Planning our return to the court

Planning our return to the court

Most, if not all of you, will be aware that the Victorian State Government has announced that from 22 June 2020 all indoor sport and recreation activities may reopen with up to 20 people per space and up to 10 people per group or activity at any one time.

The sports of Squash and Racquetball are covered by this announcement, but this does NOT mean that we can simply walk into our venues on 22 June and expect to play.

There are a number of hurdles which must be cleared before any of us can hit a ball against a wall.


  • Squash and Racquetball has produced a “Plan for Operating a Squash and Racquetball Venue under COVID-19 Restrictions as at 3 June 2020.”
  • The Plan has been submitted for approval by the Victorian Government
    • This approval is expected by 12 June 2020
  • Each venue offering the sports of Squash and Racquetball must produce its own Operating Plan which must also be approved by the Victorian Government.
    • These plans are being drawn up in conjunction with, and ahead of approval of the S&RV Plan.
  • S&RV will circulate the approved Operating Plan to all stakeholders including Venues, Clubs, Associations and players as soon as it is approved.

We encourage all players to contact their home Club / Venue once the approved Operating Plan is available to ascertain the Venue Specific Rules relating to booking of court time and all aspects related to Player Numbers, Social Distancing and Cleanliness.

What can we, as players, expect on 22 June ?

Only symptom free patrons and staff will be permitted to enter Squash Courts

  • Only two people will be allowed on each court. This will allow:
    • Singles match play or rallying
    • Solo training
    • One on one coaching
    • Coaching of 2 players by a coach outside the court under certain conditions explained below
  • Doubles play is strictly prohibited
  • There are to be no spectators
  • The maximum number of people in the centre will be the maximum number permitted on court plus the minimum number of staff members required to operate the centre safely
    • A coach training 2 players on court is included in this maximum number which may reduce the number of players allowed at that time
  • There are a number of strict measures relating to social distancing and cleanliness which must be adhered to at all times.
    • Pre-booking of courts will be required
    • Walk up bookings will not be allowed
    • Players will not be permitted to enter the venue until their allocated time, or until allowed by a staff member and must exit within 5 minutes of their time expiring
    • No socialising will be allowed within the centre

    These restrictions mean that it is not yet possible to resume ESRA Pennant competition.

    It does however mean that we will soon able to get back on the court and once again enjoy our chosen sport(s). We will work with Squash & Racquetball Victoria and all stakeholders to ensure that we can resume ESRA Pennant competition at the earliest appropriate opportunity.

    We are mindful that a number of our cohort fall within the “vulnerable” category, based on age and / or pre-existing health concerns. We will survey all players in coming days to better understand who among us are ready to get back on court immediately and who wish to delay their return until a later date. This information will assist us to form Teams and Grades for the resumption of Pennant.

    We look forward to the time when we can once again enjoy the full competitive and social aspects of ESRA Racquetball.

    The ESRA Committee

    This announcement in PDF format
    We Shall Return

COVID-19 – Coronavirus

Here is a message from Richard Vaughan, CEO Squash Australia dated 12 March, relating to COVID-19 precautions.
Much has transpired in the 48 hrs since this was posted. We will keep you updated if the situation changes.–squash-australia-thursday-march-12

Please consider your opponents and your teammates. If you are feeling unwell please arrange for someone to fill in for you.

Ian Chalmers – President ESRA

Autumn 2020 – Round 2 Ladder

Sadly our 100% record on record keeping hasn’t been maintained in week 2 with one match result still outstanding.

Thanks to everyone who is self-reporting results! Much appreciated.

Good luck to everyone playing in the ESRA Tournament event tomorrow! Enjoy the bye week for recovery and happy racquetballing!

– Kristel.

2020 ESRA Racquetball Tournament @ Westerfolds Bayswater

Sat 15 & Sun 16 February
Westerfolds Bayswater
3 James Street

Thank you to all ESRA players supporting this weekend’s event. When entries closed, the number of 2020 Autumn Pennant players registered to play, or assisting with the organisation of the tournament totalled 54. This is a great result and we thank you all most sincerely.

All profits from the tournament will be directed to support members of the Squash & Racquetball community affected by the Bushfires. Our main sources of profit include canteen profits and proceeds of the raffles held on both days. All food has been donated as have all raffle prizes so anything you contribute to the canteen or the raffle will go directly to Bushfire relief.

Those of you who are unable to play due to injury or who have competing commitments may like to drop by for a while to support the players. We have a red hot field of 14 contesting the Men’s open on Saturday, with the major absentee being Cam White who as a CFA Firefighter is rostered to work. You will see some great racquetball and have the opportunity to contribute through the canteen or the raffle. Alternately, you might like to contact Ian Chalmers (0418 372 560) who will be happy to sell you raffle tickets. Credit and Debit card facilities will be available.

