Onward and Upward WISPA and PSA on record pace for 2007 season

With just over half of the season played, the Women’s International Squash Tour is already expecting to break into new territory by surpassing the $1.5 million mark for total prize money in 2007—a 50% increase over last year. The tour will also see double the number of Gold and Platinum events (prize money in excess of $43,000), 12 compared to six in 2006, while the number of Tour events will rise from 42 last year to 70 this year. Spread over 54 cities, in 23 countries on five continents, the WISPA tour is booming. “So many national federations, promoters and squash clubs are seeing what a great promotional vehicle WISPA Tour events can be,” said WISPA Chief Executive Andrew Shelley. “They are doing a great job for the sport locally, and we should pay tribute to the players too who are not only great sportswomen but also superb ambassadors. It is our members who are WISPA’s real sales team.”

On the men’s side, the PSA Tour has also been experiencing spectacular growth for several years. According to PSA Chairman Jack Herrick and Gawain Briars, the Chief Executive of PSA, “Our current bookings suggest that the PSA will do $3 million in total prize money for all of 2007, which is more than double what is was just four years ago. In the first half of 2007, the prize money was nearly $1.4 million, representing a 29% increase over the same period last year.” Of note is the fact that the previous high-water mark for the first half of the tour season was set in 2006.

Scoreboard 06BM1383Scoreboard—Live on the Internet
WISPA unveils live online scoreboard

Okay squash junkies, for those of you who can’t wait until matches are over to get the results, WISPA has introduced a new Live Scoreboard that will now be in use for many of their upcoming events. Its maiden voyage was the CIMB Malaysian Open at the end of July (won, of course, by Nicol David in three quick games over Tania Bailey).

You’ll find the The Live Scoreboard at wispa.net. Some of the upcoming tournaments that will be providing the service include: Wolverhampton Open (Sep. 13-16); British Open (Sep. 21-24); Icelandair Classic (Sep. 27-29); Vassar Class of 1932 (Oct. 3-6); and World Open in Spain (Oct. 23-27). Mark your calendars!