Tauranga event to launch with best of seven games with each one up to seven points, plus two Power Plays for each player per match
By ALAN THATCHER (Squash Mad Editor)
A new scoring system has been revealed for November’s Nations Cup in New Zealand, with a best-of-seven games format being used throughout the four-day event.
Each game will be first to seven points. If the game scores are level at 6-6, a sudden-death point will be played, with the winner of that rally taking the game. Each player can opt for a ‘Power Play’ twice per match where he or she can win two points.
The Nations Cup, which will take place in Tauranga between November 3-6 ahead of the New Zealand Open, is the inaugural event in the new SquashFORWARD series, which will make its debut during the 2022-23 season. The SquashFORWARD series has been created in order to trial changes to the traditional competition and scoring formats used at official tournaments, including those on the PSA Tour.
The event will feature eight nations, with two players (one male and one female) from each country competing. Those nations will be split into two groups of four, with the top teams from each group meeting in the final.
A fixture will feature a men’s and a women’s match with the overall team score to be determined in the following order: (1) the number of matches won; (2) the number of games won; (3) the number of points won.
The new scoring format was decided following engagement with the squash community, with votes being cast on a series of proposed scoring formats during April and May on the PSA World Tour website.
A similar best-of-seven games scoring system was first used for the final of the inaugural Canary Wharf Classic back in 2004, when England’s James Willstrop beat Thierry Lincou (France) 4-2. Playing to nine points per game, Willstrop won 9-7, 9-5, 5-9, 9-4, 9-10, 9-2 in 87 minutes.
PSA Chief Executive and Squash Media & Marketing Director Alex Gough said: “We’re excited to announce the scoring format for the upcoming Nations Cup and look forward to pioneering a new style of tournament in New Zealand.
“The role of the SquashFORWARD series on the calendar is to trial new formats and tournaments which can help create more excitement in the sport. We were pleased to involve the squash community in choosing the format for the Nations Cup and look forward to working together with Squash New Zealand to deliver a new experience to players, spectators and viewers.”
Squash New Zealand Chief Executive Martin Dowson said: “Everyone in New Zealand is so excited to have some of the world’s best players compete in New Zealand in November and to extend the opportunity by having back-to-back events is amazing.
“It has been a long time for Kiwis to have seen Paul Coll and Joelle King back playing in New Zealand and it has been an even longer time to have seen our home-grown players compete against the best in the world players on our courts.
“New Zealand has a growing international reputation for innovation, and to partner with the PSA with the new scoring format and use of ‘Power Plays’ will be fully embraced by the home crowd. We cannot wait until November.”
The Nations Cup, which will take place at the Trustpower Arena in Tauranga, will be broadcast live on SQUASHTV, as will the New Zealand Open, which features the Roberston Lodges NZ Men’s Open and the Barfoot & Thompson NZ Women’s Open. Both are PSA World Tour Silver events and will be played at the same venue between November 8-13.
Nations Cup website
Pictures courtesy of PSA World Tour