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The Scoring Debate

Published: 11 Oct 2008 - 09:35 by rippa rit

Updated: 17 Apr 2010 - 05:07

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I thought this decision on PARS was done and dusted but apparently not.  I personally see the scoring a format choice rather than a rule, depending on the decision of the Tournament Committee/players..  Most decisions are based on the time frame, and the audience though if the results are being used for rankings it is important to be consistent.  Why?

  • PARS (Point a Rally) is sudden death, and if you lose the point, you cannot get it back.  This method gives a quicker result, in that the score still marches on, and does not allow for mistakes, therefore making any lead your opponent has harder to catch up.  The matches will not be so long, and maybe not so boring for the audience.  Though, having said that, the both players may not go for the shots so aggressively in case of error.
  • Traditional Scoring (only winning the point on your serve) means you can stuff up, then work hard in the next point, and retain your score without a penalty. When the Server you can attack, and maybe experiment a bit more, and if it does not work, not lose any vital points.  The matches can go much longer, the audience could be bored waiting for a result.  Tournaments could run out of time, eg played over one day or a weekend,  if they have a large field, as well have plate events.

I am on my hobbyhorse again. If we are to market our sport, our skills and our players,  I believe we need to have more formats, try them all out and see what is more marketable for sponsors.  Then it could be the sponsors/audience choice of format.  If the tournament Scoring/Ranking Points system is to be used there needs to be consistency as some formats will suit some players better than others (skill v fitness senario), then some players who do not like the format might dodge some tournaments to avoid loss of points.  There may be some stats available on the attendance/audience of passed tournaments to gauge which is the most popular so far?

At a pro level I believe all players should be able to do well no matter what the format, and if their strength is running and not skill, they better address that aspect right now.

Let's strive to increase the dynamics of pro squash.

PS - So if PARS is going to be the Pro Scoring System, I want an Olympic Scoring System developed that makes the TV screens on a regular basis due to its extreme dynamics.


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From aprice1985 - 17 Apr 2010 - 05:07

So my league has finally moved to the PARS system (with no input from the players I might add) and I am going to have to adjust, I played a friendly under this system today, lost match 1 and was 2:0 (6:2 in the 3rd) in the second match, all within 40 minutes, I do feel this will unduly shorten league matches.  Also I felt there was less tactical play but this may just have been this particular match and I felt under pressure to attack which is not my natural game, i like long rallies and long matches!

Any advice on how to adjust to the new format, tips that may help? 

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From raystrach - 19 Nov 2008 - 08:12

testing the reply system

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From rippa rit - 01 Nov 2008 - 08:45

Sounds good Jim.  That is a good outcome especially having the establishment and the players around a table should bring benefits to both in the long term.  It would be good to have a player liason officer too so the club members know they have a voice, and can air any grievances.  Even the type of ball used at a lower grade might be something to look at too.

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From jimbob1965 - 31 Oct 2008 - 09:56

Quick update: there is nothing like a good issue to get the debate going and our newsgroup has never been so busy!  There seems to be a consensus that our league should at least trial PARS, possibly in the Premier Division only to start to see how it goes.

However, the scoring debate has got players thinking more generally about why our league has stagnated somewhat over the years and what could be done to arrest the decline.  The upshot is that we are likely to be forming a 'Players' Group' to regularly liaise with the leisure centre management and come up with new initiatives to boost the league/club and stimulate more interest in squash more generally.  This has been an unexpected and much welcome bonus of this debate about scoring and I am now more hopeful than ever that squash will boost its popularity in my neck of the woods at least!



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From rippa rit - 29 Oct 2008 - 09:33   -   Updated: 29 Oct 2008 - 09:35

Jimbob - it is good to see you are being active in your club. 

