Should there be lets in squash?

Squash players can sometimes be irrational. Should there be lets in squash

This is especially true when it comes to let calls. What one player claims as a definite let, appear to others as a fishing exercise.  Clearly, the issue is not confined to club squash. Many argue that until the game rids itself of lame lets, it will never gain the kind of media coverage and popularity it deserves. As the championship matches at Club Meadowvale wound down, I decided to have some fun and did a quick video survey of random squash players who were milling around at the club. I asked everyone one simple question – Should there be lets in squash?

Here’s what they said.

As you can see, each player has a different take on why lets should or should not be allowed in squash. Some had logic behind their choice; others, less so. The result was fairly even with the “no let” camp edging out the “yes” camp by one. This came as a surprise since the club has never offered a no-let format for the players in the house league matches or their round robin games.

Unlike a fight in ice hockey, an argument on the squash court is not considered entertainment by the spectators and the media. Referees taking the brunt of player frustrations – justified or otherwise – have been the norm and continues be so. Alan Thatcher of Squash Mad has written about this in a post titled “Why it’s time to address our refereeing system

Looking back at the survey, I tend to agree with Alan Glen. The no-let format should be left to professional squash players.

Perhaps I should have asked “[Tweet “Should #squash clubs adopt the no-let format?”]”

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Dax Nair

Dax is a senior marketing professional based in Toronto, Canada. He is an avid racquet sports enthusiast, blogger and music lover, Dax can be reached at or on Twitter: @daxnair

9 thoughts on “Should there be lets in squash?

  • May 21, 2014 at 1:22 PM

    Just to clarify, by asking whether there should be “Lets” you are asking whether there should be “Lets” in addition to “Strokes” and “No Lets.” I think we all agree that there needs to be some way to deal with interference both from a safety perspective as well as a performance perspective.
    I’m in favour of having LETS. Like Ahad said, it’s not always clear cut whether it’s a Let or a Stroke. Sometimes both players are doing their best to get out of the way and interference happens. Some said that “It slows the game down to have Lets” and this may be the case but with Point a Rally scoring to 11, the game is so quick and with no “Lets” this would make it even shorter so we get less exercise and less fun! To simply go to the Stroke or No Let rule would game, I predict, would end up creating animosity between players/refs since each decision is quite drastic.
    Personally, I think that in order to improve the game, players should 1. Take a Squash Ontario Referee Clinic and educate themselves on how to make the best call and 2. Not take themselves so seriously. I think players should accept they will get “bad” calls but to keep in mind it’s just a game and move on.

    • May 21, 2014 at 6:13 PM

      Thanks Melanie! I agree with you.

      Perhaps the folks who said “no lets” never considered having to play that format. Either way, I would reiterate that “players should accept they will get “bad” calls.” After all, It’s just a game…

  • May 19, 2014 at 4:41 PM

    A player on court does not always have accurate perspective, therefore it is up to the refs to NOT give lets (let alone a stroke), especially when there is clearly a fishing expedition going on – for example backing up to hit the ball, eventually trapping the opponent behind, only to then call the let, while looking for a stroke. Maybe I’m wrong, but if you had ample opportunity to hit the ball, then you should make that effort to do so. The ball striker may argue the hold was for deception purposes, but most refs would get a feel for that in short order.

    Is it possible that we’ve become too lax with respect to making the hard calls? Players arguing, the peanut gallery questioning the calls? Damn the torpedoes, I say.

    Without proper calls, the establishment of what is appropriate play will not happen – although there will always be those who will push the limits of the rules, both with their opponents and the referee.

    We still need lets for obvious safety reasons (and perhaps stop awarding those “cheesy” strokes).

    Even the pros can’t clear EVERY time. Hence the striker is awarded a stroke or let as the case may be.

    • May 19, 2014 at 8:17 PM

      Thanks for the comment Daya.

      I feel that there is no easy answer. We may have become a little lax about the hard calls and resort to the let to avoid contention…

  • May 17, 2014 at 3:44 PM

    I like Jay’s answer the best!! woo hoo! Jay and I finally agree on something.
    Besides, if we were good enough to always have the ball go where we intend it, there would be no need for let’s. It is a game of gentlemen (even Jay).
    You are swinging a long stick in a small room – someone may get in the way of your stick. I play for fun and do not want to get hurt, nor do I want to (usually) want to hurt someone else.

    • May 17, 2014 at 4:06 PM

      John, You mean to say that you cannot always hit the ball to make it go where you want it to go? With those reverse boasts, I wouldn’t have known…

  • May 17, 2014 at 2:37 PM

    There should be lets. I think Ahad’s reason was the best.

    • May 17, 2014 at 3:03 PM


      I agree with Alan primarily because I feel that at the pro level they can and should play the no-let format.

    • May 21, 2014 at 1:14 PM

      Thanks Deji! Great minds think alike 🙂


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