The social group we know today as Legends had a humble beginning.
In December 2019, just 6 people played in the very first formal “Legends” tournament on a sweltering summer day at Durbanville Squash Club. It’s grown in leaps and bounds since then.
Today, Legends Social Group has 58 members, not all are from Durbanville Squash Club. There are members from various other clubs, notably from Evertsdal.
The group is primarily run via a WhatsApp group managed by Rob Stevenson, Gawie du Plessis and Paul Hansen.
The participants on that first day of Legends, held on the 19th December 2019, were:
Gawie du Plessis
The success of the Legends group is the unique mixture of excellent organisation, a great scoring mechanism and a mix of players of varying strengths. But regardless of player strength, everybody enjoys themselves. Even matches between the strongest player vs the weakest is played with emphasis on having fun and enjoying squash… and this is what has truly made this concept such a success.
The format of a typical Legends event is particularly interesting.
There are 20 players who “enrol” for the next event via the WhatsApp group. (Contact Shaun Venter to find out how to join.) The process for enrolment is simple. One of the organisers will ask for participants for the next event, and the first 20 to respond are “in”. The snoozers are added to a waiting list. These 20 players are entered on the Challonge Tournament Generator and the tournament is set up as a Swiss-System Tournament.
The tournament gets underway at 10:15 on the first Saturday of each month. Players are randomly allocated an opening opponent (there is no seeding) and you then go to battle on courts 1-5 for 8-minute games. A total of 10 players occupy 5 courts for the first leg of round 1. When the second leg is completed, the tournament generator calculates the next round. The first leg of round 2 is usually the losers of the previous round, followed up by the winners in the second leg. Thereafter, opponents are determined based on a collection of win-lose results, scores and points difference between opponents.
The tournament consists of 5 rounds (each player will play 5 matches or 40 minutes of squash), but usually a clear winner emerges after only 4 rounds. The final is generally played between the strongest players on the day. As to be expected, this final is treated with the respect it deserves, with all participants spectating on court 1, beer in hand… and with some sarcastic running commentary and many classy jokes and jeers.
After all the matches are played, Gawie will have his collection of “fines” ready to be dished out…. And nobody is spared. Everything is noticed and “finable” from wearing odd socks to the shot of the day…
After fines are dished out, fires are then lit up and squash rackets are swapped for braai tongs.
Durbanville Squash Club embraces social squash activities like the Legends group. The Club gladly supports social groups by providing Club facilities, free lights (up to 15 sessions per month) and bar staff. These social squash activities create a strong community of members and helps form bonds and friendships on and off the court.
The dedicated group of members who have worked tirelessly to facilitate Legends deserve a round of applause. A huge shout-out to Gawie du Plessis and Rob Stevenson and many other group participants who have encouraged member participation in the group. And in some cases, have helped build a bridge between traditionally rival Clubs (Evertsdal) by encouraging members in both clubs to support each other’s social activities.
The success of Legends is not due to the efforts of any one person or one set of circumstances. It’s a collective, ongoing effort between the Club, the players on the day and the organisers.
Well done to all!