An announcement was made on February 7 that the 2013 U.S. High School Team Championships had to be cancelled due to a severe storm approaching the region.
The dramatic and historic storm produced record snow falls and highly dangerous conditions, closed airports and caused road travel to be banned in some locations, making it truly impossible to even begin to hold the event. Some areas of Connecticut were still without access to main roads days later.
The following communication was sent to all registered High School team coaches on Monday, February 11.
In short, despite our efforts in evaluating all possible options, considerable major obstacles have prevented the ability to re-schedule the championships this season. Full refunds will be provided to all teams.
Knowing the tournament is the highlight of the season for hundreds of players, some of whom are seniors and will be deprived of the opportunity to compete next year, we share in this disappointment and sincerely regret the inability to host the championships.
For the organization, the event embodies so many of the positive aspects of the sport that we strive to play a role in cultivating: teamwork, commitment, sacrifice, and above all, sportsmanship, and we look forward to planning an outstanding championships in 2014.
Dear Coaches and Administrators:
After extensive discussions internally among the staff, with the Board of Directors, coaches, school administrators, parents and players, we have concluded that it will not be possible to reschedule the 2013 U.S. High School Team Championships.
An event of this magnitude, attracting more than 150 schools from around the country, and nearly 2,000 people directly involved, including players, coaches and support staff, combined with a very full regional and national squash calendar, there are inevitable conflicts with other squash competitions given that all parties had built their schedules around the weekend of February 8-10.
Considered as alternatives for 2013 were other variants of the tournament such as a Division 1-only competition, several regionalized championships, and even re-constituting a current major league championships and rebranding the event as the national championship. Each of these options has their merits, however ultimately they were all determined to have too many detractions.
As such, while U.S. Squash has incurred considerable expense in planning the event, and has paid hard costs with relation to preparations to host this major championships, we will offer all participating schools the following choice with relation to their entry fee (1) a full refund for the 2013 (2) the right to apply this year’s fee to next year’s entry.
Fees the 2014 event are expected to increase approximately 15%, an amount that will not be charged to teams selecting option 2. A decision does not need to be made by schools/teams until the dates and location of the 2014 event have been finalized. We have initial plans to host the 2014 High School Championships in the Philadelphia area should dates and venues accommodate.
Hosted in New England for the more than a decade, the U.S. High School Championships has grown from fewer than 16 teams at its founding to nearly 200 teams through great support from schools and facilities in the region. U.S. Squash is deeply thankful to all who have been involved in the New England region to help make the event a success.
Requiring nearly 50 courts in close proximity available over a three day period, the High School Championships will be able to continue its record of success in Philadelphia, which boasts among the highest number of courts in the country and one of the most active regional high school squash leagues. Geographically, Philadelphia is also well located between the majority of participating schools between Boston and the Washington, DC area. The awarding of this and all U.S. Squash Championships is subject to periodic review.
We appreciate the support and understanding of this year’s intended hosts Avon Old Farms School, Miss Porter’s School, Westminster School, Loomis Chaffee School, Trinity College, and Wesleyan University. The event has also been hosted previously by Yale University, Choate Rosemary Hall, Hopkins School and Groton School.
We are working on finalizing the 2013-2014 U.S. Championships and regional calendar at this time and in the process will engage in discussions with leaders of high school squash leagues from around the country to determine the optimal dates for the competition in collaboration with all those involved.
Finally, U.S. Squash would like to reiterate its empathy for all the players and coaches in their disappointment with regard to the need to cancel this premier championships. Knowing the tournament is the highlight of the season for hundreds of players, some of whom are seniors and will be deprived of the opportunity to compete next year, we share in this disappointment and sincerely regret the inability to host the championships. For the organization, the event embodies so many of the positive aspects of the sport that we strive to play a role in cultivating: teamwork, commitment, sacrifice, and above all, sportsmanship, and we look forward to planning an outstanding championships in 2014.
Kevin D. Klipstein
CEO, U.S. Squash