What Would An IRT / LPRT Merger Look Like?
The Professional Squash Association and Women's Squash Association announced they are set to merge at the beginning of next year. It's a big deal in the world of squash and could have good results bringing unity towards facilitating growth for the sport.
Statements that stuck regarding purpose:
"Both parties felt that a merger would provide a more unified base from which to grow the sport across the globe and to proactively increase the levels of equality and opportunity for both genders at the elite level."
"We are committed to driving the sport forward and have long-term plans in place to achieve parity in prize-money across the sport and ensure that equal opportunities are acailable for both male and female squash players."
'Whilst (we love squash...they work in words like "whilst") also driving forward equality, we feel that a unfied body will allow us to present a more appealing product to potential sponsors and broadcast partners and we look forward to understanding the new challenge when the cross-over period is complete in what will be an exciting new sport."
Could these words be used to describe an International Racquetball Tour and Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour merger? Probably. But from this perspective, though it would make sense on some levels, they would have to work out some serious management and directional issues. Different interests drive each tour and being able to iron that stuff out might need some serious massaging.
Still, it wouldn't make sense unless both parties could bring significant advantages compared to how they are independently operating now. They would have to work out serious marketing and development issues.
Could it be a good thing? Yes and maybe.
Only a handful of people know the real answers to the first questions.