30 June, 2018

That's a wrap: Atlanta out!

"There can be only one."
                                        - The Highlander
George L. (2.5)
The Last SMASH Tourney
George L. didn't go all Highlander on his opponents and behead them but he made sure they didn't have a easy time. George started out of the gate against Nick G. (4.5) who may have been caught cold and ended up in the losers' bracket after two games. Was George lucky the first match or was it experience? The next match would answer that question: Nazar R., a 3.0 level and first time SMASH player. Nazar gave George more trouble by chasing every ball down and took the first game from George. George would came back like a turtle, slow and steady, and pushed Nazar out of the winners' bracket, 2-3. Donovan M. (2.5) was next. Donovan had a look of concentration on him (or maybe it was his sore ankle) and was focused on making sure George would have to go all in to win. Since they were the same skill level, the game was a traditional 11 to 11, best two out of three games. It was a battle, first game went to George 11-10. The Donovan wasn't having that and put George away easily the second game, 11-3. But in the final game, George pushed Donovan down into the losers' bracket, 11-9. That battle just set up the rematch because Donovan fought back to win the Losers' bracket and would face George again in the finals! Just because Donovan played a few extra games, he still didn't go easy on George. It was a tough two games of 11-8 and 11-8 with George coming out on top. Congratulations to George L. (2.5)! He will now play as a 3.0.
1. George L. (2.5) - $134
2. Donovan M. (2.5) - $76
3. Paul M. (5.0) - $20
4. Chris M. (4.0) - $10
$25 Marlow's Gift Cards: Omurden E. (2.5), Leslie B. (3.0), Randy J. (4.0), Steve F. (3.0)
Free Blue Moon Pizzas Gift Cards: Nick G. (4.5), Rameez A. (4.5), Jeff D. (3.0), George L. (2.5)
The filled out double elimination brackets
It wasn't all about George. There were some seriously fun matches to watch. Like first round match up of Paul M. (5.0) vs Chris M. (4.0) where Paul came out of the gate crushing Chris with 0 points for Chris in the first game. Chris came back the next two games being determined by only one or two points. Leslie B. (3.0) vs Nazar R. (3.0) match up also came down to just the last few points. Tight. Tight. Tight. There were the father-son match ups, twice, once in the winners' with the same father and son - Paul vs. Donovan. There were matches like Rameez A. (4.5), aka 'Never let the ball bounce twice' vs. Randy J. (4.0) and Nick G. (4.5) vs. Chris M. (4.0) which were just fun to watch because of the long rallies. It was also fun to watch the new players like Nazar R. (3.0), Omurden E. (2.5), and Steve F. (2.5) get their first taste of either a SMASH tourney or find out what it is like to step on to the court with higher rated squash gladiators.

All in all - there was a lot of fun. Check below for some action vids and crappy commentary.

Thanks to all the players who came out to play and thanks for creating EvenSquash. Without players like Jeff D. (3.0), Courtney W. (3.5), Siam K. (5.0), Fong Y. (4.5), Mario de M. (4.5), Chris M. (4.0), Todd H. (3.5), Denri G. (4.0), Roger W. (3.5), Anjo G. (5.0), Wayne J. (4.5), Alejandro C. (3.5), and many many others that were willing to try something new, EvenSquash would have fizzled. Over the course two years, some 41 tournaments, over 120 different players, and over a thousand squash games, we collected data that continually refined the EvenSquash Handicap System so that every player, regardless of skill level, has a fair shot a winning.

In the two years of SMASH tourneys, we've given away over $6,200 in cash prizes and countless restaurant sponsor gift cards. Special thanks to sponsors like Sushi Nami, Marlow's Tavern, and Blue Moon Pizza that helped add a little spice to the pot. If you want to see who all the winners are, check out: Squash SMASH Tourney's Winner's Circle. Here are the top 5:
1. Siam K. (5.0) - $461
2. Andrew M. (4.0) - $383
3. Scott F. (4.5) - $240
4. Charlie J. (5.5) - $236
5. Mario de M. (4.5) - $226

I learned to play squash here in Atlanta at Lifetime Fitness. Thanks to everyone who put up with my shenanigans and noob-ness and for teaching me and improving my game. Special thanks to Andre Maur who taught me the fundamentals. It's time for me to move on to Amsterdam and I hope to take EvenSquash with me there.... I will definitely be playing squash!

 - Bob -
See you on the courts!

Pro tip: Never go with a squash player to a second location.....
 George L. (2.5) vs Donovan M. (2.5) (White shirt)
Finals.... well... the final point....

George L. (3.0) vs. Nazar R. (3.0) (Black T-Shirt)
Nazar with some hussle

Rameez A. (4.5) vs. Donovan M. (2.5) (White shirt)
Donovan with the winning drop

Leslie B. (3.0) vs. Paul M. (5.0) (Blue shirt)
Leslie trying not to play Paul's game

Nick G. (4.5) vs. Chris M. (4.0) (Grey shirt)
Nick and Chris rallying to force the errors

Donovan M. (2.5) vs. Paul M. (5.0) (Blue shirt)
Donovan working the old man

Leslie B. (3.0) vs. Omurden E. (2.5) (Black T-shirt)
Omurden 'Den' feeling the pressure of experience

Nazar R. (3.0) vs Paul M. (5.0) (Blue shirt)
Nazar going where ever Paul wants him to go...

Jeff D. (3.0) vs. Chris M. (4.0) (red headband)
Chris strikes a pose.... watch for it!

17 May, 2018

Friday June 16 - 11am ~ 1:30 - My last SMASH Tourney

Well.... It's been fun... but I have to go...
It's not you, it's me. Well, me and my wife. We have decided to pack it up and move to Amsterdam for a new adventure. We've been in Atlanta for 20 years and feel like this is something we should do.

Meanwhile... back on the squash courts... I've got one last SMASH Tourney. The Amsterdam or Bust SMASH Tourney 

As usual, there will be up to $320 in cash prizes for 1st, 2nd, 3rd and if we get more than 12 players - payout to 4th place! I still have several $25 Marlow's Tavern gift cards and Blue Moon Pizza free pizza cards to give away.... all given out to random players. There's a good chance you'll have a lot of squash fun and come away with something. Sign up if you think you'll make it.

11am ~1:30 Jun 16 2018
Amsterdam or Bust
Squash SMASH Tourney
Sandy Springs Lifetime

This is not the end of EvenSquash or the SMASH Tourneys. I'll update the site to focus more on running your own events, providing everything you need to know, and if you send me the game results, continue to run the analysis on the handicap system. I also plan to start this up in Amsterdam.... but that is a TBD.

See you on the courts!
 - Bob -

Pro tip: If you are breathless after a hard point, ask the ref a hypothetical question about the game...

22 February, 2018

11am ~ 1:30 - Saturday, April 7 SMASH Tourney! --> Mortal Skwash <--

Kombat in a Bawks
This is no video game... this is real squash.

Test your mightIn the last SMASH Tourney Randy J. (3.5) destroyed 13 competitors, relieved them of $122, and went home a champion.... a SMASH Champion. Think you have what it takes to win a fast-paced, action-packed, nerve-racking, squash tourney? .....I doubt it.

Squash SMASH Tourney
11am - 1:30 April 7, 2018
Lifetime Fitness - Sandy Springs

$20 Entry fee, cash prizes payouts down to 4th, double elimination format, gift cards from Sushi Nami, Marlow's Tavern, and Blue Moon Pizza. Everyone is friendly (except Rehan). Max 16 players. Beginner to advanced players. Boat loads of fun all wrapped in about 2 hours of squash fun!

If you need more info on what a Squash SMASH Tourney is, check out: Squash SMASH Tourney Info

You can see all upcoming SMASH events on the SMASH Tourney Schedule.

Who's #1 on all time winnings? Check Squash SMASH Tourney's Winner's Circle

And for the latest, you can always follow along with live updates and latest info on Twitter @EvenSquashFacebook @EvenSquashInstagram @EvenSquash

 - Bob -
Pro tip: If you don't want to replace your racket strings often, try hitting the ball with the edges...

16 February, 2018

EvenSquash Squash Handicap System - Where did it come from?

Where did the idea come from?

When I started playing squash a couple of years ago, I started as a uber-beginner and had a lot of fun chasing the ball around and meeting a lot of great people. I had no desire to go pro or even to be a master of the game, just be good enough to hold my own on the court, get some exercise in, and generally have fun a few hours a week with a bunch of other people.

One thing I noticed was how there were lots of players but for the most part the beginners played beginners, intermediate played intermediate, and so on. This is most likely and not necessarily the fault of squash snobbery but rather the desire to improve your own skills and to do that, you have to play better players.

