WSO JD1 – July 2024 Directives for Junior Events

*Update WSO JD1

WSO Directives: Will clarify the ‘Rules of Squash’ and the interpretation applicable at Junior events. These directives will be published regularly as and when required.

1. Safety

As per the introduction to the rules, Players must always place safety first and not take any action that could endanger the opponent.

  • Players should keep their racket in their hand during play. Any throwing of the racket or racket abuse during play or at the end of a game or match will result in a Code of Conduct (Rule 15.6.6).
  • Protective Eyewear MUST ALWAYS be worn whilst on court. This includes the warm-up, during intervals, playing a match, or whilst practicing or playing with friends.

2. Fair Play

FAIR WARM-UP – Rules of Squash 4 states,

  • 4.1. At the start of a match, the players go on court together to warm up the ball for a maximum of 4 minutes. After 2 minutes, the players must change sides unless they have already done so.
  • 4.2. The players must have equal opportunities to strike the ball. A player retaining control of the ball for an unreasonable time is warming up unfairly and the Referee must apply Rule 15 (Conduct).

WSO Clarification of a Fair Warm-Up. Players should ensure that the warm-up is shared equally. A referee expects a player to hit the ball two or a maximum of three times to themselves before passing it to their opponent. If this guideline is not followed, the referee will enforce the Code of Conduct (Rule 15.6.7).

GAME INTERVAL – Rules of squash 7 states.

  • 7.1. A maximum of 90 seconds is permitted between the end of the warm-up and the start of play and between each game. This can vary depending on the event regulations.
  • 7.2. Players must be ready to resume play at the end of any interval, but play may resume earlier if both agree.

WSO Clarification on Being Late onto Court. Players must be back on court when the game interval is up. The referee will call “15 seconds,” at which point both players should make their way back onto court. When the referee calls “Time,” both players should be ready to start play. It is the player’s responsibility to stay within hearing proximity of the court to hear the referee. Failure to be back on court on time will result in a Code of Conduct penalty (Rule 15.6.8).

NOT MAKING EVERY EFFORT TO CLEAR – Rules of Squash 8.1 states, “after completing a reasonable follow-through, a player must make every effort to clear, so that when the ball rebounds from the front wall the opponent has”:

  • 8.1.1. a fair view of the ball on its rebound from the front wall; and
  • 8.1.2. unobstructed direct access to the ball; and
  • 8.1.3. the space to make a reasonable swing at the ball; and
  • 8.1.4. the freedom to strike the ball to any part of the front wall.

WSO Clarification on Not Clearing Your Shot. Players must make every effort to CLEAR their shot and give DIRECT ACCESS to the ball (Rule 8.8). This means no trailing leg, no hip checks, and no failing to clear by standing on your shot.

NOT MAKING EVERY EFFORT TO PLAY THE BALL – Rules of squash 8.8.1 states, “If there was interference but the striker did not make every effort to get to and play the ball, no let is allowed.”

Note that making every effort to get to and play the ball should not include contact with the opponent. If avoidable contact is made, Rule 15 (Conduct) must be applied.

WSO Clarification on Not Making Every Effort to Get to and Play the Ball. Players must make every effort TO GET TO AND PLAY THE BALL, but this should not include unnecessary contact with their opponent. Any unnecessary physical contact or dangerous play will result in a Code of Conduct penalty (Rule 15.6.3).

Players should avoid running straight into their opponent when a clear path is available or looking for strokes. Do not wrap your racket around the player to gain a stroke.

TIMEWASTING – Play should be continuous wherever possible. Once the referee has called the score, both players should be ready to serve and receive serve. Any unnecessary stoppages, such as excessive tying of shoelaces, cleaning of eyewear, hair tying, or towel use, will result in a Code of Conduct penalty (Rule 15.6.8).

3. Respect

REFEREE DECISION EXPLANATIONS – Rules of Squash 3.7 states, “The Referee, whose decision is final: may give an explanation for a decision,” as outlined in Rule 3.7.11.

WSO Clarification Regarding Referee Decision Explanations. Once a player has asked for a “Let,” they must wait for the referee’s decision before speaking. The referee has the discretion to determine whether an explanation for a decision is necessary. Players may request explanations but are NOT entitled to them and MUST accept the referee’s decisions and explanations without question.

