#InTheLoop | International Tournament Attracts Squash Royalty to Queens
BY QEDC It's In Queens
All are invited to consume squash and empanadas over Memorial Day Weekend.
The racquet sport, that is.
The International Squash Master Tour will unfold in Maspeth from Friday, May 26, to Monday, May 29.
About 50 players from around the United States and Latin America will participate in this four-day tournament. They’ll compete for glory, exercise, fun, and trophies in various age and skill divisions with singles and doubles draws.
Attendance is free, and matches start at 9 am on weekend mornings. In a side area, a few Argentina natives will sell empanadas, coffee, alfajores, sandwiches, and drinks.
International Squash Master is a new circuit of competitions with men’s and women’s divisions and categories that include Over 30, Over 40, Over 50, Over 60, and Over 70. Maspeth is the first stop. Then the tour goes to Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Mexico, and Spain.
Sounds great, but squash? Isn’t that a kind of pumpkin?
The racquet sport involves hitting and chasing a small rubber ball inside a four-walled court. Invented in a London prison in the 19th century, it has long been mainstream in England and former British colonies such as Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. In the United States, it’s especially popular among Wall Street types and New Englanders, but it’s growing and spreading to other parts of the country and populations.
The Queens court is unique in many ways. Located on the Maspeth Welding property at 59-30 54th St. within the area’s Industrial Business Zone, the venue has a glass back wall, three steel walls, and a wood-panel floor suspended on steel. And in complete contrast to the standard version, it has no roof. (Yes, there are rain delays…snow delays, too. Simply dry the surface with a squeegee after a storm and resume play.)
Finished in 2020, the facility is a dream come true for its founders and main proponents — best friends Robert Gibralter and Jeff Anschlowar, who’s president of Maspeth Welding. Gibralter runs Maspeth Welding Arts, an arts program that collaborates with Queens Council on the Arts on various projects. He was recently appointed Director of Growth with the Squash and Education Alliance.
Editor’s note: See you in the Industrial Business Zone this weekend, and may the best man (and woman) win!
Images: Maspeth Squash