilemma).

At the moment, the PSA relies on the World Squash Federation to appoint referees on their behalf. These men and women take their job seriously, work hard for their qualifications, and genuinely love what they do.

However, many players feel that if referees seek to manage matches at the highest standard then they need to have playing experience close to that level to understand what happens on court.

Therein lies the great conundrum. If professionals ignore this call of duty, then they can hardly have any grounds to complain that those who occupy the chair in major events may have come from a lowly club background.

At the moment the chosen route in the UK is from club teams to county matches, sanctioned junior tournaments, then upwards to the PSL, BSPA, WSA and PSA events.

My own county chooses to give would-be referees every encouragement to move up the ladder,but the response is minimal. Where do these referees come from? My own research shows they are probably playing in Box Four at your local club.

SQUASH MAD CAMPAIGN: GET NICK ON SPOTY

My colleague Lee Horton has launched a brilliant Squash Mad campaign to get three-time world champion Nick Matthew on to the shortlist for the BBC Sports Personality of The Year.

We would love to see the whole sport start lobbying the right people to make it happen. Former champions have been either ignored by the BBC or given scant recognition for their successes in one of the most brutally physical of all sports.

nickmancwinJames Willstrop revealed last year that he had declined an invitation to attend the show for that very reason. Peter Nicol once recalled being sat between a famous tennis player and a world-class athlete who talked across him all evening.

Nick Matthew, however, joyously attended last year’s show and stayed up half the night partying with his good friend Jess Ennis, a fellow athlete from Sheffield who finished runner-up behind cyclist Bradley Wiggins.

This year’s SPOTY show is being broadcast live from Leeds Arena. Let’s hope Nick Matthew is a big part of the show.

HALLAMSHIRE AIM TO BREAK WORLD RECORD

Nick Matthew has had the showcourt named after him at his home club, Hallamshire.
Following our story about the Hawkhurst club staging a 24-hour marathon to raise money for Unicef, Hallamshire got in touch to mention their world record marathon attempt in aid of the NSPCC.

They said: “As part of our efforts to make greater awareness of the NSPCC and to raise funds for the ChildLine Schools Service in Sheffield, Hallamshire is attempting to break the Guinness World Record for the longest game of squash singles ever held hopefully beating the current record of 31 hours, 35 minutes and 34 seconds.

“Four Hallamshire members including Thomas Murton, 26, Josh Park, 19, Adam Snow, 21 and Alex Lewis, 21 will take on the challenge and attempt to play against each other in pairs on two courts for up to 36 hours (which is the target they are aiming to reach). The climax of the WR will take place around 7pm on Wednesday November 20.”

We send them our best wishes and look forward to lots of sponsors coming forward to support this very worthwhile cause.

 

Posted on November 13, 2013

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About The Author

Alan Thatcher

Founder of World Squash Day, Squash Mad and the new Squash 200 Partnership, building clubs of the future. Founder of the Kent Open and co-promoter of the St. James's Place Canary Wharf Classic. Author and Public Speaker.

20 Comments

  1. Peter Bryttne November 11, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    We must get top refs to the stands!!
    BUT
    We must also teach all active players to understand the rules and act accordingly.

    In a match I saw recently on PSA Live the commentators “mocked” a player that stepped in and corrected an error made by one a ref. They said that the player should leave it to the ref. Not interfere.
    Well I completely disagree!!!
    Our sport is extremely hard to handle as a ref. You need help from the players. Players that do know the rules and that do see when a ball is down or not and that clearly can recognize the difference between a let and a stroke.

    We will NEVER sort this out by refs only! There is a change in behaviour required.

    I therefore urge us to develop a first class training tool when it comes to understanding the rules and required behaviours on court.
    Having worked in the competence area for many years I know that this is not a matter of putting a 10 page PDF file together but to do mainly 2 things:
    – Dig in, eg get a thorough understanding of the issue
    – Simplify, eg make the knowledge easy to grasp and apply.

