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December 12-14
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August DRAGON DOC tourney at Windy Hill promises a PSA event:

July, 2006

I’m told Mark Heather will participate in the $3,500 PSA challenge event at the annual Dragon Doc squash tournament, scheduled for August 25th-27th at Windy Hill.

Heather, 29, is head professional at the UniversityClub of Chicago beginning May 1. He recently ascended to a career best No. 48 worl ranking on the strength of several strong recent performances, most prominently a semifinal finiin the Pakistan Open (in which he knocked off world No. 16 Shahid Zaman in his opening rounand a quarterfinal advance in the Malaysian Open. Anative of Portsmouth, England, Heather has played some of his best squash in USSRA national tournaments of late, having won the U. S. 25-and-over flight in Boston last spring and, just past winter, having first defeated reigning three-timIndividual Intercollegiate champion Yasser El-Halaby in the final and deciding match of his te3-2 win over Princeton in the final round of the USSRA Five-Man Team Championships in Connecticut and then surged to victory in the Yale Club Invitational with a final-round victory over Jonny Smith. His other noteworthy results in recent years have included winning the 2004 Hyder Invitational (defeating New Zealand star Daniel Sharplin in the final) and the 2003 Minneapolis Invitational and reaching the final round of the 2003Atlanta Open as well.

This year’s Dragon Doc event includes a broad range of skill levels, age groups, juniors and the ubiquitous presence of the Doc himself. Mark your calendars!


A NOTE FROM KAREN LEVINE:

To my friends in the Atlanta squash community...I am taking this opportunity to say thanks for 5 years of playing squash in Atlanta, and for making me feel so welcome upon moving from Vancouver in 2001. As many of you know, I have relocated to New York City and one of the first tasks on my "to-do" list was finding a club with squash courts, including hardball doubles. Task completed, and I am trying to get on court as much as possible in between the hassles of a relocation. I am sorry that I didn't get a chance to say goodbye in person to so many of you, and would to especially like to thank Andre, Tom and Alladin for their enthusiasm and efforts toward building such a strong and competitive squash community.

 I hope to see many of you on court here in the Big Apple, and all the best, Karen Levine


Maur named to captain U.S. vs. Mexico challenge

Concourse pro Andre Maur has been asked by the USSRA to be the co-captain of the U.S. Copa Wadsworth Men's Team in its competition next spring in Mexico. Said Andre, "This is a great honor for me and I hope to make the USSRA and US proud. This is the equivalent like playing the Ryder Cup in golf and I am looking forward to bringing the Cup back


SESRA total membership

November, 2005

 has reached 186 players, with more than 100 other players with currently expired memberships. The membership goal for the coming year is to top 250, which would be an all-time high.


USSRA pledges more resources to national rating system

August, 2005

“We’re finally taking the adults seriously,” said Executive Director Kevin Klipstein in a recent memo to the SRAs. Klipstein said that the USSRA will rate ALL players and players without an initial rating will receive a rating using a method called “Unknown Logic”, eliminating the need for a verifier to determine their appropriate ability and an initial rating for any of their results to count towards a ranking.
Moving forward, however, the system will retroactively rate a player after his/her first tournament. Non-members will have their results calculated but not displayed. There will be additional information and details posted on www.us-squash.org over the next few weeks.

“To promote the skill level ratings and kick off the 2005 season we are promoting the USSRA Skill Level Season Opener hosted by Meadow Mill Athletic Club in Baltimore MD,” he said. Information and online entry are at the following link:

http://www.us-squash.org/tournaments/2005skillseasonopener.html


SESRA Board survey results:

April, 2005

As promised, your new SESRA board was surveyed on its preferences with the following Top Ten priorities.

Rank

  1. Develop “home and away” team events with other cities
  2. Hold social events/get togethers for the squash community
  3. Participate in National Teams Events
  4. Initiate a citywide ranking (ladder)
  5. Build and distribute an up-to-date membership list
  6. Support Atlanta participation in the USSRA Nationals
  7. Encourage juniors to try the game
  8. Host the USSRA Nationals in Atlanta
  9. Provide clinics and training in squash rules
  10. Support nationally competitive junior squash players

The full survey results are attached. We will begin working on these right away. I would also appreciate any different thoughts you may have. Let me know if you’d like a survey (one was included in the February memo).


