WHAT IS SQUASH?
It's thought that the game of Squash originated at the Harrow School in north London, England, around 1820. Played on an indoor court with a racket and small hard ball, the sport isn't dependent on the weather. Outdoor courts with no roof do exist, but they're uncommon.
Squash is similar to tennis; imagine the tennis players alternately hitting the ball against a wall where the net would be, with both in the same half of the tennis court.
Singles is the common form of the game, but doubles is also played. Most games are single gender – men against men or women against women. Although mixed games are also totally normal.
A squash racket is more similar to a badminton racket than to a tennis racket, and the ball moves fast, so eye protection must be worn.
For more details, contact BSC member Clive Williams on 082 338 2829, or come to the courts and watch – a Saturday afternoon is the best time to start, when the social session is underway from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm.
SQUASH VS RACQETBALL
Dating from 1950, racquetball is the American equivalent of Squash, but played with a larger racket and ball and on a slightly different court, where all surfaces are ‘in play’, including the ceiling!
A version that's played in squash courts has been growing rapidly in recent years. Formally named Squash 57, this game is played with a bigger racket and ball (the ball is 57 mm in diameter), but largely with squash rules. As the ball is bouncier and stays in play longer, it's an easier game to get into than squash.
Squash 57 is played at BSC.
In 2013, Forbes rated squash as the healthiest game to play: active players can expend between 3 000 to 4 000 kilojoules an hour when playing the game.
An intensive workout takes only 45 minutes, so it compares very well with other sporting activities such as gym, tennis and road running.
WHO PLAYS SQUASH?
Over twenty million people play squash in 188 countries around the world, on more than
50 000 courts!
Squash is played at the Commonwealth, Pan American, Asian and World Games - but not yet at the Olympic Games. The reason for this is that spectators find it difficult to follow the action, especially on TV.
Globally, squash is governed by the World Squash Federation, with professional squash managed by the Professional Squash Association. Squash South Africa runs the sport in this country, with Joburg Squash administering the leagues in the Johannesburg area. Below that, individual clubs, such as the Bryanston Sports Club, are the day-to-day home of squash.