Squash is a sport that consists of bouncing a ball against a wall with a racket in such a way as to make it as difficult as possible for the opponent to bounce that ball. The game takes place in an area marked with lines, which determine the boundaries of the court.
The game is played up to 11 points in a given set (there are 2 or 3 sets – depending on the players’ arrangements or tournament rules). Each action begins with one player serving the ball, and a serving change takes place when the player serving loses the exchange – then a change takes place. To score a point, you must lead the opponent to a mistake, equal to not performing a proper stroke.
Although squash is a recently popular sport, some say that the sport originated in the twelfth century. At that time, French prisoners would bounce a ball against the cell wall with a racket as a form of entertainment. The ball then supposedly made a “squash” sound, hence the name of the game. However, this is not official information and cannot be confirmed but treated as a titbit.
However, official records date back to the 19th century. It was then – in 1830 – that the game was introduced to schools. However, only 34 years later – in 1864 – the first game courts were built, and squash was recognized as a sport discipline.
A little later – in 1890 – the Duke of Beaufort mentioned the discipline in his book. In 1901 an entire book was dedicated to squash written by Eustach Miles.
The first official competition of squash dates back to 1920 when the Championship of England was played. In 1922 the first women’s championship took place, as women could not previously participate in the games. Eight years after the first championships – in 1928 – the first organization dedicated to this sport was established, called the Squash Racquet Association.
Since then, squash has become increasingly popular around the world. This happened because soldiers going on distant missions took this game with them to colonial countries. So squash was brought to Australia, South Africa, Egypt, India, or Pakistan, for example, thanks to the expeditions of British troops.
In Poland, however, it wasn’t until 1976 that squash was introduced, allegedly thanks to the arrival of Swedish workers who were building a hotel. Next to the hotel, the first squash court in Poland was built, as the game was a favorite form of entertainment among the visiting builders. Similar to other cases, the discipline was gaining recognition, and in 2005 the “Polish Squash Federation” was established, whose primary goal is to popularize this sport on a larger scale in the country.
Currently, squash remains a popular sport, played in as many as 150 countries and 47 thousand game courts. In 1992, an organization called the “World Squash Federation” was created to control the sport on a broader scale. It consists of 124 countries, and the headquarters of the federation is located in England, which is the heart from which the discipline originated.