    After that is done – Practice makes perfect!!

    Oh, I would love to see top-players step up as refs but I doubt that they necessarily have what it takes. A ref must not only understand the game but be a great communicator.

    • Alan Thatcher November 11, 2013 at 6:01 pm

      Peter
      Random thought: Down the years several people have suggested that, with increased levels of speed and fitness, the court dimensions should be slightly bigger for PSA tournaments.

      What do you think of the idea?

      Alan

  2. Pierre Bastien November 11, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    Right now the players have the right to stop play and ask for a let. If you want to force a reduction in the number of stoppages, I only see two ways to do it. 1) Give out a LOT more no lets, so that players stop asking for lets. 2) Make it so only the referees can stop play. Are there any other ways?

    • Alan Thatcher November 11, 2013 at 7:43 pm

      Hi Pierre
      The rules allow players to engineer spurious situations where they can make a dramatic appeal for a let instead of making a genuine attempt to play the ball.
      My own solution is to teach juniors to understand that squash is a tough, fast, aggressive sport but one which can and should be played with total commitment but always with honesty and respect.
      Any junior who picks up double bounces or asks for silly lets is subject to the ruling of the rest of the squad, who are instantly called to sit in judgement and hand out summary punishments if and when such incidents occur in training.
      I make sure that all of our juniors understand that cheating and displays of petulance will be instantly punished.
      Alan

  3. Alan Thatcher November 11, 2013 at 11:33 pm

    A friend from the USA, who wishes to remain anonymous, has emailed the following responses.

    Alan
    Great “Let’s sort out the lets” article of yours on Squash Mad! I’ve written about many of the things you speak of for a very long time. Please permit me to interleave on your article in CAPS…

    LET’S SORT OUT THE LETS

    Leaving aside for one moment the reported discussions between Alex Gough and a PSL referee, it was revealing to learn that the PSA boss had been given a hard time by Sky TV and the new BT Sport channel because they felt top-level squash had too many stoppages caused by lets. DON’T THINK SO!

    The issue certainly has costly ramifications for squash if that is regarded by major TV channels as a reason to justify NOT covering the sport. ABSOLUTELY!

    This is not a new issue. FOR SURE!

    I have written many times before about the often-toxic relationship between professional players and referees. ME TOO, HA, HA!

    Other racket sports have nets to separate the players. But not squash. Because the nature of our game requires both players to seek to dominate the same piece of floor space inside the court, our game is prone to accidental or sometimes deliberate physical contact. YUP…BUT!

    We have our own unique lexicon to cover these events, with words and phrases like interference, direct access, clearing the ball and, my favorite, minimal interference. MY FAVORITE TOO, HA, HA!

    Sometimes there’s just not enough room for two people on a squash court. OH YES! JONAH STATED A SOLUTION TO THAT A FEW YEARS AGO. HE SAID THAT BECAUSE OF THE TALENT AND ABILITY OF THE PLAYERS TODAY, THAT THE SINGLES COURTS SHOULD BE THE SAME WIDTH AS THE DOUBLE’S COURTS…25 FEET! THIS WOULD SOLVE MANY PROBLEMS, IN ADDITION TO CUTTING DOWN ON THE LENGTH OF THE GAME, LIKE REMOVING THE SECOND SERVE, GOING FROM THE HAND-IN AND OUT SYSTEM TO PAR SCORING, AND GOING FROM 15 TO 11 POINTS MADE AN ATTEMPT TO DO.

    We teach our players to minimize the risk of causing such events by hitting the ball into the four corners. We teach our players incredible footwork patterns to try to improve their movement around each other on court. MANY YEARS AGO, (AGAIN) JACK BARNABY, 40-YEAR COACH OF BOTH THE TENNIS AND SQUASH TEAMS AT HARVARD UNIVERSITY (THE WINNING-EST COACH IN COLLEGE HISTORY) SAID, AS WELL AS IN THE “RULES” OF THE OLD HARDBALL GAME: “YOU SHOULD CHOSE YOUR SHOT SO AS NOT TO CAUSE INTERFERENCE.” LOT’S TO BE SAID ABOUT THAT, LIKE JANSHER CHOOSING TO LOB RATHER THAN RISK GETTING STUCK DOWN IN THE FRONT WITH NO WAY OF “ESCAPING.”

