Going Yard

The 2012 Delaware Investments United States Open is heading towards great things. If my math is correct, it will be the fortieth time this prestigious title will be contested and possibly this one will be the greatest yet.

Earlier this month, U.S. Squash hosted an evening a young professionals event at the Yards brewery. (Every day this week while taking the kids to camp, I’ve driven past an old sign at a tiny bar for Schmidt’s beer, a reminder that Yards is now one of two breweries left in the city of Philadelphia.)

It was a fun evening, with a lot of young squash pros (Kasey Brown) and friends, good food (beer cheese, otherwise known as Welsh rarebit) and laughs. 

Relatively New Sport

It is always interesting how little pro players know about the squash history of the countries where they are playing. I mentioned this in my review of James Willstrop’s memoir, when so many U.S. guys were getting their knickers in a twist about his anti-American comments. They just don’t know our history, especially because they erroneously view hardball as akin to racquetball, a sport that has little to do with proper squash. 

In this great video, promoting the 2012 Delaware Investments U.S. Open, Nick Matthew says with a big smile: “It is a relatively new sport there [in the U.S.] so the crowds are always really passionate, really sort of loud.” Really?

On the other side, the video does get Gilly Lane to do his Rocky imitation on the Art Museum steps.

Figure Eight

Most of us do this a little, the cross-court volleys in succession.

I remember the first time I saw someone do it: it was the Hunter Lott, down at Penn’s Rindge Courts, circa 1982. I was amazed. Obviously much easier to do with the wider court and slower softball, so it is much more common today in the U.S. than thirty years ago. 

My colleague Alan Thatcher alerted me to someone who can really do the figure eight routine—while standing on an inflatable yoga ball (what the British evidently call a Swiss medicine ball).