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let or no let: hard drive down the line from box

Published: 31 Dec 2007 - 13:07 by rskting

Updated: 24 Sep 2008 - 17:28

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I'm watching the pros play and they seldom drive the ball very hard down the line. I guess it gives them time to move out of the way. Guys I play stand in the service box, and drive the ball right down the line, back into the box, and barely give themselves enough time to clear.

now that annoys me, because I'm always in position, but they keep doing it. They don't clear in time, in my opinion. I think they should hit slower or drive deeper, but hitting it so fast right back to themselves doesnt give them time to clear. yet they think they hit a great shot. What's your opinion?

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From rippa rit - 03 Feb 2008 - 18:21

There is no problem if what you say is as seen by others. unless you are doing your own referee job and your opponent is a bit of a cheat (or likes to have the benefit of the doubt).

If the opponent does not clear the ball, and you could make a winning return, call "let please" and a stroke to you should be awarded/taken (with no attempt to hit the ball but have your racket and body clearly in position); if you could not make a winning return due to your position, but could have hit the ball back, and interference occurred, play a let.

Once interference occurs it is either:

  • play on (your choice and take the consequences)
  • call let (a stroke be awarded if the opponent has not made every effort, etc)
  • call let (a let be awarded if the opponent has made every effort)

I thought that was fairly clearly set out in the Interference Rule link. If there is no Ref just take charge yourself by:

  • throwing the ball back to your mate to serve again, or picking the ball up and going to the other box to serve; no questions asked, but this is how it is attitude. Then when your mate says, "hey, wait a minute you should have hit that, etc" just sprout the rules at him.

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From rskting - 03 Feb 2008 - 14:53   -   Updated: 03 Feb 2008 - 14:53

thanks, regardless of some sidetrack. The problem is that they have fast hands, but slow feet. I dont mind if they drive it hard, but they need to clear. As long as their feet get them out fast I'm ok. These players drive it fast, but takes them 2 days to get from the service box to the T. And sometimes I let the ball bounce of the back even though I want to take it early. I let the ball go bounce at their own toes, take a look at them, let the ball go off the back wall,  honk the horn, shoo them, put their crutches on for them, tie their shoelaces, assist them to the T slowly, then I go hit my shot. But I'm sick of waiting.and they should clear fast it they want to hit fast.


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From rippa rit - 11 Jan 2008 - 07:36

rskting - I think you need an apology on this post as your question was sound, and fairly straight forward.  I gathered from your post you did not have a Referee, but felt  you were expected to concede a point in the situation you described above. ?

The thread of this post should have been changed at least twice, and I need a slap on the wrist for continuing; next time I hope I will have the presence of mind to start a new thread.  Our archives and search features cannot work effectively if we do not keep to the topic.

Sure, it is difficult to keep to one subject as often there is a cross-over, eg tactics, rules; however, we must not get too carried away, and be sure we are answering the question; and, if we are not, we must then start a new thread to continue the discussion.

Thanks for your understanding on this one.

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From Adz - 10 Jan 2008 - 19:30

"creatures of habit are hard to change but not for want trying"

I think that this was something that I've been trying to "subtely" drop into the posts without writing it in bold capitals. But this is a statement that applies to referee's just as much as it applies to players.

I think it might be unfair to judge every player by the words of a handful from over 10 years ago. Many of the world's better and best players may not be able to recite every letter of the rules, but they know them enough to play the game and more importantly to know WHEN they are in the wrong. Those who know them to the letter are able to justify their positions by way of the rules, so it becomes an advantage to certain personalities of players (like myself) to know the rules at a very indepth level.

Allow me to make myself clear. I do not cheat to gain an advantage in playing. I do employ a certain amount of gamesmanship both on and off the court to help "sway" a referee's opinion in my favour in a 50/50 call, but I do not "cheat". One implies an action and the other implies and intention. I merely intend to sway the referee, as I am happy to explain further in another thread on the subject should someone wish to know more about what I mean by "swaying" the opinion of a referee. Please note that a competant referee will not be swayed as they will be sure of what decisions they are making.