The main point in the scoring debate is to remember it is nothing to do with the rules of the game.  It is purely a competition format, and there are many formats.  The one that is adopted should be suitable for the venue and players after considering the cost, the time available, the length of the matches, individual or team competition, number per team, number of matches per night, whether it is best of 3 or 5 games, etc..  This must be decided by the organisers of the comp and it is a good idea to trial first, and then maybe take a vote.  The PARS method will definitely shorten the matches and that might act against the comp where players do not get enough squash and feel cheated.  Then, if the games are too short you could make it first to 21.  It might be that PARS and Timed Squash would be fairer.  It could be that Best of 3 and a Round Robin would give more value for money.

Jim, it really does not matter.  You know the winners will be happy, and the losers will complain, oops !!

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From jimbob1965 - 29 Oct 2008 - 08:42

As this is a major change to the rules, I have just today instigated a debate on this issue via our squash league's newsgroup, along with a poll.  The question is:

Following the World Squash Federation's decision to move to PAR (point a rally) scoring to 11, should the squash league adopt this new scoring method, or retain the traditional 'HIHO' (hand in hand out) scoring to 9?

There are 3 choices:

Change to PAR scoring to 11 in all divisions

Retain HIHO scoring to 9 in all divisions

Introduce PAR for the top divisions only (to be determined) and retain HIHO for the rest

It is early days with only a few votes cast, but based on this and the actual comments posted, there is a general willingness to at least try PARS but on a trial basis and probably for the top divisions only to start with.  This is particularly as HIHO scoring can drag matches out at the higher levels, making it difficult to complete a full match in the alotted 40 minute session.

I will post up the final vote and further details about what players think in a few days time once anyone has had time to vote/comment.




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From drop-shot - 26 Oct 2008 - 22:19   -   Updated: 26 Oct 2008 - 22:20

So RIta, we're on the same side of the debate table then.

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From rippa rit - 26 Oct 2008 - 08:42

dropshot - I am very much for trying new ideas to keep reviving or re-enforcing or inventing.  Squash players in general tend to be on the side of caution, and often scared that change will be detrimental to the game or their own game.  I feel quite the opposite.  Nothing in this world stays the same forever, and the game has to move with the times or be left behind. 

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From drop-shot - 25 Oct 2008 - 23:22   -   Updated: 26 Oct 2008 - 08:12

Look how exciting are WISPA matches since PARS was introduced! Look and admire the length and tension of the HiTec World Open matches ( especially Omneya Abdel Kawy vs Laura L. Massaro). I saw the matches and I have to say - PARS is the only way to make squash Olympic.

Of course you hear voices of Grinham and Nicol, but... You can't alwayc whine for the ol' good days, can you?

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From rippa rit - 19 Oct 2008 - 14:07   -   Updated: 19 Oct 2008 - 14:10

WSF Update.  Note WSF have a new President, Mr N. Ramachandran (India).

I was at a Squash Reunion the other night and the PAR Scoring discussion got thrown about, the good and the bad, etc. There seems to be some confusion that everybody who plays squash has to score using PARS, but that is not the case, it is purely an option, though one adopted by the Pros for reasons stated previously.  Old habits die hard.  There was a player in his late fifties who remarked how he wants to use two serves when he plays, and not the one serve rule either (which has been in place in the rules for 20 years or so).  Don't let's get confused about rules and formats, as they are quite different.

One of the comments "no matter what the scoring the best player will win" and really that is true; mind you when you are having a bad day the scoring could be the thing that gets to your head, and you can convince yourself things would have been better if only this and that. 

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From mike - 14 Oct 2008 - 08:41   -   Updated: 15 Oct 2008 - 07:01

With PAR you can look at a score and almost know how many rallies were played (excluding lets).

So the first round match at the World Open between Joey Barrington and Aaron Frankcomb which went for 100 mins but only involved 3 games and 50 points means they must have really rallied :)

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From rippa rit - 14 Oct 2008 - 08:34

PAR is here to stay.  A summary of the results of the Poll and some words from Malcolm Willstrop.


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