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Squash tips: No lets with Lee Drew – What is a no let?

In this section we’re going to look at
the no let and the different scenarios that might lead to a no let
being awarded. So there’s a few scenarios we need to think about and we’ve talked
about them a lot in terms of swing interference, front wall interference and
then the basic interference and direct access. Now, the first thing that
we’re going to think about is front wall interference and, what you need to
consider there, is there enough space to hit the ball or not, so
Jethro in gonna come in and we’re just going to have a look at the different
scenarios where there might be enough space to actually hit a ball. So
if Jethro was playing a shot and he got it tight enough and then was
able to clear, then then I would find myself in a situation where, when now, a
referee would expect me to be able to hit this ball because Jethro is not in
my swing, I can hit the ball straight, I can hit the ball cross-court and
there’s nothing preventing me from doing that. Now, any closer and the referee
would start to think about yes let because of the risk that I
might actually hit Jethro either with the ball or with the racket, but if
there’s space and I should be playing the ball, the referee will award
a no let for it. In a very similar manner with swing interference, there’s
times where a player would just stop, say that it might be the situation
and the pressure of a situation where where it’s a bit tense, they just don’t
want to play the ball, they just suddenly freeze and stop or they might
misjudge where the where the opponent is and actually have more space than they
think, so we might be in a situation where the ball is around
here, Jethro is where he is there, I’m playing the ball here, I don’t know where
Jethro is, I sort of feel that he’s close to me, but you know it’s obvious
when you’re looking at the camera that Jethro is a million miles away from me,
the ball is here, I can pirouette and I won’t hit Jethro, so I should really be hitting this ball, in that
situation a referee will give me a no let. Any closer, Jethro coming a
bit closer or the ball is a bit closer to us, all of a sudden it brings
yes let or stroke into play if it does get closer. So those are situations where
a no let would be awarded for me in a swing interference sense. Now, in
terms of access to a ball and interference, if I
can get through and there’s no interference whatsoever, so Jethro has
just played a drop shot, the ball lands say we put the ball into a situation
where it comes to around here and Jethro plays his drop shot and clears it well,
now I can get through to this, there’s no interference, I need to
go through, I need to play that ball, so a no let would be awarded for that. Equally,
if Jethro was closer to me and he’s near the middle and I go past and I
hit him but accept it and then go through and then stop and say oh, no could I
have a let please, the referee would say that it’s a no let, because I’ve accepted
the interference in this initial phase. Now, another situation where I
might be going through, if I bumped Jethro and only skimmed him, but I’ve
gone through and I’m here and I asked for a let, the referee would then give
a no let for minimal interference because they would judge that the
interference wasn’t enough to distract me or put me off my shot. Now, it’s a
tricky one, because sometimes when you’re moving fast through and, it doesn’t
happen to me very often because I don’t move very fast through into these areas,
but when players are moving fast through past each other, a small bump can make a
huge difference and actually throw them off balance by the time they’re hitting, so before awarding minimal interference, it is worth thinking about
that, especially into front corners. Now, around the middle and the back quite
often you get situations where it’s minimal interference, where it’s just a
brush past and you sort of skim past and you see the players just stop here,
oh please, and that is a no let, its minimal interference, they should go
through and play that shot. Now, the other thing is just thinking about the
line to the ball and the access through, because if Jethro has given
me access and quite often in the front corners, it’s quite detailed
this, because depending on where the ball stops, if the ball stops short, it’s my
job to go up and round and outside to go and get this ball here, so Jethro would
take a movement in to allow me through to play that shot,
whereas, if Jethro is in the same situation but plays the ball a bit
deeper, so if you imagine you’ve just played a board bit deeper, go
slightly wider in to play the shot, now the ball is coming deeper back here, all of
a sudden my line becomes in this way and Jethro would give clearance that
way, so if Jethro is moving out of the way
well, depending on where his shot is, he would be providing me access either side
of him which means that if I went straight for him and went for the player
not the ball, the referee would also award a no let. It’s very difficult and
you need a good trained eye I think, you need to practice this and understand
the situations to work out is the non-striker who’s just played who’s
moving out, are they giving access, are they moving the correct way depending on
where the ball is and then equally, me as a striker coming in to play the shot, am
I going the right way round to go and get the ball and if I am going the
right way around and my opponent has cleared the correct way, the odds are I
should probably be going through and getting that ball and playing and if I
don’t then that’s where no lets are awarded. The only other situation
where you get the no lets is when winning shots have been hit, so I’m
playing Jethro, Jethro rolls the ball out to nick or hits a ball that
the referee doesn’t feel that I can retrieve or make a good return on, then a no let will be awarded against me and that can also mean if Jethro is
in my way, so if my opponent’s in my way, but it’s deemed as being a winning shot
and I can’t get it because it’s in the nick or it’s down there or I’ve misread it, that
will be given as a no let, so quite complex, the no lets, I think it’s
a debate that will simmer on forever because there’s always discussion points
around no lets, but it is a fascinating topic.

David Frank



  1. Gordon Campbell Posted on November 22, 2018 at 3:59 pm

    Well said Lee and thanks again SquashSkills for another excellent explanation of, "no let". When no let is encouraged, shot selection and dynamic flow will improve. Players will soon realize not to play the referee but instead raise their game, "no let" can be subjective at best. Cheers!

  2. Frank Andersen Posted on February 27, 2019 at 3:57 pm

    What if the player about to retrieve, misread the play, and moves on the wrong side of the opponent? now for him to get the ball, his line is through his opponent, is that a let?

  3. Bd Squash News Posted on March 8, 2019 at 5:32 pm

    Very good video

  4. Tasco Lino Posted on March 13, 2019 at 7:37 am

    @ Frank That's a tough one to call. A similar one is when your opponent plays a good shot down the line. You read it right and want to attack it around the T area but your opponent is there and you bump into him. By then the ball has gone to the back corner but is not dead yet. You however can't go for the ball because you are still entangled with your opponent. Is that let or not.