Safety on the Tennis Court
Running on the wet tennis court is a completely different challenge. Forget that the balls don’t bounce when they’re wet, and gut strings will be destroyed, there is an even more important reason why players should not play on wet courts. It’s all about safety.
The game of tennis is physical and requires agility on court, stopping and starting, quickly changing direction, and a lot of running. None of those activities can be done on a wet court, whether it be rain, fog, mist or something else that has caused the court to be damp. If the tennis court is wet, then it’s unplayable.
Grass tennis courts are the worst for getting traction when they’re wet, or even damp. Hard courts aren’t as bad on the actually playing surface, but it’s the painted lines that are most hazardous when wet. You can slip and fall on one of those and sustain an injury that will keep you out of tennis for some time.
Everyone has a different threshold of comfort on the tennis court. One player may think the courts are fine and another player will want to wait. Especially for those that have had a prior injury, you want to err on the side of caution. Before agreeing to start a match, check the lines to be sure that you will be able to get solid footing. The last thing you want to worry about during a match is if you’re going to slip on the line as you’re running down a ball.
Tennis spectators do generally understand when the courts are wet there will be no play. This has caused some controversy on the professional tour, where the tournament gets backed up during bad weather, forcing more matches into a shorter amount of time. Professionals are paid to deal with those challenges, and their body is tuned for strength and endurance.
Most tennis players have gone out onto the court in the cold and sometimes rain. It’s fine if you want to use old equipment and stand in one place to hit a few balls. All enthusiasts should beware of the risks when playing competitively in the adverse conditions.
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