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Constructed interference?

Published: 11 Apr 2008 - 03:03 by bunchipe

Updated: 12 Apr 2008 - 11:18

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There is a player at our club who hits the ball very hard all the time and, in my opinion and the opinion of several others, very often has an excessive swing and excessive follow-through. Most often when playing with him I feel like I am going to be injured and therefore try to keep well away from him. I suspect that he consciously or unconsciously uses his excessive swing and follow-through to actually clear the court so that his opponent will have a hard time returning his shots. How would folks suggest that I approach this?

Secondly, he went through a phase where he would keep turning on a serve to his backhand and immediately call a let presumably because he would hit is opponent. It seemed evident to me that he would keep turning (and calling let) until he got a serve that he liked/preferred. Is this allowed?

More recently he has this habit of what I would call "constructing interference". If his opponent's shot happens to touch the side wall on a volley and comes inward he will immediately look back to see where is opponent is standing/positioned, extend both his arms out and back up towards his opponent. Then he will leisurely hit a sharp boast from either his forehand or backhand with a very exaggerated swing. One could try to rush in to retrieve the boast but, in my opinion, one also risks getting hit on his return. Recently I decided to call a let when he does that because I felt that (a) I was deliberately being crowded and (b) I couldn't get to the ball safely. He didn't like that one bit and got angry. If I get a shot like that coming off the side wall I feel that there are many, many options to hit a decent shot without having to claim the whole court. What do you all think?

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From rippa rit - 12 Apr 2008 - 11:18

bun - I guess the info you gather from this site is about self-education too.

Then from all that is said you will no doubt try to apply it with your knowledge and expertise to the situation.  There is a song "Easier said than done..."

Also, we often are talking to the converted, and the ones who need to know the rules do not want to know.....and prefer the decision "play a let" irrespective of the technical details .



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From Adz - 11 Apr 2008 - 19:03

I have to say that this type of situation is very tough to deal with WITHOUT a referee present. Many of us on here are guilty (myself included) of just reeling off the rules of squash to suit a given situation, but often I feel we don't always give our starting-out players the best advice for the level that they play at.


So you have a player who by the sound of it is a larger player with an excessive swing (I mean tall / long armed by larger). On numerous occasions you (and others in your club) are finding yourselves stuck out of position by this individual "pushing" you into corners and then blocking your next shot by a possibly excessive swing.


Now without a referee present this type of thing is extremely difficult to handle as there are a number of issues to take into consideration. Firstly, you have to give your opponent room to play the ball or you will incur a stroke.

As an aside I find this particular topic very interesting as last night I played a player who is very tall (6'4") and hits the ball at a blistering pace when given the space to do so. His swing is naturally large due to his size and this makes his court presence quite intimidating. My solutions for solving how to play him might be appliable to your problems!

So back to the topic, if you have a player who you must give room to when they are playing shots, then you MUST get yourself into a covering position and learn to play the ball in deep-lunge positions. There is NO way that you will be able to run to the ball to play a shot without large strides and lunges as if you are out of the ideal position and the ball is played away from you then you simply won't be able to reach it! I tend to get myself directly in line with the opponent and the opposite front corner. This gives them the opportunity to see the entire front wall, but cuts down my distance to recover the shot. Now this is where I find it gets tricky for up and coming players, as the positions taken up on court are usually not ideal to make these kinds of returns. Indeed it is the first thing I always instruct a new student in when I start coaching. There are so many variations on this that I feel I cannot go into detail at this time, but get yourself a good positional or movement coach and they can show you how an where to move during these situations.


So you have this player with the excessive swing who blocks off the court. Some things to think about doing:

1) Keeping the ball TIGHT and STRAIGHT so make them move to one side of the court of the other and stop them blocking off the middle (which is where you'll need to be to recover their shots)

2) Playing the ball slower to give yourself time to recover your position RELATIVE to your opponent. This is not always on the T!!

3) Making the player stretch to reach the ball. This can be a low, WIDE crosscourt, a low drop or a high lob, but you need to take away their ability to wind up for that swing or to raise those arms to block you off.


Doing all of these three things will virtually eliminate the situations where they can block you off, but writing them is far easier than doing them. Make sure you get plenty of practise in keeping the ball straight and tight, and work closely on avoiding playing crosscourts as often as you previously were.


Hope some of this makes sense and helps with the problems!




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From bunchipe - 11 Apr 2008 - 10:36

Thanks very much Rippa. The "Relevant Content" feature is really nifty. I had a good read and I'm fairly confident of the approach I should be taking.

In thinking about this I think that in many ways I think that the Rules of Squash apply somewhat poorly to average and sub-average players. That is, we're very far from being perfect. We get in each other's way all the time, our poor shots set us up for interference and lets and strokes. Therefore, I think at the level of friendly club play we should make an extra effort to play friendly and overlook very strict interpretations of the Rule regarding strokes and such.

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From rippa rit - 11 Apr 2008 - 08:23

The tab "Relevant Content" has several links (see the tab on the left hand column of the post).

Interference is interference no matter how it comes about, and some might be referred to as deliberate and probably what you are referring to.

After you have a good read of the tabs you will probably realise how to deal with this.  Of course the options are only "let please" and then the application of the rules to the situation.

If you are still not clear of you position in the circumstances you mention, put in a further question.

Reference links:

Turning, Rule 9

Interference, Rule 12

WSF Rules and Rules Forum

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