MAUR IS NATIONAL 40s CHAMPION OF IRELAND and LAPHAM GRANT COMPETITOR IN CALGARY, CANADA

February, 2005

I asked Andre for details, but he’s too jetlagged to write….

Andre Maur

The winners of the Irish National Championships: Ladies: Madeline Perry,
40s (Old Mens): Andre Maur and Open (Young Men’s): Liam Kenny.
Andre beat Keith Bullen in the final 3-1.


NEW SESRA BOARD STRUCTURE:

February, 2005

We will be creating, over the next month, a new SESRA. It will be re-incorporated, board-managed, non-profit, and focused on building squash in Atlanta across existing clubs and into new areas.

The initial Board will include seven members:

  •  Diniar Alikhan, treasurer
  •  Leslie Blythe, secretary
  •  Bob Burton, president
  •  Clark Emerson, events
  •  Murray Gilman, juniors
  •  John Gordon, membership
  •  Michael Gough, at large

At its first meeting, the Board will go through a survey to identify which, among all the possible things to which SESRA could be devoting time and resources, are the top priorities. In order not to pass over the thinking of the membership itself, the Board survey is also attached to this email. Feel free to think about it, fill it out, and send it back to us.


Rule and Referee Clinics

January, 2005

Close to 40 people attended Rishad Alikhan’s Rules and Referees clinics at Concourse and Windy Hill this month. The clinics provided a great background for understanding the game and were supplemented with videos showing how hard it is to keep Jonathon Power and David Palmer out of each other’s way.
We have ordered rule books as a supplement for those who attended the clinics. They will be dropped off with your pro for you as soon as the USSRA mail arrives.

In particular, Rishad spent a great deal of time on the requirement to allow the striker direct access to the ball and what that means in terms of requirements for shot selection and clearing. The concept of “arcing,” in which a striker approaches the ball with a looping set of steps, complicates the referee’s decision process as the striker is choosing a more indirect route to the ball, thus at some point what would have been a stroke becomes a let. My conclusion was that none of us do this as well as we should, despite what we tell ourselves and our opponents! One of my favorite coaches, Don Mills, summed it up as the striker’s responsibility to select and execute a shot that lets him vanish from the court from his opponent’s point of view. Practice that a few times…


US Squash Racquets Association Names Kevin Klipstein as New CEO

January, 2005

BALA CYNWYD, PENNSYLVANIA, DECEMBER 1, 2004 - The Executive Committee of the United States Squash Racquets Association (USSRA) announced today that Kevin D. Klipstein has been named the second Chief Executive Officer of the Association effective December 13, 2004. Klipstein fills the vacancy left after the recent resignation of Palmer Page. He will be responsible for all aspects of USSRA operations, including the running of national tournaments, maintaining the rating and rankings, marketing and sponsorship, as well as programs directed toward supporting elite players and growing women's, junior and urban squash.

Klipstein, 35, brings with him broad business experience in event, brand and sponsorship marketing, in addition to an extensive background in operations. He comes to the USSRA from Sun Microsystems, the enterprise technology company, where he spent five years, most recently in the Worldwide Marketing Operations group. At Sun, he led cross-divisional process improvement projects to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of Sun's marketing using Six Sigma methodologies.

In addition to leading process improvements, Klipstein's other key roles in marketing at Sun included managing worldwide sponsorships, and eventually leading Partnership Marketing, which included negotiating sales and marketing deals with MLB.com, the official site for Major League Baseball, and a multi-year relationship with the National Hockey League. Prior to arriving at Sun, Klipstein worked for the well-known sports marketing firm ProServ where he managed account teams serving corporate sponsorship clients in strategic planning, negotiation and implementation.

