Squash was first played in the 1860s by boys at the Harrow School in England. The boys took a small rubber ball and, using racquets, hit the ball off the walls of their school courtyards and alleys. The first squash court outside Harrow is built by an Old Harrovian at his home in Oxford, England in 1883 and the first set of rules were formulated in 1886. Squash spread to the US in the late 19th century, when St. Paul’s, a private boarding school in New Hampshire, built four open-air squash courts. The world’s first inter-club squash league was founded with seven Philadelphia clubs in 1903 and the world's oldest national governing body, United States Squash rackets Association (USSRA), is founded in Philadelphia.
In the 1920s the game spread rapidly. Many courts were built in clubs, schools, and colleges, rules were formulated. The English national association was organized and many competitions began. International competition with the United States began with the sending of a British team to the United States in 1924. By the 1950s, squash had spread throughout the world. In 1966 the International Squash Rackets Association (now the World Squash Federation (WSF)) was founded in London. The first Team World Championships was played in Melbourne in 1967 for men, and in Birmingham in 1979 for women. The first Individual World Championships was played in London, in 1976, and the same year for women in Sheffield.