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Wimbledon's eccentric rules and traditions

Photos logoPhotos 24/06/2018 6:59:20

Wimbledon feels just a little different to other major tennis tournaments. It could be the grass courts, it could be the all-white clothing rule or it could even be the likelihood of rain stopping play at some point. Let's look at some of the strange rules that make Wimbledon unique.

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Competitors must be dressed in "suitable tennis attire that is almost entirely white" from the moment they walk out into the court surround; off-white and cream are not acceptable.

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The all-white rule includes the soles of training shoes and any undergarments that are or could be visible during play.

© Julian Finney/Getty Images 

For play on grass courts, the official Grand Slam Rulebook has strict rules on acceptable shoes. Heels, ribs, studs or coverings on shoes are not permitted. Shoes can have pimples or studs on the sole, but these must not be visible from above when the shoes are placed on a flat surface.

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The all-white rule includes the player's medical support staff and, where possible, equipment too. The latter can be in color only when absolutely necessary.

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According to Wimbledon umpire Bernadette Halton, umpires are given a list of swear words in different languages. Audible profanity is a code violation, and umpires need to be able to recognise them in players' native tongues.

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Since 2003, players are not required to bow to members of the Royal family when leaving or entering Centre Court. The only exceptions are if the Queen or the Prince of Wales are in attendance; then players are indeed required to bow.

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Players who contravene the strict (and detailed) rules on size of sponsorship logos must change immediately when asked to do so by the referee. Players are not allowed to tape over any offending logos, images or designs.

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Wimbledon employs 28 ground staff during the Championships. The grass is maintained at a height of 8mm. The grass itself is Perennial Ryegrass - nine tonnes of grass seed are used each year.

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Ball boys and ball girls are not permitted to chat during play.

© Oli Scarff/Getty Images 

Wimbledon does not permit traditional sponsorship signs or posters on the court; one of the very few exceptions is the Rolex clock on Centre Court. "We promote and protect the Wimbledon brand, and our logo is the only thing we want people to see," said club chairman Philip Brook in a 2014 interview with Newsweek.

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On the Sunday which comes in the middle of the tournament, players are allowed a day of rest to recuperate. The tournament resumes on Monday, which is popularly referred to as "Magic Monday." It is only under unusual or extreme circumstances (most notably weather) that the mid-tournament break is disallowed.

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In May 2018, a new rule was introduced to penalize players who pull out mid-match due to injuries. The first part of the rule says that injured players who were in the tournament draw can withdraw from first-round matches and still receive 50 percent of the prize money due to them.

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The second part of the rule says players with pre-existing injuries who retire hurt during matches run the risk of being fined 100 percent of their prize money, if the authorities believe they ought not to have played in the first place.

© Clive Brunskill/Getty Images 

24. kesäkuuta 2018 9:59:20 Categories: Photos

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