"We are very excited to have a professional like Kevin to lead the USSRA as we build on recent momentum and take the sport and the organization to the next level," said Ken Stillman, Board Chairman of the USSRA. "His extensive experience both within the squash community as a player, teaching pro, local squash association board member, and outside the squash world in brand and sponsorship marketing as well as operations, is an ideal fit with what the organization and game need at this time."
Klipstein is an accomplished squash player who grew up in Rochester, NY and started his squash career as a junior under the coaching of Fred and Carol Weymuller. He attended and played on the team at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY where, during his senior year, he co-captained the team and was awarded Second Team All-American honors. After college, he worked as a teaching pro for several years on both the east and west coasts before starting his career in business.


US Squash 100th Anniversary

Finally, here are some quick pics from the 100th Centennial in New York. Although I can’t identify everyone, you should all recognize the Rumplers and Eben Hardie.


Below find a letter from Richard Millman, former Concourse pro. He is seeking support for international Master’s play

October, 2004

Dear Friends in Squash,

As you all know, Masters Squash has recently enjoyed a world-wide surge in interest and participation. Masters squash players are our most stalwart supporters and frequently have tremendous energy available to help develop our sport. Quite naturally these players are seeking any opportunity to be involved in the game they love…

…Under the auspices of the USSRA I am developing a USSRA Masters sub committee whose function will be to encourage and promote all masters squash events. Some of these events are already tremendously successful in their own right such as The Atlanta Grand Masters and the Eastern States in New York and I am sure others. What I am seeking is a regional representative from each area who would like to help organize and develop both Masters Team and Individual events, and any other programs that this extraordinary group of squash players maybe interested in developing. I would like to appoint on person from each area to represent the interests of men’s and women’s masters players. I am looking for approximately 5 people to form the national sub committee, each of who would liase with perhaps four or five district reps from the district associations.

Our first job is to organize an inter area competition with teams of 9 men and 6 women. The Canadians want a competition in the Spring so I am hoping that New York (my area) and perhaps two other representative teams might be able to go up to Ontario and honorably represent the USSRA against the Canadian representative teams…

…If you could ask them to contact me as soon as possible (email: ricahardo@yahoo.com) I would be much obliged (especially as the Canadians are breathing down my neck!).

Yours in Squash,
Richard Millman


Hello SESRA

September, 2004

When you spot Murray Gilman and Keith Clemens back at the courts, you can tell that squash season is upon us again. It’s time to put the faithless, worn out clubs back in the closet and begin thinking about four white walls and a black ball. You need more room in the trunk of your car, anyway.
On behalf of SESRA, let the games begin!

For those of you I’ve not met, my great good fortune is to be your SESRA president for the next year or so. I’m following Dudley Stephens, who put in a busy two years building SESRA events in Atlanta. Thanks, Dudley, for your time and efforts.

I’ve been in Atlanta five years now, but perhaps a quick introduction would be useful. I became involved with squash in 1983 by joining the Insilco Corporation (2nd from left in attached photo… Geez, Andre, that’s almost as big as one of your trophies), ran the USSRA national softball championships in 1990, and worked on the Cincinnati and Michigan SRAs. After all that, it’s very apparent to me that Atlanta squash is something special. With a long history of high-level play, nationally competitive ional championships and pro events, Atlanta squash is very healthy and should stay that way.

Even so, there are a lot of good ideas mentioned for SESRA, from establishing a city ladder to interclub play to home-and-away traveling matches. Members have said thathey would like a newsletter, more support for junior squash, and the return of team events. Whoa! All good ideas. What do you think would benefit SESRA? Let me kyour ideas, by email if possible at rmburton@irsquared.com. As best I can, I’ll keep you informed of what’s new, both in town and nationally.

Speaking of the latter, you should be aware by mail that the USSRA is celebrating its 100th Anniversary as the oldest squash association in the world with a black tie dinner the University Club in New York on October 2. For those who love to travel, it’s billed as “an extraordinary evening of dinner, dancing, and exhibitions…” Tables are availableand Atlanta may have enough folks represented to occupy one. Individual tickets are $250 and, while we’re past the initial response window, should still be available. If you’re going, let me know so the contingent can hopefully sit together.