The U.S. Women’s College Championships is a special squash tournament in that it allows the players at women’s only colleges to compete on a fair. relatively level playing field, “level playing field” being one of the founding philosophical principles of Olympic sport.
Since only a small (but growing) percentage of high school squash players would currently consider attending a women’s college, when a women’s college team competes against a co-ed school, the chances are that the co-ed school has recruited much more skilled and experienced players on to their roster – creating an “unfair” and non-level playing field. The U.S. Women’s College Championships provides an opportunity for women’s colleges to compete and measure their improvement in a fair setting.
There are two excellent write-ups of the tournament on the Western Massachsuetts Squash website (many thanks to Michael Bello of the Western MASS Squash site for the great photos) and the Smith College Athletics Homepage. The draws are posted below as are the rankings in each of the A,B, C and D flights, as well as the overall National Squash Rankings of players at women-only colleges.
What is great to see is that when Smith players are given an opportunity to compete against players in a relatively level playing field (the Smith team is still the least experienced with only one player with competitive high school experience), the team excels, finishing second overall in total points, behind Mount Holyoke’s points, and a close third using the averaging method used to calculate the official result (a very fair female way of doing things:).
The individual flight organization of the tournament only adds to the “level playing field” aspect of the competition. Only a few days ago Smith fell to Wellesley 8-1 in a one-sided team dual match. The Smith team fielded the largest entry with 13, followed ny MHC with 10 and Wellesley with 8.
Here are the draws and results, click on a thumbnail to enlarge:
Here are the National Rankings: