Squash is a popular sport in Europe.
Not considering the sport’s popularity on the continent, can squash catch on outside Europe?
The Popularity Of Squash
Squash is a popular game that originated in Europe in the early 19th century.
Formerly called squash rackets, it was developed after other racket and ball sports like royal tennis (just tennis today) and the sport started in 1830 at the Harrow School when the pupils found they could play an even more challenging game using the punctured rackets ball.
Because the squash ball isn’t as easy to control and doesn’t bounce back easily unlike that of the tennis, it required more effort for the players to get into the rally, which makes the game more challenging. It became more and more popular in the Harrow School, and, after about 30 years, the first squash courts were built in the school, and squash officially became a new sport.
The popularity of squash then spread across the United Kingdom and its neighboring countries, although there was still no standard rules of the game. In every place, it has its own set of rules and even the size of the courts vary.
In the late 19th century, squash rackets was played in Canada and spread over the country reaching America. It then spread even more rapidly in other regions such as Germany, Australia, Pakistan, and New Zealand.
Can Squash Catch On Outside Europe?
Today squash is played by over 20 million athletes in over 185 countries around the globe on more than 45,000 courts. It is controlled by the World Squash Federation (WSF), the international federation for the sport. The rules of the game, specifications of the court and the equipment, coaching and refereeing, and other terms of the sport are handled by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Although squash is recognized by the IOC as an official sport, it isn’t yet included as one of the sports in the Olympic Games.
The WSF holds a world calendar of events for the games and organizes world championships in various categories which include the world champions for the junior men and women categories, men, women, and in the master age categories where each category has both games for singles and doubles.
Squash is currently growing all over the world. While the proposal of the WSF to include the sport in the 2020 Olympic Games that will be held in Tokyo has been turned down, the third straight games it has been denied a spot in the games, the organization will still continue to attempt to gain acceptance in the next Olympic games of 2024, which will be held in either Los Angeles of Paris (the loser will host the 2028 Olympics).
The Future Of Squash
The question “Can squash catch on outside Europe?” is no doubt a yes, since the popularity of the sport has constantly been growing in different parts of the world.
However, despite continual growth of the sport, the WSF is still struggling with its attempts to include the game in the Olympics. With their current efforts, we hope to someday see squash as part of the Olympic Games.