It seems like all squashies are talking about these days is the confusion over PAR, and what it will mean to their club ladder or beer league, and the ongoing struggle to get squash into the Olympics. I'll leave PAR alone for now (only because it doesn't really have graphic representation - maybe I'll design an "I'm for PAR!" or an "Ask ME about PAR!" button:) but I thought I'd mention the latest surrounding squash's quest for GOLD.
It looks like squash is in fear of becoming the well behaved monkey tied to the organ and the IOC is turning the crank. We're "recognized" but not as recognized as solo synchronized diving and we're working hard. Seriously, the IOC has been yanking our chain since 1900 when Jeu de paume was a demonstration sport.
(Mon ami, qu'est ce que c'est Jeu de Paume? It was similar to squash, only competitors used their hands instead of a racquet to strike the ball and it was a demonstration sport. Just in case you think I'm making this up: LINK.)
The WSF has been a busy monkey (if you excuse the metaphor:). They've re-vamped their brand (see previous post), produced a Powerpoint presentation extolling the virtues of the game, created an Olympic Pledge poster, and had superstars sign it, and even created a snazzy video full of game clips and sounds and info all in an effort to catch the IOC's eye and convince them that we are worthy. The video, which you can see on the new WSF-affiliated website, includes this little nugget that still gets my goat: Squash is played in every major games EXCEPT the Olympics.
So what's new on the Olympic front? The death of one idea is making way for the birth of another. I quote from Inside The Games: "The world of Squash is uniting to support the sport’s bid for inclusion in the 2016 Olympic programme with a massive worldwide festival on May 23, it was announced today. The popular World Squash Day is being re-branded as Squash 2016 Day as national federations all over the globe organise a massive programme of events to back the sport's push to get into the Games for the first time."
Much like the effort to get Softball back into the Olympics ("Back Softball") the WSF has recently launched a new website and a groovy shiny new logo in an effort to raise awareness of the initiative and to raise funds to pay the organ grinder.
This latest squash logo is growing on me and their website looks good. Kudos to the WSF and who ever else is involved behind the curtains (Alan Thatcher, you still kicking? And who is Juniper PR in NY anyway?) I think I might even order a t-shirt with the new logo and celebrate with my beer league amigos on May 23rd. Wonder if they'll want to play with PAR scoring by then?