Wimbledon concern over slips & trips – just a load of balls?

lawn tennisFrom the Telegraph 21/06/11:

Thousands of tennis fans were denied the chance to watch Andy Murray's opening match at Wimbledon last night as the outdoor screen was turned off for the first time in the tournament's history because of the weather.

Wimbledon spokesman Johnny Perkins said: "The hill has been closed because of the slippery nature of the grass while it is so wet.

"It is a health and safety issue. We just can’t have people slipping and sliding and falling off the thing and breaking their ankles.

We potentially could have large numbers of people slipping and sliding all over the place."

Still, that doesn’t seem to concern local authorities when they don’t bother gritting the pavements in winter.

The announcement, made on a tannoy system as Murray warmed up, was met with groans and boos by the crowds who had gathered on the hill, a favoured viewing spot for those who do not manage to get tickets for the main courts at SW19.

Um – excuse me: you can’t make groaning or grunting noises at Wimbledon!!! It’s just not cricket tennis, ahem, allowed - apparently. Personally, I think there’s nothing better than a good old grunt, shriek and moan whilst on court. And if you’re hitting a tennis ball at the time, so much the better.
Be right back

Anyway, can’t Henman Hill / Murray Mount be astroturfed?  Or what about insisting fans move around on wet grass on all fours or imitating a seal moving up a beach?  Or why not have Wimbledon organisers dish out studded boots?

No?   Thinking smile

[As for … British hopeful Katie O'Brien] … [h]er day was would only get worse after writing on her Twitter page: "I've just been sat in the rain on Henman Hill with friends and family drowning my sorrows with a Pimms!!!"

Great – so instead of getting wet feet on the grass, inconsolable tennis fans turn to the bottle and give their livers a pounding.  Still, isn’t that what Wimbledon is all about for us Brits – downfalls and alcohol?


  1. call it justice24 June 2011 at 08:54

    Disgraceful of Wimbledon to treat its paying customers like small children. Good response though from the Health & Safety Executive, getting fed up with organisations blaming all their daft actions on H&S.

  2. This was the inspiration for my H&S post yesterday. As i said in that post, its the fault of poorly trained and inexperienced risk adverse morons, not the fault of the legislation or the HSE. I thought the HSE chief did a great response to it tho!

  3. hehe.. I'm honoured. ;-)

    I felt I just *had* to do one about Wimbledon this year and fancied covering the issue of complaints regarding female players shrieking and grunting on court ;-) but felt I should reign myself in slightly. I suppose I could have gone with the whole human rights / freedom of expression angle about their right to make orgasmic noises whilst playing tennis.

    Slipping over on a wet grassy slope is probably more 'law actually' sadly. Oh well.

    Still, I managed to sneak a reference to it in. Super! :p


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