    But still the lets keep coming. THEY SURE DO…EXCEPT WITH MICHAEL RILEY SITTING IN THAT CHAIR AT PST EVENTS, HA, HA!

    Because of the speed of the game, it’s not always possible to be in perfect balance as you chase the ball to the front of the court, play a drop shot and try to complete a smooth exit to allow your opponent “direct access” to the ball … especially if he or she has read your intentions and their forward movement, with an optional push in the back, has prevented you from completing your retreat. ONCE AGAIN, TAKE A LESSON FROM JANSHER…CHOSE YOUR SHOT SO THAT CAN’T OR SHOULDN’T HAPPEN! AND…IF YOUR OPPONENT HAS “READ” (ANTICIPATED) THE SHOT…TOUGH FOR YOU, SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES!

    Many professional players are often just as guilty as their club counterparts in hitting straight drives that bounce around the middle of the court. ONCE AGAIN, TOUGH FOR YOU, SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES!

    If the ball bounces around the front of the service box, then the incoming player is likely to be impeded by his opponent as he tries to get out of the way. ONCE AGAIN, TOUGH FOR YOU, SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES!

    In the back corners, club players often have the misguided notion that, after hitting a shot to a decent length, they must immediately get back to the T area. Wrong. Their immediate priority is to allow their opponent a direct line to the ball, and adapt your footwork accordingly. WHAT’S THE SAYING, HIT YOUR SHOT AND…DISAPPEAR! AND…”GONE FISHING!”

    Just watch the footwork patterns of the top pros as they move around each other in the back corners, allowing each other just enough room to get through, sometimes with the occasional brushing of shirts and shoulders. Sometimes an elbow might be involved. Sometimes not enough room is given at all. That’s when the fireworks begin, and a talented referee needs to be aware of all these subtle episodes to keep control of the match. HERE WE GO AGAIN! IF YOU PREVENT…OR EVEN INHIBIT YOUR OPPONENT’S ABILITY TO MOVE DIRECTLY TO AND/OR PLAY THE BALL…YOU LOSE THE RALLY! END OF STORY.

    I believe the video appeal is a huge advance for the game, especially when the crowd are involved. But this too has produced irritating little side-effects, with the spontaneous flow of applause at the end of a game or match often delayed while the losing player opts to use a spare video appeal just for the sake of it.
    I wrote an article some months ago when I voiced the opinion that successful promoters in other sports would not allow the situation surrounding rules and referees to deteriorate to the detriment of the sport as we see so often in squash. IF THE REFEREES WOULD STICK TO THE CODE OF CONDUCT RULES, BE MORE COURAGEOUS (NOT WIMPS) AND APPLY THE APPROPRIATE PENALTIES ON ANY INFRACTION, THE PLAYERS WOULD VERY QUICKLY LEARN AND BEGIN TO UNDERSTAND THE (REAL) RULES BY WHICH THEY ARE PLAYING…AND “PLAY ON!”

    A professional organization such as the PSA really ought to be recruiting former players and training them to the necessary standards, but apparently not a single PSA member sees this is a chosen career-path (let alone offer to help solve such a damaging dilemma). AH, HA! WROTE TO ROD SYMINGTON ABOUT THIS LONG, LONG AGO. HIS RESPONSE: “YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING..THEY’LL NEVER DO IT” GUESS HE WAS RIGHT!

    At the moment, the PSA relies on the World Squash Federation to appoint referees on their behalf.
    These men and women take their job seriously, work hard for their qualifications, and genuinely love what they do. OH YES…AND CERTAINLY NOT PAID ENOUGH FOR DOING SO. HOWEVER, UNDER THE CURRENT CIRCUMSTANCES, PERHAPS THERE IS NO JUST PAYMENT.

