Mr. Cipriano's Ten Thoughts On The State Of Softball Squash In America--College Squash Paid Referees by Bob Hanscom
February 14, 2013
Thank goodness Mr. Cipriano isn't very good at predicting the future of
"softball" squash in America. Here are some (six-year-old) quotes from
him, including our COMMENTS...
1. "Nobody age 40 or over enjoys playing four softball matches in a weekend"
COMMENT: Well...it happens that
there are currently over 670 men and women between the ages of 40 and
80 who are U.S. Squash nationally ranked in the softball game. Of
course this doesn't take into account all those age-group players who
play recreational softball squash...every day!
2. "The softball crowd doesn't have that same scholastic link..."
And..." That is part of why the membership of the USSRA is way down
from the mid-80's."
COMMENT: Well...I think there
would be many who might challenge that "scholastic" comment! And...what
about this from U.S. Squash, "The United States has the fastest growing
squash participation level of any country worldwide, showing a
remarkable growth of 105% to nearly 16,000 current members." Enough
said on that one!
3. "... pro squash is a non-starter in the USA and promoters will have a rough time making a profit."
COMMENT: Well...don't tell, or
better yet, ask John Nimick about that one, not to mention asking the
promoters, hosts and sponsors of the Delaware Investments U.S.Open,
Cleveland Classic, North American Open, etc., etc!
4. "The ISDA will probably continue at its present level and continue to generate modest profits"
COMMENT: Well...it's too bad, but the pro doubles game has suffered economically regarding sponsorship.
5. "Squash doesn't televise well at all — consequently the chances of realizing any broadcast revenue is miniscule."
COMMENT: Oh, oh...PLEASE...don't tell the WSF and all of us proponents of getting squash into the 2020 Olympic Games that! Heavens!
6. "Many parents think that squash will provide a big boost to their child in the college admissions process."
certainly true! This is one of the reasons junior squash is one of the
fastest growing squash programs in America, with participation in U.S.
SQUASH junior events increasing by more than 400%!
7. "... league and tournament play by amateurs in the USA is miniscule
by comparison to what it once was. Just compare tournament enrollments
in '84 across the USA to today.
COMMENT: Well...ask U.S. Squash
CEO Kevin Klipstein about that! Better yet, check out:
8. "...I don't think that any kid should be forced to STOP playing a
sport to concentrate on squash. Squash is a GAME and it is to be played
COMMENT: Well...we agree and think so too! Once again however, check out the statistics on U.S. Squash growth and innovation.
9. "Title IX has had many positive impacts in promoting athletic
participation by women, but when it chokes off equal access to sport by
men, then exceptions should be made."
COMMENT: Well...thanks to Title
IX, "equality" for women athletes and female sports in general, it has
taken an upswing, which we don't believe has "choked off equal access
to sport by men."
10."... squash is the only sport in the world which has competing
scoring systems- which bespeaks its "minor league" status. This should
COMMENT: Well...we believe that
HAS happened, at least for the singles game, i.e. the PSA and WSA
(WISPA) has gone to PAR 11 scoring, as has most of all U.S. Squash
amateur tournaments...including all of its national championships!
So...it seems that Mr. Cipriano was just a little off (six years ago)
regarding his thoughts on "the state of squash in American." Good thing!
Regarding Mr. Cipriano's response to the article on hiring professional
referees for college squash, much of what he stated has nothing to do
with refereeing, so we agree with his comments...for the most part.
However, certain facts cannot be denied. Refereeing a game of squash,
(especially one being played by two talented and skillful college
athletes), can be extremely challenging, stressful and difficult under
the best of circumstances! Just ask those "professional" squash
referees who have the knowledge and experience that (hopefully) qualify
them to sit in "that" chair!
What's the call...?
The "heat of the battle" brings out the best, but sometime (as human
beings and unintentionally), the worst in all of us. Putting college
squash-players in this position, expecting them to do their best as
squash-players...as well as referees is...as we've pointed out, unfair
and too much to ask of them. Do as other college sports do, hire
professionals to do a "professional" job!