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|ASSIGNMENT INSTRUCTIONS||Please write a 1500 word report on the topic “The Sport of Squash”. Please make the report as interesting as possible. Please include are how the sport originated, its history and what it was in the past and how it has evolved to what it is today. Differences between past and present.|
History of Squash
Squash is well-known sports currently that originated back in 1830s and has rapidly evolved with time. It’s a type of sport played between either two people or four people in a special closed court area. It involves striking a small rubber against a wall. Squash was originally tennis, also known as le pauem meaning the palm of the hand. By the 19th century there was increased obsession in racket and ball playing, a group of prisoners undertook a form of exercise that involved hitting of a ball against the wall using rackets. The game progressed quiet fast to various English school including Harrow by 1820 and it is from here that the sport squash was invented. At around 1830, in Harrow school pupils discovered a sport where a punctured racket ball would hit the wall with a much greater impact and required a much more effort from the player compared to tennis since the player could not simply wait for the ball to bounce back. It required a more rapid reaction. The school had an enclosed part which they referred to as `the corner`. This enclosure had two sidewalls and a front wall with reinforcement. The boys during that time used rubber ball, they would squash it against the wall with a high impact, and then sawed off the butt of their rackets (Wallbutton, 2014).
Britons soon began building rackets courts, instead of playing the game in a corner. The courts were so simple, roofless, and unattended. By 1830, Royal Artillery constructed a more improved court with a roof at their woolwich depot. Soon after more courts were built around the world; Canada first court was put up in Halifax and another court in India in 1821 and finally in Australia in 1847. Robert Knox of scot origin put up the first covered court in America. The court was situated on Allen Street between Hester and Canal, in lower Manhattan. Additionally around the same period another socially- lubricated ball and wall games called fives. Playing the game involved hands and therefore the name five; it was a version of handball. Soon after, there was a combination of both games rackets and fives and lead to the development of squash. Squash spread throughout both private and public schools, playing it with black and red ball. By the 1920s in London Bath club, become the origin for squash in England. Later Desborough constructed a beautiful court that was noted for begin outstanding in terms of lightning and launched a squash league. The league significantly increased the growth of squash in Britain and it earned a great deal of success. Although the sport gained fame in Britain, administratively squash had a slow start. However, by April 1907, the Tennis, Racket, and Fives Association were formed. This committee soon began setting standard rules and regulation for squash because before then court length and width depended on the opinion of the locals. Some rules were set up where the construction of court was done by cement and stones unlike wood; the type of ball used required to be fast and bounced well but not too high and the balls should either be small, hard and solid or a medium sized rubber hollow ball. Even with all this formulated rules, the committee still could not implement them until eleven years later. In 1923, a meeting of delegates from Royal Automobile Club where squash was formed and majorly played formed a Squash Rackets Representative committee. The committee finally settled for thirty two by twenty one feet as the standard measurement for a squash court. At this particular period when Britain was still setting their standard regulation for squash, in America the sport had been in progress for two decades under different rules. In a minimum of two months squash spread around Philadelphia where most racquet members began, building Squash courts in their own homes.
In 1904, the leaders of various inter-league clubs had a meeting in Racquet club where they jointly formed the United State Squash Racquets Association became the first national association around the world that handled squash sport (Zug, 2003).
How squash has continued to evolve
Squash has continued to evolve over the years. Evolution kicked off by the formation of a standard court in 1911 in Britain. This was to measure 9.75 meters by 6.4 meters, which is slightly smaller than that of the Racquets. Together with the standard court was an introduction of the 15 points, which later came to 9 points in North America as the means of obtaining winners. The first champion of the squash sport was FD Amr Bey in 1933.Upto date, squash has not gained the Olympic status, but it has a medal in the commonwealth games. A beginner ball for those playing the game for the first time also became widespread. This enhanced the ease of learning and masterly of the game of Squash. Stores were set up to cater for the sale of equipment of the game whose demand kept increasing with time. The court for playing squash also had some changes and improvements from the ancient court. There were clear lines dividing the court and the doubles dimensions were different from the singles courts dimensions. In addition to the court adjustments, there were also service boxes installed outside the court. The scoring methods of the squash sport came into use as two means: deciding the winner from five games or deciding the winner from the one who reaches eleven points ahead of the other. After the Second World War, the sport of squash spread to various parts of the world, squash clubs emerged, and several matches took place in different parts of the world. The World Squash Federation (WSF) acknowledged the squash game as a commonwealth sport and the first competition took place in 1995. The World Squash Federation (WSF) continues to train, referee, and make rules pertaining to the squash sport and planning for yearly matches in various countries. Administration changes in the squash sport come together with equipment modification. The racquets that are in use in the present age are not as heavy as the ones days back. The racquets have transformed to lighter, stronger, and more manageable ones. Portable courts are also common in many parts of the world with a company in the Washington DC specializing in making the portable courts. The production of Squash balls was first in Britain but latter the Philippines became the large-scale production of the balls. Germany is the leading country with a large number of active players (Akyol, 2012).
Differences between past and present Squash
In the past, the racquets were made of wood with synthetic gut springs and the grip was leather made. This necessitated that the use of clothe to hold the grip for roughness. Today, racquets are from lighter material that can withstand the blows. The grips are now absorbent with rubber that provides a firm grip thus more comfortable. Balls material was thick rubber thus heavier than the current ones. When the sport was developing, there was no chosen code but today there is a widespread use of white clothing as well as eye protection. Movement in the courts has also changed from the original slower movements. Initially, the player at the back could strike the ball as the other player went to the `T’, today there are quicker movements. Bigger courts have taken the place of the smaller ones of the past and according to Zug, (2007), small courts facilitated ease of transport by sailing them to England .Today quicker turns and running forward is the common trend making the match to last shorter. Matches are more frequent today making the players healthier. There has also been increase in women playing squash an improvement from what used to be sport for boys. Squash academy have also emerged and Canada led in having the very first academy in the whole of North America known as the National Squash Academy`s Centre of Excellence. The academy`s main role is to provide funds for the development of squash and training players. This shows that squash has captured the interest of nations whereby Canada is determined to lead the world in producing the best squash players in the world. Indeed the popularity of squash today cannot match how it was in the beginning (Heritage, 2012).
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