Refereeing Q&A

Refereeing Q&A

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Gallery coaching

Q&APosted by Guy Davies Mon, January 15, 2018 21:18:19
There is a tendency for members of the gallery to offer advice during the game, comments such as "Great drop shot, more of those", "Well played, more like that ",
"Keep them in the corners" etc.
If I am marking, I tell the culprits that any advice can only be given between games, and not within earshot of the opponent. Occasionally, I have said if gallery coaching persists, the culprit would have to leave the gallery.
Gallery spectators generally look at me in disbelief !
Please clarify what can be said from the gallery in between points in a game.

  • Comments(1)

Posted by Dean Clayton Tue, January 16, 2018 12:45:53

You're absolutely right Guy. Under rule 15.6.10, coaching is only allowed between games though it doesn't necessarily have to be out of earshot of the opponent. That's only a practical consideration as it would perhaps be unwise to let them know what was likely to change. I find it quite effective to advise the players that they will attract conduct penalties if coaching continues during play. It usually works but if it doesn't, a conduct warning should be given to the player together with a warning to the audience that play will be suspended until the offending spectator either stops coaching or moves away from the court, followed by a conduct stroke on a second occasion and removal of the spectator.

After any conduct penalty is given, it is wise to advise the player what the next step will be if the behaviour is repeated. For example, after a conduct warning, tell the player that recurrence will incur a conduct stroke and make sure that they understand by asking them "Do you understand?" and getting a positive response. Then, if the offence is repeated, immediately follow up with the threatened penalty. Note that a conduct stroke is in addition to the outcome of the rally and does not change the side from which a player serves.

The current WSF rules of singles squash may be viewed or downloaded at The England Squash code of conduct may be viewed or downloaded at A conduct report form must be completed in respect of any conduct penalty other than a conduct warning and it may be completed online at

I hope this helps but if anything isn't clear, please do reply and I'll do my best to clear things up.