Squash developed from the game of rackets and is said to have begun at Harrow School in England in the mid-19th century. There was a court in most of the boarding houses, the Headmaster’s having two. As no standard pattern existed, some of the courts had many hazards in the form of windows, doors, pipes, etc. Students started a knockabout game which, because it was played in a confined area, required a softer ball than the hard one used for rackets. It was from this ball that could be ‘squashed’ in the hand, that the name derived.
The first squash courts in Canada, built in the early 1900’s, were privately owned and probably made of wood. Today the courts are of prefabricated space-age materials with wooden floors and special kinds of plaster on the walls to ensure a smooth, hard, non-sweating surface.
The Canadian Squash Racquets Association was formed in 1913. Originally it was almost solely a Montreal and Toronto Association which gradually broadened to become a Province of Quebec and Ontario Association and finally encompassed the western provinces. In 1991 the operating name was changed to Squash Canada. It comprises 12 Provincial/Territorial Associations and a membership of approximately 400 clubs and 100,000 players. The Association coordinates eight annual national Championships – Junior Open, Men’s and Women’s Provincial Teams, Doubles, Mixed Doubles, University and College, Junior Nationals and Nationals.