Any inappropriate comments or gestures/expressions/head shakes made by a player before or after a decision or explanation will be handled according to the Code of Conduct. Players must accept the decisions and explanations given by the referee without engaging in further discussion

PLAYER DISSENT – Rules of Squash 15 states, “if a player’s conduct is unacceptable, the Referee must penalise the player, stopping play if necessary”. Unacceptable behaviour includes, but is not limited to:

  • 15.6.1 Audible or Visible obscenity
  • 15.6.2 Verbal, physical or any other form of abuse
  • 15.6.5 Dissent to an official – this includes ‘visual dissent’/belligerence

WSO Clarification on Player Dissent. Player dissent is distinct from requesting an explanation for a decision. Dissent occurs when a player expresses disagreement or objection to a referee’s decision through behaviours such as repeated questioning, using an aggressive tone, arguing, shouting, or making disrespectful comments/gestures/expressions/headshakes. This behaviour is unacceptable (Rule 15.6.5) and will result in disciplinary action.

A Conduct Stroke will be issued for the first offence, and if the behaviour persists, a Conduct Game may be imposed. Players MUST accept decisions respectfully and refrain from displaying dissenting behaviour.

A Conduct Stroke will be issued for the first offence, and if the behaviour persists, a Conduct Game may be imposed. Players MUST accept decisions respectfully and refrain from displaying dissenting behaviour.

4. Coaching

COACHES AND PARENTS/GUARDIANS DISSENT TOWARDS MATCH OFFICIALS – Dissent from a player’s coach or parent/guardian towards match officials will not be tolerated. If dissent is identified, the offending person(s) will be asked to leave the court area immediately. Play will not continue until this action is taken, and if necessary, play may be stopped, or the game/match awarded to the opponent.

WSO Clarification on Coaching. A player may receive coaching or instruction from a coach or parent only before the start of the match and during game intervals.

Recently, there has been an increasing and unacceptable trend of coaches and parents providing coaching while the game is in play and between rallies. This behaviour is strictly not allowed as it causes disruption to the match.

If such coaching is identified, the player involved will be penalised according to the Code of Conduct (Rule 15.6.10). The first offense will result in a Conduct Stroke, and continued offenses will result in a Conduct Game. Additionally, offending coaches or parents may be asked to leave the court area.

5. Court Etiquette

CALLING YOUR SHOTS – Rules of Squash 15.5 states. ‘Players must NOT behave in a manner that is unfair…’

WSO Clarification on Calling Your Shots. Players should call their own balls when they are down, not up (carries or double bounces), or out. While it can be challenging to make fair calls in the heat of a match, INTEGRITY and FAIR PLAY are essential values. Please make every effort to play fair.

CELEBRATING – Rules of Squash 15.5 states. ‘Players must not behave in a manner that is offensive or detrimental to the sport’.

WSO Clarification on Celebrating. Players can celebrate on court, but NOT after every point and NOT by screaming or shouting in the face or ear of their opponent. Whilst being passionate and excited it is important to be humble and respectful.

6. Player Referee Duties

For some events, players will be required to referee the next match on the same court. Please check with the Tournament Organiser when signing in to the event. If refereeing is a requirement of the tournament, failure to comply without a valid reason will result in disciplinary action.

7. Verbal or Physical Abuse

WSO Clarification on Verbal or Physical Abuse. Verbal or physical abuse WILL NOT be tolerated from any individual involved in a squash event. If a player is identified as being involved in verbal or physical abuse, disciplinary action WILL be taken.

Parents, Guardians, and Coaches – All individuals involved in squash are expected to ALWAYS respect the decisions of officials and teach players to do the same. Any disagreements should be resolved amicably without resorting to hostility or violence. Avoid any bad or abusive language and unsporting behaviour, as those actions WILL result in disciplinary action.

Parent’s, Guardian’s, and Coaches are reminded not to ridicule or admonish players for making mistakes or losing a match. Instead, encourage fair play and show appreciation for a good, honest performance and skilful play from ALL players.


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