Disgruntled with new Women's Tennis Association rule
George Mattingly criticizes WTA no-grunting rule
Published: Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, June 26, 2012 00:06
The Women’s Tennis Association has declared war on grunting during a tennis match.
According to an article in USA Today, the Women’s Tennis Association wants to implement a new rule that would eliminate grunting from the game with the use of a new handheld device for umpires to measure noise levels on the court.
What the WTA has really done is propose a ridiculous rule that challenges the long-standing nature of the game.
Grunting has been a huge part of tennis for many years. Major players such as Maria Sharapova and Venus and Serena Williams have been known for their yells on the court. Grunting adds emotion to the game and makes it more exciting and entertaining to watch. Trying to eliminate grunting in tennis would be like the NFL trying to eliminate dancing or flipping in the end zone.
Most would agree that a sport would not be worth watching, or as exciting without things that are a part of the nature of the game like grunting, end zone dancing, famous stances and poses. Those are the things that make some of the best moments in sports and create a public personality among all players. It would be nothing without the emotion. If all sports were to follow the same unreasonable path as the WTA, we would be left with nothing to watch, nothing be excited about, and nothing to be a fan of.
The WTA likes to think it is trying to eliminate "excessive noise" on the court, but here is where they run into another problem. How do they judge what is too loud and what isn’t? Ordering a tennis player to lower their grunt is like telling someone their sneeze is too loud and to lower it. Often times, players cannot control their grunt just like we cannot control the noise we make when we sneeze. Trying to judge the noisiness of a grunt relies too heavily on the subjectivity of umpires to determine what is too loud and what isn’t. Even with the use of technology to measure noise level, there’s not guarantee it will eliminate the subjective nature of the rule.
In addition, as a part of the rule, the WTA wants to spend money to build a device to measure grunting levels on the court. I don’t know about you, but I could think of other intelligent ways for the organization to spend its money that would be more beneficial to the sport. It would be wiser to invest in more technology to examine if a ball or player’s foot is in bounds or better training for umpires to fairly judge a match.
Years ago, tennis was without a way for players to challenge a call made by an umpire. It took serious evaluation and thought to determine what was best for the game. If the WTA were to use the same logical thinking as they did then, they would realize this ridiculous no-grunting rule is not the way to treat the nature of the sport, it is not a wise way to spend money; it is not necessary