Although not as popular as tennis, if you’re a racquet sports fan, Squash is a sport that you should definitely know about. It was first played in England in the 19th century, but its popularity quickly spread throughout the world. Today, the game is still quite popular, and more and more youths are drawn to the sport.
There are many facts that you probably don’t know about Squash. The sport has a long and exciting history, and it is still known as an enjoyable pastime today.
These are 30+ must-know facts about Squash
1. Squash was invented in 1830.
The game of Squash was invented in 1830 by students of the Harrow School, just outside London. A similar game had been played for years among the men in a debtor’s prison close by. The game was adjusted to fit a different dynamic, and Squash was born. It was first called “Racquet Squash.”
2. The sport is played in about 190 countries (approx. 97% of all nations).
Millions of people are still playing Squash worldwide, with the top three involved countries being the United States, England, and Egypt.
3. It has its roots in England.
4. There were squash courts in the Titanic.
Several famous venues once housed or continue to house squash courts. Many older, famous churches used to have squash courts. There were several squash courts aboard the Titanic.
5. Natural rubber balls were first used.
Natural rubber balls were used at first, and the game was named based on the way these balls “squashed” against the players’ racquets and the walls. Early squash players got a kick out of the name.
6. About 30 million people still play Squash today.
7. There are about 50,000 squash courts in the world (and growing).
8. About 98% of squash players have college degrees.
9. Squash is not (yet) an Olympic sport.
10. Forbes magazine once voted it the “healthiest sport.”
11. You can burn an insane amount of calories in an hour of playing Squash.
Playing Squash is, arguably, one of the best workouts you can get while playing a sport. You can burn between 600-900 calories by playing Squash for one hour. The sport engages, pretty much, the whole body. The legs are used for running on the court, while the upper body, especially arms, are engaged when hitting the ball. Also, the need for bending and stretching to reach the ball provides a full-body workout. Most people end up exhausted after a full game of Squash.
12. The US has very few outdoor squash courts.
13. While Queen Elizabeth II was in labor, Prince Philip played Squash.
One of the most notable squash games occurred while Queen Elizabeth II was in labor with Prince Charles. It is said that during her 30 hours of labor, Prince Philip engaged in many games of Squash to pass the time. It is safe to say, he was having a better time than Queen Elizabeth.
14. Squash used to be called “Squash Racquets.”
15. St. Paul’s School housed the first squash court in the US.
16. The J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions is the most celebrated squash competition in the world.
The most celebrated squash tournament is the J.P. Morgan tournament of champions. This tournament draws some of the best squash players from all over the world, as well as hundreds of fans.
17. Squash provides for a full-body workout.
18. Squash tests players’ mental agility.
Not only is Squash a physical game; It is also mentally challenging. One must be able to, constantly, follow the ball and strategically decide where to place the ball next in order to smart their opponents.
19. A squash court housed testing for the Manhattan project.
Testing for the Manhattan Project took place at the University of Chicago’s squash court. It was here that the first controlled, self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction took place. This was engineered by Enrico Fermi and his coworkers. It was built into the world’s first nuclear reactor and used as part of the atomic bombs dropped on Japan.
20. Squash is considered to be among the most dangerous sport.
21. Players face a considerable risk of eye injury.
22. Several famous tennis players also play Squash.
Many tennis players also play Squash to hone their skills and keep in shape between seasons. As we have said, Squash provides one of the best workouts available.
23. In recent years, the US had one of the fastest-growing participation rates among developed countries.
24. However, in the last decade, in England, squash participation has been on a decline.
25. The UK has the most number of squash courts in the world.
26. Nonprofit programs, like StreetSquash in the US, promote the game among today’s youth.
Although Squash is still known as a game, mainly, for the upper class, it’s now becoming more and more prevalent among everyday youth. Community outreach programs like StreetSquash in NY, encourage kids to get involved in the sport as an alternative to wasting time or engaging in poor behavior.
These efforts are bringing more youth to the game each year, and there is a great up-and-coming generation of squash players out there.
27. In the US, most squash fans and players have an average net worth of above the $1 million.
28. All the Ivy League Schools have a Division 1 Squash Team.
29. As racquetball declines, its courts are being converted into squash courts.
30. The top 3 countries where the game is played are the US, Egypt, and England.
- US: Squash is quickly gaining popularity in the United States, and new tournaments are being added to the schedule. The dynamic of players in the United States seems to be getting younger. Several prevalent colleges have now added Squash to the list of collegiate sports they offer.
- Egypt: Egypt is home to some of the most celebrated squash champions in the world. The younger generation looks up to these heroes, and as a result, there is more interest in the sport of Squash from childhood up. Many Egyptian squash players seek college scholarships in the United States based on their athletic abilities.
- England: It is no surprise that Squash is popular in England, as it is the birthplace of Squash; it has a deep-rooted history in the country. The sport has been popular among the British since the 1800s, and the country continues to turn out some of the most talented squash players in the world. Playing Squash is, somewhat, a national pastime for people in England.
31. Egyptian players dominate the sport.
32. The longest squash rally ever lasted more than one hour. (Only 1 point!)
33. Jahangir Khan, from Pakistan, is considered the “GOAT”- the greatest of all time.
34. Squash (in theory) is a simple sport to play.
In short, during a squash game, players try to hit the front wall on each shot, until their opponent cannot hit it back. The player who wins a rally gets the point.
Here are some basic rules:
- During the serve, players must have one foot in the service box.
- The server must hit the front wall between the outline and service line, and land back behind the short line on the opposite back corner.
- After the serve, on each shot, players must hit the ball to the front wall, above the board, and inside the outlines.
- Players can hit to the other walls (as many times as they want) before or after the ball hits the front wall.
- The ball is, only, allowed to bounce once before each shot.
- A player loses the point if she hits the ball after it bounces more than once, hits the ball outside the outlines, gets hit by the ball, or hits the ball against the floor before it hits the front wall.
- The player who wins the point serves on the next point.
- The first player to get 11 points (with a two points difference) is the winner of a game.
- A match consists of, either, the best of 3 or 5 games.