It was the lucky thirteenth World Squash Day and another huge day personally.
It started, unofficially, on Friday evening the 17th when we ran the speed-gun challenge after the end of the semifinals at the 2014 U.S. Open. A huge crowd stayed on hand to watch (so much for the debate about when to stage it). Talking with Sarah-Jane Perry before-hand, we were a bit nervous—we had no idea how hard the top women actually hit the ball—and pleased that she topped out at 144mph. John White, a former unofficial record-holder, hit 154mph and then Cam Pilley, stepping a bit closer to the front wall, reached 163.
We finished up work at half past twelve in the morning and so the first order of business on what was now the 18th and officially World Squash Day was to go have some food and drink with other squash friends at a pub.
After four hours of sleep, we were back at it just after dawn. I started the player introduction ceremony at the Penn State v. Lehigh match, attended the US Squash Annual Assembly, spoke at the Hall of Fame luncheon—four new inductees—and the Champions Dinner—honoring Carter Fergusson for attending the U.S. nationals sixty-two straight years, orchestrated a reenactment of the 1958 Sports Illustrated squash cover, wrote for the web and Tweeted for social media, rushed to Kinkos, talked with a hundred old friends, gossiped with World Squash Federation delegates and watched along with a thousand other people as Nicol David became the first three-time Open winner in its sixty-year history and Mohamed Elshorbagy defied expectations to capture his first Grand Slam.
The night ended, appropriately, at midnight when I left the players’ party after much hugs and hilarity. The only thing I didn’t do on World Squash Day was actually play squash. Next year.