Squash, the world’s toughest game, was born in a prison


Originated in England, Squash is one of the most popular racquet games in the world. Spread across 185 countries the sport is played by more than 20 million people. Performed using racket and rubber ball within the four-walled court, squash emerged from a much older racket sport called racquet.

It is interesting to note that the racquet was played for the first time in prisons. In the 18th century, prisoners in London’s King’s Bench and Fleet debtors invented the sport as a pastime. Later on, the prisoners modified the game by using tennis rackets to speed up the action. They played it against the prison wall.

The sport gradually got popularised outside the prison especially, in schools. Squash, a much-modified form of racquet thus, originated from Harrow School in England. Special four-walled courts were structured to play squash. Courts were built for it in schools, colleges, and clubs. Standards were set, the game got an official structure. After the first World war in 1922, Bath Club( sports-themed London gentlemen’s club in the 20th century) launched a Squash League for the London clubs, familiarising the sport. Squash was introduced in almost all the British colonies thus the game got popularised around the world.

An international organisation to coordinate the activities related to squash was formed in 1967 called the International Squash rackets Federation. It was later renamed the World Squash Federation(WSF). Today (WSF) coordinates tours and championships between nations. Several squash players are known for their amazing performance. Jahangir Khan a Pakistani professional squash player is known as the king of squash.

Though squash is considered a tough game it is also known as the healthiest game. In research done by Forbes, squash is topped as the healthiest sport. It is a sport that can be played at any age and is equally competitive and refreshing.

According to Worldsquash.org, “The future of squash has never been brighter. Technology has forever shattered the inherent limitations of this racquet, ball, and wall game. Innovations are continually introduced that make the game more accessible in person and more approachable online”

Squash, a game rooted in prison, today has a remarkable position in the world of sports and continues to excite millions.

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