Both sides here have really strong arguments, so I turned this topic over to a friend of mine who is an ex-pro rugby player. He had an interesting side to put to this:

Firstly an excellent squash player who has played at a highly competative level will have a deep understanding of the tactics of play and the styles in which players apply those tactics. They will understand what is "gamesmanship" and what is cheating. They will be able to put themselves in the mindset of the players and understand their intentions and thought processes during the flow of the match. They will be able to reach decisions much more acurately and quickly when guided by the rules.

However, this brings us on to the negatives of these types of players. When they are guided by their own mental view of the game, they can become wrong in their decisions. They get locked into the thinking that their decisions are correct, regardless of whether the applications of the rules are meant to be different. This type of situation can be engineered to fool top professional players into making incorrect decisions (something Ed alluded to in an earlier post about top players getting the calls wrong when watching a video of a match). This is where a complete novice referee can be considered better than a misguided player. They come into the sport with no prior beliefs and learn to make calls based on the letter of the law and nothing else. Every situation is black and white because that is how the rules are written and how they have learnt to apply them.

So which is best? Which type performs best?

In his opinion, as in mine, the best type of person to referee a match is one who not only has the correct grasp of the rules and their application, but also someone who has a high level of experience in playing the sport in question. These people are few and far between, but when they do show up they can be VERY good for the refereeing of the sport. The only two that I had witnessed in squash over the past 10 years with this mindset are Alex Gough and Jon Power. This is not to say that there aren't others, but these are the only two that I have read about or seen apply knowledge to the refereeing of the game. Stopping here I can imagine loads of people saying "JON POWER?!?!?!? Are you mad?". Well no, I'm not. He might have been argumentative. He might have been a pain in the arse to referee. But you have to remember that he understood the difficulties surrounding referees, and even suggested the 3 referee system long before it was later trialed (last year) in tournaments.

So what are the outcomes of this post? I admit that I have a different understanding of novice referees (Kudos to my rugby playing mate), and I hope that I have done a good enough job of explaining the advantages of having a play-experienced, good referee over a novice or a play-experienced BAD referee! I also hope that people can understand my point of view of why I think it would be a bad idea to lose the showmen from sport. They give the sport that something special to watch and draw bigger crowds than an equivalently skilled "boring" player.



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From edmpnd1961 - 10 Jan 2008 - 11:45


First an foremost , i join this site not only for imporving but to try and further my knowledge as a player, coach and referee and also to share it.

For the record, My mentor is the Director of Referees on the ASF board.

Now is open as far back as 1997 when both Chris Walker and Den Jensen openly admitted that pro players learn  the rules by ear.

I take it they( psa pros) are still do so now. so stop complaining abt bad refs when u guys are ignorant and not upgrading yrself as a pro, wat a shame

I now remember the other guy, his name was Tristan Nancarrow.

I am passionate abt the game of squash and am trying to contribute to the good of game.

U guys hv got priviledge info and not only are u,ungrateful , ur spiteful.

As I hv mention time and again, creatures of habit are hard to change but not for want trying.

I hv wasted my last breath on this site and i sign off with a tinge of sadness. I hope my contributions were of value and they might meant to provoke but with no intensions of insults( my humble apology if anyone of u felt so.especally poor Adz )

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From rippa rit - 10 Jan 2008 - 09:09   -   Updated: 10 Jan 2008 - 09:24

Edmund if your concerns are only about player behaviour, and lack of the player's acceptance of the Referee decisions, the rules make provision for that under Conduct on Court - Rule 17 which state

"If the Referee considers that a player's behaviour is disruptive, intimidating or offensive to the opponent, an official or spectator, or could in any other way bring the game into disrepute, the player has to be penalised...........................The Referee has the discretion to award any Conduct on Court penalty depending on the seriousness of the offence.  The first penalty imposed by the Referee for a particular offence may be at any level to suit the seriousness of the offence.  However, any other penalty for the same type of offence for the same player, should not be less severe than the previous penalty for that offence. So several warnings or several strokes for the same type of offence may be awarded if the Referee does not believe that the offence warrants stronger penalties".

