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Become a referee – New online option to certification
Squash Canada has developed a reasonably-priced online course that will allow you to achieve initial certification solely online.
Please contact us for more information.
DATE: November 2001 FROM: Barry Faguy, Officiating Committee SUBJECT: The Revised Rules
Notice to all players
The ‘World Squash Federation’ has created new wording for some of the rules that touch on many areas of the game. By reading the new rules and the guidelines that accompany them, you’ll be able to review for yourself the changes, too numerous to deal with here. However, there is one change whose proper application could have a significant effect in the years to come:
RULE 12.7.1 READS AS FOLLOWS: THE REFEREE SHALL NOT ALLOW A LET AND THE PLAYER SHALL LOSE THE RALLY IF THE REFEREE DECIDES THERE WAS NO INTERFERENCE, OR THE INTERFERENCE WAS SO MINIMAL THAT THE PLAYER’S FAIR VIEW OF THE BALL, AND FREEDOM TO GET TO AND PLAY THE BALL WERE NOT AFFECTED.
THE PROBLEM: Over the past number of years, there has been a growing concern that there are too many lets in the game, particularly at the highest levels of play, when there has been only minimal interference. The striker still had plenty of time to play any shot, but instead chose to stop play and request a let. These interruptions are frustrating to players who routinely play in the true spirit of the game and accept some minor hindrances and play on. Unfortunately, others look for the chance to avoid playing a difficult shot, or are looking for a break while fatiguing. Many experienced referees were already denying lets in such situations because the striker was not making every effort to get to and play the ball (instead taking an easy let). Unfortunately, there were too many occasions when less experienced referees, especially at club level, were allowing lets for the most minor infraction.
THE SOLUTION: In an effort to encourage all referees at all levels to make the players play the ball when they should, the wording you see above has been added to the rules. As well, we have always had provisions in the rules that required the striker to make every effort to get to the ball. However, a shortcoming of effort is often a very difficult thing to judge, compared to whether an interference is minimal or not. Now referees can encourage play to become more continuous with additional wording that makes it clear that the player must:
- make every effort to get to the ball
- make every effort to play the ball
- accept minimal interference
The effect more than the amount – Take notice of the last word (AFFECTED) of that rule quoted above. The wording demands a ‘No Let’ when the effect of the interference was minimal. In one case, a minor collision on the way to the ball might be insignificant and deserve a ‘No Let’, while at another time the same amount of collision might actually knock a player off stride and could at least merit a let. The ‘effect’ that the interference had is what matters. Just because ‘there was a contact’ is not enough!
Reasonable fear of injury – This provision is a constant consideration and justification for awarding a let, particularly when it comes to the swing or for hitting the ball to the front wall, so one should be very careful in saying ‘No Let’ for these two types of interferences. We don’t want to encourage dangerous play. The minimal interference provisions refer mostly to the striker’s movement to access the ball, as well as for the fair view of the ball, this latter usually a momentary impediment
Watch for faking – The obvious result of this new wording might incite some players to ‘take a dive’ or exaggerate the effect to make it look good. Don’t be fooled.
Watch for the flip side of this – Do not let this demand on the incoming striker (to play through some interferences) be an excuse for the opponent to make less effort to get out of the way. Continue to demand every effort to clear.
These minor interferences will certainly remain a difficult decision in many instances, but we can be sure that countless frivolous interruptions will now cease, especially if each one of us (as players and referees) do our part to change this often-ugly face of the game.
During this event, the Match Referees will apply the following guidelines:
1. Under the Rules of Squash, the Referee (or Central Referee in the 3-Referee System – both abbreviated as CR in the rest of this document) is instructed to penalize behaviour that is “disruptive, intimidating, or offensive”. Thus any form of obscenity whether audible, mouthed or gestured, will not be tolerated and will be immediately penalized. This will also apply to any expression that the CR considers to be blasphemy. There is no excuse for such behaviour, even in the heat of the moment. It is important for you to realize that the CR does not have to issue a warning first but may apply any level of penalty (Warning, Stroke, Game, Match) on the first occurrence, depending on how the CR views the severity of the situation.
2. Referees will not award a let for minimal interference nor will they award a stroke unless it is truly merited. We hope that this will promote matches that flow, with a minimum of stoppages.
3. Referees do their best to make correct decisions, and with the Three Referee System the likelihood of a totally incorrect decision is greatly reduced. However, there may be times when a player disagrees with a marginal decision by either the single or the Three Referees. In the Referee/Marker System the Referee may provide an explanation of a decision, but in the Three Referee System explanations of why each of them decided the way they did are not practical. With either system, expressions of dissent and prolonged discussions will be penalized. This does not mean that an amusing quip or comment, even if mildly directed towards any of the Officials, will be regarded as an offence.
4. The position from where the Referees and Marker have to officiate is not always ideal. This often reduces their ability to determine whether pick-ups are good or not, particularly at the front of the court, or whether the ball may have clipped the top of the tin, or may have hit above the out-line on the back wall. The Referees would greatly appreciate players’ honesty in declaring promptly if their shots are ”not up”, ”down”, or ”out”, etc. Referees look forward to continuing the dialogue between themselves, players and players’ representatives at this event. Please feel free to contact any member of the Squash Quebec Officiating Committee to make your views known.