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HISTORY

The origins of Squash

The origins of Squash date back to the beginning of the 19th century,
in England. Just like tennis, badminton and pelota Basque, squash
would be one of the descendants of the famous Palm game.
The Palm was invented in France in the 13th century even though
some historians have been able to find variants of this game
from antiquity.

 

From Jeu de Paume to Squash

The Jeu de Paume arrived in England in the 16th century under the
name of Court Tennis.

Then around 1850, they invented the game of rackets. This new game was played with several people, using rackets and a leather ball, but on a large field (18.21m – 9.08m) first outdoors and then covered. In vogue at that time, the "rackets" is then practiced mainly by the English aristocracy and in particular in the prestigious institution of London, the "Harrow School".


It was on the walls of this large school that two students, waiting their turn to play "rackets", had fun hitting the ball against the walls. They had just invented the beginnings of squash.


However, it will be necessary to wait for the creation of a hollow and soft rubber ball to switch from "rackets" to squash. The name “squash” is then given in reference to the sound of the ball crashing against the wall (squashy = soft).

 

Squash today

It is practiced by more than 40 million players worldwide, including 200,000 in France in more than 300 clubs. The Ile de France region has 60 clubs, including 2 in the 16th arrondissement, the Stade Français and the Jeu de Paume in Paris.

Nowadays, Squash is managed by the WSF (World Squash Federation) internationally and by the FFS (French Squash Federation) in France.

The professional circuit is managed by the PSA (Professional Squash Association). 1,000 professional players compete in 700 referenced tournaments for nearly 10 million winnings. in dollars.

 

French squash has very great champions such as Thierry Lincou, Grégory Gaultier and Camille Serme. France is ranked third in the world in 2021, behind Egypt and England. The French Women's team is the reigning European Champion after its historic victory over England, which has more than 40 continental titles.

old photo of squash
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