ASB SquashCourts: 50 Years of Exceptional Success
March 01 2020
Leading court supplier ASB will celebrate its 50th anniversary by publishing a glossy 'coffee-table' book outlining the pioneering and innovative German company is glorious history in pictures.
From the outset in the mid-sixties, it was clear that the local market would become too small for the plans of ASB founder Horst Babinsky. The entrepreneur launched his venture by producing the first plastic curtain tracks for the Bavarian market and soon expanded with the building system "Trelement" which led to products being exported to Japan.
Horst Babinsky GmbH quickly became international!
The ASB construction system soon became the market leader of aluminium system builders and within just four years, more than 70 ASB kindergarten buildings were planned and built, followed by two huge office buildings, two buildings for the Max-Planck society, schools and pavilion constructions.
From the beginning ASB's philosophy was: "ASB products must be the best by far" and the ASB team followed this maxim with dedication and enthusiasm.
But it was in the world of squash that ASB truly led the way: In 1977, the first ASB SquashCourt was presented in the popular TV sports show "Das aktuelle Sportstudio", signalling the beginning of a huge success for a new squash court design. The ASB system court reached 50% of the German-speaking market and in the years that followed more than 7,000 ASB SquashCourts have been installed around the world.
Over these years ASB has sought to constantly introduce new and exciting innovations, including moveable side walls, rotary glass back walls, the ASB System Walls, a height-adjustable tin, electronics for the squash court and also the ASB ShowGlassCourt. In total, the company has been granted more than 40 patents!
In 1987 Horst Babinsky was presented the award for innovation by the squash press in Germany and in 2002, the ASB founder received a special award from the World Squash Federation (WSF) in Kuala Lumpur.
The first ASB ShowGlassCourt was first successfully installed in a theatre at the 1981 British Open and has been constantly developed and updated ever since. Today it is impossible to imagine the World Squash Tour without the ASB ShowGlassCourt which is now established as the market leader.
With the ASB GlassFloor came an additional focus, beyond squash. The first ASB GlassFloors were installed in ASB ShowGlassCourts and naturally resulted in huge discussions about the use of glass for sports.
But just as had been the case with the ASB system courts, the usual resistance was overcome and in 2009 the first ASB sports glass floor was installed in a school's sports hall. The ASB GlassFloor has stood the test of time.
Christof Babinsky, who has taken over the innovating mantle of his father, is the director of this field of business and under his direction the first projects have materialised, including the BT Sports Studio in London, where the marking lines for each sport can be chosen by simply pressing a button.
Further projects are in the pipeline including the biggest GlassFloor order so far for the 2,000 sq. metre Elbflorenz Events Hall in Dresden, Germany.
For further information regarding ASB and their commemorative publication, ASB: 50 Years of Exceptional Success, visit www.asbsquash.com
University of Pennsylvania Project Heralds New ASB Partnership Programme
The transformation of the squash centre at the US University of Pennsylvania into a state-of-the-art 12-court facility which is the envy of the Ivy League has signalled a new era for ASB as the world's leading squash court manufacturer moves into its sixth decade of operation.
It was back in 1997 that the German company was first selected to install 10 squash courts at the University's Ringe Squash Center in Philadelphia. A couple of years ago, by now with successful men's and women's teams, Penn felt the need to improve their facility and include show glass courts for a better viewer and user experience.
The major question remained: build a new squash centre or make use of the existing facility? After thorough consideration, a compromise was found in keeping the building shell but essentially re-modelling the entire interior. The new configuration consists of not 10, but 12 squash courts, including two state-of-the-art ASB ShowGlassCourts, across three levels.
With three ASB System100 courts on the upper level, three ASB System100 courts on the lower level, plus four ASB System100 courts and two ASB ShowGlassCourts on the main level, the installation was a highly complex operation. Due to the tight space inside the building and the various levels, the delivery had to be split up in several containers on an almost just-in-time delivery pattern to avoid any waiting time for the various trades working inside the building.
"The University of Pennsylvania Squash Centre is situated between two historic American athletic venues," said the University's Director of Squash Jack Wyant. "Franklin Field (site of the Penn Relays) and the Palestra (home of Big Five basketball, Penn wrestling and volleyball).
"The $19 million squash court renovation transformed a tired, dated facility into a modern, sleek, highly functional one capable of hosting national and international championships.
"The Penn Squash Center features lots of natural light, team rooms, offices, 12 courts including two 4-wall glass exhibition courts, a stunning entrance and views of Center City Philadelphia. It services the needs of the Penn varsity teams, local, campus recreational play and will host three major US junior and intercollegiate tournaments in its first six months of existence."