Furthermore, tournaments were set up in a similar manner where player of the same skill level were matched up. This can make things are a bit awkward, especially when there are not a lot of players at a specific skill level and the director has to get 'creative' with which skill level box to put you in. You might be a 5.5 level player, but if you are the only one, you will likely end up playing 4.5-5.0 levels - which is really not fair to anyone. Or worse - you might be a 2.5 level player but there are no other 2.5 adults for you to play, so you get to play the juniors.... that's a no-win situation!

So - it came to me that what was needed was a way to make the game fair for everyone, no matter what skill level, playing any other skill level - A handicap system for amateur players was needed. A handicap system that was fair, ensured players felt like they had equal chances of winning and losing, simple and easy to use, and trustworthy and based on data.

On a side note: If you would like to learn more about the skill levels, US Squash has some great info. I have summarized it here: Squash Skill Level Descriptions

How was it built?

Data! First thing that was needed was data: How to get the data? You just can't watch players of varying skill levels play each other because neither player will take it seriously and feel like they have skin in the game. A 4.0 playing a 3.0, the 4.0 is just going to have fun practicing shots and watching the 3.0 run around and the 3.0 is going to feel like they are being toyed with.

Tournaments! Tournaments are a great way to get a bunch of players together, create match pressure and some 'skin in the game' with entry fees and prizes, and collect lots of data. I drafted a starting point handicap system in May 2016 and started having frequent squash tournaments, capturing the scores for each game of each match.
Typical match between players of different skill levels and their games' scores
From over 40 tournaments, close to a thousand games, and with almost a hundred different players with different skill levels, I was able to build out the following data set. It is the heart of the EvenSquash Handicap System
From this chart you can see that a 3.0 playing a 3.5, the handicap to make the play fair would be 8 to 12, in that the 3.0 player would need 8 points to win a game and the 3.5 player would need 12 points to win. You can also see that with this handicap, there are over 76 matches worth of data and from that, the 3.0 wins 46.1% of the time - almost 50%! You can also see that a 3.5 play a 4.5 wins 48.4% of the time - even closer to 50%! Almost EVEN! - and that's the name - EvenSquash

Regression: The cool thing is that since there is historical data for all the matches and games. If you see an imbalance forming where the handicap maybe skewed to one level or the other, you can change the handicap and go back through all the data to see what the effects are to all the previous matches! For example: One race I am currently watching is the 4.0 vs. 5.0. Currently the the handicap is skewed towards the 4.0 player with the 4.0 player winning 62.5% of the time. The rub is that in all the data, there are only 16 times where a 4.0 matched up against a 5.0. There is just not enough data to make it statistically representative of future match ups. (You need more than 31 matches to make it statistically relevant.) This is because there are just not that many 5.0 level players. A change that might need to be made is changing the 4.0 vs. 5.0 race from 13-7 to maybe 12-7, or maybe 13-8, or some variation. With that change as a hypothesis, I can go back through all the matches and see if the new handicap would have changed the outcome of any of the matches to bring the handicap closer to 50%.

First Hard Part. The difficulty with this system is what I eluded to above with the 5.0 level players. The higher you go up in skill level, the fewer players there are. There are only a handful of 5.5 level players and if I had to guess, they probably make up 1% or less of all squash players. This makes it very hard to collect enough data across enough players and matches.

Second Hard Part. The other difficulty is with the 2.5 and 5.5 level players because there are no lower or upper bounds. A new born with a squash racket in their hand could play as a 2.5. A serious player who is just starting out might also play as a 2.5 but will quickly learn the basics to b able to play as a 3.0. So the actual skill level of a 2.5 can very dramatically. Likewise, the 5.5 level player could be Ramy Ashour, easily beating most other 5.5 level players and well, just about everyone else too. The only firewall I have against world-beater 5.5 players is that the handicap system is meant for amateur players and if you have ever made or tried to make a living at playing squash, you probably shouldn't be playing as an amateur.
Ramy Ashour article in the NY Times

What's next?

The answer is: More data! - Well... obviously. Ideally, I'd like to have over 100 matches for each of the possible skill level match ups. That would make the matches rock solid and pretty much a new standard, provide a whole new layer of squash, be very inviting for new players, and challenging for advanced players who sometimes might have a hard time finding that challenge.

On that note. If you would like to help out, use the EvenSquash Handicap System at you club, run your own events, and even help make it better, post a comment below and I'll send you all the tournament templates, forms, and whatnot to get things started.... Just let me know. Think of this as an open source squash project!

Clean wall of squash! Oh and there is a whole new world of things you can do with a handicap system! Think leagues, flash tournaments, team matches, celebrity charity events, goofy and fun events, and even friendly wagers to keep the pressure on.

I will detail more of these ideas in the next post in the coming weeks.

Until then....

Squash SMASH Tourney
11am - 1:30 March 3, 2018
Lifetime Fitness - Sandy Springs
Registration is open! 

You can see all upcoming SMASH events on the SMASH Tourney Schedule.

Check the side bar for the latest Squash SMASH Tourney's Winner's Circle and other info about the EvenSquash handicap system and tournaments.

Until the next event, you can always follow along with live updates and latest info on Twitter @EvenSquashFacebook @EvenSquashInstagram @EvenSquash. And you can always add your email address (see the left side bar) to get emails about the latest posts.

- Bob -
Pro tip: There is a reason not many practice hitting the center rail.... 

29 January, 2018

RESULTS - Jan 27 Squash SMASH Tourney

Randy J. (3.5)

11 players in Saturday's Squash SMASH Tourney skill levels 2.5 to 5.5. Randy, kept his cool, and beat them all.... but that wasn't easy. He played 15 intense games, spanning 7 matches in roughly 2 hours... and who knows how many shirt changes... He played players like Tom R. (3.0),  who is just coming off a wrist injury and is known for a surprising server return that can take out even advanced players; Roland D., who has the experience of playing in many SMASH tourneys and is a solid 3.0; like Donovan M. (2.5) first time player and a junior who kept up the pressure; Jeff D. (3.0), who Randy would face twice because Jeff beat Randy early on but Randy fought back through the losers bracket where he'd eventually get revenge on Jeff; Paul D. (3.5) who has played in a few SMASH events before and has won one in November 2017... but in this one Randy gave him a 4th place finish; Finally there was Rehan S. (4.5). Rehan is a stout 4.5, played many times, but never won a SMASH Tourney... well sadly for Rehan, this would be his 5th 2nd place finish. Congratulations to Randy J. (3.5)!
1. Randy J. (3.5) - $122
2. Rehan S. (4.5) - $68
3. Jeff D. (3.0) - $20
4. Paul D. (3.5) - $10

Sponsored Consolation Prizes:
Tom R. (3.0) - Free Blue Moon Pizza
Roland D. (3.0) - $10 Six Feet Under Gift Card
Mario de M. (4.5) - $25 Marlow's Tavern Gift Card
Full Tourney Bracket
We had a great turnout with 11 players, play started at 11:15 and ended at 1:35. We went to sudden death matches at 1:15 to help accelerate the pace and reduce the chance of injury by playing to much squash. Paul M. (5.5) was the highest skilled player but he didn't have to play all beginner and intermediate players, he got a chance to go up against Mario de M. (4.5) and Rameez A. (4.5) with those match outcomes determined by just a few points. Speaking of Rameez A. (4.5), this was his first time playing as a 4.5 and he felt the extra weight going up against Paul D. (3.5) and Roland D. (3.0).  This is the second SMASH tourney for Michael F. (2.5) and even though he went home in the first round, had a lot of fun, and I think is now officially hooked on squash. Jeff D. (3.0) came out of the gate strong and played to finish 3rd in a tense sudden death match.

All in all - there was a lot of fun. If you missed this one because of other commitments or just decided not to play, well... the squash gods don't look well on that. I hope to see you at the next one!

Check below for all the pics and vids.

Also - before the next tourney, I'll write up a post about the EvenSquash Handicap System, theory behind it, how it was developed, and what it can be used for.

The next SMASH Tourney will be held 11am Saturday March 3 at Lifetime Fitness - Sandy Springs. Registration is open! MARCH 3 Squash SMASH Tourney Registration Form. You can see all upcoming SMASH events on the SMASH Tourney Schedule.

Check the side bar for the latest Squash SMASH Tourney's Winner's Circle and other info about the EvenSquash handicap system and tournaments.

Until the next event, you can always follow along with live updates and latest info on Twitter @EvenSquashFacebook @EvenSquashInstagram @EvenSquash. And you can always add your email address (see the left side bar) to get emails about the latest posts.

