Professional Squash Association (PSA) Refereeing Director Lee Drew has been appointed as the Head of World Squash Officiating (WSO), an organisation dedicated to the regulation and development of squash officiating worldwide
WSO – established in a partnership between the World Squash Federation (WSF) and PSA in 2019 – was created to professionalise and standardise squash officiating across the globe. WSO provides a complete pathway of globally recognised courses from the grassroots level to the pinnacle of the game with an aim of improving refereeing performance and enhancing player education. Additionally, WSO offers support to continents, Member Nations, Federations, and individuals via modular online and in-person products such as workshops, appraisals, appraiser training, mentoring, coaching, event officiating management and match seminars.
The WSO website features a comprehensive list of resources such as flowcharts for the rules, online courses, updates from recent events for referees and articles, as well as other informative content surrounding the rules. There is also a video library, which explains previous decisions made by referees at PSA tournaments. WSO will work closely with the sport’s various stakeholders – including Member Federations and tournament organisers – to ensure that WSO’s officiating standards are implemented worldwide.
Drew, a former World Tour player and England Junior National Coach who became Refereeing Director for the PSA in 2014, will spearhead WSO’s efforts to improve officiating standards across the sport, strengthen the organisation’s operational team, and hire the sport’s first full-time professional referees.
“The opportunity of evolving WSO is exciting because it can have a huge impact on officiating and the way the game is played and portrayed,” said Drew.
“It is important that we develop a consistent message and communicate it globally. WSO needs to move forward as a high-performing entity that offers world-class products and delivery. There is currently a massive disparity between money generated in the game and the money invested into officiating, and we want to begin to professionalise the sector and reinvest back into the development of officiating at all levels.
“A major goal for WSO is to introduce more people to the rules and officiating as early on in their experience of squash as possible. To achieve this, it is crucial that we get our messaging and content circulating worldwide with the support from as many squash stakeholders as possible.”
WSF Chief Executive William Louis-Marie said: “The development of worldwide qualified referees remains an important goal of the WSF and the appointment of Lee as the head of WSO will help build on the work that has already been accomplished in the last couple of years.
“We are confident that WSO will greatly contribute to the growth of the refereeing community in a more diverse and inclusive way in keeping with the universality of our sport and offer more opportunities for the international referees to officiate at all major events around the world. Lee’s input has already been visible with the recent addition of new educational courses aimed at giving all our players a better understanding of the rules of the sport.”
PSA Chief Executive Alex Gough said: “In his nine years as PSA Refereeing Director, Lee has played an important role in overseeing the development of refereeing within the professional game, and I am confident he will be a valuable asset to the WSO.
“We want squash to be an entertaining and free-flowing sport and the WSO will play a crucial role in developing referees and educating our athletes to ensure that the sport remains an engaging spectacle at the highest level.”