Check out Paul Vear’s preview of the event:

Autumn 2020 – Round 1 Ladder

Congratulations to all teams on the perfect start to the season with all results being submitted on time! It really makes this task significantly easier when everyone sends through their results sheet on time, and I appreciate your efforts.

Thank you also to those captains that input their own results. Hopefully it wasn’t too scary! =D

– Kristel.

Autumn 2020 Season Updates

Autumn 2020 Pre-Season Meeting
Thursday 30th January 7.30PM
Westerfolds Bayswater

Please ensure two members of each team are present at the pre-season meeting. Failure to meet this requirement will result in your team being penalised 150 points.

Autumn 2020 Season
Commences Monday 3rd February (*)

Fixtures and team lists can be found on the ESRA Autumn 2020 Competition spreadsheet. We have asked all team captains to check their team details to ensure everything is correct prior to the pre-season meeting.

Autumn 2020 Grand Finals
Monday 15 June 7:30PM
Westerfolds Bayswater

Finals for the Autumn 2020 season will revert to Monday. The ESRA committee has worked with S&RV to ensure any clashes that may occur will only be with regular season matches. There should be no finals conflicts.

There are four significant changes for the Autumn 2020 pennant season:

Captains now have the ability to enter team and player performance scores at the conclusion of each match. A photo of the results sheet must still be emailed to If you’re not comfortable entering results, it will be done for you when results are audited on Fridays.

John Souness is managing the introduction of a Doubles Only grade to cater for players who are no longer physically able to enjoy playing singles or prefer doubles play. It will most likely be played on Wednesday nights and will alternate between Mountain District and Westerfolds Bayswater. Please contact John on 0413 522 778 or email at if you would like to sign up. A proposed list of players so far has been added to the Competition spreadsheet.

Grades 4 and 5 have been consolidated for the course of the regular home and away season. Finals will be played between the top 4 teams for Grade 4 and the bottom 4 teams for Grade 5. Player feedback on 4-team grades has been negative and we feel this gives players more variety in their hits as well as opportunities to be exposed to different skills. We acknowledge that there are logical Grade 4 and Grade 5 teams within the grade and are working with teams and coordinators to ensure top up players are available to Grade 5 teams when required.

Playing fees have increased to $20 per player ($60 per team). This is in line with the recommendations from Squash and Racquetball Victoria.

ESRA Racquetball Tournament
15 – 16 February 2020

Singles will be played on Saturday and doubles on Sunday. A bye round has been fixtured for the competition for the week commencing Monday 17th February. You can enter the event now.

We have scheduled this in response to player feedback regarding the difficulty of backing up and playing pennant the day after the tournament weekend. We hope this break will encourage more ESRA players to compete. We are mindful players have commitments other than racquetball. If you can’t play on both days, feel free to play in either the singles or doubles! You’re guaranteed to have a good time and you’ll be helping to contribute to bushfire relief and recovery!

The ESRA tournament draws a good number of players from NE Victoria and Gippsland. Both areas have been severely impacted by recent fires. The ESRA tournament committee have determined that all profits from this year’s tournament event will be donated to Bushfire Relief and Recovery in NE Victoria and Gippsland. We will consult with the racquetball communities in both areas to determine where our donations should best be directed.

Work has been undertaken in the off season to update member databases to enable better communication and to ensure we comply with our obligations as an Incorporated Association. There are still a few loose ends to be tidied up and we hope that this can be accomplished at the pre-season meeting. We look forward to seeing you there and wish you all the best for the season ahead.

Happy racquetballing!

The ESRA Committee

(*) Amended date: Time machine no longer required to make start of season.

Grand Final Results and Best Player Awards

Congratulations to all Grand Finals winners and best players!

Grade 1 Grand Final – MCC Steel (157) d Dromana Devils (128)
Grade 2 Grand Final – MCC Maulers (156) d Bayswater Braves (151)
Grade 3 Grand Final – MCC Maniacs (176) d MD Crocs (123)
Grade 4 Grand Final – MCC Gypsies (151) d MD Crusaders (148)
Grade 5 Grand Final – MD Treemen (156) d MD Pink Panthers (145)

Best Player Awards
(having played 7 or more matches at the position#)

G1#1 Geoff Wilcock – Wilco’s Warriors
G1#2 Nelson Turner – MCC Hacks
G1#3 Greg Ajani – MCC Hacks

G2#1 Alan Deans – Bayswater Braves
G2#2 Marcus Horvat – Bayswater Braves
G2#3 Bruce Stephens – MD Champs

G3#1 Lance Cowan – MCC Maniacs
G3#2 Craig Syms – MCC Maniacs
G3#3 Robin Clarke – MCC Magic

G4#1 Mark Purtin – Bayswater Bandits
G4#2 David Niven – MD Crusaders
G4#3 Paul Johnson – MD Crusaders

G5#1 Paul Johnson – MD Treemen
G5#2 Sara Alger – MD Pink Panthers
G5#3 Tim Hill – MD Pink Panthers