The College Squash Association (CSA) Board of Directors, at a recent board meeting, adopted a structural change to the CSA National Team Championships, effective for the next full college squash season. The update creates a new championship event reserved specifically for college club teams, while limiting the current team championship format almost exclusively to varsity programs.
The CSA enacted this change for several reasons:
- The growing interest in collegiate club squash and the increased number of overall CSA member teams, which makes the current championship format unsustainable.
- The desire to create high-quality championship tournaments which effectively determine and celebrate the national champion varsity and club teams.
- The interest in expanding playing opportunities for new and emerging teams.
- The value of extending the season for club teams, affording them more chances to play regular season matches during the spring semester.
- The increased attention that can be paid to a wider set of teams by splitting the events.
While the COVID-19 pandemic adds uncertainty to next year’s championship schedule, the CSA wants to provide coaches and programs adequate notice of this new format as they prepare their teams for the coming season.
Details for the new college Club Team Championships will be determined in close collaboration with US Squash. The ultimate goal is to enrich the playing experience for all CSA players. Preliminary models have the college Club Team Championships scheduled a few weeks after the current set of championships.
“We are so excited about the prospects of this new college Club Team Championship event,” said CSA Executive Director & League Commissioner David Poolman. “It will be a great opportunity to showcase the club team players who work hard all season, as well as the sheer growth of college squash overall.”
Moving forward, the National Collegiate Men’s and Women’s Team Championships will feature only a few select club teams who qualify for the tournament. In the new format, only varsity teams will be guaranteed a spot in the National Team Championships.
Despite the change to the championship structure, college club teams will still be vital members of the CSA, benefitting from accreditation, support, and team management tools provided through CSA’s partnership with US Squash and Club Locker. As members of the CSA league, club teams will still have the option to play varsity teams to fill out their schedule and improve their ranking. The CSA also encourages club teams to seek its support if they are taking serious steps to pursue a transition to varsity status.
More updates will become available as plans for the 2020-2021 season solidify.