The history of squash is littered with many incredible world records. From the world’s longest ever recorded game, to the fastest ever squash shot, this article has the definitive list of all the most spectacular records in the sport’s long pantheon.
What is the Longest Squash Marathon?
There have been many attempts at this record, and it is a record that has been broken many times, sometimes within the space of a few months.
According to the Guinness World Records website, the current record is 38 hours, 0 minutes and 27 seconds. This was achieved by Len Granger and Jamie Barnett, who are both from the UK. Their marathon squash stint took place at Barnt Green Sports Club in Barnt Green, Worcestershire in the UK between 4th and 5th September 2015.
They raised approximately £5000 for two charities, St Paul’s Hospice and Hospice UK.
There have been other notable attempts on this record in the past. Father and son duo Brett Mayer (father) and James Mayer (son) have held the record on a couple of occasions.
They first set the record back in 2008 when they played for 25 hours and 55 minutes straight. The record attempt was also a charity fund-raising event, with proceeds going to the Child Cancer Foundation.
This charity had helped one of their family friends who had been diagnosed with cancer at the age of 12 and sadly later passed away. His death came just three days before that first record. Their efforts raised a total of $26,000.
Since that attempt the record was broken several other times by other people. On April 11th and 12th 2015 they set the record again, by playing for 36 hours at Howick Squash Club in New Zealand.
The rules for all of these attempts are that you are allowed a five minute break for every hour of play. This is to eat, drink and use the toilet.
Breaks can be accumulated and they are often used more towards the end when playing on is much harder.
Note – A squash player called Paul Holmes has disputed this World Record with Guinness, as he claims to have played a game of 121 hours and 16 minutes back in 1984, using the same criteria of 5 minute breaks every hour. This dispute has not currently been upheld by Guinness World Records.
The Longest Unofficial Squash Marathon
In 2017 Kaitlyn Watts and Richard Bell, both 16 at the time, played squash for 40 hours and 41 seconds.
Unfortunately their attempt could not be officially recognised by Guinness World Records, as there was no official on site to monitor and record the attempt.
Apparently that would have cost £2000 and those involved with the attempt said that could not be justified. They had, though, raised £10,000 in an attempt to raise funds to play squash tournaments in America.
Speaking after the attempt, Kaitlyn spoke of how she had hallucinated and felt faint.
A twenty minute nap towards the end of the attempt really helped.
Longest Squash Rally
The current world record was achieved on Saturday 10th December 2016 at Edinburgh Sports Club.
Squash players Simon Boughton and Mark James broke the record with an astonishing rally of 2536 shots.
Once again this was a fund-raiser and helped to raise money for Kenya.
The rally lasted for one hour, four minutes, and 28 seconds.
Highest ever prize money for a competition
Highest Ever Prize Money For A Competition
Prize money is increasing in the squash world year after year. The highest ever prize fund is for the 2018/19 Professional Squash Association World Championships.
As part of a multi-year sponsorship deal with the Chicago-based Walter family, the Association has announced that this year’s prize fund with be $1million dollars split between the male and female winners. This is double the prize awarded in 2017.
What Is The Longest Professional Match?
Squash is a relatively fast sport when compared with others. There have only ever been four matches recorded that have lasted longer than 2 and a half hours.
Possibly the most famous of these, though no longer the longest, was when Jahangir Khan took 166 minutes to get past Gamal Awad in the 1983 Chichester Festival. Khan’s game in general was noted for his exceptional levels of stamina. Apparently Awad was a pretty much broken man after this game, and his career never recovered.
This match held the world record for a staggering 32 years.
However, the current holders of the record are Shawn Delierre and Leo Au. Their match at the Holtrand Gas City Pro-Am 2015 in Canada continues to hold the record for the longest match to this day. Coming in at 170 minutes, it was the closest the pro game had ever seen to the three hours point.
What is even more remarkable about this game is that it was a semi-final won by Au, and he went on to win the final 24 hours later.
What is the world record for the fastest a squash ball has gone?
What Is The World Record For the Fastest Ever Squash Ball?
This is another record that has had many contenders and numerous attempts.
The record is currently held by the huge-hitting Aussie Cameron Pilley.
Pilley is a professional squash player from Yamba, Australia. At six foot three, he is a towering presence on the court. He is currently number 27 in the world (December 2018), but has been as high as 17 in recent years.
Pilley first broke the record for the fastest squash ball back in 2011 with a strike of 175 mph.
In 2014 he extended this to 176mph when attempting the record at Bishops Stortford Squash Club in England.
In 2015 he set the current world record of 177mph when tested again in Amsterdam.
