Comedy Doubles

As we prepare for the World Doubles Championships in New York next month, my thoughts have turned back to correspondence I’ve had this winter with a senior official in the World Squash Federation. 

There are two kinds of doubles, hardball doubles and softball doubles—or as my British colleague Alan Thatcher calls it, proper doubles and comedy doubles. 

Very few people familiar with both games find them equal in any fundamental way: # of active courts or players; scale, seriousness and professionalism of pro tours; skill of play; passion of practitioners; and, of course history (one created in 1907, the other in 1986). We’ve had WSF-sanctioned World Doubles Championships since 1994—but the results don’t appear on their website, just the intermittent and farcical softball ones.

Somehow, the impression is that the WSF feels hardball doubles is just like hardball singles in the 1980s, a quirky North American game destined to give way to the overwhelming global game.

But what if the game grows in the opposite direction? What if we leverage the hardball doubles courts in Scotland, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia? What if we take concrete steps to expand our game outside North America

Here is Alan’s article from last summer, which he republished in January:

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