High School Squash is one of the fastest growing areas in the game today. Due to the dedicated work of squash enthusiasts, often supported by grants from the U.S. Squash Scholastic Squash Fund (see below) and other aid from the organization, a large number of new school programs are emerging every year. The number of middle schools offering squash is growing each year.
U.S. Squash offers the Scholastic Squash Program to support the development of middle and high school squash in the United States. The U.S. High School Team Championships have been taking place since 2005, with participation levels dramatically increasing since that time. Since the first National High School Team Championships took place in 2005, participation has increased from 16 teams in one division for boys, to more than 100 teams in several divisions for boys and girls. The Justi Cup is the top boys’ division trophy, named in honor of Melinda Justi of Philadelphia, PA who started the event. The Patterson Cup is the top girls’ division trophy, in honor of Bryan Patterson, a long time advocate of girls junior squash.
The U.S. Middle School Championships, which started in 2008, have followed a similar trajectory of increasing popularity and attendance. Many public high schools from Connecticut, New York and New Jersey now recognize squash as a varsity program.
Scholastic Squash Program
The Scholastic Squash Program (SSP) provides the basic resources and tools required by middle and high school programs to manage and support themselves, and links the local league to the national squash community. Schools able to form a league of four teams or more of seven players each (five players in the case of Middle School teams) may apply for U.S. Squash accreditation (sanctioning), and become part of SSP.
The application includes a League Setup Form which defines the specifications for the league, as well as a requirement for details on league structure (management structure, who act as administrators, number of teams, how the schedules are developed, number of matches per team, etc.). U.S. Squash then reviews, approves and sanctions, and sets the league up in the U.S. Squash system. League administrators are trained on how to schedule the league in the software, and team coaches and managers are trained on how to enter results.
SSP provides use of powerful online tools for league management, as well as league team rankings, regional and national scholastic rankings for all players, discounts on national team championships, and a possible exposure in the national junior tournament rankings.
• U.S. Squash provides use of an online league management system for scheduling the season, reporting of results, and communications. Players, parents, and fans can track team and individual results through the league pages and individual player profiles.
• Teams may take advantage of U.S. Squash ladder software to track team challenge matches or other competition.
• U.S. Squash provides a ranking system for team rankings.
• Unlike during the 2009-2010 Season, team matches will not count towards a player’s junior tournament rating and ranking. Instead, all team matches will be calculated towards a player’s Junior Scholastic Rating and Ranking. Individual Scholastic Rankings will be able to be viewed either by league or nationally.
• If an end-of-season individual championship is held for league players, the accreditation (sanctioning) fee is waived by U.S. Squash and the results count (1) towards a player’s Scholastic Rating and Ranking, and (2) as a tournament towards their Junior Tournament Ranking. For the Junior Tournament Ranking, point values will be assigned to the individual championship tournaments based on the overall strength of the tournament. Please see the 2010-2011 Junior Guide for more information on Junior Scholastic Ratings and Rankings.
• The Team fee is fully deducted from the entry fee of the U.S. High School or Middle School Championships if that team enters either event.
• New programs may qualify for a Harrow “starter kit” discount program, in which team players may purchase a full kit of a racquet, sneakers, and eye-guards at a deep discount.
• U.S. Squash offers financial grants to new school programs. Applications are available on the U.S. Squash website or by contacting Dent Wilkens at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Each league must have a minimum of four teams.
2. Each team must play at least six matches. So in the case of a four team league, each team needs to play the other twice in a season.
3. All players must be current members of U.S. Squash. League Administrators may work with U.S. Squash to set up all players as members of the association, or players may sign up for membership individually.
4. League managers and coaches must input the competition schedule and all results related to the league play into the U.S. Squash system in a timely manner.
• $120 per team* (per gender if school has boys and girls teams)
* U.S. Squash SSP teams receive a $120 discount off the registration fee for U.S. Middle and High School Team Championships, eliminating any incremental cost for the school.
• All home facilities of the teams in the league must be current U.S. Squash Member Clubs.
• The U.S. Squash member club fee is $45/court per facility (maximum of $225 per facility to be a member facility). If the facility is already a member club, this fee does not need to be paid again by the league or school.
• All players on team rosters must be current members of U.S. Squash. It is the responsibility of league administrators and team coaches to make sure all players fulfill this requirement. Players may join on an individual basis, or league administrators or coaches may email email@example.com to pay for the memberships of teams or the whole league.
U.S. Squash will generate a single invoice for the league team fees in total. The league administrator must collect fees centrally and send one check to U.S. Squash for the season.
Scholastic Squash Fund
The U.S. Squash Scholastic Squash Fund Development Program aims to provide emerging junior squash initiatives with financial support to aid in their growth into strong and sustainable programs. The fund targets new development in middle and high schools, with the ultimate goal of creating self-supporting school teams and leagues that continually expose the game to new players and markets.
U.S. Squash Scholastic Squash Fund resources are available to all middle and high school programs in the United States. Requests can be made to assist with equipment or facility costs, coaching fees, transportation, or other team-related costs. Requests should be made by the primary coach/administrator for the program. If an application is approved, grants typically range from $500 to $2000. U.S. Squash reserves all rights related to the acceptance of grant proposals.
To apply for a grant, please submit the completed application to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Scholastic Squash Fund Grant Application” as the subject. Grant requests are accepted and evaluated on a rolling basis. However, early application is encouraged, as grant funds are limited.