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Danielle Maur given W. Stewart Brauns, Jr. Award by U.S. Squash

November, 2010

U.S. Squash chairman Peter Lasusa, Danielle Maur, Richard Chin

In September, Danielle Maur was given the W. Stewart Brauns, Jr. Award for making substantial administrative contributions to the game of squash by U.S. Squash. Danielle, who is currently the
National Squash & Racquetball Director at Life Time Fitness, is responsible for squash development and programming across Life Time Fitness’ 150 squash courts nationally, including four courts in the greater Atlanta area. Measured in courts, Life Time Fitness is the largest squash club in the world.

Since 2008, when Maur created and took on the National Director role at Life Time, participation in
squash has grown substantially, with Life Time players taking part under the instruction of more than 20 full and part time professionals. With more than 1.2 million members, Life Time has been able to promote squash broadly, and helped introduce thousands of people to the game. The Brauns award was last given in 2008 to Jahangir Khan.


Assiante signing “Run to the Roar” at PDC

November 2010

Trinity coach Paul Assiante, whose Trinity Bantams have the longest winning streak in college athletics, will be at the Piedmont Driving Club in early December to sign copies of his book, Run To The Roar: Coaching To Overcome Fear, co-authored by Jim Zug.

A synopsis from Flipkart.com:

“The winningest coach in NCAA history shares his lessons on building and coaching teams of champions. For 202 consecutive dual matches over the past eleven years, the Trinity men's squash team has gone unbeaten. No other team in any collegiate sport has achieved the same sustained level of
greatness. "Run to the Roar" is the story of a coach who succeeds in recruiting young men from around the world, getting them to work as a team, managing personalities, calming egos, and encouraging daily effort and focus under pressure. The book's framework is the finals of the 2009 national intercollegiate team championships. As Trinity scrapes out a 5-4 victory over Princeton, Assaiante imparts the insights and experiences that have made him a master coach. In stark contrast to his Trinity dynasty, Assaiante also openly discusses the deep emotional turmoil he faces as the parent of a heroin addict. "Run to the Roar" is not just a book about squash; it is an invaluable and unique reflection on mentoring, leadership, and parenting from one of the most innovative and successful coaches in collegiate athletics.”

If you have an interest in attending, contact Mike Davison.


Richard Millman wins British 50s National Closed

February, 2010

From the UK website: Mens 50: [Ed. note: including a series of Balancing Notes from your SESRA editor, since the website author appears to be suffering from an anti-American fit of pique.] …The unheralded Jeremy Golding from Avon, having duly removed all his more illustrious opponents on the way to the final, was probably still recovering from his semi‐final win over Jon Evans the night before [not sure this is as complementary a start as Richard deserves, i.e.the guy was exhausted? Your editor happens to know Richard was sick with the flu], as he was never allowed to settle by the master tactician [that’s better] Richard Millman, who won in straight games.

Millman's minute analysis of every facet of his opponent's game means no‐one is safe, and combined with a computer‐like brain transferring all very quickly to his right hand means all shots played are normally the correct ones. [What’s “normally” doing in there, other than sticking in my craw? And not a word about right‐brained poetic ability? For shame!]

Considering he has been to India for a hip resurfacing at a fraction of the UK price, he still covers the court perfectly normally. [“Normally” again. Can you get more British than this? The U.S. equivalent is the better‐forgotten punch line, “you don’t sweat much for a fat girl.” And the implication that anyone could be too cheap to pay for UK surgeons is both chauvinistic and kind of funny. Richard’s actually in pretty terrific shape.]

Golding, however, can feel very pleased at his performances here, which have virtually guaranteed his international selection. [Another low backhand. Which is to say, Millman cannot feel very pleased, although he has been selected to play for England as the number one player against Ireland, Scotland and Wales at the end of April? Richard, if you ever decide to waive citizenship there, we would be happy to have you here.]

From Richard’s perspective: “It was a little anti‐climactic when I won the last point as I had burdened myself psychologically with too much 'noise' such as the cold, the expectations and fears of winning/losing etc. But by the time the presentations took place on the all glass court, the light had dawned and a warm glow of satisfaction covered me as the master of ceremonies called out "And the winner of the 2010 National over 50 championships is, from Norfolk and the USA, Richard Millman."
M50 Richard Millman bt Jeremy Goulding 9/5, 9/0, 9/3 (25m) … [Ed. Note: ‘Nuff said.] 


Andre’s fourth Irish national title

February 2012

Andre Maur won his fourth Irish National Title in mid-February by beating # 1 seed Sean McKee in straight sets 9 -4, 9-0, 9-0 . Says Andre, “It was the perfect tournament and I went without dropping a game for the whole event. I was playing my best squash in the final and to beat the # 1 seed in 30 min. with everything falling into place for my fourth National Title was very pleasing and rewarding.”


Farewell to Alladin Party

October, 2009

Hello Friends,

Come November, one of our own very own, Alladin Mitha, is headed to a new job up in Louisville, KY.