The magnitude, significance and ultimately the success of the project has led ASB to reposition and refine its modus operandi going forward.
"We are at the beginning of 2020. We have our resolutions, determinations and goals," says Zdeněk Klos, Senior CEO, ASB SQUASH. "Our main goal is to maintain and extend our position as the leader in quality and volume within the squash court industry.
"We will reach this goal by pursuing and proactively improving four principles:
"Firstly, innovation that matters: We are dedicated to further understanding the needs of our clients and our client's clients. We will provide innovation that matters deeply, not something that is simply new.
"Secondly, we seek to understand before we create: understanding needs and motivations is a key priority in shaping the future relations with clients and with each other. Based on our wealth of knowledge in squash court manufacturing and the creative processes deeply embedded in ASB's day to day environment, we develop custom tailored solutions, with our clients, for each project.
"Thirdly, active and honest involvement: Once engaged, we aim to become part of the client's team in realising a joint vision rather than a supplier waiting to hear from its client, we shape the process together, proactively.
"Finally, being a real team player," concluded Klos. "Contractual arrangements and transparency are the basis of our day to day business. However, even more so is spoken word and executed collaboration. Providing reliability and trustworthiness is a cornerstone of ASB's philosophy, not only in performing according to a contract, but also ensuring 100% satisfaction in executing agreed terms and reacting to change along the way."
Future ASB projects include the US Squash National Training Centre, also in Philadelphia, where two ASB ShowGlassCourts will be sited, together with three ASB System100 courts, with moveable walls enabling easy conversion to two international doubles courts.
Furthermore, ASB is masterminding the construction of the world's first bank of four TPoint courts. Installation of this unique high-end outdoor court concept is currently underway in Tel Aviv, Israel.
ASB TPoint Attracts Global Interest!
Interest from all corners of the globe is being shown in the recently-launched ASB TPoint initiative which is set to revolutionise the world of squash.
ASB, the world’s leading squash court manufacturer, have joined forces with TPoint in this new concept to ‘take squash to the people’ and thereby significantly expand the sport’s playing community around the world.
“We believe that by bringing squash from ‘hidden’ areas to visible outdoor places around the city, the number of participants will increase each year by highlighting squash as a healthy, competitive, fun & social sport activity,” said TPoint inventor Yossi Fixman at the launch. “Our beautifully designed electronic squash courts, with innovative technology, create a new and exciting sport experience.”
The concept brings the court – usually externally invisible, within a club or sports centre – ‘centre-stage’, as the focal point of the building in which it is housed.
“We have had over 50 requests for TPoint from all over the world – not just from so-called sunshine countries, but also places like Russia, Canada and Poland,” explained ASB Chief Executive Officer Christof Babinsky. “Some big cities have shown particular interest in presenting a dynamic sport in a new innovative and forward-looking design way.”
The new courts will come with the unique ASB GlassFloor, thereby providing a virtually maintenance-free floor – enabling, for instance, the use of black-soled shoes which are usually restricted on conventional wooden-floored courts.
Use of the glass floor also extends the range of sports which can be played at the facilities - like “walleyball” (volleyball using the walls too), mini football and basketball.
Furthermore, the LED lines on the wall and the floor are a major design feature - especially left on at night when the court is not being used and the court lights themselves would be off.
“We have been overwhelmed by the inquiries we have received since launching the design study of TPoint last year,” added Babinsky. “We have been working on two main aspects – firstly, we have converted the study to a practical product.
“Furthermore, we have learned to deal with the design of urban spaces and all relevant parties involved. It is a different market and a different game than selling courts to individual investors but it is where the courts should be. ASB is proud to be the only innovative power in the squash court industry – and with TPoint we will revolutionise the presentation of squash centres/courts and will lift the image of the sport itself to another level.
“Whilst everyone is convinced that glass courts for tournaments are a great idea in public spaces to showcase the sport, no-one has ventured into creating a public and urban squash experience so far.
“Hopefully all this will help put the sport into a good position for the Olympic bid for Paris 2024,” Babinsky concluded.
ASB SquashCourts: ‘How to build a Squash Court?’
When asked about building a squash court, people would usually think that it’s basically a box, with or without a glass wall at the back, 9,75m in length and 6,4m in width. Leading squash court supplier ASB SquashCourts explains why there is much more than meets the eye and a lot of factors need to be considered when building such a ‘box’.
All squash court wall components need to be capable of withstanding all and any stress placed upon them in normal play and shall not suffer any permanent or temporary damage as a result of the impact of balls or rackets.
Where courts have transparent walls, they need to be constructed using safety materials with the door recommended to be located in the middle of the back wall.
Let’s now consider the playing surface.
For instance, there are several playing surfaces: wood, concrete, plaster, sometimes even rubber panels and of course glass. Each wall of the court should be of the same construction over the whole of the playing area. Adjacent walls need not be of the same construction. There are different colors available, although white is predominant for standard courts and meanwhile blue is considered best for Show Glass Courts.
So where is the difference in squash court constructions?
The most important characteristics of any squash court in the world is the rebound. A squash player wants an accurate, precise rebound, following a simple rule of physics: angle of impact to the wall equals angle of rebound of the aforementioned. It’s extremely disturbing and discouraging for any squash player if he or she plays a ball and the ball does not come back as anticipated. Such ‘bad bounce’ is usually caused by 2 factors (we are leaving limited squash skills of the players out of the picture for now):
Cracks and other obstacles that render the playing surface uneven; classic example for that are plaster courts where plaster failure leads to cracks and even pieces coming off that eventually lead to incorrect bounce of the ball;
Gaps and joints; classic example are panel courts with multiple panels fitted onto the front wall with a frame construction that lead not only to a difference in sound which could be somewhat acceptable although disturbing; but most of all, it leads to a different rebound since the panel is harder where it was mounted to the frame and softer in the middle where there is not a frame behind it.
So, what is the solution for these 2 problems and how can an equal rebound be ensured?
Simply speaking, the solution consists in a court system that should have no visible joints and one flat surface that is not prone to crack or break. ASB is using a special coating and large, engineered wooden panels that go over the entire length of the courts. Additionally, the walls are filled with sand, which ensures that the ball rebound is always the same and follows the rules of physics without any unexpected alterations for a smooth, enjoyable game of squash where technique and clean shots are rewarded. Furthermore, the sound is the same all over the walls.
And what about the floor?
Our experience has shown that thousands of players who have played squash for over many years can on occasion experience wear-and-tear of the back, knees, hips and ankles from playing on a solid hard wood floor which is still somewhat considered the standard in many countries. Taking these health issues into consideration, ASB went in a different direction by using an engineered floor that is more flexible while at the same time offering what players want: shock absorption, true and even ball rebound and most of all a good grip.
What are the dimensions of a squash court?
The plan dimensions of the singles court, measured one meter above finished floor level, should be:
Squash Court Length: 9750 mm plus or minus 10 mm
Squash Court Width: 6400 mm plus or minus 10 mm
Squash Court Height: 5640 mm
Squash Court Diagonals: 11665 mm plus or minus 25 mm
Building a squash court requires you to erect four solid playing walls (1x front, 2x side walls,1x back wall). All playing walls of the court shall have a hard and smooth finish.
With the dimensions set by World Squash Federation (WSF) regulations, the space required to build a squash court is determined by those regulations.
What materials are used to build a squash court?
There are four different basic materials that are used to build the four walls of a squash court:
high density board sand filled system walls
pre-fabricated panel walls
ASB SquashCourts: Squash Court Specifications
Like every professional sport in the world, rules and regulations are required to ensure proper practice and controlled conditions for competition. This applies equally to the game of squash and the World Squash Federation (WSF) has set out a set of rules which includes specifications for a squash court. There are two factors which make these specifications so important.
For a sport with an extensive worldwide tour (organised by the PSA) that is challenging for participation in the Olympic Games, proper competition and clear rules are the basis of everything. The WSF has established detailed squash court specifications to ensure that all tournaments and competitions are played under similar conditions and that results are therefore comparable and ensuring that an unfair home advantage does not affect the outcome of matches.
These squash court specifications, designed to ensure that equal playing conditions are provided for tournaments around the world, outline the size of the court (9,75m in length, 6,4m in width and 5,64m in height, measured from the top of the parquet floor); the playing surfaces permitted (no more than two different wall surfaces); the amount of light recommended (min. 500 Lux) and even the amount of times that the air in the squash court should be exchanged per hour (four times).
Finally, the WSF’s court specifications state clear conditions for the court walls in terms of verticality and straightness. At ASB, the large pre-fabricated elements in combination with a jointless plane finish ensure that the ASB SquashCourt meets the highest standards of court specifications around the world.
The second reason for detailed squash court specifications is safety, ensuring that not only the same playing characteristics for both players but also to provide a safe playing environment.
