You won’t find it in the South. You won’t find it in the West. You will, however, find it at Dartmouth, and at most other colleges in America’s northeast. It’s called squash, and around here, it’s just another racquet sport.
Curious? You should be. A somewhat-complex, fiercely-competitive, indoor-only, two-person game, squash has taken its place as one of the more interesting sports Dartmouth offers.
Being from the Northeast, I actually have a little bit of experience with the game and can testify to how fun it can be. The racquet is light, and the ball, when properly used, is bouncy and fast. Because of the court setup, the ball will only go “out” on a truly erratic hit, so there is little need to prioritize placement over power. As a result, you can absolutely crank on the ball, whenever you feel like it.
And at the end of a tough week in February, I usually feel like it.
So this past weekend, a friend and I went over to Alumni gym and used our Dartmouth IDs to borrow two racquets and a ball. We went to the (gorgeous and incredibly well-maintained) courts at the back of the facility, and started our game.
After 45 minutes of absolutely pounding that ball into the wall, I felt like a completely new person. I didn’t even pay attention to the score; I was too busy pretending the ball was my Econ 1 midterm. Eye on the ball, line it up, and… smack. Sweet revenge.
All this was free, and all this was incredibly convenient. At home and in most places, squash is something of a luxury. Squash clubs are often expesive and a bit rare, and free court times are even rarer. But at Dartmouth, playing squash couldn’t be easier.
Now that mid-terms are over, and professors seem to be lightening up on homework, I may not need to return to this house of zen for some time. Or at least until Finals Week…