Featured Event: Irish Squash – Irish Junior Open 2013
Sutton LTC & Aer Lingus (ALSAA) Sports Club
November 22nd – 24th 2013
117 players from 6 countries – Girls & Boys from U13 – U19
About Irish Squash
Irish Squash, founded in 1935 is the National Governing Body (NGB) for the sport of squash in Ireland. The Irish Squash Federation is an All Ireland Body encompassing the 32 counties with the four Provincial branches, each responsible for organising participation, play and Competitions in their own province. As a National Governing Body we proactively develop and promote squash. We offer a comprehensive range of support and services at national, regional and local levels including:
- Programmes to increase participation in squash and especially for children with school programmes and women
- Events and competitions for all ages and abilities
- Coaching Education Programmes
- Advice on Technical and Maintenance services
- Structured Development Programmes
- Promotion of Squash and drive awareness of the game and its health benefits to participants
First played in 1974 it was one of the first Junior Open in Europe and has a long history with many title winners who have gone on to great success in professional squash over the years including our current national womens champion Aisling Blake from Sligo.
A Tournament Director was appointed in April who then set up a sub-committee who met and started preparation in earnest in August. The 2 venues were selected and agreed with the host clubs. All the detail for the entry form was decided upon including the hotel and food package for the visiting teams. The hotels, caterers and transport were booked and contracts signed. Transport had to be arranged to bring players to/from the airport and also to/from the hotel and squash venues. The preparation to live stream the event on the Irish Squash page on Aertv were also made regarding ensuring the broadband was strong enough to stream. The invitation to enter was sent to the European Squash federation who the send it to all affiliated countries. The sub committee met twice a week in the 4 weeks leading up to the event finalising the volunteers who were going to work in both venues, checking players in, organising the playing schedule, organising referees and inputting all results on-line into tournament software which is the software product being used to run the
event. There was also a welcome pack put together which had to organised with it-shirts printed and other promotional items purchased. Once all the entries were in by the closing date the final hotel bookings were made and catering finalised in Sutton and ALSAA. The seeding were then made and the draw was completed, published on the Irish Squash web site and on Tournament Software. Players were also made aware by e mail of their first round match.
Sutton LTC & Aer Lingus (ALSAA) Sports Club
The Open had 117 players played with supporters and family also attending. Supporters of Junior Squash generally were also at he event over the 3 days – Friday 2pm – 8pm/Saturday 9am – 8pm/Sunday 9am – 4pm
Volunteers were recruited from the 2 host clubs mainly, with over 30 people in total to manage both venues over the weekend. This included manning reception/registration referees, player liaison, office staff to input results and publish fixtures, draws etc
How was the event structured?
There was a Girls and Boys event in 4 age groups – Under 13, 15, 17 & 19. Events were organised into the ‘Swiss’ System i.e. In a 16 person draw the 1st seed plays the 16th seed, 2nd plays 15th and so on. All the winners play to the final but all the losers
continue to play all the other losers. When play concludes everyone is ranked from 1 to 16.
Where next for the Irish Team?
The Irish Junior Squad @ U11, 13, 15, 17 & 19 (top 6 ranked players ) have squad sessions for the next 4 weekends . There will be more sessions in January. The Junior national Championships take place in early February and the national teams at U13, 15, 17 & 19 will be selected for European Championships taking place in March/April in Finland & the Czech Republic.
How the event went, Paul Nugent, COO, Irish Squash:
“With nearly 400 matches over the 3 days everything went so smoothly and our visitors and home players had a great weekend of fun and competition. We had a very successful event which was virtually 100% organised by voluntary effort, with a superb Tournament Director who worked superbly with the 2 venues and their members. We also had over 4,000 unique views from 8 countries over the weekend watching the live streaming, which was the first time the Irish Junior Open was streamed live. All in all a very successful tournament.”