The question of who should referree a squash match - the loser or the winner of the previous match - is again becoming a hot topic of discussion. We think it’s time the losers stepped up to the plate.
It seems that US Squash agrees. Their "RailStation" website states that “Tournament match LOSERS are required to referee the next match as assigned by the Tournament Director.” In addition to that they also plan on penalizing the loser that refuses or fails to ref! There must be a good reason for this organizing body to make this a rule.
I don’t know what Squash Canada’s stance is (they don’t answer my emails☺) but here in BC, the winner is expected to ref the following match. No recuperation or stretching time and no chance for a shower either! Five minutes after your victory you’re sitting there working and getting cold.
Interestingly enough, there is no mention of winners being expected to ref as a “policy” or “rule” on Squash BC’s website so then why is it a common practice in tournaments?
In BC, as far as I know, only the Dundee Open at Denman asks the losers of a match to referree the following game and the reasoning is simple: The winner is felt to have earned the right to relax, stretch and prepare for their next game by virtue of winning. As an organizer of that event I can assure you that there were NO issues or complaints regarding this policy. (It didn’t hurt that we strongly suggested that the winner buy their opponent a beer.)
I’m heading to the PACRIM tournament in Victoria this weekend, where they don’t let you stop playing until you’ve lost four or five games, and I’ll lose my fair share. In a tournament like this where you may play five games in three days it sure would be nice to sit and relax if you managed to win.
The onus for the change is everyone. Tournament organizers, give the winners a break! And players, quit your moaning and do your game proud: Learn to love reffing
Losers are you with me? Let’s stand up and volunteer to ref! Next time it could be us looking forward to some time off.
Next week: "The Trouble with Doubles"