Refereeing Singles Squash
How to prepare as a squash referee
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|You may think that becoming
a Squash Referee is just a matter of sitting down behind
the court and watching the play, then using your
instincts to make decisions.
And this may be the way that it looks to you as a player when someone does try to referee your match.
We shall now consider each of these points of the 'art' of refereeing in more detail.
|The WSF Rules of the game of
Singles Squash have just been rewritten (again). These Rules are
available on various sites on the WWW - see for example
magazine and others.
You may find that
all of your matches come to a conclusion without any
problems - you have been lucky. Watch out ! The next
match could be a nightmare.
|Squash is as much a mental
game as it is physical. This means that you will see
various types of players on the court - those who shout
at every mistake they make, glare at their opponent and
you, and hate everything about the game - at least,
that's how it appears from the outside.
Perhaps it's a great desire to win, to be seen as a winner by their peers. Or perhaps the opposite, a frantic desire not to lose, not to be seen as a failure. Whatever the reason for this type of behaviour, when it comes to accepting a referee's decision, this type of player is a disaster.
As a squash Referee, you definitely need a cool head in this situation. The ability to make clear decisions consistently while under this sort of mental pressure is an important part of the 'art' of refereeing.
The mental aspects
of refereeing (in many sports) are described in the
excellent book entitled "The Psychology of
Refereeing' by Robert S. Weinberg and Peggy A.
Richardson, published by Leisure Press, Champaign, IL,
U.S.A. in 1990, ISBN 0-88011-400-2. Although now outdated, it contains a mass of
detailed information, tests and systems, and there are some
very good pointers to success in squash refereeing.
|We believe that Squash
Refereeing is definitely an art rather than a science. It
is about interpretation, about judging the speed of the
ball and the players, assessing the moment of striking,
and determining the trajectory of players and ball.
WSF can lay down the Rules.
In fact, we do need a set of Rules on which to base our
decisions. But these Rules are not fixed in stone. They
are there to be interpreted according to the playing
situation. And like the very nature of the game itself,
these Rules are changing, moving, the 'goalposts' are
becoming wider, or sometimes narrower.
|The game of squash is
incredibly fast moving, probably one of the fastest games
in the world. If your eyes are not up to it, you
shouldn't play squash - and you definitely shouldn't be a
Although you run a bit of a risk by wearing glasses (the 'four-eyes' insult is quite common !!), if your eyes are corrected to 20-20 vision with spectacles (or even with contact lenses), then that should be sufficient.
Tiredness also plays a part. When you are tired, your eyes will have difficulty following the ball and watching the movements of the players. Get someone else to take over - you'll hate yourself if you make a big mistake just because your arrogance stopped you handing that match on to someone else.
especially alcohol (such a common affectation of squash
Referees), is a definite no-no. If you go to referee a
match after consuming any form of drugs, you are putting
your reputation at risk.
|How many times have you
shouted out the score only to have one of the players
almost immediately ask you to repeat yourself ?
It is a frustrating fact that even at the top level, squash Referees are often not included in the media preparations for a match. OK, you might be given a microphone occasionally for a major final. However, generally, you'll be expected to shout yourself hoarse over a multitude of background noises in a building that would not qualify as safe according to a work inspection for sound levels.
This is when you
need a strong voice. It does not have to be
authoritarian, in fact quite the opposite. Your voice
should be firm and clear, and as loud as necessary
considering the circumstances. Bellowing too loud is as
bad as being too quiet.
More ideas/advice ?
|If you are in a position to
make any further recommendations about the above advice,
please let us know. We'll be glad to include your points
in our revisions of the site.
Now it's time to start with the detail - you can choose to read the Rules one-by-one, from the Rules Index, and then go through the Appendices when indicated by the hyperlinks.
You can also read
the Appendices one-by-one from their