Now that we have received the go-ahead for squash courts to re-open, England Squash have issued their initial 'Back to Squash' guidance, including this extract:
Given the proximity of players on court, squash faces a number of challenges in meeting the current guidance on social distancing. As social distancing cannot be guaranteed, the normal game of squash should not be played by players from different households (except those from a support bubble).
Whilst this remains the guidance, ruling out normal competitive full-court squash for the foreseeable future, the Northumbria Squash Committee have reluctantly decided that the 2019/20 league season should be curtailed at its current point and that the final league positions be determined using an 'average points-per-match' calculation for the unplayed matches. The results of this calculation are now shown in the final 2019/20 league tables for both the Men's and Ladies' Leagues. The season curtailment also means that unfortunately there will be no playoffs and the Cup competitions have also been abandoned.
Final promotion and relegation places have yet to be determined, depending on the outcome of discussions on the League structure for next season. One suggestion (to be discussed at the forthcoming County AGM) is to increase the standard number of teams per division in the Men's League from 9 to 10 - this would have the effect of increasing the number of promoted teams and/or reducing the number of relegated teams.
Until competitive full-court squash can resume, we cannot predict the start-date for the new season with any certainty. However if we could resume (say) in January, the choices are:
- Play a Winter league half-season from January to April, then the Summer league from May to August, and start the 2021/22 Winter league at the usual time of late September;
- Play a full league season from January to July, with no Summer league, and again start the 2021/22 Winter league in late September.
Again this will be discussed at the AGM.