If I read the headline above, I would think it was a joke. It’s not. The Women’s Tennis Association is determined to put a stop to excessive grunting during matches. In order to determine what would be deemed “excessive” versus “allowed” grunting, the WTA and the International Tennis Federation are looking into developing a device that could measure on-court grunting levels. Again, this is not a joke.
According to the USA Today, representatives have begun discussing a new rule that would set “acceptable and non-acceptable noise levels based on acoustical data gathering and analysis.” When the rule is eventually put into place, players at tennis academies and junior levels of competition would be educated on the details.
“It’s time for us to drive excessive grunting out of the game for future generations,” WTA chairman and chief executive Stacey Allaster said. “The bottom line is that we want to bring forward across all levels of competition an objective rule through use of technology to make it much easier for athletes and chair umpires.”
The current generation of players would not be affected, as it has been determined by sports scientists that asking today’s players to alter their breathing techniques could hinder performance. Prominent players such as Caroline Wozniacki and Jelena Jankovic say they are in favor of cracking down on excessive “grunters” like Maria Sharapova and Monica Seles. The ITF is scheduled to make a presentation to some players during Wimbledon.
“We are going to let them know that at a point in time there will be a new rule in place where we are going to bring the noise level down,” Allaster said. “The sooner we can get them to alter the breathing technique the more success we can have.”
So yeah, this is happening. If listening to players grunt like this makes you angry instead of making you laugh, it appears you’re in luck.
Photo credit: Susan Mullane-US PRESSWIRE