By Emily Stieff
Six years ago, the number of women regularly playing squash in NYC was dwindling close to none. There were just four league teams made up of about 25 women compared to 48 men’s teams with over 400 players. Tournaments followed suit with very low women’s participation numbers. New York Squash decided to do something about it with a year-long initiative dedicated to getting women back on the court. The keystone event of that initiative was Women’s Squash Night, a fun night of casual round robin play focusing more on the social aspect of the sport rather than the competition. Through aggressive marketing and personal outreach, over 60 women participated with many more expressing interest. As a result, NY Squash was able to create a contact list of over 100 women who were looking for organized squash play in the city.
Since then, that list has grown to over 1,500 women, the NY Squash league has 19 women’s teams at two skill levels plus doubles teams, and tournaments bring in upwards of 60 women competing. Washington, DC, followed suit last year with great success and this year the event will be launched nationally. NYC and Washington, DC, are leading the effort and Boston, Baltimore, Connecticut, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Seattle have already committed to joining the endeavor. National events will run during the week of September 8-15, for more information and to get involved visit www.ussquash/wsw. Interested in running an event in your city? Email email@example.com