Poetry in motion
The exhilaration of cutting a high ball down to the table backhand from your forehand court is only to be exceeded by doing the same thing forehand from your backhand court.
Table squash is a simple and obvious derivative of table tennis that has undoubtedly been invented many times. Although the name does not really describe the game adequately, it is hard to find a suitable alternative. The version detailed here was developed in Glasgow and played by Glasgow University students in the late 1970s. Subsequently the game has been developed in Leeds (Wikipedia 2009). Originally it used half a table-
Many commercial tables can be adapted for the game without serious modification, but the advantages of a DIY approach are compelling. The basic requirement is for two sheets of 12 mm medium density fibre board (MDF) dimensions 1.2 m x 1.5 m, painted in classic table tennis colours with white edging. The care in colour choice and the quality of the finish cannot be overestimated in its effect on the morale of the owner.
Mounting is easily improvised, although varying degrees of sophistication can be employed. Storage considerations indicate that there should be two standard designs; the PC model for use in pubs and clubs, and the H model for use in the home, the difference being that the H model is made from four boards of dimensions 0.75 m x 1.2 m, assembled to give the same dimensions as the PC model, but more easily stored, for example under a bed, and suitable for transport in a typical hatchback car.
The rules of play are intuitive in that service is from the player’s home court to the wall board and down to the away court.
Spin and the third dimension
In table tennis, skilled players tend to keep the ball low. The same tactic can be employed in table squash, but the great pleasure of the game is to take full advantage of the third dimension by using all the varieties of spin available to keep the ball on the table. Here the most satisfying technique is to undercut the ball to steepen its drop from the wall and (perhaps unfortunately) its rise from the table, and to couple this with side-
The open game
Table tennis, like tennis, is designed to be won from the outset; hence the dominance of the aggressive serve. Table squash can be played in the same way, but that is to miss the important point, the pleasure of crafting each return. To this end, two rules are suggested:-
1) that the opening shot (the serve) must strike the wall board above a pre-
2) a new method of scoring be considered, herein called the rally-
© Tony Lawrence 2016