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Stroke,Let or Nothing ?

Published: 30 Apr 2006 - 06:49 by vitty

Updated: 25 Sep 2008 - 20:40

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This happened to me last week. I played one guy in our local league (now I´m in the 3rd group of 12). As I wrote in other post, I like to go short. This guy was pretty fit and fast and he reached almost every dropshot. Whenever he played from the front corners, he played a hard low rail to the back. But the thing is - he played so close to himself that I almost couldn´t see the ball. I saw it too late because he was shading my view. I think that it should have been stroke / at least let for me, but I didn´t say anything - he didn´t see anything wrong. What ´s your opinion ?

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From rippa rit - 03 May 2006 - 07:45   -   Updated: 03 May 2006 - 07:49

Vitty - we have all had these situations and bad decisions, and some we sort of got away with too so that is the good and the bad of our rule intrepretations.
  • If the Ref saw that the incoming striker had created their own interference. eg went the wrong way to get to the ball that would be a different situation to, say, being in position to play the ball at the point of the interference.
  • Another consideration is, in spite of the interference, could the opponent have made a winning return, so it may be "stroke",  "no let" or "yes let", depending how the Ref saw the situation.
It is all happening in a split second so ones mind has to be really on the ball, and reading the situation, to give the correct decision.
  • Players will argue the Ref has underestimated their ability to get to the ball and/or hit a winner.
Squash Canada have a Rules Forum which you might find of interest.

Thereby hangs the argument - the believe top players should become qualified Referees and then they can play by the rules, not by the player's gut feelings some of the is a delicate area of squash and in a confined area is impossible to see as black and white most of the time.

Remember, if you are the better player you will win in spite of the Ref

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From vitty - 03 May 2006 - 00:01

Okay, thank you for commentary on this topic. So one of the basic rules in Squash could be something like this : "If you have played a lousy shot, expect the worst and don´t  complain - you should have played it properly !!!"

Interesting situation: your opponent had pushed you back and you played poor high boast in the middle of the court. The opponent (on or near the T) is holding the shot to keep you guessing behind him and eventualy plays a low boast which ends before him. You are stuck behind him to the last moment and if you want to reach the ball you have to go "through" him. ??? On the I´ve seen this situation twice - the man in the back was Lee Beachill,  men on the T were Gaultier and Palmer. The same situation, two different statements:

1) Beachill - Gaultier in World Teams 2003 = the ref said "Let", Gaultier said "What ?!"

2) Beachill - Palmer in English Open 2003 = the ref said "No let", Beachill looked confused.

So finally I think it depends on the Ref !

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From BizarreCo - 02 May 2006 - 23:20

Well, the bit that applies in this instance is the "A fair view of the ball" statement. I have seen some referees (bad ones!) give a let in the situation you describe, but personally I would have laughed and said something like "You want a let because you couldn't see where he'd hit the ball? Are you having a laugh?".

I know it sounds harsh, but if you couldn't see the ball, then you're in the wrong position! If you can't see the ball then you should always be able to see your opponents body position which will allow you to work out where he/she is going to play the ball.

Now, if your opponent DELIBERATELY blocked your view, and you could have relaistically reached and played the ball, then it would be a let (or a stroke!). Most people just get on with it in team games - remember "Do unto others as they do unto you!" This type of thing works both ways. When your opponent plays a loose shot, you can position your body between them and the ball to hide your intensions. This is NOT a let for your opponent as they put themselves in a bad position and thus it is their responsibility to get themselves out of the situation WITHOUT a let.

I agree that this is a confusing area, but you rarely (ever?!?) see a professional saying "Please Mr Referee, he was blocking my view of the ball and I couldn't see him smash it past me"


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From pug505man - 01 May 2006 - 11:13

From rippa rit - 30 Apr 2006 - 12:37   -   Updated: 30 Apr 2006 - 12:39

Rule 12 - Interference
  • A player is entitled to minimal interference by the opponent. Interference occurs when the opponent does not provide:
    • Unobstructed direct access to the ball.
    • A fair view of the ball.
    • Freedom to hit the ball.
    • Freedom to play the ball.
Note: If a player considers he has suffered interference he may:-
1. Continue play, or
2. Stop play and appeal to the Referee.
The player must ask the Referee "Let Please" when appealing. The appeal must be made immediately the interference occurs.
Line of Reasoning
  • Rule 12 is probably one of the most difficult rules for players to interpret.
  • The following will assist make the correct decision:-
    • 1.Could the Striker have made a good return, if NO - NO LET.
    • If YES, was there any interference, if NO - NO LET.
    • If YES, was every effort made, if YES - YES LET - unless
    • 2.Could the Striker have made a winning return, then STROKE TO THE STRIKER.
  • If every effort was not made, then, STROKE TO THE STRIKER.
More about Rule 12 - Interference

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