US SQUASH

Junior FAQs

These FAQ’s are designed to help answer some of the most common questions asked about the junior program by players, parents, and teaching professionals.  The Rules of the Road section details some of the common scenarios Juniors experience in accredited tournaments, and tips and tricks have been listed below for both players and parents, coaches, and attendees.

For the full official policies governing junior rankings, please visit the Junior Guidelines page.

Before the Match

Check your court assignment and if your court is on time
Leading up to your match, check in 30 minutes before your match with the Tournament Desk to see your court assignment and to see if your court is on time.
Start warming up off court
When your court is ready, your body is already active and ready for match play.
Introduce yourself to your opponent and the referees
Shake hands, sportsmanship is key!
Referees introduce yourself to the players
You’re about to enter an intense competitive environment, make sure you know the players involved.
Hit the ball no more than twice

Once straight and then cross court to your opponent.  The referees should remind the players and enforce this!

  1. If your opponent is hogging the ball, please ask the opponent to only hit the ball twice.
  2. If your opponent continues to hog the ball, please ask the referees or tournament staff for help!
Referees time the players during the warm up
2.5 minutes or less on each side.

During the Match

Players MUST call their own double bounces

If a referee thinks the ball bounced twice, the referee should yell “STOP” immediately to notify the players that the point is over.

If a player thinks a referee missed calling an opponent’s double bounce, after the point, the player should ask the referee if the opponent’s pick up was good.

  1. If the referee is 100% sure the opponent got the ball cleanly, the referee can tell the player that ball was good.
  2. If the referee is not 100% sure they got the ball cleanly, play a let.
Squash is a non-contact sport
Both players should be careful with their movements and never intentionally make additional contact with their opponents.  If a match is starting to become physical, a player can ask the referee to monitor the contact.

  1. Referees should administer a conduct warning, stroke, game, or match depending on the intensity of the contact.
  2. It is the referee’s responsibility to maintain control of the match.  If a match starts to become out of control, the referee can ask for assistance from a member of the Tournament staff.
The referee’s decision is final
If a player or both players disagree with a referees call, they must still accept the referee’s decision and continue play.

  1. At no point may a player or both players ask for an alternate referee and players must always accept referee decisions with respect and grace!
  2. Players may not argue with the referees.
  3. If a player or both players disagree with a referee’s call and attempt to argue with the referee or disagree in any way, a referee should administer a conduct warning, stroke, game, or match depending on the intensity of the behavior.
Referees must pay attention
If a player notices a referee using their phone, talking with friends, or not paying attention, please ask the referee to pay attention!  If a player notices a referee still not paying attention, please ask the tournament staff for assistance.
Players are entitled to a reasonable swing
However, if a player is attempting to get to the ball and the opponent takes a large, unreasonable swing (as decided by the referee), the player may ask for a let and the referee may award a let or stroke based on the severity of the swing and the amount of interference the swing may have caused.
Match play is continuous
There is a maximum period of 15 seconds between points – this goes quick!  If players are taking more than the 15 second allotted amount of time between points, the referee should administer a conduct warning, stroke, game, or match depending on the frequency of the time violations.
A maximum of 90 seconds can elapse between games
Referees announce 15 seconds before the 90 seconds has elapsed.  Players must remain at the court and be back on court within the 90 second interval.  If players are taking more than the 15 second allotted amount of time between points, the referee should administer a conduct warning, stroke, game, or match depending on the frequency of the time violations.
Injuries

Safety is always the top priority for all players.  If a player is injured, immediately get the attention of the trainer or the tournament staff.

  1. If the injury was self-inflicted (i.e. a player runs into the wall), the player has a three minute injury period before needing to resume play.  If they do not resume play in the three minute time period, they can take an additional 90 seconds and forfeit the next game.  The player can continue to forfeit games to take more time to recover until they lose the match.
  2. If the injury was contributed by both players (i.e. a collision), the player has a reasonable amount of time to recover before having to resume play.  The Tournament Director evaluates what a reasonable amount of time may be and the players should be in direct communication with the Tournament Director during this time.  In rare situations, another match may go on court while the injured player recovers and the injured player match may resume after the completion of the additional match put on court.  If the injured player decides not to continue the match, they will “retire,” or lose, the match.  Most injuries are considered to be contributed by both players.
  3. If the injury was inflicted by the opponent (i.e. Player A deliberately pushes player B into the wall), the injured player automatically wins by default.
Blood Rules
If an injury occurs which involves bleeding, the bleeding must be stopped before the player can continue.

