Squash, or squash racquets as it was known in its early days, was invented at Harrow School, England, around 1830. The first purpose-built squash courts were built at Harrow in the 1860s.
The game remained the preserve of schools and universities until the early part of the 20th century. The United States became the first nation to form a dedicated association and codify its game in 1907.
In the same year, the (British) Tennis & Rackets Association formed a squash rackets sub-committee and, in 1928, the (British) Squash Rackets Association took over.
Only when commercial operators began building public courts from the 1950s did the game start to boom in popularity, with participation peaking around the early 1980s.
Until then, the game was divided between amateur players and professional players, who were often coaches employed by exclusive clubs.
Today, squash is played in 153 countries, of which 124 are members of the World Squash Federation, with 50,000 courts now worldwide. Squash made its debut at the 13th Asian Games in Bangkok 1998.
It is also played in the World Games, All Africa Games, Pan-American Games and Commonwealth Games.