The Roots of the Racquet Sport Squash

Based in Philadelphia, PA, Dr. Andrew Collier provides patients with quality orthopaedic surgical care. He is known as the only orthopaedic surgeon in his community with arthroscopic laser surgery certification. Dr. Andrew Collier played varsity football in PA as a University of Pennsylvania student and continues to enjoy a number of sports including racquetball and squash.

The history of sports that use racquets extends severals hundred years, with the first game resembling modern racquetball created at Fleet Prison in London. Called “rackets,” the game involved balls being hit against walls and was played regularly by the imprisoned debtors. Around 1820 this style of ball-playing spread to English schools like the London boarding school, Harrow.

In 1830, the game of squash was accidentally invented when students playing rackets realized that a ball that had been “squashed” through impact with the wall was actually superior to the new ball. The depressurized ball did not bounce readily and thus required greater skill to manipulate accurately. In 1864 Harrow constructed its first squash courts and the rules were formalized. In the early 20th century organizations such as the United States Squash Racquets Association were founded and the game grew to international popularity.