Squash game

Today I would like to speak a little about squash a popular sport born in England. If you are reading this article, somehow you know what squash is, but most people still don’t. If you tell to somebody that you are playing squash, you can get 3 types of feedback. Like – oh, it’s cool! Or, mmm, sorry, I’ve heard something about squash, but I’am not sure! Is it like playing tennis? And the last one, which is more usual is like: Hmm. What squash is?

Certainly, I’am speaking about Russia and my Russian friends. In Russia squash is really a new sport, unknown and little bit mysterious. And believe me, if someone wants to make impression to his friends or colleagues, the best way is to say that he is playing squash!

Everyone says that if you try squash once, after you will search for any possibility to play squash again. It is better than swimming pools, better than fitness and weigh lifting, better than tennis (sorry, but I am not joking) many former tennis players come into squash and never return to tennis court again. It is the game that allows you in a short period of time lose weight, strengthen all you body and raise you mood. It is full of emotions and feeds you with adrenaline! The game captures at once: jumping, unthinkable strikes, emotions, hurtling through the air with the racket. Squash – is a pure adreanaline, without any risk.

History of squash in Russia dates back to the early 90s, when Vasiliy Borisov, today the Honorary President of the Russian Squash Federation, Doctor of Engineering, after his visit to Princeton (USA), attracted some Moscow sportsmen to this game. In 1992 Russian squash players for the first time participated in international tournaments. It was a year of 1997 that became very important for the Russian federation of squash when the first international squash tournament took place in St.Petersburg. Since that time every year more and more people get involved into this sport, which if you tried it once will never let you quit.

What is squash and how did it begin?

Like many other team sports, squash, was born in England. The exact date of its birth is not know. Apparently, the oldest evidence for the existence of such a game is the book, dated 1807 year which describes the life and customs of the inhabitants of London. One of the pictures placed in this book depicts the prison courtyard on Fleet Street, and a number of prisoners, who enthusiastically are hitting the ball with the racket high against the prison wall.

Another picture from the same book shows prisoners of another London prison - the King bench. It is necessary to clarify that such entertainment in the prison yard allows only non-dangerous criminals - especially those who have served time for non-payment of debts.

Born behind prison walls for a long time the game was called simply "rekets" (rackets). During a few decades the game called rekets had lived many changes on its way to become squash.

The name "squash" was first used in the publication of a book in 1890, which stated that the court for the game was built in the school Herou-school. Confirming this information, the Encyclopedia Britannica points out that in-school Herou played squash as early as 1820.

At the end of the XIX century, squash began its move to other countries and continents. North Americans, Indians, Australians were introduced into this game. But after moving across the ocean to America, squash acquired different traits, not similar to its european mother squash. Thus, the size of the court and its configuration is significantly different from the European. In addition, the hot American guys like to play the rubber, but the rock-hard ball. This ball is tossed inside squash "box" with unimaginable speed, turning sometimes in a rather dangerous projectile. Therefore, athletes were required to wear special protective glasses.

For many years it was not that popular as tennis or badminton. According to the World Squash Federation, in 1967 squash was cultivated only in seven countries, and the number of courts in the world was around 5000.

In the 1970s, there was a beginning of what was later called the "boom squash". Dynamic, exciting game found a lot of admirers in Asia, Middle East, South America. In 2000, the International Federation of squash already consisted of 143 countries-members, and the number squash» boxes" in the world reached 48 thousand. And finally squash came to Russia in the early 90s.

Though squash was born in Great Britain, today we can’t say that Englishmen still remain the best in squash, Sportsmen from all over the world play squash and take awards on international and domestic games. And it is just a matter of time when squash will be played on Olympic Games. There is no doubt that soon it will happen, who knows, probably on the next Olympic games?

Today St.Petersburg is the heart of Russian squash. The next International Squash Tournament Saint-Petersburg Squash Cup 2012 starts on november 23 and as usual at one of the most progressive and perspective squash clubs in Russia-PRO Centre, which is located in St.Petersburg and was open in 2009 and since that time is the biggest squash center not only in Russia but in the whole territory of the former Soviet Union.

As for me, I started playing squash about 3 months ago. Certainly, I am not a professional and not sure will ever become. But I can tell you with all my heart, squash fills me with energy, strength and emotions. It gives me a new sense of living. And squash became one of the things, among the others, that I admire in St.Peterburg, my native city. And if you still think which sport to choose and which city visit, the answer is squash and St.Petersburg!