So, if the Referee controls the match, enforces the rules consistently, as he has the power to nip the behaviour in the bud immediately, is confident of his decision, there should be no further adoo.  If, following the match, the player/referee wants to complain or appeal to the Tournament Referee about the standard of Refereeing/Conduct of player, there is video replay as evidence of the incident - and the appropriate penalty/action/fine/reprimand take place. 

So, if this is such a problem as you are continually impling why is nothing being done about it?  If it is so serious as to effect the IOC's decision why isn't your Director of Asian Federation taking this matter to higher authority?

Cricket is surrently showing every household in the world how antoganism amongst international players, referees, officials, etc can severely disrupt the game. The bottom line is, all the public want to watch is the cricket match, and they could not care a rats about the politics, the sponsors, the financial loss, but, of course, will have an opinion on who is right or wrong. I personally know people got up off their chairs and cheered when the match was over, and were elated to see such a thrilling end to a match.  Then we read the reactions, etc etc.  Generally, the public do not have a clue, as they can only view what is going on from their personal understanding of sport's management, etc.  Another question, why wait until the side loses before complaining? 

If there is a problem, it should be so whether you lose or win.

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From edmpnd1961 - 10 Jan 2008 - 00:53

Hi Adz.

My Mentor Referee is the Director of Asian Squash Federation ans thru him that we found out abt the IOC delegates decision.

All thru out the past forums , u gave me the imperssion that u knew or hv read the rules and in one particular post talk abt winning at all cost evem to the pt of admitting when yr balls down at match with will cost u dollars n cents.

We hv seen and enough first hand experience to trll u that be fore JP which most ref's during his time hated to ref his game, there was 2 other Aussies , Anthony Hill and forgot thr other lad( son;s crying, driving me crazy) starts with C. and Ahmad Barada were gving us Ref;s a tough time on the tours.

The Wispa's tour is as tough as it gets and till u r a certifed ref and have seen or done enough of refereeing of being an official of the sport in an international arena, Stop uakking and learn to win graciously.

The main reason why we keep emphasing on keeping the game clean and honest is harder to convince sponsor to cough out money for tv coverage if the see the wrong image on display/


Edmond Sng

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From Adz - 08 Jan 2008 - 19:13

Well, we're going to have to agree to disagree on this one. So far I've seen very little logic in your arguments to warrant an answer from me.

You seem to know the ins and outs of the IOC reasoning behind why squash wasn't included in the olympics. I can only assume that you must be on the board, or just making wild speculations.

I do however find it a touch ironic that you sit here and run down the men's professional players for being ungentlemanly and only looking out for their own "camp". Isn't that exactly what you're doing with your one sided "the whole world cheats and us referee's bring order to the chaos" speech?

Those of us on here who love the game, have already agreed that:

a) Referee's don't get the recognition they deserve

b) Referee's don't get paid enough (although I'm willing to bet that it's on par with Football or Rugby or tennis to do with % of player's monies)

c) Some players use what they consider gamesmanship to give themselves an advantage, often blurring or crossing the lines of the rulebook

d) Not enough players know how to interpret the rules correctly (if know them at all!)

Where we're going to disagree is that I strongly believe that there are very few referees who have an understanding of PLAYING the game to a high enough level to make accurate and consistent decisions time and time again. Differences between the womens game and the mens? Women may be nice and smiley coming off the court, but they can be far more "catty" afterwards (spoken from experience - not conjecture!), where as men tend to be more hot-headed coming off, but are more likely to sit down and have a laugh and a joke about it afterwards.