One of the most important parts of the court is the glass and the specific type of glass that is used. The WSF’s specifications clearly state that a 12mm security glass must be used to avoid dangerous breakage should players fall against a glass surface. Security glass is a special glass that falls into tiny pieces when it breaks, reducing the risk of serious cuts should the glass break. At ASB, only premium glass is used, made in Germany and manufactured according to high German and European standards.
ASB Glass – what makes the difference?
The journey of constructing and building a glass court has a starting point. Before undertaking the journey, important characteristics of the glass should be considered, important factors include: quality and consistence, technical properties, its origin, quality of the production processes and its long-term influence on our environment.
We know that the following information may be a bit “dry” but we have had lots of requests asking “what makes the difference?” We will try to go through the major aspects and make it as understandable as possible. A source of information is also ASB’s exclusive glass manufacturer, Saint-Gobain. Also their product specification/declaration are in accordance with international norms EN 15804 and ISO 14025.
Product description and description of use
SGG SECURIT is a thermally toughened safety glass. The toughening process provides a significantly increased resistance to mechanical and thermal stresses in comparison to conventional annealed glass. If the glass breaks, it fragments safely into small pieces with dulled edges.
SGG SECURIT complies with the requirements of the standard EN 12150 regulation.
Regarding mechanical performance
Impact resistance: Its enhanced impact resistance enables an 8mm sheet of SGG SECURIT glass to withstand a 500g steel ball dropped from a height of 2m. In comparison, the same ball dropped from a height of 0.3 m would break a piece of 8mm annealed glass. SGG SECURIT has been tested in accordance with EN 12600 (pendulum test).
Bending strength: SGG SECURIT is significantly more resistant to flexural stress than conventional annealed glass. This resistance is characterized by a bending strength in the region of 120 MPa (EN 12150).
Resistance to thermal stress: SGG SECURIT can withstand temperature differences of up to 200°C. In comparison, this temperature difference is around 30°C for ordinary, annealed glass.
Tempered glasses are classed 1C3 and follow the standard EN 12550.
Mix of raw materials (silica, soda ash, lime, feldspar and dolomite) to which is added recycled glass (cullet) and other compounds depending on the desired colour and properties.
Raw materials are melted at 1,550°C in a furnace.
The molten glass is fed into a bath of molten tin. The glass floats on this flat surface and is drawn off in a ribbon. Serrated wheels, or top rolls, pull and push the glass sideways depending on the desired thickness (from 2mm to 19mm).
The glass is lifted onto conveyor rollers and passes through a controlled cooling tunnel measuring more than 100 metres in length. It is approximately 600°C at the start of this step, the glass then exits the lehr at room temperature.
Cutting and stacking:
The glass is automatically cut across its length and width. The sheets of glass are raised by vacuum frames that then place them onto glass stillages.
Automatic inspections and regular samples are taken to check the quality of the glass at each step in the glassmaking process.
Storage and transportation:
The stillages are placed on storage racks in the warehouse.
Use of recycled cullet, installation of pollution abatement systems and closed circuit management of water: every measure is taken to limit the consumption of energy, extraction of natural resources and the production of waste and emissions into the atmosphere.
After the production, the glass is processed
Flat glass is manufactured in sheets up to 6 x 3.210 metres in size. Before tempering, each sheet is lifted using suction cups and placed on the cutting table where a diamond glass cutter scores the glass to the required size. Each piece is then automatically or manually broken out.
Processing and edge working:
Once cut to the required size, the glass can be treated to improve its functionality, highlight its appearance or personalize it even further. There are many types of decorative processing: edge working, polishing, shaping, drilling of holes and notches, sand blasting, engraving...
The glass passes through a washing machine where it is carefully cleaned using brushes and special cleaning solvents. It is then dried quickly to avoid any impurities on the glass.
The glass then passes to the tempering furnace where it is heated to 600°C.
The glass is very rapidly cooled by air blowers. Within seconds it reduces to 300°C. This sudden drop in temperature fuses any external coatings to the glass and hence strengthens its mechanical and structural resistance.
Stacking and transport:
A stacking system lifts the glass sheets vertically using suction cups, placing a thin layer of interleafing lucite powder between each sheet for protection against scratches. These are then safely transported in special vans.
Specific advantages of the ASB ShowGlassCourt
We use the best quality glass and production technology (explained above), to guarantee the best possible result.
Engineered OneWay® technology
OneWay® technology works through black dots on the outside of the glass and coloured dots on the inside. In comparison to other manufacturers that use foils (not resistant to age, UV rays and scratches) we print these dots with ceramic paint onto the glass and then burn these into the glass permanently. ASB’s OneWay® glass also differs to manufacturers using the same ceramic screen print process because the accuracy of the printing process determines the way the human eye can see into the ShowGlassCourt and the process we use has a method with the best results we could find worldwide. The difference is of high importance for the viewing of the game as well as the appearance of the court.
