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Rules n Referees

Published: 16 Jan 2008 - 11:46 by edmpnd1961

Updated: 23 Jan 2008 - 10:34

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Pls look up and at the bottom of page under the tiltle Information Sections,u will find the above and have a good read, especially so,Wispa Player, Runa Reta's Part's I n II.

Unless professional players put thier money where the mouths are. and be involved by being referees themselves in tourments that they play in. this chicken and egg subject will never ever be resolve ambicaly.




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From rippa rit - 23 Jan 2008 - 10:34

raystrach - and I will go one more (I've been watching tennis lately so that gives me more thoughts about squash refereeing), so it is a timely post.

I have noticed a few things about the attributes of a Referee:

  • good eye sight
  • good hearing
  • good reasoning skills
  • quick reflex
  • good understanding of the game
  • know the theory behind the rules (and not just be able to score)
  • be confident
  • be consistent
  • good concentration
  • stable personality
  • stay neutral
How can you be so harsh on honorary workers? You cannot.

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From raystrach - 23 Jan 2008 - 09:19   -   Updated: 23 Jan 2008 - 09:34

hi all

i will admit to not following this post and the associated one (view here) as closely as i might have.

is has backed up what most squash players know is true:

Referees decisions will never satisfy everyone.

It does not matter whether you are playing or posting here, refereeing is contentious. For what it is worth here are a few observations...

  • Many players (including the pros) don't really know the rules (some perhaps dont want to know them)
  • It does not matter how many referees you have, some players will be unhappy about some decisions
  • two good referees can make totally different decisions on the same situation and both be right - there is so much judgement involved and so many close calls
  • Referees for pro matches on show courts have a very tough job as they are too far away from the action
  • referees should have to say in concise terms(say, about 10 words) , the reason for a decision (eg stroke, interference and  insufficient effort in clearing the ball)
  • the pros don't want to referee because it is a very hard job which takes a lot of energy out out of you - not what you want when you are trying to play one of the world's toughest sports!
  • besides, referees get paid zip (ie, 0) most times so is it little wonder the pros are not interested
  • i think the biggest problem with referees is that many have little idea of the itensity of the game that is being played - 2 players htting a squash ball with more power than many rifles both playing in the same court (not either side of the net), trying to get round each other  - it truly is brutal
  • it is unrealistic to think that there will not be some conflict and disagreement - it is part of the sport and it is part of what makes it exciting (as long as it does not go overboard)
  • we need to use technology more to assist referees
  • maybe we need to get rid of lets for the pros - make it stroke or no stroke - you watch the players get out of the way then!!
  • we are NEVER going to get full agreement on the best way to referee

having played squash at a reasonably high level and also having qualified as a referee, i know that referees who have not played to a high level can sometimes have a weakness when it comes to judgement on positional issues (eg could a player get to the ball, was a player too close etc)

at the pro level, maybe the sport (psa, wispa, wsf) should create something of a career for some of our ex pros and make them professional referees or get the best of the current crop and actually start paying them.

having said all that, we must remember that we are interested in squash because of the players, not the referees.  in this forum, let's talk about (and disagree about if necessary) the issues, don't get too bogged down in all the detail - we want a better game.

oh yes, for a moment there i almost forgot squash is a game.

please remember that when the next post about referees comes into the forum!

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From Adz - 22 Jan 2008 - 04:46

This entire discussion is in danger of breaking down to a farce yet again.

Ed, I hope that this makes it clear for you:

Please can you stick to making useful and sensible comments that actually have a point to them. I'm still not entirely sure what your point was with the previous post? Maybe to show that the 3 referee system is

a) Working? Well we knew that, but thanks for pointing it out

b) Used before? Well we knew that too, and you still haven't been able to provide any more details than anyone else.

For now I'm away on business and having a nice early night due to a 4.30am arrival yeasterday!!

Bye for now!


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From edmpnd1961 - 20 Jan 2008 - 11:50

Hi Guys

At go Rules and Referees and click on Referees. who's who in the wsk referee's list...etc......etc..... then cllick on Referee's newsletter and u will find the WSF Referee's Review June 2007, on the 3-ref system by Rod Symington.

And the one who laugh last in squash, sadly but surely are the referees. Hahaha...........


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From rippa rit - 19 Jan 2008 - 09:46

Adz - I do understand.  

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From rippa rit - 19 Jan 2008 - 09:34

Ed - having a sub-commitee is a good thing, in my opinion for answering these rules queries, as there would be discussion on any "curly" questions before the answer becomes public. And, of course these discussion are then made on clear-cut indicators, not on perhaps this happened, eg "did they, or if they, or he should,..but.."

