An International Game Growing in the United States
Squash is an indoor racket sport played by an estimated 25 million people in 185 countries. Invented in England in the 1860s, the game is most popular in Europe, Australia, Egypt, and South Africa.
A New Hampshire boarding school built the first court in the United States in the 1884, and the Ivy League began competitive squash in the 1920s. In the following decades, the sport spread to most major and mid-sized American cities, though squash remained mostly limited to prep schools, elite colleges, and private clubs.
In recent years, squash has enjoyed a surge of growth in the United States, expanding faster here than any country in the world. There are more than 1 million squash players in the U.S., and many of the world’s largest squash tournaments now take place here.
Urban squash and education programs have played an important role in the sport’s growth. More than $50 million has been invested in the movement since 1996, and squash is now played in such communities as the Bronx, Harlem, South Chicago, Roxbury, and North Philadelphia.