Peter Eedy - 24 / 10 / 2019 @ 05:21
Good article, thanks.
I add that until the early 1980s, the Squash rules mandated that the head of the racket had to be of a certain maximum size and roughly circular (around 8"/200mm diameter, as I recall) and had to be made of wood. However, the shaft (from the grip to the throat) could be other materials--small diameter fibreglass and chrome-plated tubular steel were fairly common (this might have been a rule change from the 1960s?). The strings in 'good' rackets were natural gut (which didn't last very long) or nasty braided nylon in the cheaper rackets.
The wooden rackets weighed around 7-8 ounces (220 grams+)--around twice the weight of some modern rackets! Popular brands in the early 1970s in Australia were Dunlop Maxply, Spalding Executive and Slazenger
These rules were relaxed progressively from the early 1980s, to permit the use of composite materials (graphite and the like) and larger head sizes
Back in the day, grips were typically leather or towelling--no nice polyurethane grips! And the butt of the racket had a metal clip with a cord to wrap around your wrist to prevent the racket flying out of your hand.
As a former referee, I recall that teardrop-shaped rackets were sold in the early 1980s before the Squash rules permitted them--this presented a dilemma for referees, who were sometimes accused of being too pedantic!
My only regret about modern rackets is that they have robbed the game of much artistry (ditto tennis)--now everyone can hit the ball hard

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