David Haliburton is heading up a farewell get-together for Mr. Mitha, at the Club, on Wednesday, October 28th.

Alladin has been an incredibly good friend to Atlanta, squash, and me personally, for over 20 years.

Please come join us on this joyous but quite sad occasion.

  1. Any of you who have photos of Mr. Mitha over the years, please get them to me, electronically or otherwise. David Haliburton is going to put together a photo loop.
  2. Don’t forget to bring a few stories.
  3.  Do not hesitate to pass this invitation on to other friends of Mr. Mitha.
  4.  Please do RSVP with Mr. Haliburton so that we can get a handle on munchies. Cash bar.

Invitation:


SESRA preparing to launch district-wide ladder:

September, 2009

After conversations with players and pros from across the district, the SESRA board has approved an online ladder powered by US Squash for all SESRA members. The ladder will run from October to December and January to April. Challenges can be issued and scores recorded online at the US Squash website. Full details of participation in the ladder are being worked out with clubs and pros, but keep your eye peeled for the next new new thing!

Rationale for the ladder:

The SESRA citywide ladder is intended to encourage interclub play and camaraderie among the greater Atlanta squash community, fulfilling part of SESRA’s mission statement.

  1. The ladder should be easy to do, accessible, fun and affordable.
  2. Our district players have expressed the need for interclub play to support strong club programs and a robust calendar of tournaments and events through the squash year.
  3. As the district does not have the strong interclub leagues that mark other large metro squash communities, this ladder is a way to provide play across different clubs, types of courts, and players in a less rigid and demanding format. However, SESRA strongly encourages all ladder players to participate in their club programs and support their pro first.
  4. SESRA also has a current initiative to reach out to smaller squash facilities in the city as a way to develop membership and offer value. This is potentially a good way to support that effort.

Georgia Games to include squash

Date: July 11 & 12, 2009
Site: Lifetime Fitness, Johns Creek
Time: Be prepared to play as early as 6:00pm on July 11, 2009
Entry Fee: Register Online OR Paper waiver form
Singles: $44.00 1st event, $20.00 2nd event; Doubles (per player): $37.00 1st event, $20.00 2nd event (entry fee includes $5 referee fee per event). *Out of state Residents add $5.00 to entry fee*


R. Millman plays for England in the 45+ division:

Picking his narration up after England has defeated Ireland and Wales, Richard is the first match of five on vs. Scotland. He has won the first two games:

“In the third, I came out determined to step up the court an extra yard and to take the ball earlier. This I did, and I made good headway, driving the Scot's number five into the backhand baccorner and then capitalizing on the loose ball that emanated from his difficulties, finishing several times with my patent deceptive flicks across his body to wronfoot him. I got to 8-2 match ball and thought the job was done. I didn't relaxknew I had to put the final nail in the coffin, but it seemed my opponent didn'want to die yet. Once again he started hitting some punishing deep drives and I again started playing innapropriate boats and even hit a few drops in the tin.

Suddenly it was 5-8 and as I looked up into the gallery and saw my team mates, Pat, my brother Chris, and my Mum and Dad looking worried, I realized that I was on the brink of disaster. Losing from 8-2 up is not good and never bodes well for the next game.

I don't like choking and certainly not in my most important match for my country to date. My mind left the gallery and returned to the job at hand. I realized that my Scots opponent and I were now playing about even and so I needed to raise my game.

Of course, as we were playing the old nine point system, we were having a few rallies where the serve went back and forth without loss. Finally I managed to win a hand out rally. The next rally was a bit of a scramble. He tried to pin me in the back backhand corner again, but this time I wasn't falling for the old boast trap and I stuck it high over his head into the back backhand. He tried to play down the wall but I had stepped up and played a decent tight drop-volley into the front left corner. He played a fairly good cross court lob. I knew he was late getting to my drop-volley and so if could take his lob early he would be out of position. I reached up to my full five-foot-seven-and-a-quarter and intercepted his lob with a slightly miss-hit straight drop-volley. It struck the front wall about a quarter of an inch above the tin and his desperate lunge missed the ball by a hair's breadth.

Game and match to Millman. England 1 Scotland 0. 'That's the start we needed,' said a stern-faced Stuart Hardy (the England 50+ captain) a few minutes later. It's a great feeling to have the appreciation of your countrymen when you're playing for your flag - especially when you're on first.”


Nine game sweep for local pro

June, 2009

MAUR PLAYS HIS HEART OUT AT HOME INTERNATIONALS IN DUBLIN 40+sMAUR s
Says Andre: “I had one if the best weekends in my playing career by winning all my games for Ireland at the Home Internationals held in Dublin in May. This weekend is the equivalent to the Ryder Cup in golf. Not only did I win my matches, but I didnot drop a game all weekend, winning all my games 3-0. Also made a bit of Irish history, as no player has ever won all their matches without losing a game.

