12 November 2011


I've reposted a few days ago probably the greatest rally ever, featuring Peter Nicol and Gregory Gaultier. This here is another famous rally with Peter Nicol, this time against Jonathon Power.
However, I am not aware of the squash community's position in regard of the 'No Let!' decision that generated Power's extremely furious reactions. I might cause some discussion, but in my eyes this one was an excellent decision. Let me tell you why: 
1) Nicol hit a loose but deep straight forehand volley. It was not a great volley, but with the deception sufficiently good to make sure that Power could not have volleyed the ball.
2) JP was anticipating and going in the wrong way, he moved forward, expecting probably a volley drop. 
3) realizing he had to change direction, JP slipped and instead of making any effort to go towards the ball, he just opened his racket to demonstrate he was ready to hit the ball (the volley that he had wished, hadn't he gone the wrong way and hadn't he slipped), but in reality the ball has already passed him at that moment and he was not making a single step backwards to prove that he could have gotten to the ball after its rebounce off the backwall. 
4) JP has created the interference himself by going the wrong way and was not originally obstructed by his opponent. He didn't make any effort to show he could have still made it. Opening the racket in this situation was rather a desperate act of 'fishing' (even though understandable - from a fan point of view - in the heat of the situation).
These are my points why I would have come to the same No Let! decision as the referee. 
I can of course understand Power's reaction, it was a crucial rally and he was dominating it mostly. However, these are unfortunately not circumstances that a referee shall take into account. This is why I wonder why Martin Heath - who I consider a very good commentator - did not notice a single of the points above (notwithstanding his co-commentator Alan Thatcher tried to analyze the situation objectively). It's even more strange as Heath even says that "in principle the referee is actually right, he is interpreting the rulebook by the word..." I think, Martin was as excited by the rally as Power and had slightly too much sympathy for JP
Me too, I love all that JP brought to the world of squash, but this does not deflect me from trying to keep a cool analytic eye on the game. Well, you are welcome to through stones at me if you want;)