Bermuda’s remarkable contribution to the sport of Racquets: James Stout

Bermuda’s James Stout, and his partner, Jonathan Larken, have won the 2017 Rackets World Doubles Challenge at the Racquet and Tennis Club in Manhattan over the world champions, Alex Titchener-Barrett and Christian Portz.

Stout and Larken won the title after little more than an hour’s play. The game scores were 6-15, 17-14, 15-5.

Stout and Larken have previously won the British Open in 2015 and the U.S. Open in 2015 and 2016.

James Stout has already achieved individual success as the world racquets singles champion, and as professional squash player ranked in the world’s top 150 players.

This is quite an impressive set of achievements for somebody whose homeland, Bermuda, does not host a single racquets court (although there is an active squash and tennis community).

There are various legal connections between the sport of racquets and the law.

Historians generally assert that racquets began as an 18th-century pastime in London’s King’s Bench and Fleet debtors prisons. The prisoners modified the game of fives by using tennis rackets to speed up the action. They played against the prison wall, sometimes at a corner to add a sidewall to the game. Rackets then became popular outside the prison, played in alleys behind pubs. It spread to schools, first using school walls, and later with proper four-wall courts being specially constructed for the game.

For those with an interest, The JT Faber Book of Tennis and Rackets (London: Quiller Press, 2001. ISBN 1-899163-62-X), is the most comprehensive modern reference book for the sport of racquets: its author was Morys Bruce, the 4th Baron Aberdare, a distinguished member of the House of Lords.

Since racquets is disproportionately played in the  same old English public schools which also produce a disproportionate number of English lawyers and judges, it can be assumed that there must be quite a few English lawyers who enjoy a good racquet.


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