04 February 2012


Squash starts to show well on television as we could see it - latest - at the PSA World Series Finals in the Queens Club in London. Unfortunately, not all the main events are set up that well. The two biggest issues in general are: usage of colors and set up of viewers areas. Concerning colors, I've been saying it for long, the court colors need to be dark in order to see the tiny white ball well. It also makes the matches more spectacular, more dramatic. In Queens we were very close to the perfect color set-up, but the floor was still too light. The other thing is that the sidewall viewers area is often either totally absent or too far away. When you watch the event on a screen, it just makes a difference if you see crowds clapping and cheering in the picture like at the Tournament of Champions in New York or at the Canary Wharf Classic in London or if you see an empty hall like in most other tournaments. Even in Queens the sidewall viewer area was just too far away to enter into the picture. It's also not good for the commercial aspect; imagine a soccer live transmission without crowds. The below video is from Paderborn/Germany showing the last two rallies of the final of 2011 World Team Championships won by Egypt against England (Karim Darwish beating James Willstrop in the deciding match, Darwish's last noticeable win for over a year now). Colors are way too light, mostly the floor, but the spectator area is huge and nicely close to the court. It is a mutual thing - people being closer to the action get more excited and players feeling the crowds so near get more tuned up as well. And it shows great on the screen, transmitting a real social vibe and not just two men chasing a ball in a cage (as detractors happen to talk about it...) 
I would suggest that PSA creates a color-code and a viewer area set up-code for the tournament organizers. I know, what counts most, is the quality of squash, but believe me, how it is served counts a lot as well.