European Team Squash Championships
For the first time Poland is hosting an top level squash event. The 44th Men’s Championships and 39th Women’s Championships will constitute a unique occasion to watch best European squash players in action.
The most recent World Squash Federation ranking list (from November 2015) quotes the following Europeans in the top ten:
What is it all about?
The championships take 4 days. For the first two days, the group stage takes place, with the play-off round continuing for the next two days to sort out all places. The championships are divided into men’s and women’s categories. The categories in turn split into divisions. The women’s category consists of Division 1 with top 8 European teams and Division 2 with the next 8 teams competing for promotion to the elite Division 1. The men’ Division 2 has 12 teams.
What does a team look like?
A men’s team consists of 4 to 6 players ranked in descending level order. 4 players are assigned by the coach to play in any given match. Sometimes a coach would spare the best players when they are confident about the team’s chances and give the weaker, less experienced ones opportunity to show their skill in an international tournament.
A women’s team consists of 3 to 5 players with the game following a similar pattern.
How does a team match look like?
A team match confronts pairs of equally ranked players from both teams. This means the strongest A team player competes with the strongest B team player, the second A team player with the second B team one etc.
The sequence of individual matches may vary, with the Technical Board randomly assigning the order which may look as follows: 4,1,3,2. This means the team match starts with players ranked 4 followed by 1, then 3 and concludes with players ranked 2. Another interesting fact is that in Poland the top player in a team is referred to as pierwsza rakieta (the first racket) – in contrast to the Englishfirst string.
How does the tournament look like?
The championships are divided into two stages with the group stage followed by the play-offs. The teams compete for each individual position. Two lowest ranking Division 1 teams are degraded to Division 2 and replaced by Division 2 leaders. Similarly, the weakest Division 2 teams swap places with highest ranked teams from Division 3.
The tournament takes 4 days, with players competing in a maximum of 2 matches a day, divided by no less than 4 hours of rest. Usually, though, they play 1 match a day.