24 May 2022 / 3-Min Read / Translate↗
After a player dives, their tee-shirt normally touches the floor, leaving a wet patch. This wet patch might be slippery, meaning the diving player has altered the conditions of the court. It means that any movement over this wet patch could potentially be dangerous.
Technically, the diving player has altered the conditions of the court. However, players sweat all the time and leave droplets of sweat on the floor and nothing happens with that, although droplets and an area the size of a tee-shirt is very different.
It seems fair to me that if a player dives, the other player has the right to immediately stop and ask for a let. In fact the PSA tour has specifically created its PSA Initiative – “Diving and stopping the rally after a dive” that addresses this.
Where does that leave us for club and recreational squash though? Well, the simplest answer is to follow the PSA guidance, which is that once the player has dived the non-diving player should either continue playing or stop immediately and ask for a let. If the non-diving player continues, they can’t ask for a let related to the wet patch, and neither can the player who dived.
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That seems to be fair for both players. At amateur level, the chances are that once a player has dived, they won’t be able to get the next shot, but who knows, perhaps they are super fast and fit!
Personally, I don’t think diving should be allowed. Maybe I am old fashioned or just old, but it seems very unfair that part of the court has become potentially dangerous due to the conscious decision of one player.
I fully understand that from a spectator’s point of view, it certainly spices things up and makes for better visual soundbites (visualbites?), but the safety of players must be considered. That said, how many players have been injured because the wet patch caused by diving? Maybe none, but that might be because everybody avoids that area anyway.
Lastly, I don’t recommend you dive in your matches. The chance of injury might be too high, the chance of actually hitting a legal shot quite low and the chance of winning the point even lower.
Diving is spectacular to watch, but should it be allowed?