All Glass Construction
No metal structure to hold the glass or elements of the lighting system. The lighting system and glass panels are fixed on glass fins. This allows for better visibility and a better overall appearance of the court.
Large Bottom Panels
Allow for better assembly and enhanced viewing characteristics by minimizing to one edge between the large bottom panel and smaller top panel. Also, the playability is improved due to less gaps. This is a unique feature of the ASB ShowGlassCourt.
As the printing process is very complicated, it took us many years of development to be able to produce the court in vibrant and bright colours. The combination of our intensive light system and specially chosen colours make the colours look very vivid and make the ASB ShowGlassCourt stand out as the professional squash arena of choice.
Consistency of colour
Where there are gaps between panels, the distance between the coloured dots is still the same. Our printing technique allows printing right to the edge of the panels and therefore minimises the gap between the coloured dots from panel to panel.
ASB Deliver Pioneering National Squash Centre In Australia
Whilst the repositioning of all-glass squash show courts has been commonplace for many years, the recent opening of the new National Squash Centre in Australia marks an historic first in the relocation of an entire facility, made possible by the world's leading court manufacturer ASB, which is based in Germany and the Czech Republic.
Originally constructed in the Oxenford Film Studios in Gold Coast for the 2018 Commonwealth Games in April, the six glass-backed courts together with the state-of-the-art all-glass show court have now become the ultimate legacy for Squash Australia in nearby Carrara, Queensland.
Delivered to Gold Coast in seven 40-foot containers, the three EventGameCourts (each unit providing three singles courts, convertible to two doubles courts within minutes) and ShowGlassCourt, with moveable side walls, were erected for Gold Coast 2018 by a crack 12-man ASB team in 43 working days.
Following the completion of the Games, it then took a further 14 working days for a 12-man team to dismantle and prepare the facility for transfer to Carrara - returning the Oxenford Studios to use for filming.
Over a further 30 working days, a six-man ASB team reconstructed two EventGameCourts, leaving the third one in storage for use later in a further legacy facility, alongside the ShowGlassCourt at the Carrara Sports Complex to become the heart of Australia's first national centre.
"We have provided the courts for each Commonwealth Games since 1998, all of which have provided long-term legacies for the hosts - such as the all the courts (including the all-glass court) for the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, which is still in use, and the courts at 2014 Commonwealth Games and the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto," said Adam Ondrasik, Production Manager for ASB Squash.
"But the ultimate legacy is the entire facility, not only returning the initial location to the use for which it was originally designated, but also then providing a new multi-purpose base in a permanent location for long-term use."
At the opening of the country's new National Squash Centre, which in October hosted its first men’s and women’s Professional Squash Association (PSA) World Tour event, Squash Australia Chief Executive Richard Vaughan said: "The National Squash Centre at Carrara is an amazing legacy outcome for the Gold Coast and Queensland.
"The Gold Coast will now be home to the Squash Australia High Performance program, host national events and over the next five years host multiple world championship events with the first being the World Coaches Conference at the Carrara complex, followed by the World Doubles Championships in June 2019 and the World Junior Championships in July 2020."
World Squash Federation CEO Andrew Shelley added: "The Commonwealth Games this year is another great example of why squash is such a good fit for all major events, not least the Olympic Games if we are successful in securing a place.
"Courts can be built in days, and in the case of a show court, taken down in less than 24 hours, returning the facility to normal use. Then the legacy options, as have already been seen around the world, can kick in to support development. A classic win-win!
"We look forward to the WSF World Championships, already booked for Carrara in the next two years, with great anticipation."
ASB SquashCourts: Benefits of moveable side walls!
If you’re planning to buy new squash courts or renovate a squash centre, there are several decisions that need to be made. The first being: should it be a club which is solely committed to squash, with a dedicated programme and coaching team? Or should it be a sports facility which offers the opportunity for other leisure activities in addition to squash? Either scenario would benefit from ASB’s System100 Movable SideWalls in a major way.
The Dedicated Squash Facility
Depending on the country and its interest in squash, the doubles game is an important factor not only in the elite programmes but also on an advanced level.
Doubles has a high popularity in the Commonwealth Countries as well as the Pan-American Games. Therefore naturally, a club with an aspiring programme should be able to offer both its junior and pro players the option for doubles squash. This should be achieved not by having a doubles court that cannot be used for singles play, but by offering the option to convert a singles court into a doubles court.
