Saturday, June 3, 2023

New international tour gives Masters squash a major boost

A newly-expanded international Masters circuit starts in May and is set to give age-group squash a much-needed shot in the arm after the pandemic.

International Squash Masters (ISM) Tour Experience is the brainchild of Argentina’s Ignacio Parma and features nine tournaments, with men’s and women’s categories for over-30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s, as well as open-age group and doubles titles to be won. 

After its opening stop in New York, the tour moves on to Mexico City, Valencia, Buenos Aires, back to New York, then Bogota, Santo Domingo and Santiago (venue and details of an additional event in October are yet to be confirmed). 

Many of the events will also feature coaching clinics and educational programmes. 

The first leg of the new series will take place at the revolutionary outdoor steel court at Maspeth Squash in Queens, New York on 26-29 May. 

There, all players will take part in individual, team and open-age doubles events, with a minimum of five matches each over the weekend. 

Entries received before Thursday 20 April at 2330 EST will cost $170, and thereafter will cost $200. Final entries close on 5 May at 2330 EST. 

Robert Gibralter, founder of the tour’s opening venue, Maspeth Squash, told us: “The expansion of the ISM Tour into the USA and Europe this year will make a significant contribution to the future growth of the sport. 

“Already, more age-based tournaments are being added to the calendar, boding well for the post-pandemic recovery and development of squash for older players. This is the segment that suffered the most during Covid and has been the slowest to return to the courts. 

“In the USA, the growth of age-based tournaments will increase awareness, engagement and participation for older squash demographics. And with the significant growth in youth programmes and college squash, age-based tournaments will help us sustain squash passion and increase participation for years to come.” 

Gibralter, who was recently appointed Director of Growth for the Squash and Education Alliance, added: “Our event will be very special. Our plans are to focus most of the playing and mingling around the one and only outdoor steel court. It will make this one of the most memorable tournaments for participants of all time.” 

Parma, ISM Tour Experience Director, added: “The objectives of the Tour are simply to have a good time with old friends, new friends and squash lovers from all over the world. Sharing the sport with people who share your passion is incredible! 

“ISM was born to meet the need for new tournaments with more creativity, that are more cheerful, that surprise the players and that they can combine with sightseeing and services that make them feel better than professional players! 

“The tournaments also offer shorter best-of-three matches which prevent injuries and fatigue, enabling players to recover better. However, on the flip side, everyone plays at least four or five games, so the desire to compete is also covered.” 

Thank you to England Squash Masters for imagery

Related articles

1 Comment

  1. For me, as an European masters player, I desperately hope that this initiative is coordinated worldwide. Is this under the roof of the WSF, will there be a ranking, does this count for world championships seedings?
    The ESF already has a very well working European masters tour (20 events this year). Same for Asia, where we have a couple of Masters events too.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Latest articles