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Squash History


Squash has its origins in the older game of rackets, which was played in London’s prisons in the 19th century. Later, around 1830, boys at Harrow School noticed that a punctured ball, which “squashed” on impact with the wall, offered more variety to the game. The game spread to other schools. The first courts built at Harrow were dangerous because they were near water pipes, buttresses, chimneys, and ledges. Natural rubber was the preferred material for the ball. Students modified their rackets to have a smaller reach and improve their ability to play in these cramped conditions.[2] In 1864, the school built four outside courts.[3]

In the 20th century the game increased in popularity with various schools, clubs and private individuals building squash courts, but with no set dimensions.

In 1912, the RMS Titanic had a squash court in first class, available for 8 pence (£12.22 in 2022 terms). The 1st-Class Squash Court was situated on G-Deck. The Spectators Viewing Gallery was one level higher, on F-Deck. Passengers could use the court for one hour unless others were waiting.

In 1923, the Royal Automobile Club hosted a meeting to further discuss the rules and regulations. Five years later, the Squash Rackets Association, now known as England Squash, was formed to set standards for the game in Great Britain and internationally.[2] The rackets were made from one piece English ash, with a suede leather grip and natural gut.

The 1980s witnessed a period of restructuring and consolidation. The Cambridge rackets factory was forced to close in face of the move to graphite rackets, and production was moved to the Far East.[4] Customization of squash rackets has grown over the years as well. There are custom variations on racket head shape, racket balance, and racket weight. The most common racket variation for international singles squash is a teardrop (closed throat) head shape, even balance, and racket weight of 130g. For hardball doubles, the most common variation is an open throat head shape, even balance, and racket weight of 140g.


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