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Monday, October 25, 2021

BLOG: Colour clashes should be avoided

Alan Thatcherhttps://squashmad.com
Founder of World Squash Day, Squash Mad, the Kent Open and co-promoter of the Canary Wharf Classic. Launched the Squash 200 Partnership to build clubs of the future. Talks a bit.

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BY ALAN THATCHER

Whatever happened to the clothing rules at major tournaments, designed to prevent players taking to the court in identical colours?

Sorry to have a moan at such an amazing tournament, but I have been shocked to see so many pictures from the World Open featuring players wearing the same colours on court.

The ruling was introduced to make it easier to identify players on TV, and now we have live streaming of so many matches from major events the issue is of primary concern. However, I can’t help spotting several matches where the rules have been ignored.

Now, I know that most squash lovers will have little problem identifying the players, but we should always remember that we are trying to sell the game to a wider public and new TV audiences.

Any little detail that makes the game harder to understand (and lets and strokes make that difficult enough already) should be avoided at all costs.

Squash has come a long way since the days of compulsory all-white clothing, although there are several clubs who still insist on such outdated niceties.

The women’s professional game, in particular, has the ability to package itself in stunning fashion, when, yes, fashion is to the fore.

Most of the leading players enjoy wearing bright, colourful clothing on court. They want to look feminine and attractive while competing in a brutally physical sport.

Most of the images from Rotterdam have proved this result can be achieved.

But, please, let’s enforce a zero-tolerance policy on clashes of colour.

You know it makes sense, especially when we hope to raise the profile of the sport with outstanding showcase events like the World Open.

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9 Comments

  1. Absolutely agree…mostly! The fact that the players are now required (at least the women are and the men should too) to have their name sewn on their backs, certainly makes it a lot easier to identify them.

    Many years ago, I had the privilege of refereeing a match between Rodney and Brett Martin. Guess what…they were both wearing all white – and I had never seen them before! Well…you can imagine the confusion. Yes…to start out with, the guys should be required to have their names on the back of their shirts as are the gals.

    I’m wondering, if we are to keep our sport “classy,” (which of course it is) what happened to the collared shirt Rule for the guys? And yes…coordinated, colored, matching tops and bottoms, etc. would be nice too!

    So much has been done to market and “sell” (as Alan said) our game, i.e. the multicolored glass court, instant replay, colorful posters, company advertisements, etc! It’s time for the players to be “displayed” in the same light while (hopefully) “selling” our game to the world’s viewing public while “on stage”…literally in Rotterdam!

    • Nice to hear from you, Bob. The PSA and WISPA clearly need to toughen up their approach to this rule and, like I say, adopt a zero-tolerance policy.
      Names on the shirts is a good idea and will obviously help with identification.

  2. One of my biggest bugbears in recent years has been the introduction of totally black shirts and shorts. When playing matches this makes it much harder to get an early sight of the ball. The colour should be banned in league/ team/ county squash, the only place for it is the professional court with its white ball. Harumph!!

    • Very interesting point, as Alfie has also made (above). With the squash ball moving past a player’s body in every rally, the colour of the shirt (or shorts) must have a bearing on the visibility of the ball. In a game that requires split-second reactions, that moment of uncertainty could lose you the rally.

  3. Another very valid point is that dark clothes should be prohibited, because the players can lose sight of the ball unless it is a white ball, then players should be encouraged to wear dark clothing!

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