Useful Information for STSC Squash Members

On this page you will find bits and bobs of information to help you play squash and racketball at STSC. If you can’t find what you are looking for, please take a look at the other pages on our website, contact a member of the Squash Committee or ask at the bar. We are always happy to help!

I would like to play squash and racketball at STSC, where do I start?

There are 2 squash courts at STSC. In order to play here, you will need to become familiar with the following:

• The court booking sheet
• Booking stamps
• Lighting tokens (silver) and heating tokens (gold)
• Swipe card

Here’s what you do. Look on the court booking sheet, which is located under the squash noticeboard in the corridor between the bar and the squash courts.  Find an available 40 minute slot.  From April 2010, if you want to book a court you need to buy a booking stamp from the bar (50p), stick it on the slot and write your name on it.  The previous practice of “pencilling in your name” to book a court will no longer be permitted.

If you come to the club and want to play without booking, you can, as long as the court isn’t already booked with a stamp.

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Is there a limit on how many courts I can book?

No.  You can book as many courts as you like.  However, if you book courts, please use them.  The club does not support members who book courts and then don’t use them.  Please be considerate to other players.

It’s a bit dark on court, how do I turn the lights on?

If you want to play you will need light!  Lighting tokens are silver, they cost 50p each from the bar, they last about 45 mins and they go in the meter outside your court of play.  You cannot play without light, it is dangerous and almost impossible anyway so don’t try it.

The lighting tokens are currently only available from the bar, which is not open all the time, so please buy plenty in advance.

It’s chilly in winter – how do I turn the heaters on?

In winter, you may want to put the court heaters on.  You will need a heating token, which is gold, costs £1 each from the bar, lasts 40 mins and goes in the meter on the balcony between the two courts.

The heating tokens are currently only available from the bar, which is not open all the time, so please buy plenty in advance.

How do I get through the door to the courts?

The door to the squash courts (and the external gate which leads to the tennis courts from the front of the club) is operated by a swipe card.  Please make sure this door is closed during play and after you leave etc, to help with security and air circulation. You should have received your swipe card when you joined the club, if you didn’t then please ask at the bar.  Replacement cards can be purchased for £5 each from the club secretary.

What’s that dial for at the top of the spiral staircase?

Ah ha!  Well spotted.  When you stand on the squash court balcony, you will notice a false ceiling above your head.  There is an extraction fan inside the false ceiling, which draws air from the “tin” at the bottom of each court, through the courts and out to the atmosphere.  The aim of this is to provide hot, sweaty squash players with some much-needed fresh air, and to try to reduce condensation on the court walls.  If you notice condensation, or if there are a lot of players on the courts/balcony at once (e.g. during a team match or mixing in), or you notice condensation on the walls, please turn up the fan.  Likewise, if you are cold, please turn it down.

How do I make the extraction fan come on?

It comes on automatically using motion detectors on each court (clever stuff, thanks to “Maintenance Mike”).  If it doesn’t seem to be working then please check that the red switch on the unit at the top of the spiral staircase is lit and “on”.  Using a motion detector means that we are not drawing in air from outside 24 hours per day, which keep the courts warmer in winter.

How do I play squash when the clubhouse is shut? The front door is locked!

The club is open at the following times:

17.00 – 23.00 – Mon-Fri
12.00 – 23.00 on Saturdays
12.00 – 21.30 on Sundays

When the clubhouse is closed, you can access the changing rooms from the conservatory.  Use your swipe card to open the side gate which takes you to the tennis courts and enter the conservatory from next to the picnic benches.  To get to the squash courts, exit the conservatory by the picnic benches again, turn right and right again to enter the corridor just outside the door to the courts.  You will need your swipe card to get through the door.

Can I wear stilettos on court, jangly jewellery and flares?

Please wear “non-marking” footwear, i.e. trainers which don’t leave big black streaks all over the floor of the courts.  Eye protection must be worn by juniors and is recommended for everyone else. Jewellery is not recommended, please use your common sense with other clothing and flares are a crime against fashion, so please don’t wear those either.

Can non-members play at the club?

STSC welcomes any guests you would like to bring to the club.  Non-members need to be accompanied by a member who signs them in either the guest book at the bar or (if the clubhouse is shut) the one by the squash court booking sheet.  Or alternatively non-members are welcome to attend our Sunday Mixing in Night.  There is a fee of £5 per guest per visit (£2 for juniors). Please pay your fee at the bar or (if the clubhouse is shut) put it in an envelope and post it through the front door.  The same guest can play at the club a maximum of 3 times in total.  After that, they must be in love with the club so please encourage them to join!

How do I find some nice people to play squash against?

If you want to improve your game and meet a whole bunch of new people at STSC, then it’s a good idea to join one or all of our squash leagues, ladders and teams. Please see the league, and team pages for more information.

My ball has burst, my grip has come off, and I’ve broken a string, I can’t play!

Yes you can!  A range of squash balls and grips is available from behind the bar at £2.50 each.  Does the range of squash balls baffle you?  Are you a beginner and your double-spot ball doesn’t bounce very much? Take a look at the squash balls information poster here and on the noticeboard and work out the best ball for you.  STSC members are also eligable for 10% off at Cheam Sports, just take along your membership card to claim your discount.

Our head tennis coach, Garry Davis, offers a speedy and reliable racket stringing service on the premises.  Ask at the bar for details.

Do you run tournaments and events?

Yes we run an annual Club Championships and an annual Handicap Tournament (where people start the match on different scores depending on their ability) together with a variety of other events.  See the Previous Events and Upcoming Events pages for more information.  Keep your eyes peeled on the noticeboards for information about past and future tournaments and please enter!. If people don’t enter then we can’t run the tournaments and we can’t hold events, it’s a simple as that.

I like racketball, can I play that at STSC?

Yes, of course. You just have to book the courts and use the lights/heating in the same way. There are quite a few racketball players at the club so contact one of the squash committee if you would like to be put in touch with them. Rackets and balls are available for hire behind the bar for £1 per racket.

Do you run social events and is food available?

Brad and Gill run the bar and provide an excellent catering and bar service. They, together with an active social committee, put on a series of social events throughout the year including Burns Night, dances, prize draws, Sunday Lunches and Barbeques, fancy dress events, Pimms night and all-you-can-eat curry evenings to name but a few.  Please sign up to these events if you would like to take part.  If there is a social event you would like to see at the club, or if you would like to join the social committee, please speak to any member of the Social Committee or ask at the bar.