    However, many players feel that if referees seek to manage matches at the highest standard then they need to have playing experience close to that level to understand what happens on court. OH YES…JONATHON POWER STATED THIS MANY, MANY-MOONS AGO! PERHAPS HE’S (ALMOST) RIGHT!

    Therein lies the great conundrum. If professionals ignore this call of duty, then they can hardly have any grounds to complain that those who occupy the chair in major events may have come from a lowly club background. YEAH…OR FROM A BUNCH OF (RELATIVELY AND MOSTLY) OLD GUYS WITH NOTHING BETTER TO DO, HA, HA! JUST IMAGINE…A COUPLE OF PLAYING PROS ON COURT LOOKING OUT OF THAT GLASS-BACK WALL AND SEEING THE LIKES OF JONATHON POWER, PETER NICOL, JANSHER, JAHANGIR, SUSAN DEVOY, MICHELLE MARTIN, ETC. SITTING IN JUDGEMENT OF THEIR “PLAY.” ANY ARGUMENTS…I DON’T THINK SO!

    At the moment the chosen route in the UK is from club teams to county matches, sanctioned junior tournaments, then upwards to the PSL, BSPA, WSA and PSA events. WELL…NOT MANY OTHER “ROUTES” TO FOLLOW ACTUALLY, UNLESS IT COULD (AND MAY EVENTUALLY HAPPEN) FROM THE (U.S.) COLLEGES AND (RELATIVELY NEW) URBAN SQUASH & EDUCATION PROGRAMS. SEE: http://www.nationalurbansquash.org/. EVEN JONATHON HAS NOW EMBRACED THE PHILOSPHY AND HIS TORONTO SQUASH ACADEMY. SEE HIS INTERVIEW AT: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z27MPJweCzg&feature=youtu.be.

    My own county chooses to give would-be referees every encouragement to move up the ladder, but the response is minimal. YEAH…SO WHAT’S THE INCENTIVE TO DO SO…NOTHING BUT CRITICISM AND FRUSTRATION, CERTAINLY NOT THE PAY, HA, HA!

    Where do these referees come from? WHERE SHOULD THEY BE COMING FROM…AS ABOVE, FOR SURE!

    My own research shows they are probably playing in Box Four at your local club. OR LOWER!

  4. Ted Gross November 12, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    I’d consider a modified PST system, where Let calls are ruled on by awarding points.

    Each player gets two appeals per game, where the ruling option includes the traditional Let.

    When the first player reaches nine, the traditional Let is in effect for the duration of the game.

    • Pierre Bastien November 12, 2013 at 7:44 pm

      That would work. I’d be curious to hear how Palmer and Lincou and others feel about the PST method, now that they’ve used it for a while.

      • Alan Thatcher November 12, 2013 at 8:40 pm

        Hi Pierre
        I did ask the Commissioner for that very information.
        Alan

  5. Richard Millman November 12, 2013 at 9:12 pm

    IMHO Your anonymous ( Ha! Ha!) contributor from the USA is very near the mark.
    I intend to publish a piece about this very subject in the next few days, but in the interim here is some food for thought:

    Our sport is in its infancy. As I outlined in my Rules piece a few months ago – the rules themselves are not logical.

    This being the case, when one adds powerful and charismatic egos who are focused on winning and few of whom have had the time or the inclination to really study the theory of the game – whose elite, almost superhuman technical and physical abilities far outweigh their powers of deductive reasoning, plus amateur players who choose refereeing with the best intentions but with singularly little technical and physical ability or experience – then we have a recipe for a cocktail of confusion.

    A very few coaches, players, commentators, referees or spectators have spent more than a few minutes closely studying the logic of the game and most base their comments and theories on information gleaned from a coach or mentor without checking out the logic for themselves.

    Ramy is so far ahead of the game in terms of his physical production of a logical game that he has been able to maintain an unbeaten record for months.

