Squash Canada Announces Addition of U11 Age Category to 2018 Canadian Junior Championships on Pilot Basis


Squash Canada is pleased to announce that an Under 11 age category will be added, on a one-year pilot basis, to the 2018 Canadian Junior Squash Championships.

As youth squash participation continues to grow across Canada, and with Under-11 emerging as a regular division in sanctioned and provincial competition, many parents and coaches have been petitioning Squash Canada for the same opportunity at the national level as the natural progression within the Canadian squash player pathway.  

Squash Canada supports a Long-Term Player Development approach, and is aware of the possible trappings that competition and focusing on one physical activity alone can have on a young player.  The organization spent six months studying and consulting on the matter and how to best introduce U11 at a Canadian championship level.

“We recognized a burgeoning call from our community to explore the inclusion of U11 into our national athlete pathway, and we are mindful that our raison d’etre is about creating opportunities in squash for our membership,” said Dan Wolfenden, Executive Director for Squash Canada.  “At the same time, Squash Canada must be clear that it is opposed to early specialization at this age group and we continue to encourage young players to be physically active with other activities to acquire balanced physical literacy at this stage in their development.”

To facilitate positive experiences and reduce risk of young participants entering the competition without sufficient competitive experience, some entry pre-requisites have been established.  All competitors must be 9 or 10 years of age as of the last day of tournament play. Provincial/Territorial Associations (PTA) may propose an 8-year-old to the event along with supporting rationale as to competitive background. A Selection Committee will make the final determination as to whether it is appropriate for the 8-year-old to participate.  

Further, to be eligible players must have played in their respective PTA junior open or closed event preceding the Canadian Junior Championships.  This requirement will be waived in the instance a PTA certifies that no such event was staged, or in the case of injury or exceptional circumstance

An adaptation to game scoring has also been made for this age group, to account for shorter rallies.  Matches will be played best of five games, point a rally to fifteen (15) points. At 14-all’ players must win by two clear points.

Squash Canada will also hold an information session for those families involved in the U-11 draw, and appoint an individual dedicated to overseeing the 'off-court' side of the U11 event to ensure appropriate social settings.

A full evaluation of the U11 event will be conducted post event to assist Squash Canada in making decisions on the future of this age category within the Championship.

The 2018 Canadian Junior Championships will take place April 19-22, 2018 at the Mayfair Club Lakeshore in Toronto, On.  Each year, national titles are competed for in boys and girls Under 13, 15, 17 and 19 divisions, and now the Under-11 division. Registration for the 2018 edition is set to open in early January 2018.  Event details, including registration information will be available at www.squash.ca/en/events as they become available.