Sat | Apr 4, 2020

JSA suspends all squash tourneys

Published:Friday | March 27, 2020 | 12:23 AM

The Jamaica Squash Association (JSA) has suspended all scheduled tournaments and competitions as a safety precaution for players and in compliance with the Government’s stipulations on public gatherings to curtail the spread of COVID-19.

The KPMG League, which started in February, has been postponed until further notice. Close to 90 players had been participating in the handicap tournament, which was originally scheduled to run until April.

The preventive action has also affected three top-flight tournaments that had been set for March. The All Jamaica Junior Championships, the All Jamaica Senior Ladies Championships, and a special veteran tournament have all been delayed indefinitely.

JSA says that it will look to address the issue of rescheduling events when it is safe for players and spectators.

“The health and safety of our players is of primary importance, and we will not proceed until we are satisfied that competitions will pose no risk to them or our wider community,” JSA President Chris Hind said.

“Naturally, there has been some amount of disappointment because our players have been preparing for these competitions, but everyone understands that this is not an ordinary situation and all are agreed that it’s safety first,” he added.

The impact of COVID-19 is also being felt by Jamaica’s top international squash player, Chris Binnie, who competes on the Professional Squash Association circuit, where play has been suspended until the end of April.

Commenting on the overall situation, Binnie, who trains in the US, said, “I can certainly relate to what the players back home in Jamaica are going through because, just like me, everyone has been training hard and working towards various tournaments and competitions, but we all have to be smart about how we use this unexpected break, and I’m encouraging the junior players, especially, to stay focused and be ready for when we have to get back on court again.”

Looking ahead, Hind said the regional squash community had not yet made any pronouncements on the Caribbean Area Squash Association Junior and Senior Championships, which are held annually during the summer.

“Like the JSA, other squash associations across the Caribbean are observing the situation and a decision will be made at the appropriate time,” Hind said.