    Hashim was precisely the same.

    As I mentioned in a piece recently the most important thing Hashim spoke about was Hashim versus Hashim.

    It was only by playing against himself that he learned how to think ahead in order to move into position for the future of the rally.

    In doing so he was always on the way to the next shot before he even struck the ball. Thus he couldn’t be blocking the incoming man because he had left long before his ball struck the front wall.

    This concept is beyond most people to understand unless they spend a great deal of time thinking about it.

    Which most don’t.

    Those that do make extraordinary strides.

    Squash is chess.

    But in chess you can’t block. You finish your move before your opponent makes theirs.

    Squash players might think about ways of making sure that they can do the same.

    Richard

  6. Joe McManus November 13, 2013 at 11:28 am

    Alan and Pierre,

    Thank you for your notes. I haven’t asked our players to comment on this issue individually, though they are free to do so if they choose.

    That said, I feel comfortable that I understand the mood of our players.

    There are a few who absolutely love playing squash with zero replays. These players do not want me to change a thing.

    The vast majority on our tour fully support what we have done to clean up the game for the viewing fan’s perspective, but have asked me to find language that allows a referee to replay a rally if both players have done everything correctly.

    When I write correctly, I mean the following:

    1) The striker of the ball has a responsibility to choose a shot that if executed well allows him to clear it.

    2) Execute the shot.

    3) Clear it.

    4) The incoming striker now has a responsibility to choose the appropriate path to the ball, which may not be a straight line, and go get it.

    There are moments, however infrequent, when both players have made the correct choices but still find themselves entangled.

    We have been discussing this specific issue for some time with players at all levels of our tour and are working on that language.

    Experience has taught us that even the casual fan can recognize a player who is ‘fishing’ for a let.

    It takes a much more skilled eye to recognize when a player is blocking, or clearing in such a manner as to disrupt his opponent’s access to the ball.

    Years ago, we tested match play with a limited number of lets. The test proved unsuccessful because we were changing the nature of the game during the course of play.

    Because squash is nearly always played in an intimate environment, ensuring the highest standard of player behavior remains a priority for Pro Squash Tour (PST).

    A missed call will never be an appropriate reason for behavior that reflects poorly on this sport that we all love.

    Best,
    Joe McManus
    PST Commissioner

    • Pierre Bastien November 13, 2013 at 7:33 pm

      Interesting, thanks Joe.

      I wish there were a way to lightly penalize blocking. Right now the only option is to award the other guy the point, which sometimes seems too harsh (on the other hand just replaying the rally sometimes seems too lenient). Sometimes we need something in between.

      • CoachPhillip November 14, 2013 at 5:56 am

        How about you replay the rally but both players get a point. That may encourage less lets because their opponent gets one point closer to winning.

        The down side would be that players may block just to get the point.

  7. Simon Crowther November 14, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    I think the PST rules are very interesting and would agree with some that this is the next logical step for the game.

    It is not possible to control a game like squash through refereeing alone, enough to make it an adequately accessible spectator sport, in my opinion. I do agree that the appeals system is a great improvement, which could still benefit from refining.

    However, the same principles should be applied across the sport, not just at high level tournaments. Squash has slipped into bad habits, some of which are actually covered by the current rules – the rules governing appeals existed long before the new 3 ref appeals system and do not allow players to demand an explanation from the referee for their decision, for instance, or hold lengthy discussions afterwards. They may only actually appeal the decision and play on if it is upheld. At present, only the most placid of squash players actually does this.

    Unfortunately, it does have to be considered that the way the sport is played and controlled at all competitive levels (and probably even club level) has an impact on how the sport is perceived by the (potential) viewing public and therefore the TV companies. It is all about the image of the sport as a whole.

    The standard of refereeing can surely only be improved by paying referees adequately to do the very skilled job they take on. That would open the door to the right people getting involved.

