Report courtesy of the Professional Squash Association
In time for the 2015 Delaware Investments U.S. Open, the Professional Squash Association (PSA) announced this week that they would conduct a four month trial, beginning in September, into the suitability of a reduced tin height for competitive women’s matches from 19” to 17”—the current standard in the men’s professional game.
The U.S. Open will be the the first World Series tournament to feature the 17” tin for both men and women. In keeping with the U.S. Open’s continued parity campaign—announcing prize money parity in 2013—this prestigious tournament continues to support athletes of all genders.
In addition to the U.S. Open, the trial will take place across the professional game with some of the sport’s most publicized events to feature an all-glass show-court, such as the Women’s World Championship, taking part in the trial with September’s 2015 China Open, becoming the first event ever to see the world’s top female players compete with the lower tin.
The PSA joined forces with the Women’s Squash Association earlier this year to create a unified governing body for the first time in the history of professional squash and this latest initiative is part of a series of changes aimed at increasing equality between the tours and bringing both the men’s and women’s tours into line.
“The tin height is currently one of the main fundamental differences between the men’s and women’s games, with the men having competed with a 17” tin as standard for several years,” said PSA Chief Operations Officer Lee Beachill.
‘We feel that aligning the tin height is an important step to take in order to achieve our goals of increasing parity and offering both men and women the same playing opportunities.
“This change will encourage more attacking play and add a new dimension to the women’s game and we look forward to watching with interest the impact the change will have during the next few months.”
Former Women’s World Champion Laura Massaro has backed the move, saying that she thinks the change will lead to a positive change in the women’s game and is looking forward to competing under the new rules come September.
“I think it’s important that the sport tries to move in different directions at times and this change is a good move and one I’m looking forward to,” said Massaro.
“I believe it will make the women’s game more attacking and will have a positive impact with more winners winning points and rallies as opposed to errors and that will also help with the television coverage as the shots will look better.
“It’s also important that there’s no difference between the women’s and the men’s tin in order to make the game easier to understand for the public and to remove the complication of changing tin heights during joint competitions.”