The power of Pilley’s forehand is significantly greater than most of his squash peers. For example, Amr Shabana (four times world open champion) was clocked at only 133mph. This shows how power is only one very small element in the squash player’s armoury.
Longest unbeaten run
Longest Unbeaten Run
This is possibly the most famous record in all of squash.
The great squash champion Jahangir Khan, considered by many to be the greatest squash player of all time, was unbeaten in competitive play from 1981 to 1986.
All in all he recorded 555 consecutive wins in competitive matches. Not only is this a squash world record, but it is recognised by Guinness World Records as the world record for a winning streak by any athlete in any sport.
His run was finally ended in 1986 by New Zealand’s Ross Norman in the 1986 World Open Final.
Also the figure of 555 was only those games Khan played in competitive matches. Jahangir has recently said that the tally “could be more. The 555 figure should only be my tournament matches. I played invitational, exhibition and challenge matches. It could be between 600 to 700 matches if you include the others. Because I wasn’t losing those either.”
Most World Open Wins
The World Open has been won the most by Jansher Khan, with a record eight victories. The Pakistani squash great actually won five titles in a row between 1992 and 1996, another world record.
Jansher lost to his great adversary Jahangir Khan in the 1988 final.
However, he was able to find revenge in 1993 when he took the title over his nemesis.
Most British Open Wins
Jahangir Khan won the British Open a record ten times. This record is compounded by the fact that this took place over ten consecutive years. Jahangir also holds the record for the most final appearances, competing in eleven in total.
Closely following this record, the Australian squash great Geoff Hunt won the title 8 times.
Many years ago another Pakistani great, Hashim Khan, won it 8 times.
In more recent times Jansher Khan won this title 6 times.
Most Female World Open Wins
The female world open squash championships have been won by Malaysia’s Nicol David a record 7 times. This is perhaps no surprise as David has regularly been voted the greatest female squash player in fans polls, a recent one being the 2018 PSA poll.
Coming in behind David is the Australian great Sarah Fitz-Gerald. Born in Melbourne in 1968, Fitz-Gerald won five World Open titles– in 1996, 1997, 1998, 2001 and 2002.
First Squash Game?
Squash was first invented at the independent Harrow School in England.
The game evolved out of an older sport that was called rackets. Rackets was played with an extremely bouncy rubber ball. It was potentially slightly similar to the American modern racquetball.
Several pupils at the school experimented with playing rackets with rubber balls that had been punctured. They found that the balls bounced much lower, and this increased the complexity of the game.
In the past it had been more a game of waiting for the ball to bounce off the walls, but with the new punctured ball they had to move much faster around the court.
The level of agility and skill was increased, and a new sport was born.
Oldest World Champion
Squash is traditionally a game that finds that its exponents peak around their mid twenties, or even sometimes younger.
There have been very few champions over the age of 30.
The oldest of these was Geoff Hunt, who won the last of his four World Open titles in 1980 when he was 33 years and 6 months old. This record has stood for a surprising 34 years.
The record was under threat in 2014 when Nick Matthew, then aged 34, got through to the World Open Semi-Finals. However, he was defeated by Mohamed Elshorbhagy.
Youngest World Champion
There have been many notable young squash champions. The youngest player to lift the coveted World Open Championship has been Jahangir Khan when he was aged just 17 years old, in 1981. He beat Geoff Hunt in the final. Khan was in his prime extremely young, his unbeaten years being between the age of 17 and 23.
Most Months In The Top Ten
The player that has achieved the most successive months in the world top 10 is Malaysia’s Nicol David.
In July 2016, she reached her 151st successive month in the top 10. This broke the record for both the men’s and the women’s categories.
The male with the longest successive number of months in the top 10 is Scotland’s Peter Nicol. He recorded 150 consecutive months.
Longest Number One Reign
The longest number one reign was again recorded by Niccol David. Beginning in August 2006, David was the world number one for a record-breaking 108 consecutive months.
She was finally overtaken in September 2015, nine years later. Her successor was Raneem El Weleily from Egypt.
How long does a squash match last? A squash match can last anywhere between about fifteen minutes and two hours. Generally, a game for beginners will last about twenty minutes, matches for club players will be forty minutes, and professional matches will last somewhere between an hour and an hour and a half.
Who is the best squash player of all time? Jahangir Khan has regularly been voted as the greatest squash player of all time. His consecutive string of ten British Open victories, and five-year winning streak make him a formidable presence in the pantheon of the greats.
Who is the best female squash player of all time? Nicol David has often been voted as the greatest female squash player. She has won far more world open championship titles than anyone else, currently holding seven. She was the world number one for nine straight years.