“Outdoor squash is a revelation, it gets the game out of private clubs and into the public eye and above all it provides a great environment to play squash.”
Nathan Lake, World Number 43
PSA Foundation recently conducted a survey about Outdoor Squash- receiving over 1,000 responses from 65 different countries around the world on this innovative movement.
Outdoor squash symbolizes accessibility and opportunity to enjoy the game at a grassroots level and have fun playing a fast paced and social game.
Each court may not look the same and will adapt to its environment: enabling more and more people to take part in our fantastic sport.
A number of outdoor squash courts have appeared around the world, with the Iran Squash Federation utilizing this movement to increase participation, and The Instel Steel Outdoor Squash Invitational Pro Tournament having professional players on tour compete on a unique steel court.
In terms of respondent makeup: 70% were squash fans or recreational players, with 11.5% having decision making roles in regards to squash.
Survey responses where overwhelming positive about outdoor squash.
90% of respondents said they enjoy physical activity outside, with a further 83% agreeing that outdoor squash is something that would grow participation levels in the sport
Over 88% would personally enjoy being able to play squash outdoors as well as their indoor squash sessions
83% also believe that having opportunities to play squash outdoors in public settings would help grow membership levels at squash clubs
Of the 1,012 respondents, 289 felt there could be challenges to playing squash outdoors, those being:
-Bad weather (66.78%)
-Too cold/warm weather (45.67%)
-The cost of building outdoor squash facilities (12.11%)
Other possible challenges of introducing outdoor squash that were highlighted included issues around vandalism, ongoing maintenance that may be required of the courts, awareness of squash being too low for the courts to be used often enough, and potentially complicating the sport by introducing new formats of playing.
This research, both the positive and constructive feedback, will contribute to our aim to grow outdoor squash around the world.
We are optimistic and excited to further progress this innovative movement.
You can download a more in-depth summary of the survey results here.
You can also download all individual responses here as an Excel file. We are making this data available to the public to aid any presentations, proposals or grant applications for outdoor squash projects that may be in motion around the world.
The winners of the attached competition to the survey will be announced next week.