You see the "antics" of players like Power and Macenroe as setting a bad example for the game, but I see these players as being revolutionary to the game. They say that there's a fine line between genius and insanity, and maybe in the heat of the moment, these players crossed that line, but what they did for their respective sports to inspire the spectator was a phenomenon that we just don't see often enough.

I'm no expert, but I'd bet my house on the fact that the main deciding factor for a sport's inclusion into the olympics is to do with watchablility. How many people will watch this and "get it". Squash it a high paced sport which takes place inside a limit amount of space, and there are rules in place to allow for point replays or penalty points. So you see the real problem is nothing to do wiith the players, but to do with the implementation and easy of understanding of the rules for the general public. Something which is just as much the responsibility of the referees (if not more so!). People don't care about the technical, letter by letter detail of the rules. They just want to understand the basics enough to follow the sport (I for one know very little about the rules of rugby, but I know enough to watch a rugby match and follow the basics). Same goes for badminton and tennis. I know enough to watch, but not enough to referee. We need to educate people in the basics of the sport. Until then squash is destined for obscurity. That is how we really get squash into the IOC. The change in the scoring system makes it a touch easier to understand, now we need a simple explanation for someone watching a high level game for the first time.

"If a player tries to, but gets blocked by his opponent. from reaching a shot, then we replay the point. We call this a LET".

"But if that player would have been able to play a clearly winning shot then he gets a penalty point. We call this a STROKE"

That sums up the basics of decisions in TWO LINES! Enough to start people off at least! Take that to the next Referee's Conference and tell them where you first read it!

Until something of interest comes up, I'm done on this topic. We can go round in circles for months arguing the same old points, how about we all try coming up with sensible solutions instead of arguments for a change!!


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From edmpnd1961 - 08 Jan 2008 - 12:18

Yes Rippa , ur spot on.

When, we were in K.L ,for the 1997 World Ref. Conference,(btw Rodney Eyales won) all Psa Players were invited to attend and discuss refereeing matters,, but only Chris Walker and Den Jensen attended on behalf of all Psa players. After watching some footage of incidents, both of them make the wrong calls and when the footage was rewinded, both of them, thank God for not having to Ref and gave pity us refs.

We refs do it for the love of squash and out of our own pockets, we r paid peanuts and r offen ridicule and not regard as humans as we r not allowed to make mistakes but Psa players can.

As said brfore most humans are creature of habbit, mostly Psa men in particular ( ehibiting bad behaviour when chips r down and pointing fingers at refs when opponents playing better. ).

And that,s why Adz, we have to learn fm the Wispa ladies as the hv shown utter respect for both players and officals of all levels and they are the ones promoting and exhibiting that squash is a clean and beautiful game,( they hug and kiss, even when they lose and thank the ref's even if he's a lousy one) therefore they are the true champions of squash, ( even when they hv a smaller pay check, they deserve better)

Fyi number of internationals or world refs available in tournaments depends on it's prize and most tournments , are refereed by locals in the earlier stages and only in $120k onwards tournaments do u have int'l or world ref fm quarter finals onwards.

So Adz, that answer yr question why some bads or lousy decisions are made as mostly $10 and below tournaments do not hv the money for good refs. and why I find the men's game ugly,

Also rippa yr pts shud be brougt up time and and again with the world ref.body and attention to Mr Graham Walters ( Canadian)



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From rippa rit - 07 Jan 2008 - 21:06

edmund - some food for thought.  Things that I think are very relevant:

  • how many professional players have been invited to attend Referee Seminars to present papers? 
  • Do PSA or WISPA have representation on the Referee panel?
  • How often do senior referees (those who are highly regarded by the players) sit in on top matches, and give feedback/reports to the junior refs?

Maybe you can put forward some of those ideas at your next Seminar for discussion, if you feel it is appropriate. 

Not just squash, but heaps of sports seem to have their little groups talking themselves up, often without much regard for the players (juniors, masters, professionals, court owners, social, ladies, men, coaches, etc) that they represent, and whose affiliation fees are expended to keep those Committees alive.

