Did You Know These Squash Facts?

The origin of squash is linked back to two different theories. The first one suggests that squash was invented at Harrow School by a group of students around 1830, outside London. However, according to the second theory, the World Squash Federation, a group of London debtors’ detainees recently played a game similar to squash. They used rackets to hit balls against the dividers as a type of exercise.

Back in 2003, squash was listed as the healthiest sport to play by Forbes magazine. It is said that 30 minutes of squash can burn up to 800 calories.

Here are some other squash facts you might not have known!

  1. The Titanic Had A Squash Court
  2. Squash was Invented at Harrow School
  3. The First Nuclear Reactor was Built in a Squash Court
  4. There are 50,000 Squash Courts in The World
  5. 3408 Shots at the longest Squash Rally
  6. The Longest Squash Marathon Lasted 36 Hours
  7. Prince Philip Played Squash While Queen Elizabeth II Was in Labor
  8. Number of Squash Players in the World
  9. World Fastest Squash Ball
  10. Number of Countries Playing Squash
  11. The Most Successful Squash Players in the World
  12. United States Squash Rackets Association (USSRA)
  13. Why is Squash called Squash Sport?

1. The Titanic Had A Squash Court

The court was built in the first-class of G-Deck, while the viewing deck was located on F-Deck. The squash court measured 30×20 feet and had a ceiling only 15ft 8 inches high. This is very low, but was the only possibility due to the ship’s structure.

The court had its very own professional player, 24-year-old Fred Wright from the UK. First-class passengers could play for half an hour by paying 50 cents, and could extend their game to an hour if no other players were waiting to play. They could either play against Fred or be taught by him. He charged very little for his lessons and mainly relied on tips. Sadly, Fred died when the ship sank.

titanic squash court
Titanic Squash Court

2. Squash was Invented at Harrow School

According to one of the theories about the origin of squash, the distinguished Harrow school is known to be the place of origin of squash.

The Harrow School is a fancy school with some notable names like Winston Churchill and James Blunt as its alumni. Maybe this explains why squash is so popular amongst the educated class. This could also be why most famous squash players are college graduates.

It is said that the game was accidentally discovered by a group of students at the campus in 1830 when they were playing rackets with a flat ball.

3. The First Nuclear Reactor was Built in a Squash Court

The secret US project developing a nuclear bomb is called the Manhattan Project. This project had many great American scientists on the panel and played a vital role in bringing WWII to an end.

Now, such an experiment required extensive space, and the chosen venue ended up being a squash court at the University of Chicago. American scientists built the world’s first-ever nuclear reactor there, which then led them to an atomic pile and finally, a self-sustained nuclear chain reaction.

First Nuclear Reactor Squash Court

4. There are 50,000 Squash Courts in The World

According to a survey led by the World Squash Federation in 2009, there were 49,908 squash courts in the world. However, a recent estimate says that we have exactly 50,000 squash courts located in over 188 nations around the world.

The UK has the largest number of squash courts, estimated around 9000 with half a million players. Other countries like Germany, Egypt, the USA, France, Spain also have more than 1000 courts.

5. 3408 Shots at the longest Squash Rally

The longest squash rally is 3,408 shots and was accomplished by Mark James and Peter Buchan in Montrose, UK, on 24 March 2017.

The entire attempt took 1 hour 22 minutes 40 seconds and was played to raise funds for Comic Relief.

6. The Longest Squash Marathon Lasted 36 Hours

Perhaps the most fervently challenged world record in the field of squash is that of the longest squash marathon.

The current record-holders for squash singles are Adam Fisher and Darren Yates, both from New Zealand. They set the record on April 12th in Perth, Australia. The duo played for an impressive 35 hours, 2 minutes, and 3 seconds.

In 2017, there was an informal attempt made at the record by Kaitlyn Watts and Richard Bell, who were both just 16 at that point. Both these players were British and were trying to raise funds for themselves to go to America to participate in squash competitions there. They played squash for a total of 40 hours and 41 seconds. However, because they couldn’t bear to pay for a delegate of the Guinness World Records to be there to direct and record the occasion, they have not been granted the official record.

7. Prince Philip Played Squash While Queen Elizabeth II Was in Labor

While the Queen was in labor, struggling to birth the royal child, Prince Philip whiled the time away by playing squash with his private secretary. The youthful eager dad was stressed to the point that a few rounds of squash appeared to be the one thing that could put his mind at ease.

Prince Philip Played Squash
Prince Philip was President of the British Squash Rackets Association

8. Number of Squash Players in the World

There are about 20 million people routinely playing squash across the globe. Approximately 1.2 million play the sport in the US alone, out of a total of 25 million.

9. World Fastest Squash Ball

Great-hitting Aussie Cameron Pilley broke his reality speed record, crushing a squash ball at an astonishing 176 mph (281.6 km/h). It surpassed the world’s best of 175 mph.

10. World Squash Federation

The World Squash Federation (WSF) is the worldwide federation for squash. The WSF is perceived by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the International Federation (IF) for squash and is a member of SportAccord and the Association of the IOC Recognized International Sports Federations (ARISF).

It is based in Hastings, England. The federation began in 2016 and has 149 members. It proposes that squash be added to the Olympic program for the 2024 and 2028 Summer Olympics.

11. Number of Countries Playing Squash

Around 95% of the countries in the world play squash. This makes 188 squash-playing countries out of a total of 195 countries on the world map.

12. The Most Successful Squash Players in the World

The most successful male squash player in the history of the World Squash Championship is Jansher Khan of Pakistan. He has eight titles under his belt.

Nicole David has won the same amount of titles under the women’s singles category of the same tournament.

Jansher Khan
Jansher Khan

13. United States Squash Rackets Association (USSRA)

The United States Squash Rackets Association (USSRA) is known to be the first-ever association for sport formed in the USA, Pennsylvania. It was formed in 1904, although the name was later on changed to US Squash.

In 1928, the UK’s Squash Rackets Association followed suit and set out rules and standards for squash in the UK.

14. Why is Squash called Squash Sport?

To distinguish between the vegetable squash and the sport squash, we refer to the latter as “squash sport.”

Closing Thoughts

Squash has been on the rise ever since its origin. It may look like a dull sport to some, but the history of squash makes you look at it differently and changes your entire perspective on it. The game was played by many famous cricket and football athletes and other famous personalities. It has one of the richest histories of all sports, and is a favorite of many. Frequently called the game of the educated, it’s fairly clear that squash is an amazing pastime and exercise.