Squash men’s team championship series makes first U.S. visit in DC

Squash appears to be gaining popularity in the United States as the Men’s World Team Squash Championship is being held in the U.S. for the first time in its 50 year history. (WTOP/Liz Anderson)
(WTOP/Liz Anderson)
Ian Warthin and his 5-year-old son Owen were watching the back and forth between Egypt and Team USA. (WTOP/Liz Anderson)
(WTOP/Liz Anderson)
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If gourds are first of mind when you hear the word “squash,” think again. The sport appears to be gaining popularity in the United States as the World Squash Federation Men’s World Team Squash Championship is being held in the U.S. for the first time in the federation’s 50 year history.

“Squash is in a fantastic place,” said Tim Garner, championship director.

The competition got underway in Northwest, D.C. Sunday, and included matches between Team USA and Egypt — the current titleholders.

“It’s comprised of 23 nations from around the world battling it out to be world champion,” said Tim Garner, championship director. “They’re all grouped into six groups of teams, and they play each other in their group and they progress to the knockout stage which starts on Wednesday,” Garner said.

Each team consists of four members.

Ian Warthin and his 5-year-old son Owen were watching the back and forth between Egypt and Team USA.

Warthin grew up in the D.C. area and has been following the sport nearly 20 years, since he was in college. These days, he’s introducing it to his son.

“I think Egypt has four or five of the Top 10 players in the world. It’s going to be an uphill battle. France is another powerhouse,” Warthin told WTOP.

As for Owen, he enjoys the sport. “I like it when America wins,” but not so much “when they lose really badly,” he said.

The championship is being hosted at Squash on Fire in Northwest D.C. through December 21, 2019.

Schedules and tickets are available on the tournament’s website. The matches are also being streamed on Facebook Live.

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