- Bob -
Pro tip: Don't touch the walls of a squash court.... players wipe their sweaty hands on them. Eewww.

Donovan M. (2.5) vs. Paul D. (3.5) (Black shoes)
Randy J. (3.5) vs Roland D. (3.0) (black shirt)
Rehan S. (4.5) vs. Mario de M. (4.5) (blue shirt)
Randy J. (3.5) vs. Paul D. (3.5) (grey shirt)
Randy J. (3.5) vs. Jeff D. (3.0) (grey shirt)
Tom R. (3.0) vs. Roland D. (3.0) (black shirt)
Randy J. (3.5) vs Donovan M. (2.5) (yellow shirt)
Randy J. (3.5) vs. Jeff D. (3.0) (grey shirt)
Randy J. (3.5) vs Rehan S. (4.5) (black shirt)
Mario de M. (4.5) vs. Michael F. (2.5) (red shorts)
Mario de M. (4.5) vs. Michael F. (2.5) (red shorts)
Rameez A. (4.5) vs. Paul D. (3.5)

20 January, 2018

JAN 27 - Saturday - 11am ~ 1:30 - SMASH Tourney!

Who is up for some squash?
The cool thing about squash is that there is always someone better than you.
.... well... except if you are the winner of SMASH Tourney... then you beat everyone else!

Take the last tourney on Jan 6 - Andrew M. (3.5) won that one... beating 12 other players with skill levels from 2.5 to 5.5! He is still  riding high, hits with confidence, maybe even has a little chip on his shoulder,  - AND WORSE - he's holding $146 of everyone's money!

Think you have what it takes to swim in the deep end of a squash pool? The water is soft and warm... but there are Sharks, Piranha, Barracuda, Killer Whales, Tigers, Bears, Eagles, Velocirapters, and even Monster Trucks.


Saturday, Jan 27, 2018
11am - 1:30'ish
Squash SMASH Tourney

Remember: There is only room for 16 players. $20 cash entry fee. Anyone at any skill level can play!

Hope to see you on the courts!
 - Bob -

16 January, 2018

Player Stats

Let's Talk About Player Stats

If you've played in a SMASH Tourney, you know that the actual game scores as well as the games won and lost in each match are recorded. What for? Stats man... STATS!

One thing cool about playing in events that use the EvenSquash Handicap System is that you can get a lot of information about your game and other players that isn't available in most other events. Traditional squash events box players according to their deemed skill level so that 4.0 players play other 4.0 players and, if there are not enough players, the box can be expanded to to include a range of skill levels like 4.0 to 5.0 players play each other. But in a handicap for format, you play any other squash player regardless of skill level and not just those deemed to be in your skill level box. This means that you are measured on how well you play anyone at any skill level - all the time.

So here are some of the stats from the 13 players in the Jan 6 SMASH Tourney and some insight into what they mean.
Player% Must Win PointsSkill LevelGames On Record
Adam S.87.8%4.021
Andrew M.85.1%3.540
Nick G.85.0%3.517
Paul M. 83.2%5.521
Rehan S.80.6%4.512
Carl N.80.4%3.025
Assam J.79.0%5.521
Roland D.76.9%3.040
Adam M.76.7%3.55
Clair B.74.8%3.05
Jeff D.74.0%3.040
Paul D. 73.9%3.529
Michael F. 23.2%2.54
What do the numbers mean?
% Must Win Points. These are the number of points you need to score in order to win a game. For example if a 3.0 player plays a 3.5 player using the EvenSquash Handicap System, the game is played as 8 points to 12 instead of the usual 11 to 11. This means that the 3.0 player must score 8 points to win the game and the 3.5 must score 12 points to win the game. So the Percentage Must Win Points for that game is the percentage of the number of actual points scored divided by the number of points needed to win a game.
Games on Record. These are the number of games there is data for the player. This is capped at the most recent 40 games which works out to about the number of games an average player would play 4 to 6 events. If you see a Games on Record less than 40, it means there's just not enough data to get a good feel of squash skills yet.

The overall percentage for a player shown in the chart above is the average of the % Must Win Points over the most recent 40 games. Pretty cool.