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From edmpnd1961 - 07 Jan 2008 - 12:13

U guys got my pts wrong, I play competitive at 30years (1990) got certified referee course(1996) and started referee since then, attended world referee's conference (1997) and refereed in the Singapore Open, got certifed as a level one coach end of 2001 and coached for a year ad a half and was out of squash completely in 2003 as my son was born. came by in march 2007 and started coaching and refereeing again.

Aldo we here in Singapore, due to lack of not only funding but more due to our educational systems, most of us r lucky if we are able to make it to play for yr school in the earlier years.

Like I said, only started to play serious squash at 30 years of age and I now 46years and abt a 4.5 - 6 pts max.player.

Also fyi rippa, and adz, IOC delegates watched a psa match which was full of lets and agurements and were left  shock and puzzled and scratching and shaking heads. So now you know why squash is still knocking it's doors.

Had it been a straight 3-0 game between Amir and James Wilstrop. we would hv been in the Olympics 2012.

Tks Guys


P.S. Adz, we are talking abt Tournaments and not exhibitions knucklehead. and fyi gamesmenship to win pts is cheating but for entertain is ok 


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From Adz - 07 Jan 2008 - 06:58

I'm sorry, I wouldn't normally resort to insults to make my point, but this discussion appears to be going round in circles.

Rita, as ever I think you are absolutely spot on! I have seen, experienced and executed sportsmanship to overturn a poor referee decision on numerous occasions. Players who know and have a deep understanding of what it means to play a hard, competative match with some sort of prize (or even worse: reputation!) on the line, all know what it means to push yourself to your absolute limits to attain that prize!


My question is, how come you have such a bad view of male squash players? Do you honestly believe that no "cheating" or rule bending exists in ANY professional sports in the world? You mention that "squashies" deserve to get punished like any other sports when they break the rules, but you say that like you're the type of guy who has zero tollerance for any rule breaking of any kind? Like if you were refereeing some sort of exhibition match, you'd punish the players just as severely as if it were the final of the world championship. How can you not see that a small amount of "gamesmanship" is a good thing. Note that this is NOT cheating. Cheating is underhanded and designed for personal gain. Gamesmanship is designed in part to gain advantage, but also to please the crowd.

When the "gamesmanship" Masters take things too far (like Macenroe or Power on occasion), then there are rules in place to bring them back in line. HOWEVER, those rules if enforced to the letter (like you seem to want), would destroy the fun element and the gamesmanship in squash, and also in sport in general! But in a strange way, it shows the separation between people who have played to a high level, and those that haven't. People who have only learnt the sport from a book, especially a rule book, cannot understand the certain subtleties of the sport.

This is my main argument about having referees to only referee matches at a level they have played at, or at least passed appropriate tests for. The sad fact is that some people read a rule book and learn it cover to cover and think they know everything about the sport, but squash (due to its high pace) cannot just be learnt in a book. You have to experience the play, the emotion and the stresses first hand. It seems to me that you want to apply an indepth knowledge of the rules with a rather poor understanding of the sport. My only concern is that if the rule execution were left up to people of your mind-set, it would destroy the sport that every member of this website loves so much. There would be no questioning of incompetant referees or even those who choose to cheat. The game would degenerate into a dictatorship , where referees would hold all the cards (no matter how incompetant) and players who once used gamesmanship to entertain would be left silent.

My only hope is that the passion shown by the players on this site, and the support in the world for people like Power and Macenroe, can show you that this is what people want to see in the world. Passion, excitement. Players who aren't afraid to show their frustrations or joys WITHIN LIMITS. This is why the rules exist. As guidelines for referees to use their own judgement in employing. Judgement that they should have gained through experience, not studying a book.

