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Use of non-dominant hand in first round of competi

Published: 19 May 2015 - 15:28 by Michael.Landon

Updated: 12 Jul 2015 - 18:47

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A normal right handed player (intermediate standard) chooses to play a first round match using his left hand and loses, thus going into the Plate competition where he now has a good chance of winning that competition. This appears to be cheating but, with the marker and referee of that game allowing left handed play throughout the match, what is the ruling should the player revert to his dominant right hand in the first round of the Plate and through the next rounds? Our tournament Committee has suggested that he must play the remainder of the competition left handed only or be disqualified. I should be grateful for any guidance as to the action we can take for the remainder of the tournament. Thank you.
Michael Landon, Tournament Organiser, Seychelles Squash Associationsquash game squash extras How to add images to Members' Forum posts and replies here...


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From rippa rit - 12 Jul 2015 - 18:47

The short answer i believe is to add a clause to the tournament conditions which often give the Tournament Referee other duties other than squash rules, eg clothing colour, shoes to be worn, age of juniors, veterans, and now a ruling about the dominant/non dominant hand.

I know of players who have had a serious tennis elbow problem choosing to play with the non-dominant hand for two years or more, and their grade/standard was graded accordingly; though i have never heard of it being used/switched from hand to hand during a tournament weekend to gain advantage.  We have also had a very good player who switched from hand to hand during play and therefore has no backhand stroke as such.

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From raystrach - 20 May 2015 - 22:31

hi michael

there is no easy answer to this question. to my knowledge, there is nothing specific in the rules that prevent a player from playing with any hand he or she chooses.

are there any rules in your tournament conditions of entry that may offer a solution?

in most tournaments there is a tournament referee and the tournament referee (tr) can often make decisions about any aspect of the tournament. depending on the tournament, this power can be wielded completely without any avenue of appeal.

depending on your situation, the tr could rule that the player play all matches with the non dominant hand

it is possible that the tournament referee could instruct the match referee for the first round of the plate to penalise the player if they played with the dominant hand.

there are rules which pertain to sportsmanlike behaviour, ie 15.5 and 15.6....

15.5  Players must not behave in a manner that is unfair, dangerous, abusive, offensive,
or in any way detrimental to the sport.

15.6  If a player’s conduct is unacceptable, the Referee must penalise the player, stopping
play if necessary.
Unacceptable behaviour includes, but is not limited to:
15.6.1  audible or visible obscenity; 
15.6.2  verbal, physical or any other form of abuse; 
15.6.3  unnecessary physical contact, which includes pushing off the opponent; 
15.6.4  dangerous play, including an excessive racket swing; 
15.6.5  dissent to an Official; 
15.6.6  abuse of equipment or court;  
15.6.7  unfair warm-up; 
15.6.8  delaying play, including being late back on court; 
15.6.9  deliberate distraction; 
15.6.10  receiving coaching during play.

there may be some joy in that for you.

in my opinion, you would want to be very sure that the player deliberately lost the game in order to win the plate, before you took action.

if you are sure, then i believe, there is probably enough in the rules to force the use of the non dominant hand for the remainder of the tournament.

hope this helps


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