Mixed reactions to new PSA tour structure

In an attempt to streamline the sport, Professional Squash Association (PSA) has introduced a new structure that will have two circuits: PSA World Circuit and PSA Challenger Tour, which will come into effect this season.

The PSA has scrapped qualification rounds for all its tournaments from this year. (Pic for Illustration only)   -  Vino John

In an attempt to streamline the sport, Professional Squash Association (PSA) has introduced a new structure that will have two circuits: PSA World Circuit and PSA Challenger Tour, which will come into effect this season. The PSA statement said, “...the qualification rounds will be scrapped and a series of new tournament tiers will be introduced across both circuits.”

For juniors used to playing in qualifying events in big tournaments, it will be tough. For Marwan Tarek, the top seed in boys' in the world juniors here, it will be a bit complicated, he said. “I am not sure. After I finish my undergraduation in Harvard University in USA, it would be hard for me to play catch up. Obviously, I will play in PSA tournaments, but not as many if I hadn’t gone to Harvard. “Yeah, it is not a big advantage. I have to adapt and choose tournaments wisely,” he said.

Rowan Reda Araby, the girls’ top seed here, felt the new rule of doing away with qualification may not be good for many junior players. “I am now ranked 31 in the world in women’s. There are a lot of tournaments I can’t play as there is no qualificaton as the draw is just 24, it will be really hard to get in. Earlier, I could have got in in big tournaments. Now it is just the main draw. I have to play small tournaments and do well,” she said.

However, Haitham Ashoush, Egypt’s coach, welcomed the move. “The tournament will be held in one single venue. The treatment will be the same for all players. I accept the concept per se. Let’s see how it works,” he said.

Elise Ng, the Hong Kong coach, said it will be difficult for the lower-ranked players. “We will have to wait and watch, though, ” she said.