Yours, a now FRUSTRATED


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From rippa rit - 06 Jan 2008 - 21:14

Edmund when sports are selected for the Olympics I am sure the last thing they are bothered about is referee decisions; I believe that is a squash "housekeeping" problem. The more publicity squash gets the better chance it stands of being noticed by the public, and unfortunately often brats do a good job of getting the media attention. I feel somehow the perspective on this topic is a little out of balance, and I have empathy for both players and referees, having experienced being at both ends of the spectrum.

My thought, at this minute is for you to visualise, or better still, physically play a competitive match against one of your team players, with a purse of $50k on the results of 3 match results; best of 5 games, PARS scoring. Do you think you would experience anxiousness, frustration with the referee, lack of concentration, physical exertion, muscle spasms, and all of those things you have witnessed as a spectator or referee?  Then to cap it off you lose the series by an appeal to the Referee for a LET, on match ball, knowing in your mind it was a borderline call; then shake hands feeling as pleased as punch?   I don't think so, no matter how good a sport you are.

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From edmpnd1961 - 06 Jan 2008 - 11:45

Hi Rippa,

Live and let live, the world is goven by rules like it or not, It's just that especially in the men's game no respect given to ref's and is not acceptable, IOC will not agree on yr point.

It has never happen in Wispa tournaments only in Psa.

So guys (men) like fm the girls and we will be in the Olympics sooner than expected.

U points not exceppted fm an certifed referee point of view.


Edmond Sng

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From rippa rit - 06 Jan 2008 - 07:05

edmund - some of your points are really good.  Honesty is a good policy which makes for sportsmanship.  That is great. And, yes, that works when both players are of the same principle. And I have seen top players in a match reverse the Ref's decision when they knew they had infringed the rules, or even thrown the next point to keep the friendship and not antagonise their opponent. However, I think some of your points are over the top.  Why? 

  • If there are rules in place, no matter what sport, or arena for that matter,  they must be used and interpreted correctly, abided by, and applied seriously.
  • If the rules are not important,  why not just play without scoring at all, or, maybe score but have no rules, eg "sorry I go in ya way mate" and throw the ball to the opponent to continue playing.  So, where does this stop? Ball hits the line "oh, that was good enough keep playing". Yes, and hit the ball back to the opponent so he does not get too tired.

Edmund, come on, rules have to be applied to all competitive sport, and participants should do their part in learning and understanding them, and the Refs should be one step above that. Reffing is another skill just like playing and it requires many hours of practice too including training, seminars - yep, and for no pay unfortunately.

In the main, squash players who are serious, strive for competence, and that is in their nature.  True, it is not in everybody's nature, and that is probably where the problem begins.

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From edmpnd1961 - 06 Jan 2008 - 02:09

Hi Roomies,

I like to reiterate that rules r rules and if atheles of other sports obey rules and r punished  when they cheat, why?,why? why? not squashies, also ru;es of squash, which was meant ,more  for the purpose of preventing injuries, instead of it being abuse for points by two gentleman in court.

It happens when the going gets tough and u could not take defeat gentlemanly and the poor ref gets the blame because of yr poor performance, as specoa;;y when u train so hard all winter.

Wat a bull, like i said lose graciously  and behave and act like a true champion and take it on the chin, specially when the chips r down/

The IOC r watching and it not nice to see grown man moaning on tv with millions of kids watching.

Wake up Squashies and help make squash a respectful and clean game, so that we can please the IOC delegateas watching. know wat I meant.





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From rippa rit - 05 Jan 2008 - 21:49

adz while I am on this Referee roll. Once a few things become clear in a Ref's mind the decision is not all that hard. To recap what is critical to making the correct decision:

  • Did the Striker make every effort to clear the ball.
  • Did the Opponent to make every effort to play the ball.

Next thought

  • Is the INTERFERENCE happening as the opponent is ready to strike the ball, when the LET is in fact being called?   Half the time the LET is asked for when  the striker is not even in a position at that instant to hit the ball, so, unless the players collide there is no need to make any call at all,  but just keep chasing the ball, by which time the player will probably be out of the way, and no call for a LET is justified.

