I played my first squash match last night in Queens.
I set off in plenty of time, as always, just to make absolute certain I was not late for my first ever squash match on this side of the pond. However, I soon managed to get on the wrong subway train. I got an express service, despite asking for advice, and so was left standing and sweating on the steamy train for 5 extra stops down the line. I could only glare in the direction of the subway driver as I steadily powered past each further stop ending up 60 blocks from where I was intended. I watched as the time was ticking away before match kick off.
When I eventually got there I was to play doubles. I had imagined doubles (as I have played it once before) to be played on a normal squash court with a squash ball. Nope. When I got there I felt like I was on the set of Gulliver’s Travels. The court was super sized and the ball was hard and very bouncy indeed. So, here I am, 5 minutes before an actual match, with my equally clueless partner having to practice on this giant’s court with a super duper bouncy ball without knowledge of any rules at all.
However, our opponents (clearly having played this before/proper squash players) were very kind to us. We lost of course as I kept getting in the way of everyone, but all in all, it was not an un-enjoyable beating. And afterwards, we even mixed up the teams to level out the playing field.
This activity does however reiterate how the Americans seem to feel the need to create all combinations of court size, ball bouncey-ness and line and wall colours. I am constantly amazed by their imagination in this department. But one could argue more choice is better than less? Just take their ice cream for example!
I have found this youtube clip for you to watch to give you a taste of how to play and how big the court is. The music is very emotional for some reason but I think the clip is all the better for it.