An ASB System100 Movable SideWall offers exactly this within minutes.
The Leisure Centre
In this scenario, one of the key factors is dedicated space and the usage per square meter (sqm). By adding three squash courts, approx. 190 sqm are used up for squash only. This means over 30 sqm per person are dedicated to squash only, whereas the amount in the fitness area may be 2-4 sqm per person. This brings up the dilemma squash often must face: it uses up too much space and does not earn enough money for the centre owner.
The key to overcoming this dilemma is multi-functionality. By using the court area for other sports and optimising schedules and occupancy rates of the courts, every centre owner can get the maximum return out of his investment. The secret ingredient in this recipe is the use of an ASB Movable SideWall. This way, a bank of 3 courts can be converted into a free space of approx. 190 sqm once the side walls are moved to the far left and far right. This enables the owner to use the space which is dedicated to squash in other ways such as aerobic classes, Zumba, badminton, volleyball and many other games.
Finally, depending on the layout of the club, an ASB Movable SideWall can also be used to free-up additional spectator space. A regular squash centre can be converted into a squash arena, by offering space for more spectators in the adjacent or opposite squash courts. Squash on Fire (a very modern squash centres in America), has a movable side wall next to its ASB ShowGlassCourt. They can convert the adjacent, regular squash court into 64 sqm of additional spectator seating for tournaments, in almost no time.
New York City Hails World's First Public Outdoor Squash Court
The recent unveiling of the world's first public squash court in New York City has generated considerable public interest in the US city.
The pioneering project is the initiative of the Public Squash Foundation, whose goal is to offer free access to squash in public places. The inaugural all-glass court, manufactured by ASB Squash, is modelled on the ASB ShowGlassCourt used at top tier PSA World Tour events, WSF World Championships and Commonwealth Games around the world - but modified for the outdoors.
The new court, at Hamilton Fish Park on Lower East Side, was officially opened by NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver. Installed on one of the park's four handball courts, the squash court is the latest addition to the NYC Parks' Adopt-a-Park program.
ASB will continue its cooperation with the World Squash Federation (WSF) and Professional Squash Association (PSA) to encourage other cities, local federations and communities in the US and around the world to follow the breakthrough New York example.
"It is exciting to work with the Public Squash to bring an amenity as unique as outdoor squash to one of our city parks," said Commissioner Silver at the launch.
"Athletic activity benefits us mentally and physically; and falling in love with a sport like squash can expose us to worlds we may never have otherwise come into contact with."
Ryan Wall, director of Public Squash, added: "Bringing squash outside, and making it free to the public, is the best way to give access to all, and increase the visibility of the game."
In a news story in the New York Times, under the headline Squash Without the Ceiling, New York stylist Danielle Brown told reporter Amy Sohn: "It's amazing being outside .... the whole community has been dying for this. I like it better than playing inside."
ASB US Consultant Conor O'Malley explained: "There are several key ingredients needed for any successful project to come together; you need the right timing, partners, patience and perseverance. So, this is really a story of triumph for the squash community brought about by Public Squash Foundation, ASB, NYC Parks & Recreation Department - and, of course, made possible by the generous supporters.
"We hope this is the just the beginning of more courts and more cities embracing this Public Squash movement," added the former US Squash Vice President.
Tommy Berden, the PSA's Chief Commercial Officer, said: "As Squash is bidding for inclusion in the Olympic Programme, the opening of a public outdoor squash court in New York serves as a strong example of the value that squash can bring to a host city, by easily and efficiently integrating with the modern urban landscapes and lifestyles.
"I am convinced that the new court will further contribute to enhance the image of the iconic East Village known for its diverse, dynamic and artistic community and will become a popular sport venue for the locals."
ASB & TPoint Launch New Initiative To Take Squash To The People
ASB, the world's leading squash court manufacturer, has joined forces with TPoint in a major new initiative to 'take squash to the people' and thereby significantly expand the sport's playing community around the world.
"We believe that by bringing squash from 'hidden' areas to visible outdoor places around the city, the number of participants will increase each year by exposing squash as healthy, competitive, fun and social sport activity," said Yossi Fixman, inventor of TPoint.
"Our beautifully designed electronic squash courts, with innovative technology, will create a new and exciting sport experience."
The concept brings the court - usually externally invisible, within a club or sports centre - 'centre-stage', as the focal point of the building in which it is housed.
The squash court defines the building. TPoint can take squash into outdoor sport activity areas, hotels, universities, private homes, offices and residential rooftops around the city.