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From Adz - 05 Jan 2008 - 19:54   -   Updated: 05 Jan 2008 - 19:59


Those last two bullet points were the most important and the ones that I've seen overlooked by so many "club" referees in the past. They don't seem to realise that just because someone COULD reach the ball, doesn't mean that they made a sufficient effort to play the ball.

It takes me back to a team match that I was refereeing in about 8 years ago, the player on my team was stood just behind the T, and his opponent was stood between the edge of the left-hand service and the T. The opponent played the ball with a backhand drive that was in-line with the side if the service box, and the player from my team immediately called "please". The opponent knew immediately that he'd played the ball virtually over his own shoulder and it must have been a stroke. And here I openly admit to making an incorrect call..... "Yes Let" I announced. But why was this the incorrect call? Surely it must have been a stroke?

The player on the T had his racquet by his right-hand ankle and made zero effort to change positions and play the ball. His opponent (as well as most of the audience) just assumed that I was going to give a stroke and probably would have accepted it. In my head I knew that it should have been "No Let", but fearing a lynch mob I gave a "Let" decision. Wrong I admit, and certainly not something I'd do now (I'm big enough to look after myself against a lynch mob these days!).

Needless to say, the opposition were amazed (& very happy) with the call, and the home team (my team!) were furious that I hadn't given the stroke. I stated quite quickly to both players that I did not feel enough effort was made to reach the ball and I wasn't going to give a stroke in this situation. I even explained my decision and openly said that it could have easily been a No Let! Shortly afterwards I left that team because of that decision (which is why it was so memorable for me!).

I guess in a way that this situation changed my perception on refereeing. A thankless task needing split second decisions, sometimes made under huge amounts of pressure. But I still stick by my guns and say that any referee who cannot REASONABLY justify a decision which does not appear to make sense, should be able to be challenged. There is no shame in admitting an initial mistake if you then make the appropriate call to correct it. If the referee cannot give a logical reason for their call then they have made a) an incompetant decision or b) a deliberately wrong (cheating?) decision. In the first case they should correct their call if faced with further evidence, or hang their head in shame and give up the pen when faced with someone calling them out for cheating!

This is where I feel that the rulebook sometimes gets it wrong. "A player cannot challenge a referee's decision"?!?!? What a load of rubbish. This statement gives the incompetant and the cheating referees a place to hide, and I'm glad that it's a rule that is rarely followed by most players. If I make a complete mess of a decision (didn't see something, or sneezed at the wrong time!), I want people to shout at me and tell me that I made a huge mistake, and if unsure, I will ALWAYS play a let, unless convinced to call some other decision by BOTH players.

Does this make me an evil or cheating player? NO!

Does this make me an incompetant or cheating referee? NO!

It makes me human and although I like to think I'm perfect, I know that I'm not, and I can make mistakes. Same as ANY player or referee!

Bah! It's Saturday morning and I have stuff to be getting on with...... Doggies.... Walkies!!!!!!!!



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From rippa rit - 05 Jan 2008 - 11:36

This post has brought into this thread a few previous discussions I know, eg

  • top players being referees would help the game heaps; so why don't our top players become referees, when it is such a difficult job to sum up a situation is a split second. That would improve the quality of our refereeing, not saying it would be perfect.
  • if you keep getting strokes called sgainst you change the return, to hit the ball away from your position on court, so both players are not working within the same couple of square metres of the court.  Often referred to as "vary your game".
  • Strokes/Lets/Interference

The sooner a player can learn to think on court, using some key thoughts, the better. So let's start with this bit of the line of reasoning to make it a little easier, eg

Did interference occur - No

  •  Too bad, get on with the game, NO LET.
Did interference occur - Yes
  • Could the player have hit the ball if there was no obstruction, NO. Too bad get on with the game, NO LET.