It was just one of those perfect weekends, where I could not put a foot wrong on and off the court especially beating a very strong and fit English player, Steve McLoughlin from England, known as the Marathon Man. The match was 55 minutes, (9-7, 9-6, 9-6) against England. Felt like a million US. Unfortunately, we came in fourth losing to Scotland and Wales 3-2 and England 4-1. England once again won the Men and Womens’ events. Well done England.”


WORLD SQUASH DAY SCHEDULED FOR MAY 23:

Several area clubs are planning related events (see below) but SESRA IS LOOKING FOR ADDITIONAL SQUASH IDEAS FOR WORLD SQUASH DAY. SEND YOUR THOUGHTS TO MICHAEL GOUGH AT amgough@bellsouth.net.

[From the World Squash Day website: www.worldsquashday.com]

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 23rd.

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.

Every squash club on the planet is being urged to throw open its doors to promote the sport and help the Olympic bid.

Squash 2016 Bid Team Member and former world champion Peter Nicol said: “Our ultimate aim is for every club in the world to open their doors on this one special day, to show people what a fantastic sport we have, to get media and personalities involved, and encourage new participants to take up the game.”

The event is endorsed by the World Squash Federation - and World Squash Day founder Alan Thatcher said: “This gives every squash club the opportunity to support two major objectives: to raise the profile of the sport and to raise valuable money for the Squash 2016 Bid Fund.

“The Olympic bid is an ambitious project which, if successful, will give squash a deserved place in the Olympic Games. That bid process is not cheap and it is up to every squash player to help the cause.”

 Nicol added: “Squash 2016 Day is free to join and we look forward to seeing a massive response, with clubs and federations employing their creative powers to organise fantastic global festival of this brilliant game.”


Progress on Squash in the Olympics [edited from USQ website]

January, 2009

U.S. SQUASH recently established the Olympic Fund to raise money in support of the World Squash Federation's (WSF) efforts to ensure squash becomes part of the 2016 Olympic Program. While considered a very strong candidate, squash competes with sports such as golf, karate, rugby, baseball and softball for inclusion in the 2016 Games. The WSF leads all initiatives related to promoting the sport to the International Olympic Committee which includes presentations, meetings, appearances at international events and public relations. The vote for 2016 inclusion will occur at the subcommittee level during the summer of 2009, and then in October 2009 by the full IOC.

It is well known that squash had vied for inclusion in the Olympics for several decades. Olympic inclusion would mean three important things. First, it would raise the awareness, profile and legitimacy of squash in the eyes of those who are not aware of the sport. Second, being part of the IOC would provide literally millions of dollars of funding directly to the sport's development each year. Finally, it would provide the biggest and brightest stage for what we consider to be the best athletes in the world.

BTW, US Squash is seeking support for the Olympic Fund. You can find more info on the USQ website.


SHOOTING PAR: Controversy over national scoring change:

January, 2009

US Squash has elected to move to PAR (Point A Rally) scoring this spring, bringing the U.S. into line with a decision made earlier by the World Squash Federation. Anybody who has played in a tournament recently has encountered PAR, usually with mixed feelings. While the HiHo scoring (Hand In, Hand Out) we are used to remains a viable method for local tournaments, all national events will be PAR.

Herewith, US Squash’s thoughts on the change:

  1.  At the WSF, the vote was overwhelmingly in favor of the scoring change.
  2.  Many tournaments and leagues are already using PAR 11, College Squash Association tested PAR 11 at the Ivy Scrimmages and The New England Scholastic Squash Association league (70 high school teams) adopted PAR 11 officially for this season.
  3.  Many other squash playing countries have already adopted PAR 11
  4.  By making a swift change, we will reduce confusion and be early in our compliance with the WSF rule.
  5.  Primary among the reasons the WSF provided for making this change was creating a standard scoring system worldwide. There are other advantages to adopting the PAR 11 scoring system including:
  6.  Reduced tournament fatigue, lowering susceptibility to injury for juniors and adults.
  7.  Simplified scheduling of tournaments due to more predictable match times.
  8.  More exciting and easily understood system for spectators and non-squash players.
  9.  Shorter matches for certain age divisions, very young and old, may be countered by providing more opportunities to play. While shorter matches may be the case in some instances, the change in scoring system takes strategic adjustments which have been found to counter this potential impact. In addition, we have two tools to use to address issues to engage younger players and to keep older players in the game. They are the ball, and the tin height.
    The PSA already lowers their tin by 2 inches, Dunlop makes four different balls (5 if you count the high altitude). The PRO, or double yellow dot, is used by the pros and just about everyone else. The COMPETITION, the single dot, is just a little bit livelier, and is used effectively with younger and older players. This is similar to what Callaway did in golf by introducing the Big Bertha 20 years ago.
  10.  On the whole, the sport is left with a simpler, universal, and exciting scoring format for all players.
  11.  U.S. SQUASH still sanctions both the PAR 11 and international, “Hand In Hand Out” to 9 scoring systems. The decision is up to the tournament director, league officials, or individuals playing their own games. PAR 11 is simply the primary scoring system.

More more news!