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 three 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 may be given to players in an age group who had a national ranking from #1 to #32 (top 16 for U11) between February 1 and April 15, was accepted to play in a full draw of the U.S. Junior Squash Championships, or was ranked in the top 50 in the US Squash High School rankings. If no player qualifies under the above criteria in an age group, then the award, if any, would go to the junior who finishes highest at the U.S. Junior Silver Squash Championships and reached the quarterfinals of a full draw. If in the opinion of the NCS Junior Committee two or more juniors are nearly equal in skill who might otherwise qualify for the award, more than one MVP award may be given in an age group.
All Stars: This award is given to any player with a national ranking of #33 to #65 (#17 to #32 in U11 and with over 800 average ranking points) between February 1 and April 15, placed 25th or higher in a full draw (or finishing in the top half or winning Plate 2 or better of a draw that did not fill) at the US Squash Silver Championship, made the semifinals of at the US Squash Bronze Championship with a draw size of 16 or more, won the Mid-Atlantic Regional Junior Championship or ranked in the top 100 in the US Squash High School rankings.
National Team Awards: This award is given to any player with a national ranking of #65 to #128 and in the top 50% of nationally-ranked players between February 1 and April 15, ranked in the top 150 in the US Squash High School rankings, or who has a skill rating better the #150 ranked high school player.
Rookie of the Year Awards: A player must receive one of the above awards to be eligible for this award. Also he must have played in three or fewer junior tournaments during a 12 month period ending April 1 of the previous year’s season and no more than five junior tournaments before that date. This award will be based on the first rankings run after the US Squash Bronze Championship. For players who age out during the national championships, a ranking between February 1 and April 15 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. 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 four groups by age and gender. The groups are:
- Boys U13 and U15
- Girls U13 and U15
- Boys U17 and U19
- Girls U17 and U19
This award 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 from the ranking run during the last week of March from 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 group improves by at least 0.35 rating points, then no award would be given for that group. If a player has a ranking in two age divisions, he is eligible to win the award for either division, but not both.
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