Who Did England Play In The 1966 World Cup Squash History – A Quick Guide

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Squash History – A Quick Guide

Origin of squash

The history of squash began many centuries ago in France (around the year 1150) with a game called “le Pauem” (the palm of the hand), which developed into tennis at the end of the fifteenth century. At this time people played similar games just for entertainment, simply in narrow streets.

The next big step came in the early 19th century in the Fleet Prison in England. The prisoners played inside their cells, hitting the ball with their hands (and later rackets) and bouncing it off the walls. This game became known as “Rackets”.

These games were very popular in schools and that gave birth to the squash itself. The first four courts were built at Harrow school in England in 1864 and the game was officially established (the word “squash” comes from the sound the ball makes when bouncing off the front wall of the court).

Standardization

The sport still lacked any kind of standardization and that led to two branches of squash – one played with a soft ball in England and the second with a hard ball and slightly narrower court in North America.

The first squash court in North America was built in 1884 in New Hampshire at St. Paul and in 1907 the first national association was founded – the United States Squash Racquet Association (USSRA). The Canadian Squash Racquet Association followed in 1911 and in Great Britain the game was regulated by a sub-committee of the Tennis and Racquet Association – the Squash Racquet Association was formed in 1928.

The first professional world championship came in 1920 in England and later the sport began to spread throughout the world. In the 1960s and 1980s it was mainly due to the efforts of two of the best players at that time – Jonah Barington from Ireland and Geoff Hunt from Australia – that brought the game to the masses and started a great boom in the sport this.

Modern age

The International Squash Racket Association (ISRF) was founded in 1966 in London by representatives from Great Britain, USA, Canada, Australia, India, Pakistan, New Zealand, South Africa and the United Arab Republic. In 1992 the ISRF was renamed the World Squash Federation (WSF), finally recognizing the name of the game as “Squash”, not “Racket Squash”.

The WSF governs rules, court specifications, rackets and other gear, referees and also training and education. It supports the co-ordination of squash events and organizes the World Championships. And recently he is working closely with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to incorporate squash into the Olympic programme.

There are now more than 120 national squash associations under WSF. The game is now played in over 150 countries on more than 49.000 courts, over 17 million players are registered.

Best players

One of the first great players in squash history was FD Amr Bey from Egypt who won five British Opens in the 1930s. The next famous Egyptian came 15 years later – MA Karim won the title four times between 1947 and 1950.

We have already mentioned Geoff Hunt from Australia – during the 1960s and 1970s he won the British Open eight times.

And we cannot forget the legendary players from Pakistan – Jahangir Khan winning the British Open record ten times (1982-1992), Jansher Khan (eight times), Hashim Khan (seven times) and his dynasty.

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