Run for cover, the NSL is coming !!!

It’s Big, it’s Brash, it’s all-American and the National Squash League is heading your way next month !

The brainchild of development team Timmy BrownellSpencer Lovejoy and Fernando Valdizan, the NSL is a brand new Team and City based league featuring six teams from across the USA.

There’s a ‘Draft‘ on 2nd March where the teams pick their players for the coming season, followed by seven matches between April and June to decide the champions, all using a unique format and scoring system.

Before we go into detail on the format, here’s a message from the founders :

National Squash League - a message from the Founders

If you could redesign the live squash environment, what would it look like?

Too many PSA matches fall flat because many things have to go right for the crowd to love it: the players have to be close in level on the day, they have to be playing fairly, they have to both be playing well at the same time, the ref can’t be too involved, and the list goes on.

The National Squash League exists to revolutionize the live squash experience. The scoring format is unprecedented and enhances squash’s fast-paced and tactical qualities to constantly re-engage viewers.

We decided to take on this venture because squash needs a push in addition to the Tour. If you’re a squash fan and want to see a completely new way to think about the game, look no further.

The Teams

There are Six teams, split into North and South divisions (conferences?) …

NSL North :  

New York Knights, based at Nicol Squash and managed by Peter Nicol MBE ;  Chicago Grizzlies, playing at the University Club ; Newport Dragons based at St George’s School.

NSL South :

Nashville Crushers, playing at Montgomery Bell Academy ; Louisville Colts playing at the Collegiate School ; Atlanta Tornados playing out of Atlanta Community Squash.

The Players

There are 40 players in the Pool, with the likes of Victor Crouin, Youssef Ibrahim, Ramit Tandon, Timmy Brownell, Rory Stewart, Charlie Lee at the top end – 25 are or have been in the world’s top 100 – with lower ranked and college players making up the full list.

The Draft

The Draft weekend takes place from 1st to 3rd March, with a Team World v Team USA exhibition match, and on Saturday night the live draft where each team picks four players in a four round snake draft format (ie the team getting last pick in Round One gets first pick in Round Two and so on. In all 24 players will be chosen to represent the six teams.

The Format

Matches feature three players from each team, but it’s not a simple 1v1, 2v2, 3v3, far from it !

There are three periods of timed squash, the first two periods being 20 minutes in duration and the third and final period being 30 minutes. The play during the periods is PAR and the first two periods are worth one point each, whereas the 3rd is worth two.

Whoever is leading each period takes the points, but here’s the rub – there are (limited) substitutions where teams can swap players in and out of a period, and Power Plays where a team can stop their opponents from scoring points for one or two minutes.

And after all that, in the event of a tie, one five minute overtime period is played to determine the winners!

The Matches

Once the teams are selected, the season will comprise six matches where the teams in each Division play each other in April and May , and the two table-toppers then face off in June’s Championship Match.

Naturally you’ll be able to watch all this – the Exhibition, the Draft, the Matches – as they happen, and we’ve created one of our minisites to cover all of this and explain the format and rules in detail.