US Squash and the New England Interscholastic Squash Association (NEISA) have entered into a broad partnership that focuses on closely integrating junior tournament players with private school team players. The goal of the partnership is to provide a richer junior squash experience for as many players as possible.
Previously frustrated by the challenge of achieving an Official US Squash Final Season ranking due to the four junior sanctioned tournament exposure requirement, the partnership will allow for 2007-2008 regular season dual matches and league tournament matches among the 38 boy’s and 36 girl’s NEISA teams to each count as exposures for the players in their relevant age division. Combined with competing in the U.S. High School Team Championships, expecting over 100 teams in just its fifth year, players competing on NEISA teams will only need one additional exposure to achieve a Final Season Ranking.
Additionally, in a test environment, this season’s dual match NEISA results will be calculated in anticipation of integrating all NEISA match results into the US Squash Rating and Ranking System in the 2008-2009 season. The partnership will also entitle juniors at member schools to receive discounted US Squash memberships through their teams as well as access to US Squash Referee Clinics.
US Squash CEO Kevin Klipstein commented, “Working together and supporting NEISA on a long-term basis just makes sense. In order for squash to continue breaking through as a sport, we need to band together and provide the best experience possible, and access to every playing opportunity for juniors. Whether they are competing in individual junior tournaments, for public schools, boarding schools, or urban squash programs, we have the infrastructure in place to easily integrate all of these groups and create these opportunities. It makes the sport stronger in many ways.”
Ned Gallagher, the athletic director at Choate Rosemary Hall and long-time leader of NEISA emphasized, “We are really looking forward to working closely with US Squash. I think they are doing a great job at thinking about the sport long-term by creating partnerships that first and foremost benefit junior squash players.”
US Squash plans to make this type of partnership available to other school leagues as part of their initiative to increase the popularity of squash among middle and high schools across the country.