"The beauty of TPoint is that it is the definition of form meets function," explained ASB CEO Christof Babinsky. "Building any squash centre means a significant investment. Normally the investment is focused on providing the building and infrastructure around the courts and a maximum of 15% is actually spent on the equipment (squash courts).
"However, the squash court is what matters the most to the actual end user, the player. TPoint addresses this issue in a beautiful way where most resources are spent on the playing surfaces with the superb side effect of creating this impressive urban space and social hub.
"We are proud to introduce one more tool too for the redesign of this fantastic sport. TPoint could be a true game-changer to the game of squash!"
Kevin Klipstein, the President and CEO of US Squash, added: "The innovation ASB is driving with TPoint meets a need in the US which is increasing access to squash. TPoint also addresses the challenge we have in raising awareness of the sport, so presenting squash in a visually appealing way, in an outdoor setting, is ideal.
"TPoint solution really could potentially dramatically accelerate our recent growth in the US, especially in the warmer parts of the country."
2015 World Champion Gregory Gaultier is also highly impressed with the pioneering innovation. "This is a revolution for squash - I can't wait to try it myself," said the 33-year-old Frenchman.
For further information, visit www.asbsquash.com
Pan Am Legacy Sees Revolutionary New ASB Court Concept Installed In Canada
In a unique legacy of last year's Pan American Games in Toronto, a pioneering new ASB squash court concept will be installed in the city of Moncton in the Canadian province of New Brunswick and ready for action next month.
The German company's ASB EventGameCourt features three ASB System100 courts equipped with two movable side walls which can easily be moved either to extend singles squash courts into doubles courts, or convert a dedicated squash facility into an open arena for multi-sport usage.
Its unique feature, however, is that the ASB EventGameCourt is designed to be installed, dismantled and re-installed numerous times. The court is aimed at clients that require a temporary installation (e.g. for an event with a large crowd) before placing the court in a new location for permanent use.
The new Moncton courts were originally installed at the Toronto Exhibition Centre for the Pan Am Games in July last year.
"The world-class ASB modular glass back convertible 3-court unit has created 'squash-a-mania' in Eastern Canada," said Lolly Gillen, President of Squash Canada. "A legacy from the 2015 PanAm Games in Toronto, these courts have generated tremendous awareness of squash not only within the Moncton Squash Club and the city of Moncton but throughout New Brunswick and the Atlantic provinces.
"Squash Canada is confident they will be instrumental in inspiring many more youth and adults to participate in this great game. The ability to easily convert the singles court to a doubles court in just minutes will also provide fabulous expose to International Doubles Squash, currently not played in our country," explained Gillen.
"Squash Canada is incredibly grateful for the Government of Canada's foresight and investment in squash. What a golden opportunity to grow and market squash by offering an opportunity to play on the same courts as did our triumphant Men and Women's Teams, the World Junior Champion Diego Elias, Colombia's world No.5 Miguel Angel Rodriguez and USA's world No.8 Amanda Sobhy."
Till Jonuleit, ASB Squash Sales Manager, said: "Right from the beginning, Toronto 2015 wanted to emphasise legacy and cost-efficiency. That meant a court system was required that allowed for singles and doubles squash, ideally offering both on the same surface. The conclusion to offer an ASB GameCourt with 2 movable walls that can be transformed from 3 singles to 2 doubles courts within minutes was quickly drawn."
Jiri Grulich, the CEO of ASB Squash, added: "One question remained unknown: Could it be designed in a way that the entire system could be installed, dismantled and re-installed in various locations in very few days - with the quality that the PanAmerican Games required? This was when the ASB design department constructed the ASB EventGameCourt which is offering exactly that: cost-efficiency, legacy and multi-purpose usage."
The Squash Moncton club was selected by Squash Canada ahead of several other clubs across Canada to win the "Pan Am Legacy Courts".
Jan Prieditis, Squash Moncton's manager and pro, says the new courts will help the club attract some of the country's top talent.
ASB Celebrates 500th Movable Wall Court
Pioneering squash court manufacturer ASB are celebrating the installation of its 500th Movable Wall Court with a new facility under construction at the Harvey Hadden Sports Centre in Nottingham, England.
German company ASB unveiled its movable wall court concept in 1980 to provide maximum flexibility for sports centres. Walls can easily be moved either to extend singles squash courts into doubles courts - or to convert a dedicated squash facility into an open arena for multi-sport usage.
The concept was used to maximum effect at last year's Commonwealth Games in Scotland, where the six singles courts at the Scotstoun Sports Campus in Glasgow were transformed into four doubles courts at the touch of a button.
