Message from ES: Junior competition pathway: changes for 2017/18

    Junior competition pathway: changes for 2017/18

    Following six months of extensive consultation with players, tournament organisers and parents, we are implementing a number of significant changes to enhance our junior competition pathway for the 2017/18 season. From the feedback collated, the shared ambition is to create a level playing field and provide more opportunities for juniors to flourish, whatever their age or ability.

    Competition calendar

    To assist preparation for the year ahead and avoid any potential clashes, we've created an integrated calendar showcasing all our events including our junior circuit, seniors, masters and PSA events. Please ensure you review this carefully as there are some significant changes. View the calendar (PDF).

    Junior regulations

    The regulations for the 2017/18 season have been updated to reflect the changes in competition format and provide clarity for tournament organisers, players and parents. Take time to read these to ensure you’re up to speed on the improvements. View the updated regulations (PDF).

    Inter-county competition

    There will be no ranking points awarded for any county competition for the forthcoming season in order to provide equal opportunities to all junior players.

    For the full explanation and background on this decision, please read the ICC ranking changes paper (PDF). We will encourage players to represent their county and this competition should be about pride of that representation and not seen as an opportunity to collect extra ranking points.

    Sanctioned event changes

    Following feedback and to allow us to streamline the process, a new procedure is being introduced to apply for sanctioned events. This will ensure earlier communication regarding events and consistency throughout the different event levels whilst making sure minimum standards are also met.

    In brief, the main points to highlight are:

    Levels of competition

    There will now be five levels of competition for the forthcoming season:

    This event is suitable for those actively participating in Silver and Gold events, Team England, the EDP - Potential and EDP as well as a select number of high achieving players in the Aspire Programme.

    A three to four day competition which is the largest and most prestigious level of domestic junior squash tournament. A Gold sanctioned event attracts the highest ranked junior players from all age groups. A greater number of rankings points are awarded in a Gold event compared to a Silver event.

    This competition attracts higher ranked English players. There are seven standalone Silver sanctioned events this season (no standalone Silver events). A greater number of rankings points are awarded in a Silver event compared to a Bronze event.

    Bronze sanctioned competitions are aimed at local juniors who play at a club or county level. Games will be played as best of five.

    The newly introduced Copper events are an entry-level competition aimed at locally based juniors who are new to the sanctioned event circuit. Games will be played as best of three. This is the first step into sanctioned events and entry into the national ranking system.

    Administration changes

    All levels of sanctioned competition will be online entry through the England Squash website.

    PLATINUM, GOLD, SILVER will be full monrad draw format.

    Sanction process and timeline

    There will be a sanction application window open from 1 May - 18 June 2017 for Silver, Bronze and Copper events.

    During this time, all applicants must:

    * Complete our Tournament Organiser (TO) online workshop and receive a “pass” grade.

    * Complete the sanction form.

    All allocation of events and the calendar will be published on 1st July 2017.

    Only if we have any space available to take any additional events we will re-open the sanction application window from 1 September - 30 September. The calendar will then be confirmed by 14 October and closed for the remainder of the season.

    Points change

    Flat rate points will be awarded for all age groups. Playing up an age category should purely be about ability, performance and experience and not about chasing additional ranking points.

    Additional significant changes

    • There will be no sanctioned events in August.
    • Online Referee Workshop will be a mandatory obligation to appear on the ranking system.
    • Removal of the U11 Festival. The Under 11 National Championships will now be part of the main English Junior National Championships.
    • ICC Junior Finals will be part of one big weekend: all hosted together at one venue.

    Please read the attached document to obtain full detail of changes relating to administration, ranking points and sanction process.