A Squash on Campus tournament, designed to cultivate new college squash club teams around the country, will take place at Meadow Mill Athletic Club, April 29-30, in Baltimore, Maryland. The first such gathering last year saw several teams compete in a less formal jamboree.
The tournament evolved from the model established by the National Intramural and Sports Association and United States Tennis Association’s Tennis on Campus program, which provides resources to colleges and universities interested in starting a tennis sports club on their campus. Tennis on Campus offers regional competitions between club programs.
Interested programs can register for the event at the Squash on Campus tournament page.
One goal of the new Squash on Campus programming is to increase the number of new college squash club programs, starting at the 5-player team emerging level, thereby retaining more high school players as they matriculate into college.
“Our hope for Squash on Campus is reduce barriers for participation,” said Peter Heffernan, Meadow Mill Athletic Club Director of Squash. “I believe there is an under-served group of squash players who played in high school who do not have an opportunity to continue to play in college, and the goal is to find them, and offer Squash on Campus as an alternative to not playing at all. So many young adults are introduced to squash in college too, so this is a competitive outlet for them too. I also believe that this group will continue to play after college, play in leagues and join clubs, which will help grow the game.”
At the 2017 U.S. High School Squash Team Championships, approximately 1,500 players competed on 105 boys’ and 75 girls’ teams. At the 2017 College Squash Team Championships, approximately 1,100 players competed on 62 men’s and 39 women’s varsity or club teams across approximately eighty institutions. More than two hundred colleges nationwide have squash courts on campus.
“We’re really proud to support Peter’s initiative here – he is a force of nature in promoting squash at all levels” said Kevin Klipstein, President and CEO of US Squash, the sports’ national governing body. “Collegiate squash is a major strength for squash overall, as well as a huge opportunity. Many of our most passionate adult players were introduced to squash at college. Making it easier for students to organize and find meaningful competition fits squarely into our mission, and we see this effort as complimentary to the College Squash Association’s efforts to grow the sport.”