Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Right Ball Campaign: Why squash traditionalism is holding back our sport

We push squash as an incredible work out — which the sport most definitely is when you are playing with the right ball against someone of a similar standard.

But if you play with a ball too slow or dead and can’t even warm it up, you aren’t going to be having any of those health benefits that we are so proud to portray as a sport.

There is a stigma around using the double yellow dot ball for most juniors and club players  — and I can’t put my finger on it.

In the junior game they have to play tournaments with the double yellow and thus want to play with it as soon as they can.

But they could be benefiting greatly by using a single yellow dot until they are a lot older, while most club players should consider using a different ball, be it a single yellow, red or blue dot.

It could really be stopping people from carrying on playing. 

With winter approaching in the UK, I know plenty of pros, myself included, who get a single yellow or red dot out. 

You don’t want to spend most of your solo practice smacking the ball just to keep it warm when you need it. On the flip side, being able to control a lively ball is a huge skill in itself. 

There is simply no need for there to be a stigma around this issue by using a different ball. If you want to get the best game, most of the time that involves being a good workout and the ball bouncing a bit more with slightly longer rallies. By using the correct ball for the conditions and the players is the best way to go.

We play with the Dunlop balls on tour. I’ll admit that I have yet to play with a better ball that they produce for us, and I’m not saying there isn’t one out there. 

But lots of companies make different balls for a reason — and the more players can get on board by using the right ball, the more they will enjoy their time playing, plus they will be playing for longer.

It is very off putting for a beginner if you are playing somebody who can hit the ball to the back and it stays there. The livelier red dot will give more options to getting the ball not only back but more people into our sport.

We are a bit stuck at times with the traditionalism that this is how our sport should be — you either play the game as it’s intended or you don’t play at all. 

And that’s the wrong way to go about it.

Sarah-Jane plays with Dunlop’s Sonic Core Revelation Pro Lite

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