The Sport Information Resource Centre
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The Sport Information Resource Centre

The 2015 Canada Winter Games are underway with an array of competitions and medals to be won.  One event that will be taking center stage at the Charles Jago Northern Sport Centre is the sport of Squash. The tournament has been part of the Canada Games since Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island hosted the games in 1991.

Squash is a fast-paced game that is played on a four-walled court using a hollow rubber ball and a racquet. It can be played between two people (singles) or two teams of two (doubles) on a squash court. During the Canada Winter Games, the teams will consist of two males and two females under the age of 19 and two males and two females under the age of 17 from each province or territory.

The basic idea of the game is for players to take turns hitting the ball against the wall with the ball hitting above the tin and below the outline. A match is won in a best of five games. Games are played to 11 points but if the score is 10-10, the victory is awarded to the player who gains a 2 score lead. A player may hit the ball while it is still in the air or after it has taken one bounce on the floor. Players are allowed to move anywhere on the court as long as they do not accidentally or deliberately obstruct the opposing player.

Squash terminology:

  • Rally – When a good serve is followed by one or more returns until a player fails to make a return.
  • Fault – A serve that is not good.
  • Handout – When a change of server occurs.
  • Not up – When a player does not strike a return correctly, a ball bounces more than once on the floor before being struck or touches the striker or their clothes.
  • Hand – From the time a player becomes a server to the time he becomes a receiver.


There are two officials in a squash match, the referee and the Marker. The referee is in control of the match and rules on appeals by the players. An appeal is a request from a player for the referee to review on the Marker’s call or lack of call. They are also responsible for applying any conduct penalties. The Marker is responsible for assisting the referee and making calls on serves that are not good. At the end of each rally the Marker calls out the score but if there is an appeal he or she will call it after the appeal.

To play squash, you need is a racquet, a ball, proper clothing, a pair of shoes and a squash court. The game is great for improving cardiovascular strength, increasing hand-eye coordination and maintaining a healthy weight.  If you want to cheer on our young athletes competing for gold in squash, the event will take place from February 22 to March 1 the with doubles medal ceremony on the 28th and the singles on the 1st.

References from the SIRC Collection:

1. Gamble P. DESIGNING AN ANNUAL TRAINING PLAN FOR A YOUNG DEVELOPING SQUASH PLAYER: A CASE STUDY. Journal Of Australian Strength & Conditioning. June 2013;21(2):64-71.

2. Khare K, Singh S, Yadav S, Raddy T. RELATIONSHIP OF SELECTED PHYSICAL VARIABLES WITH THE PERFORMANCE OF SQUASH RACQUET PLAYERS. International Journal Of Sports Sciences & Fitness. January 2012;2(1):123-128.

3. MCPHEE M. Squash–Game On!. Fitness Business Canada. March 2014;15(2):46.


5. Wilkinson M, Leedale-Brown D, Winter E. Validity of a Squash-Specific Test of Change-of-Direction Speed. International Journal Of Sports Physiology & Performance. June 2009;4(2):176-185.

The information presented in SIRC blogs and SIRCuit articles is accurate and reliable as of the date of publication. Developments that occur after the date of publication may impact the current accuracy of the information presented in a previously published blog or article.