What is it good for?
Player strengths and likeliness to win. With their Must Win Points percentage you can now tell how strong a player is for their skill level. For example, two 3.5 players, one hitting 70% and the other hitting 80%, means that the 80% player plays better than the 70% 3.5 and is most likely to win. This can also be applied to matches of different skill levels too. Take a 3.0 hitting 80% of their must win points versus a 5.0 hitting 70%. If the two were to play each other in an EvenSquash handicapped game, the 3.0 is more likely to win even though their skill levels are drastically different.... but there are no guarantees in just one match and that's why it's averaged over the most recent 40 games.

When to adjust a player's skill level. A pattern formed from all the SMASH Tourneys over the past 18 months: Players hitting above 85% of their must win points, usually win the tournament at their skill level. Andrew M. (3.5) is the most recent case in point - He won the Jan 6 SMASH Tourney, hitting 85.1% of his must win points over the past 40 games. This means that as we see players hitting more than 85% over their past 40 games, it's time to bump them up to the next skill level. Likewise, if you see a player continually sliding and maybe hitting below 65%, it's time to drop their skill level. Adam S. (4.0) is hitting 87.8%! This would usually be the time to promote him to a 4.5 but there are only 21 games of data for him and that's not enough to make a promotion - we need 40 games.

Player rankings. You can rank players without actually having them play each other. This creates a real time ladder based on all the events a player participates in. If you want to move up the ladder, play in more events and hit more points. I currently have such a ladder made up of players that frequently play in the SMASH Tourneys and includes players like: Jeff D. (3.0), Roland D. (3.0), Assam J. (5.5), Andrew M. (3.5), and Rehan S. (4.5). I've got over 20 players on the list, let me know if you want to be on the list or not.

Chart performance. Over time, you can see a player's percentage change indicating they are improving, degrading, or flat. You could then drill down to see where they are struggling, what level of player they struggle with, or perhaps how to earn just a few more points per game.

New event formats and prize categories. Imagine a Best of the Best tournaments that might be invite only events where the two or three players from each skill level who hit the most points are invited to face off to see who is truly the best. Most Improved awards could be handed out every 90 days or so to the player who's hitting percentage increase the most. This is not just thinking outside the box, it blows the box up!

If you are a details person and would like to see the full spreadsheet used to tally everything. check out:  1.06.2018 SMASH Player Stats

Anyway - there's a lot that can be done with some simple stats across all squash players, not just those in your skill level range. If you have ideas, I'd love to hear them.

The next SMASH Tourney will be held 11am Saturday JAN 27 at Lifetime Fitness - Sandy Springs. Registration is open! JAN 27 Squash SMASH Tourney Registration Form. You can see all upcoming SMASH events on the SMASH Tourney Schedule.

Check the side bar for the latest Squash SMASH Tourney's Winner's Circle and other info about the EvenSquash handicap system and tournaments.

Until the next event, you can always follow along with live updates and latest info on Twitter @EvenSquashFacebook @EvenSquashInstagram @EvenSquash. And you can always add your email address (see the left side bar) to get emails about the latest posts.

Up and down the wall!
 - Bob -

08 January, 2018

RESULTS - Jan 6 Squash SMASH Tourney

Andrew M. (3.5)

Andrew M. (3.5) bested 12 other players in a fantastic squash battled for a $146! His path to victory wasn't a path lined with rose petals though... he had many tough opponents like going up against Rehan S. (4.5) twice and Nick G. (3.5) twice! You might say, "wait - twice? How'd that happen?" Well SMASH Tourneys use a double elimination format so that everyone can lose once but still have a chance to come back and win the whole thing! That's what happened to Andrew; Andrew beat Rehan, sending Rehan down into the losers bracket. Andrew continued to advance until he faced Nick G. (3.5) where Nick defeated Andrew and pushed him down into the losers bracket. Nick would king of the winners bracket guaranteeing him at least a 2nd place finish. Down in the losers bracket, Andrew and Rehan would match up again and this time it was to see who was going to own the losers bracket. Andrew beat Rehan in the second match up, giving Rehan his 4th, 3rd place finish. Now it is the winner of the winners bracket, (Nick G.) to face the winner of the losers bracket (Andrew) to see who would be the SMASH winner. That was an epic battle and Andrew was not going to make the same mistakes the first time he faced Nick and capitalized on any mistake Nick made. This win plus his personal EvenSquash stats of winning 87% of the points he needed over the past 40 games, moves Andrew up to a 4.0. This win also puts Andrew in the #2 spot for all time SMASH Winner Circle. Congratulations to Andrew M.!
1. Andrew M. (3.5) - $146
2.. Nick G. (3.5) - $84
3. Rehan S. (4.5) - $20
4. Carl N. (3.0) - $10
Other prizes given away to luckily selected players$25 Marlow's Tavern Gift Card - Jeff D. (3.0) - Carl N. (3.0) - Rehan S.
$50 Sushi Nami Gift Card - Assam J. (5.5)
Blue Moon Pizza and Appetizer - Andrew M. (3.5)

