Tournament Report – Alex Hewitson at El Gouna

El Gouna International Open Squash Championship 2018

I have had the pleasure of being invited to referee at this prestigious PSA/WSA World Series event in El Gouna, Red Sea, Egypt. With 19 of the World Top 20 players in the Women’s event and 12 of the World Top 20 players in the Men’s event there have been many fantastic matches played in an electric atmosphere. The glass court is positioned at the marina in a great setting with classic Egyptian architecture as the backdrop.
There have been a lot of learning opportunities, having refereed 19 matches with players in the Top 50, Top 20 and Top 10 in the world. Some matches were more comfortably won, but many were gladiatorial, several lasting between 60 and 75 minutes. I was also able to get a passing assessment at WSF Regional referee level which assists in maintaining my current level, and a WSF World referee pass which is at the next level. This has given me a lot of feedback on areas to work on in the future and lots of information to bring back to South Africa and share with our referees.
Another great opportunity has been refereeing 6 matches on the glass court on SquashTV, 3 as Match Referee and 3 as Video Referee. It’s been eye opening to see the complexities and challenges faced in these situations where the referee is sometimes 20 m or more away from the ball and having to make difficult decisions, communicate with the video referee and manage the digital score keeping and decision-making software.
This evening I will have the great honour of refereeing a quarter-final match between Nour El Sherbini (#1) and Camille Serme (#6) on the glass court, so I am off to prepare for that now.
Thank you to Squash South Africa, KZN Squash and Chairman Mark Savides, Kloof Country Club, Gordon Rechner, Mike Collins and fellow squash friends in South Africa for their continued support.

With best regards,
Alex Hewitson
23 April 2018

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