By Michael T. Bello
Published Sep 28, 2015 at 12:00 PM ET; Updated Sep 27, 2015 at 10:38 PM ET

In late September, the College Squash Association updated a number of rules. This article is the first in a series highlighting the 2015-16 rule changes.

College Squash AssociationHatfield, MA — The College Squash Association’s National Championship Eligibility rules have been updated to reflect changes in the formats for Team and Individual Championships.

As previously announced, the men’s and women’s Team Championships will be played under a new format in 2015 – 2016. Previously, the men’s and women’s Team Championships were played during the final two weekends of the year. During even years, the men’s Team Championships was played first, and in odd years, the women’s Team Championships were played first.

Under the new format, the first weekend will feature men’s and women’s teams ranked 17th and below. The following weekend, the top-16 ranked women’s and men’s teams will play.

The CSA’s Executive Committees enacted the new format after consultation with elected member schools.  Varsity coaches expressed some key concerns surrounding the new format, including team and coaching logistics, scheduling of the events, and highlighting the both championship weekends properly. The College Squash Association will be addressing these issues in the coming months..

Although this new format is a one-year trial, the CSA’s National Championship Eligibility rules have been updated to reflect the change for the season.  After the 2016 championships, feedback will be once again collected from varsity schools, and the Executive Committees will vote on whether to continue with the new format.

In addition, several changes to the rules were made for logistical purposes. For example, the exhibition match for the #10 position may not be played or may be the best of three games. Also for logistical reasons, player introductions have been formalized. For non-divisional finals, both teams will introduce their entire squads followed by a group acknowledgement. For example, Team A introduces players #9 through #1, and then Team B introduces players #9 through #1. After the conclusion of Team B’s introductions, all players acknowledge their opponents.

For division finals, each team will alternate introducing players. For example, Team A will introduce player #9, then team B will introduce player #9. Team A’s and Team B’s #9s will greet the other player, acknowledge the opponent’s coaches and captains, and acknowledge their teammates. This pattern will repeat for the remaining players.

The format for the Individual Championships will also be changing. The historic women’s Ramsay Cup (A Division) and men’s Pool Trophy (A Division) will remain. The draw size for the top flights will be reduced from 32 players to 16 players.

For both the men’s and women’s Individual Championships, players seeded 17th – 64th will be divided into four draws that are evenly distributed by seeding so that the four draws are of equivalent levels. The winner of each of the four non-A Division draws will be named a Second Team All-American.

The entry requirements for the men’s and women’s Individual Championships have also been simplified. Previously, all varsity teams were guaranteed at least one entry. The remaining positions for entry for the men was based on ranking and for the women was based on team results from Team Championships.

Under the new rule, all varsity teams are guaranteed one entry. Remaining positions for both genders are based on players’ individual rankings.

If a team sends a sole representative to the Individual Championships, this player must have represented their team in the top three ladder positions at Team Championships.

The Executive Committees believe the change in team and individual championships will provide a unique opportunity to showcase collegiate squash, celebrate the high level of men’s and women’s play, and provide a meaningful championship experience to all teams and players.

For complete details, see the National Championship Eligibility rules.