13 players in this SMASH Tourney with skill levels ranging from 2.5 to 5.5 and a little over 2 hrs of play. No one had it easy but everyone had a lot of fun. Take Paul M. (5.5), a previous SMASH winner, going up against Adam S. (4.0) with every point counting in each game coming down to just one more point for Adam. Then Paul went up against Rehan S. (4.5) and Assam J. (5.5), and Carl N. (3.0). Claire B. (3.0), she's a first time player, facing Nick G. (3.5), then Jeff D. (3.0). I chalk her going home in the first round as just a learning experience - she'll be back! Adam M. (3.5), another first time player, came out of the gate strong against Assam J. (5.5) and Roland D. (3.0) but eventually had to bow out due to injury. Michael F. (2.5), another first time SMASH player, who likes to learn by fire by getting on the court against a giant like Assam J. (5.5) - That was as stressful for Michael as it was for Assam to keep cool and concentrate! This was Nick G.'s (3.5) second SMASH tourney and after getting eliminated the first round in that first tourney, he came out of the gate cutting through players for this one and held down the winner's bracket almost to #1! Roland D. (3.0) and Jeff D. (3.0) both got a lot of great matches in, playing over 9 games and at least 4 opponents.

All in all there was a lot of fun - too much to write - Next time get there!

Check below for all the pics and vids and thought provoking commentary.

The next SMASH Tourney will be held 11am Saturday JAN 27 at Lifetime Fitness - Sandy Springs. Registration is open! JAN 27 Squash SMASH Tourney Registration Form. You can see all upcoming SMASH events on the SMASH Tourney Schedule.

Check the side bar for the latest Squash SMASH Tourney's Winner's Circle and other info about the EvenSquash handicap system and tournaments.

Until the next event, you can always follow along with live updates and latest info on Twitter @EvenSquash, Facebook @EvenSquash, Instagram @EvenSquash. And you can always add your email address (see the left side bar) to get emails about the latest posts.

- Bob -

Nick G. (3.5) vs. Andrew M. (3.5) (red shirt)
.... a few minutes of the finals ....

Nick G. (3.5) vs. Andrew M. (3.5) (red shirt)
... Some more of the finals.... looks like good squash!

Nick G. (3.5) vs. Andrew M. (3.5) (red shirt)
Some more finals - ya... that was a fun match to watch!

Nick G. (3.5) vs. Andrew M. (3.5) (red shirt)
First serve of the finals - Nick is ready to go.... 

Rehan S. (4.5) vs Carl N. (3.0) (white shorts)
Rehan showing perfect backhand form.... 

Carl N. (3.0) vs. Roland D. (3.0) (black pants)
Roland working on getting in the groove

Andrew M. (3.5) vs. Nick G. (3.5)
My read: Nick's gonna drop that ball.... 

Nick G. (3.5) vs. Andrew M. (3.5) (red shirt)
The first time they match up.... Nick lets Andrew know that he's serious.

Jeff D. (3.0) vs Rehan S. (4.5) (grey shorts)
Jeff taking Rehan's shot in stride... 

Carl N. (3.0) vs. Paul M. (5.5) (red shirt)
On the court, Carl is a little bunny rabbit... The kind of bunny that slays giants!

Nick G. (3.5) vs Roland D. (3.0)  (black pants)
Not sure what happened here but Roland looks pissed...

Claire B. (3.0) vs Jeff D. (3.0) (black shorts)
Some great points - the match could have gone either way...

Assam J. (5.5) vs Paul M. (5.5)
This was the match I wish I had on video... great play!

Roland D. (3.0) vs Adam M. (3.5) (blue shirt)
Adam's facial expression says it all....

Adam S. (4.0) vs Paul M. (5.5)
Paul giving Adam some tips.... well.... sort of....

Nick G. (3.5) vs. Paul D. (3.5)
Nick hitting some great shots and Paul looking for momentum