The World Squash Federation (WSF) Men's World Team Championship has announced that it will take place in the United States for the first time in the event's 50-year history, choosing Washington, D.C. as the host city for the event between December 14-21, 2019. D.C.'s premier squash facility, Squash On Fire, will serve as the hub for the championship, accommodating the majority of the matches over the week-long event.
The World Squash Federation is the governing body for the sport of squash, representing 150 National Federation members and around 50,000 courts worldwide. Since its launch in 1967 in Australia, the Men's World Team Championship has been staged in twelve countries—including Canada in 1977, and most recently in France in 2017—but never before in the United States.
Team USA has competed in the championship since recording a fifth-place finish in the 1973 event in South Africa, and has seen tremendous support in recent years coinciding with an unprecedented period of growth stateside in the sport. Thirty-two national teams are set to make their way to Washington, D.C. for the event this December.
“The United States continues to be one of the most exciting and fastest-growing markets for squash in the World,” said WSF Chief Executive Andrew Shelley.
“Three major World titles in an 18-month period, with the World Masters in Charlottesville, VA, the World Individual Championships Open in Chicago and the World Men's Team Championships in Washington, D.C. this year, amply demonstrate the vibrancy of squash in the United States. An international city, Washington, D.C. is the perfect backdrop to showcase this major world event as it has clearly become a top-tier sports destination.”
In addition to Squash On Fire, attendees will be able to experience this historic event in one of D.C.'s landmark buildings, the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. Located in the heart of our nation's capital, this highly trafficked, historic venue will be home to the final three days of exhibition matches, with a showcase court erected in the building.
Over the past year, Squash On Fire has hosted six major squash tournaments, and, for the first time ever in the U.S., will host top players from around the world competing in the Men's World Team Championship. Boasting eight courts, including an all-glass showcase court, Squash On Fire's unmatched world-class services secured the rights to this event within a week of opening its doors as the ideal place to host the inaugural Men's World Team Championship in the U.S.
Opened in 2017, Squash On Fire leads the trend away from squash being played in private clubs and instead offers a unique “pay to play,” no membership model with programming designed by award-winning coaches such as Belgian National Coach Ronny Vlassaks and Amir Wagih, who recently returned to Egypt to prepare its national team for this tournament.
“The arrival of Squash On Fire has revolutionized the way squash is played in the District, and hosting the 2019 WSF Men's World Team Championship is a testament to that,” said Squash On Fire Co-Founder Philippe Lanier.
“We want to make D.C. the squash capital of the United States this year and it is an honor to host this event in our game-changing facility. We are looking forward to welcoming players from all over the world.”
“It is a proud moment anytime I'm competing for Team USA, but getting the opportunity to showcase the Men's Team at the World Team Championships in D.C. is truly a special event,” said Chris Hanson (NY) Dartmouth Grad '13, 2x and Defending U.S. Champion & Team USA Veteran.
“Our team travels all around the world for these kinds of events, so playing this one at home will give us the opportunity to make our fans and country proud. It's great to have a club like Squash On Fire carving a new path for the growth of squash by having a 'no-membership' required approach. I believe accessibility will be one of the key drivers of growth for squash in this country, so these kinds of innovative concepts are crucial to continue moving in the right direction.”
For more information on the 2019 Championship event, including schedule, tickets and sponsorship opportunities, please visit worldteamsquashdc.com.