The new ASB facility in Nottingham will feature the ASB "GameCourt", i.e. three ASB System 100 courts, equipped with two movable side walls.
The courts have been installed by ASB'S UK and Ireland partners CourtCare. "In the six months we've been working together, we have secured 21 new courts already, which has proven that a good product, installed with a highly-skilled team, is the perfect combination," said CourtCare Managing Director Richard Ingle.
"ASB have been the world leaders for many years, and their presence is only going to get stronger as CourtCare is the major player in the UK market, and offers unparalleled support for its products."
ASB movable court walls are now sited in 37 countries on six continents.
"Our main goal is to provide the maximum technical features to our courts to give the best possibilities to our customers to create different spaces for other activities out of their squash courts," said ASB Squash CEO Jiri Grulich. "Moveable walls provide absolute flexibility for all court owners - and will become even more invaluable in the event of an increasing worldwide interest in doubles squash."
ASB founder and innovator Horst Babinsky added: "We are in permanent interchange of ideas with federations, media, promoters, and squash fans, alike to do our best in promoting squash."
Squash Poised For Digital Comeback!
Squash, the sport that might have been under the radar lately, is preparing for a digital comeback!
In association with ASB SquashCourts, Munich-based interactiveSQUASH founder Markos Kern wanted to give the game of squash an extra twist and boost it into the digital age. The idea of interactiveSQUASH was born and only a few months later the first courts are already upgrading their facilities.
“We wanted to make it attractive to a whole new generation of players that would normally not set foot on a squash court,” explained Kern.
The idea is simple. Sensors track the ball and players. A projection transforms the front wall into a gigantic screen and touch pad where players can choose from applications such as playful games to sophisticated training modes for all levels of players.
Stepping onto the court is no different from normal - until a voice welcomes you and enables you to pick one of the 22 different games by simply touching the front wall! More games and training modules will follow soon, and the system will also allow programmers to create their own applications, whilst also making them available on an app store.
The interactiveSQUASH App connects directly to the court and lets players track their statistics and compare them to players worldwide. “And this is only the beginning,” adds Kern. “Those who are about to receive their upgrade will be very happy to see what’s coming up next.”
The first court in Munich has already proved to be a sensation in terms of participation, especially with new players and kids. New customers are being exposed to interactiveSQUASH every day and sales figures are more than promising.
In January the number of hours played on the interactiveSQUASH court virtually doubled, with almost 75% of completely new customers picking up a racquet for the first time. A recent Groupon campaign sold vouchers for 500 hours in less than a week.
Monica Wiedmann, a mother of two boys aged 6 and 9, commented: “Everything always competes with smartphone gaming or TV, but now we have finally got them motivated to move.
“The entertainment aspect of it is terrific. It was really hard to get my kids motivated to pick up a racquet before – but now it’s harder to get them off the court again!”
Jan Weber, father of two who enjoy a game of Monster Match on the court, joked: “My son is even able to operate the court without me being there, allowing me to get some free time!”
So far, the creation of interactiveSQUASH has caused quite a buzz, even outside the world of squash. The concept recently won the “BrandNew award” - for the best new product in fitness for 2017 – at ISPO, the renowned annual international exhibition for the sports business.
Videos of the games and training modes are shared in high volume social media, leading to substantial exposure. “The sheer number of inquiries from all over the world was simply staggering for us,” said Christoph Babinsky, CEO of ASB SquashCourts, the international distributor for the new system.
“The first ten systems will be installed in March, and with all the interest of players, trainers, pros, and associations, it is quite obvious that this development is exactly what the sport of squash needs.”
Living squash legend Jahangir Khan, who recently announced a partnership between UNSQUASHABLE, the iconic brand which he used throughout his record-breaking career, and interactiveSQUASH, was equally enthusiastic about such a significant development for the sport.
“This innovation adds an important aspect to the development of the sport,” said the record ten-time British Open champion from Pakistan.
“The combination with technology opens up whole new fields for the squash business. Whether it’s the way we play and train, or how the sport is seen by media and new players, it’s very good to see initiatives like this advancing - and UNSQUASHABLE is delighted to be partnering with interactiveSQUASH during such an exciting time for the sport."
Leading UNSQUASHABLE player and brand ambassador James Willstrop also recognises that the system offers many advantages for training and statistics for professional athletes: “Daily training routines are a must for any pro,” said the former world No.1 from England.
“Challenging your personal best or warming up with some target practice definitely makes it more effective and interesting. After all, it’s the fun to play that drove us all to the sport in the first place!”