Although the question applies to many sports, I'm seeking an answer in the particular context of the rules and culture of squash. Is the answer formally specified in the competition rules of squash? Is the (worldwide) culture established firmly enough for the question to have a universal answer? In case it matters, I'm talking here about international, not US, squash.
I occasionally play against a opponent who likes to comment. This happens in many variations, but the main one is that if I make a difficult shot, they'll comment "nice shot", perhaps after they themselves have missed the return.
If this pat-on-the-back is made two or three times in a game, and after particularly strong play, I find that it's a nice compliment. But if the comments are made incessantly, for just about every rather-ordinary successful shot, the comments rattle me. I'm not sure if other players are capable of putting up with an ongoing evaluation. I'm not sure if a player ought to be able to handle some evaluation without being rattled. This is, after all, not chess. In chess, at least when I played semi-seriously a long time ago, a player would automatically lose a formal game if they spoke and told their opponents "nice move". It's understood that this will destroy the focus of one's opponent.
In squash I can never tell whether the comments are (intentionally or unintentionally) malicious. But I do know that they affect the ongoing game.
I have two questions:
- Is there a formal rule in squash that prevents an opponent from making a comment at all, at least until the game is over.
- Even though I'm particularly bothered by comments in the middle of the game, and even if I get a gut-feeling that some comments are intended to change the course of a game, I do not wish to be rude and say "no comments until the game is over, please". What is a civil way of telling one's opponent "kindly keep your trap shut until we finish. You're my opponent, not my critic nor an audience member"?