    I wouldn’t really think that half-way houses are the answer, personally. It’s just a question of biting the bullet and adopting a system that works as best it can to keep the intrinsic qualities of the game intact, but also satisfy the necessary requirements for the wider promotion of the sport. I think all the squash organisations should be seriously considering the PST’s endeavours and joining forces to take the sport to the next level.

  8. Simon Crowther November 14, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    Also look forward to Richard’s no doubt detailed analysis of the PST system! 😀

  9. Peter Bryttne November 15, 2013 at 9:50 pm

    This post is probably a bit late but as I said the Golan – Gaultier match had 48 lets given. With 13 No lets and 5 Strokes and in two cases the Review went against the original ruling.
    One player alone asked for 35 lets and got only 8 No lets.
    Yes, I do definitely think that there should be a much tougher ruling on the let BUT at the same time I do think that continuous obstruction/reluctance to give room should mean more strokes.
    We have to raise the possibility of using the PST way of working. I’ve seen it and I was impressed. I would love to hear comments here from John White and other ex pros now active in USA and playing PST tournaments.
    Furthermore I sincerely believe that the ban that PSA has put on their players when it comes to participating in PST tournaments is truly negative to the development of the sport.

    As for having a larger court I’m not sure if that is the solution – being in the process of building a new club I would hate to have a different court for the major events. Just too costly!

    I would though consider slowing the pace down in different ways. Why not move back to smaller racket heads that generate less power?

    Anyway – probably my post is a bit late but that’s my main problem on court too —– Too late!

    • Alan Thatcher November 16, 2013 at 12:11 am

      Hi Peter
      It’s never too late! This is an issue that will run and run until we find solutions to deal with blocking, fishing, cheating and inadequate refereeing (all of which lead to unsightly incidents on court).
      In response to your analysis of those let-calls in the Gaultier-Golan mtch, perhaps you would be kind enough to take another look (I know, it could be a painful experience) and produce a diagram showing where these incidents took place on the court.
      With glass courts, should we have referees sited in different positions, perhaps on the side wall, with a close-up view of these incidents?
      At Canary Wharf, for example, I have been seated by the glass near the front left corner and seen some extraordinary pick-ups called “down” by the officials positioned a dozen rows behind the back walls.
      It’s not their fault, though. It’s simply that the accepted refereeing position is often too far from the front wall.
      Also, at the NAO in Richmond, Virginia, the elevated view from the Skybox for VIPs and sponsors on the left hand wall gives a much better view of the traffic jams that occur in the front left corner than those available to the referees some distance away, halfway up the bleachers.
      In pro tennis, line judges are sited all the way round the court.
      Why not something similar in squash?
      Alan

  10. Peter Bryttne November 16, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    Hi! I do not need to make any further analysis to give my opinion on the problem areas:

    Front LEFT corner!

    Sure there were some pickup issues but that was not a big issue in this match. I must say that I believe that almost NO player of decent standard can miss a double bounce. It’s more an issue of being fair and honest.

    We can invent all kinds of technical solutions but end of the day we must work on attitudes and behaviour.

    This has to be part of training and as important as any other part of it.
    Having commentators that claim that it is stupid to admit to a ball being down/wrong or give away a stroke or whatever is to me right of stupid. Instead we should honor players that are honest and make that extra effort.

    • Alan Thatcher November 17, 2013 at 12:58 am

      Hi Peter
      Front left corner. Again. And again!
      Sorry to ask the question, but I knew that would be the answer.
      So, why don’t we position a referee in that area instead of having three officials positioned so far back that they don’t always have a clear view of the action, especially in that area of the court?
      Instructing players not to cheat (that really is the focus of your point regarding fair play) is something coaches should be mandated to deliver to all junior squads, and then acted upon by the PSA and WSA at professional level on a consistent basis.
      Cleaning up the game, and making it more attractive for TV, should surely be the priority for everyone.
      It’s time for double bounces and dodgy pick-ups to be added to the Video Review system if players cannot be trusted to act in an honest manner.
      Alan

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