National Capital Squash (NCS) presents awards each year to recognize the achievements of juniors who have excelled in US Squash sanctioned play during the previous year. Awards are usually presented between the third weekend in May to mid-June at a special ceremony.
To be eligible for any junior award a player must be a member of NCS and have no serious on- or off-court conduct violations. Players must have played in at least four tournaments in the previous year or for a high school varsity team at a boarding school away from the NCS district. Players must also have passed at least the Club referee exam (see this page for info on how to take it). Rankings are generally based on the first ranking run after the National Silver Championships, except as noted below. For players who age out after the qualification date for the national championships, the ranking for the national championship may be used.
Most Valuable Players: This award is given to any player with a national ranking from #1 to #32 between February 1 and March 15, who was accepted to play in a full draw of the U.S. Junior Squash Championships, won the U.S. Junior Silver Squash Championships, was named an All-American by US Squash or ranked in the top 50 in the US Squash High School rankings.
If there are no players in the top 32 nationally (or who played in the National Championship) in an age/gender division, then the top ranked NCS player in that age division will receive a Most Valuable Player Award if he was ranked in the top 64 (and top half of all nationally ranked players) or placed 25th or higher in a full draw (or in the top half of a draw) at the US Squash Silver Championship. If more than one player is ranked with ten spots of the other, NCS may decide that both may receive the award. If there are no players who meet these criteria, then the top ranked player (if ranked in the top 100 in the US Squash High School rankings) on a boarding school team outside the NCS district, if any, will receive this award.
All Stars: This award is given to any player with a national ranking of #33 to #64 (#33 to #50 in U11), placed 25th or higher in a full draw (or finishing in the top half or winning Plate 2 or better of a draw) at the US Squash Silver Championship, or made the semifinals of or won the 5th place match at the US Squash Bronze Championship with a draw size of 16 or more. If there are no players who receive a Most Valuable Player Award in an age/gender division, then the highest ranked player in that division (if ranked #128 or higher and in the top 50% of nationally ranked players) will receive an All Star Award.
National Team Awards: This award is given to any player with a national ranking of #65 to #128 (and in the top 75% of nationally-ranked players), played in the US Squash Bronze Championship and won at least one match or ranked in the top 200 in the US Squash High School rankings (if at a boarding school outside the NCS district). Additionally, for age groups up through U15, the top 50% of NCS nationally ranked players in that age gender division will receive the award whether or not they are in the top 128 nationally.
Rookie of the Year Awards: A player must have played in three or fewer junior tournaments from in the year ending April 1 of the previous year’s season and no more than five junior tournaments before April 1 of the previous year’s season and received one of the above awards to be eligible for this award. This award will be based on the first rankings run after the US Squash Bronze Championship. For players who age out after the qualification date for the national championships, the ranking for the national championship may be used.
Up to four Awards may be given, two for boys and two for girls. One award may be given for age groups up through U13 and another for U15 through U19. The award will go to the player with the best relative ranking on a percentile basis, which permits a comparison between age groups. If there are five or more rookies in an age/gender division, the top ranked rookie in that group will win an Award. Players in U15 to U19 must be ranked in the top 100. Discretion may be used to award a player if he has played in four tournaments and aged out from one division to another during the season. In that case, the final national ranking (if based on at least three tournaments) prior to aging out may be used. Additional awards may be given if two or more players were within 1% of each other.
Most Improved Player Awards: One award may go to a player in each age and gender division from U13 to U19. This will be based on a comparison with the rating (not ranking) in the first ranking run after the National Silver Championships compared to the rating one year prior. A player must have a rating that was not provisional and based on at least four tournaments through March 31 of the prior year to be considered for this award. If no player in a division improves by at least 0.25 rating points, then no award would be given for that division. If a player has a ranking in two age divisions, he is eligible to win the award for either division, but not both.
For the 2013-2014 season, US Squash changed the methodology for computation of the skill rating. For this season, the most improved award was based on the increase of a players ranking (number of positions) compared to the previous season’s ranking, as listed in the player’s profile. The player with the largest relative ranking increase won the award. For example, if two players had their ranking go up by 50 spots, and one increased from 150th to 100th and the other went from 100th to 50th, the latter player would win the award. For the 2014-2015 season, the award was based on the skill rating increase compared to October 1, 2014, the date when the new skill rating system appeared to stabilize.
NCS reserves the right to change the criteria from year to year to account for changes in the US SQUASH ranking system or to account for other factors.