A player is allowed a reasonable time to attend to a bleeding wound.  The Tournament Director evaluates what a reasonable amount of time may be and the players should be in direct communication with the Tournament Director during this time.  In rare situations, another match may go on court while the injured player recovers and the injured player match may resume after the completion of the additional match put on court.

  1. If the bleeding was caused solely by the opponent’s action, the injured player wins the match.
  2. If the bleeding recurs as a part of the same injury, no further delay is allowed, except that the player can concede a game, using the 90 second period between games to attend to the wound and stop the bleeding.
  3. If a player is unable to stop it in that time frame, the player must concede the match.If a new injury with bleeding occurs, a reasonable amount of time is allotted to stop the new, separate, injury.

After the Match

Sportsmanship is Key
Win with grace, lose with respect.

In the spirit of good sportsmanship, both players should shake hands at the end of their match.

Winner to retrieve the next score sheet
  • The winner should bring the score sheet immediately back to the tournament desk, get a new score sheet, and return to the court.  Please do this immediately and refrain from talking with family and friends, cooling down in other areas of the venue, or other activities.
  • You are needed back at your court to referee the next match!  The loser should remain at the court while the winner retrieves the new score sheet.
Get the next match started immediately
While the winner is retrieving the new score sheet, the remaining player should help get the next players on court and start timing the 5 minute warm up.
Winner/Loser Referee responsibilities
The winner acts as the referee, calling lets, strokes, no lets, and maintains overall control of the match.  The loser acts as the marker who keeps track of the score by writing down and announcing each point.  The Marker also calls any servers, tins or double bounces out, down, or not up respectively.
Stay at the court
After your match and once the score sheet has been retrieved, both players must stay at their court to monitor the warm up and start the next match promptly.  Please stay at the court to stretch and cool down.  If players would like to debrief after their match with their coach, please do so at the court.

Before the Match

Introduce yourself to your opponent’s parents/guardians
  • Shake their hands
  • Remember you will see these players/parents throughout junior careers
  • Help build and be a part of the junior squash community!

During the Match

Parents, coaches, and attendees CANNOT interfere with refereeing

Only the appointed referees are the referees for the match!

  1. All parents, coaches, and attendees at accredited tournaments cannot interfere with the refereeing at any point for any reason.
  2. The referee should tell an interfering parent, coach, or attendee that they are the only referee for this match.  The referee should ask the parent, coach, or attendee what player they are associated with in the match.
  3. As the parent, coach, or attendee are considered part of the entourage for a player, know that if a parent, coach, or attendee persist in bothering a referee, the referee should administer a conduct warning, stroke, game, or match to the player who’s entourage is creating the disturbance, depending on the frequency and intensity of the behavior.
  4. The referee should get the attention of the tournament staff for assistance.
Parents, coaches, and attendees CANNOT request a new referee for their match
  • The players on court before the next match are the referees for the following match.
  • As Main Draw matches get closer to the finals, there may be supplied tournament staff referees.
  • Parents, coaches, and attendees cannot ask tournament staff for a supplied referee for their match.
  • Parents, coaches, or attendees who continually ask tournament staff for supplied referees for their matches may be asked to leave the venue.
Contact the tournament staff if a match is getting out of the referee’s control
  • If a referee is making decisions that are going against your player, this is not a reason to contact the tournament staff.  Referee decisions may fluctuate throughout a match and that is a part of the game.
  • Please contact the tournament staff if a match is becoming out of control.
Coach only between games
  • Positive cheering is allowed, however hand gestures and/or any type of advice/coach is prohibited during games.
  • If a parent, coach, or attendee is coaching a player during a game, they may be asked to leave the venue.

After the Match

Sportsmanship is Key
Set a good example for your players and win with grace, lose with respect.

