Refereeing – Its Place Within Squash

This page has been created to showpiece interesting and informative information on squash refereeing.

We have two excellent presentations by Chris Sinclair for you to download and study…

*  Refereeing – Its Place Within Squash

Chris puts refereeing into perspective with this direct, to the point analysis of what it takes to be a better squash referee.  Reproduced for Ulster Squash with kind permission of Chris Sinclair

*  Direct Access – Analysing Movement

A very useful guide to dealing with and interpreting the rules relating to “interference”.  Presented by Chris at the 2013 Refereeing Conference in Jordan

Chris Sinclair WSF Referee & WSF Senior Assessor

For those who are not familiar with Chris Sinclair, she is an Australian lady has risen to the level of World Squash Federation Referee & also WSF Senior Assessor.

Below is an excerpt from an article about Chris published in the Australian Sports Commission Website

Chris Sinclair, Squash official leads the way

Ironically, Australia’s most recognized squash referee Chris Sinclair knows she’s done a good job when no one notices her.

‘If you’re doing the job well, calmly and coolly, nobody should pay any attention to you at all,’ Chris said. If people walk away from a match and say “Oh, by the way who was the referee?” that suits me.’
Her passion for refereeing squash comes from a deeply ingrained love of the game.

‘I once heard a player say referees are just frustrated players and I guess that’s right in my case. If I could play at that top level I would, because I just adore the game. But I can’t, so refereeing is a way I can contribute.’

However, her insight into the game is much greater than that of many players and her reaction time just as fast.

‘You’ve got two combatants in an enclosed area with no net between them, they’ve each got a weapon, there’s a missile travelling around at over 200 kilometres an hour, rebounding off the wall about every three seconds and the players expect the correct decision – immediately.’

While some might find that incredibly stressful, Chris rises to the challenge at the highest level. She was the first woman to be appointed as an international referee, then as a world squash referee, joining eight men on the elite list.

‘I’ve officiated all the leading men, and they don’t have any problems with me refereeing their matches, although I’ve had to earn their respect.

‘But if there is a man who hasn’t been refereed by me before, he’ll whip around the first time he hears my voice, as he’s not expecting a woman to be in that position.’

While Chris does not ever get nervous before refereeing a major event, she takes the responsibility very seriously. ‘I certainly get apprehensive before a big match, but you have to have confidence, not arrogance. Playing on my mind is the fact that any decisions I make could impact on the income of the players.’

However, she is quick to point out that referees do not get paid. They do it out of a commitment to the sport. Keen to see younger referees move up the ranks, Chris has been ‘putting her time where her mouth is’.

‘I’ve been writing a mentor training program and an assessor training program for Squash Australia and for the World Squash Federation.’ She’s mentoring a 34-year-old male referee from Victoria, and has been travelling to overseas tournaments with him.

‘We’ve got a scholarship from the Australian Sports Commission for $16,000 to help get one person to international accreditation by the end of this year. I’ll give him my time, my expertise and my advice and I’m confident he can get there.’ What remains to be seen is whether he will be able to emulate his mentor — no easy challenge.

Chris has refereed at 17 world championships, two world doubles championships, a World Cup, two Commonwealth Games and was the only Australian official in any sport to referee an individual final at the 1998 Commonwealth Games. All up she has been officiating for more than 20 years.


Click on the images below to view and download the presentations:

Refereeing - Its Place Within Squash

Direct Access - Analysing Movement

Presentations copyright: Chris Sinclair