Did interference occur - Yes

  • Could the player have hit the ball if there was no obstruction, YES.  Play a LET (provided the interference was contributed by both players).

Did interference occur - Yes

  • Could the player have hit a winning return, YES.  STROKE to the incoming Striker (provided both players were making every effort to avoid the interference)

To me this covers most questions I have heard on this forum about Ref decisions.

I hope this helps.  Remember the thinking begins with this message: Did

  • The Striker to make every effort to clear the ball.
  • The Opponent to make every effort to play the ball.

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From Adz - 05 Jan 2008 - 02:33

Playing the ball hard down the line at the top levels of play at the wrong times will put the striking player in a positional disadvantage. You're right that they wouldn't have time to clear the ball and get into a good position from which to return the next shot. You first have to remember that the modern pros can play virtually any shot from any position on the court. Without having a good positional sense you would be crucified by playing some shots.

If the guys you play are driving the ball hard into the service box and not clearing in time, why don't you learn to play a stunned boast that dies close to the front wall in the opposite corner? Really push them forward to the maximum extent that you can. Especially if they are stuck in the service box!  They will quickly learn that the hard drive is a tactically poor shot to play if they aren't clearing and getting into position. Of course if they are in a position that would give away a CERTAIN stroke, then call it! Just once of twice, but explain to them WHY it's a stroke. They probably don't realise it themselves. Pointing it out with someone who can agree with you watching the match is usually a good idea!

I personally wouldn't go along the lines of explaining the full "line of thinking" as you'll end up arguing points of view with them and you both never agree fully!

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From edmpnd1961 - 04 Jan 2008 - 11:34

Hi Rippa,

WSF , Line of Thinking are meant for Referees to refresh themselves , so that if possible every one of them are thinking alike when on Referee's Duty, but sad to say if certifed Refs are not using it properly, how to u expected players to understand, let alone thinking abt it while playing , well maybe read it up and try to understand,why some Refs, if nit all of them screwed up so to speak, at some point in time and at different levels. as  we have to filter all those process, and make a correct decision, in a split second.

So pls hv applause the good referees, who do their job, for the love of the game and of course , we all hate refs who cheat in favour of their own player.

Tks and Rdgs

Edmond Sng

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From rippa rit - 03 Jan 2008 - 07:49   -   Updated: 03 Jan 2008 - 07:50

From drop-shot - 02 Jan 2008 - 23:08   -   Updated: 02 Jan 2008 - 23:08

I must say I am very happy reading letter from Edmond Sng as it takes the game to another level of intensity and popularity. Playing squash on semi-amateur level for 4-5 years I've found out people usually do not really know/ understand the rules and too often they have room for discussion, doubts and quarrels. It's bad for game.

So, less let/ yeas let, means more game. I am happy. 

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From edmpnd1961 - 02 Jan 2008 - 11:16

Hi, Im player, certified coach cum referee and recently attend a meeting with my refeeree mentor, who is currently still an international referee,at PSA/WISPA Circuit, and he concluded that the world body wants a continuity of play, which means more no-lets and strokes will be given than lets if possible even in a social game as we humans are creatures of habit and are very stubbon or resistant to changes.

Therefore as mention above shud opponent fails to clear and wnats to control T area and plays the ball back to themselfs without clearing for the in coming player to strike the ball, a stroke shud be given, otherwise as suggested hit the ball into the buttocks or legs asa hard as possible to get the message thru.

A Happy and Prosperous New Year Guys. also Happy Squashing.


Edmond Sng


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From hamburglar - 01 Jan 2008 - 03:30

keep calling lets, that's what they are, and if they don't understand why, toss a crosscourt lob into their back and take the point. If they argue, drill the next crosscourt drive into their backside.

It also depends if you're calling it like the pros are. Pros will only use about half the front wall on their drives, so as long as the opponent is not cutting off the whole front wall, they'll keep playing. I only call a let/stroke if they're in front of the spot where i'm going to hit the ball.

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