To me, we seem to have some mixed purposes here, again:

i)  knowing the rules (get your Theory ticket).

ii) applying the rules to a situation (having the experience to appreciate which rule applies). To know who is doing what.

iii) understanding the order of applying the rule/s with respect to two people on court working in close proximity. Sometimes we go on about the rules when in fact the whole decision would be nipped in the bud with one swift rule application and no further discussion or thought is applicable, "PLAY ON".

iv) having sufficient regular referees practising throughout the squash community to educate the players. Refs must feel confident to take a stand with players, knowing the whole situation on court has been taken into account (they have experienced the situation many times over and it is automatic decision making).

v) having the confidence to stick to your guns as a Ref knowing you are correct, and handing out Strokes, Lets, Conduct Warnings, Continuous Play, Interference etc decisions.

Come to think of it, this discussion is like flogging a "dead horse"- why?

  • We don't have enough qualified Refs
  • We do not have the money to pay the Refs
  • We do not have the resources to set up Ref education programs (and they would not turn up unless there was payment anyway!)
  • Most matches in the main are officiated by unqualified referees, or played without a Ref and Marker.
  • A great percentage of the Refs have never played at National or International level.
  • We have no facilities for replays, only video replays which can be done at a "it's all over" time, so it is history.
  • The time is far away when we will have a Marker on each line, Referee conflab or replay and conflab on appeals. 

Yeah, and that sounds like legal stuff, but a different court involved. Hey, I am not finished yet -

Watching the respect the players get from "hawk eye" (tennis technology) has really opened my eyes to the difference it makes to the matches; evidence is a wonderful thing. Where an aggitated player appeals, often you can see the smoke coming from their nostrils, and "hawk eye" just comes across and takes the whole gloom away (no tantrums, no adoo, no arguments), immediate acceptance, decision taken, play continues.....I love the concept, it causes a sensation too for the audience. It is hard enough having a mental battle with yourself, and with the opponent, let along taking on the Ref as well.

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From Adz - 18 Jan 2008 - 20:26


With no due respect, I have read the comments from Runa before, and read them through again since you posted your link. I have to say it made me laugh to re-read your opinions of how polite WISPA is, when this article suggests otherwise.

Also I'm sure that Mr Don Ball would be in complete agreement with you that he knows nothing about the rules in practise, especially given that he is only a Sub-Committe Director of the WSF, dealing with all questions relating to rulings sent to the WSF.

To be perfectly honest I for one find most of your opinions ludicrous. But, given your vast knowledge of the sport and clear connections to the corridors of power, I'm sure I'm wrong with my assumptions about you.

I'm also surprised you haven't mentioned the exact details surrounding the 3-referee system. The facts that this system was used almost TWENTY years ago. Stating that the main difference between the system used then, and the system used now is that the 2 extra referees were there for an appeals system - "Appeal Left" - "Appeal Right".

As mentioned in a different thread, the majority of people are on here to learn and to recieve advice and encouragement from knowledgeable members. I stated quite clearly on that thread, that I (and hopefully no-one else) can not be bothered arguing with you on these topics. However you seem intent on trying your best to goad me and others into arguing with you.

I suggest that you learn to either give constructive advice, based on sound reasoning and justification, or learn to keep quiet.

As I, and many other regular posters on here have said, we may not be perfect, but we do our best to help others on here who have difficulties and problems with any and ALL aspects of the game. We base our advice mostly on experience and will continue to give that advice to those who seek it.

I for one will be backing-up ALL of my future advice on rules and referees with both experience and extracts from the rules. It will be left to the reader on whether or not they agree with what I have written or disagree with it.

I apologise to others for what is half "rant" and half "exhaustion" of a post. I will get this topic back on post by asking the question:

How do different people react to the following situation:

In a friendly match (so NO referee) between a junior (17 y/o) and an adult opponents, the opponent keeps deliberately blocking the path to the ball. The junior is fast enough to reach the ball, but is constantly being left out of position due to having to retrieve around the player. What advice would you give to the junior in this position? Please note that asking for a let everytime is not being accepted by the adult, even though it is the correct thing to do.



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From edmpnd1961 - 18 Jan 2008 - 11:54

Hi Rippa,

Don Ball is a Director of sub committe on rules at WSF ( in theory only) and not a World or International and as such no match officiating experience on the Psa or Wispa tournaments.

Pls read comments on Runa's part I n II rules n ref's, one and all ( especially Adz ) and fyi the three ref's systems was tried on before and not an original idea fm JP.

U shud also read the WSF lastest update on the three Ref's systems/



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From rippa rit - 16 Jan 2008 - 17:39   -   Updated: 16 Jan 2008 - 17:43

Don Ball runs a Referee Forum for WSF and I know you have to wait a week to get a reply sometimes but it is worth a read.

This is the WSF Rules link which is very comprehensive too, but yes you have to read them. The Idiot's Guide to the Rules is good too, as that probably related to most of us!

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Thanks a lot!!!I will have a lot of rest from now on. Your help is really a huge inspiration. Thanks.

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