  1. Parents, coaches, and attendees are encouraged to congratulate the winning entourage and thank them for a well-played match.
  2. Remember, you will see these players again throughout their junior career – help foster and build a positive, welcoming, and comfortable junior squash community!
Remind your players of their responsibilities after their match
  • The winning player should bring the score sheet immediately back to the tournament desk, get a new score sheet, and return to the court.  They should do this immediately and refrain from talking with family and friends, cooling down in other areas of the venue, or other activities.  They are needed back at your court to referee the next match!
  • The loser should remain at the court while the winner retrieves the new score sheet.
  • The players should get the next match started immediately and time the 5 minute warm up.
My child is new to squash, and would like to get involved in tournaments. What should I do?
Get playing!  Each child will progress at their own pace – some will want to play more tournaments at the beginning and others will want to play one or two to get their feet wet.  Start with tournaments in your local area; the online tournament schedule can be sorted in order to find those that are near to you.  Bronze-level tournaments are designed to be introductory level events and are a perfect way for newer players to get involved in tournaments with other players their level at a lower level of pressure.  Local teaching professionals in your area can offer good advice on how to proceed as your child gets involved in tournaments and continues to enjoy themselves on court.
How does a player earn points towards their ranking?
A player earns ranking points by playing in junior tournaments. The amount of points he or she earns is determined by the type of tournament (i.e. JCT, Silver, etc.), and the position he or she finishes in that particular division.
How is a ranking determined from a player’s earned points?
To determine a player’s ranking, an average is taken of his or her earned points. If a player has between 1 and 8 tournaments, his or her top four points-earned tournaments are used. For example, if he or she has played 5 tournaments, the worst points-earned performance is dropped. When a player has played 9-11 tournaments, his or her best 5 tournaments are taken, for 12-14 tournaments the best 6 are taken, and so on.
Why does the divisor not remain at four tournaments once I have played nine or more events? I feel I am being penalized for playing more.
The rising divisor is designed to prevent those players who are able to play the highest number of events from gaining an excessive advantage over those players who are restricted to fewer events, while still retaining a certain amount of the incentive for playing more.

Take the comparison of players who have played in 1 tournament above the different divisor marks: Player A has played in 5 tournaments, Player B has played in 10 tournaments, and Player C has played in 13 tournaments. Player A’s ranking is determined based on her best 4 point totals, therefore dropping only 1 result and using 80% of her tournaments into her ranking. Player B’s ranking is determined based on her best 5 results, so while she does now have to use an extra tournament as compared to Player A, she still can drop her lowest 5 point totals and only has to use 50% of her tournaments. Player C is in an even more advantageous position, using her top 6 results but only having to use 46% of her results.

For how long do tournaments stay a part of a player’s ranking average?
Tournaments affect a players ranking for an 11-month period, defined as 43 weeks.
Why was the rolling period changed from 10 months to 11 months?
Moving to 11 months allows tournaments to stay on player’s record for a longer period of time, which will help some players who do not have the opportunity to play as many events throughout the season due to academic, family, or other commitments. While a shift to 12 months was considered, it was determined that this would allow tournaments to stay on a player’s profile for too long – for instance, a player could qualify for a tournament based on their performance in that same tournament the year before, instead of their play from a more recent time frame.
Where can I find how many points a player has earned towards his or her ranking?
This information is available on a player’s profile online. The “rankings” tab on the player profile shows his or her ranking average, while the “tournaments” tab shows how many points the player has earned in each tournament. More detail will be added to these pages over time to provide more information and a richer user experience.
When does a tournament first become part of a player’s ranking average?
Tournaments are added to a player’s average as of the Wednesday morning ranking run immediately after completion of the tournament.
What happens when a player ages up into a new age division?
When a player ages up into a new age division, if he or she does not have 4 or more tournaments in the new division, that player will carry points up from the younger age division to the older one. The points are converted at 40% for each tournament from the younger division. The converted tournaments fall off a player’s average as he or she plays tournaments in the new age division; for instance, if a player ages up from the GU13 to the GU15 division and has already played one GU15 event, he ranking will be determined by taking the average of four tournaments: her GU15 tournament, plus her top 3 GU13 tournaments all converted at 40%. When she plays her second GU15 tournament, her ranking average would then be based off her two GU15 tournaments and her top 2 GU13 tournaments converted at 40%, and so on until all GU13 tournaments are replaced.
Does play in a higher age division affect players’ rankings in their actual age division?
No. Players may play up in a higher age division, but their points earned will only affect their ranking in that division.
In what tournaments should I choose to play?
Players may determine their personal tournament calendar based on what level of events make the most sense for their playing level. While there are no ranking restrictions on which tournaments players may enter (other than the U.S. Junior Silver Championships and U.S. Junior Bronze Championships), the strongest players are not incentivized to enter Silver and Bronze events due to the lower ranking points available in these events.

The most points are available in Junior Championship Tour (JCT) events. Gold events are the next highest tier of points. For the 2012-2013 Season, there will be 5 JCT events and roughly 20 Gold events, all of which may need to restrict the number of participants per division in the event that divisions are over-subscribed. There are more Silver and Bronze tournaments available throughout the tournament season and over the summer.

Why aren’t there more Gold tournaments?
Because Gold tournaments have the highest level of points outside of the JCTs and the U.S. Junior Championship events, the number of Gold tournaments is restricted to maintain the integrity of the rankings. Additionally, only one Gold tournament is held per weekend. Sanctioning too many Gold events, or more than one in a weekend, would dilute the overall strength of the fields in these events.
I feel that I can’t move up in the rankings because I can’t gain entry into the highest level events. What should I do?
The points available in different levels of tournaments overlap so that players whose rankings are too low or who are improving rapidly can move up to Gold and JCT level events. For instance, the winner of a Silver tournament earns 750 points. This is equivalent to the amount of points earned by a player finishing 12th in a 32-play Gold tournament; hence, the winner of a Silver can move up in the rankings relative to those players finishing in the bottom half of a Gold event. Similarly, a player finishing 8th in a Gold tournament (1150 points) is earning as many or more points than those players finishing 17th-32nd in a JCT. As players have good results in certain levels of tournaments, they are able to earn the necessary points to move up to the next level.
I’ve been injured or otherwise unavailable to play for the past year, and no longer have a ranking. I believe I’m a very strong player, but I can’t gain entry to the best events. What should I do?
Coming off a hiatus in play is always difficult, but the best thing to do is start playing! With the points earned from good performances in a few lower level events, a player is able to start moving up the rankings to qualify for the bigger events, as described above.
Why are there Gold tournaments hosted during the summer?
Several Gold tournaments are accredited (sanctioned) over the summer due to the fact that many players are now playing squash outside of the traditional season. Additionally, due to academic, family, or other commitments, many players are not able to play in enough tournaments during the school year to adequately fulfill the requirements for a ranking. Summer Gold events allow players some flexibility that they might not otherwise have.
Why are players restricted to only take points from a maximum of two Gold tournaments from the summer season?
While Gold tournaments during the summer season are useful to many players, frequently the fields are not quite as strong as most Gold tournaments during the regular season, therefore giving competitors and opportunity to earn higher points than they otherwise might during the season. The policy of only being able to use the points from two summer Gold tournaments balances the addition of these new competitive opportunities with maintaining a fair and balanced ranking for all players.
Where can I find the amount of points available in each type of tournament?
The points tables are available here:

How does tournament seeding and seeding randomization work?
In order to seed a tournament, the ranking run from the Tuesday 1.5 weeks before the event is used.  Players are then separated into “seeding groups” and placed in the draw accordingly.  The top 4 seeded players are placed into the draw in their normal positions.  Then, the 5-8 seeds are randomized and placed in the 4 slots for the 5-8 players (for instance, the 7th seeded player could end up in the #5 seeding position).  The 9-12 players are then randomized within their grouping and placed in the 9-12 positions.  This continues for the 13-16, 17-24, and 25-32 seeded players.
What happens if I default a match in a tournament?
In order to maintain fair competition for all players in an event, players must play in all scheduled matches for a given tournament.  If a player does not arrive on time for their scheduled match, the Tournament Director reserves the right to default that player after 15 minutes of the scheduled match time.  Players who default a match due to lateness, injury, or any other reason also default any subsequent scheduled matches.  Players may be permitted to continue in the tournament at the discretion of the Tournament Director.  In making these decisions, the Tournament Director will take into consideration the level of communication with the player, court availability, and any other relevant specific factors.  In no case is the Tournament Director obligated to make special accommodations for players.