What Are The Wimbledon Tournament Spectator Rules?
By Ed C
Updated 23rd November 2021
As the most prestigious and historic tennis tournament in the world, there are a number of rules for spectators to observe during their visit to The Championships. Some of these rules are idiosyncratic to Wimbledon, but most rules are in place to help ensure the safety and enjoyment of the spectators and players.
If you’re attending the event for the first time, you should know these do’s and don’ts before you enter the Grounds.
The All England Lawn Tennis Club’s (AELTC) asks all attendees to adhere to rules or you could be refused entry to Wimbledon, removed from the court, or risk spoiling the event for others.
The Dress Code
It’s not uncommon for Wimbledon Stewards to refused entry to the Grounds on the basis of an individuals attire. In 2015, Lewis Hamilton was famously refused entry into the Royal Box, as his clothing was not considered appropriate.
If you’re entering the grounds with a Wimbledon Debenture Ticket, or are attending one of The Championships' hospitality rooms, smart casual clothes are required.
Specifically, you will be denied entry if you are:
- Displaying any large political or marketing branding
- Are carrying any large flags or banners
- Wearing an oversized hat or headgear
Spectators are allowed to wear hats at the Tournament, as long as they are discrete and do not block the view of the person behind you. For more detailed information on Wimbledon’s dress codes, see:
- What is the dress code for Wimbledon Debenture Ticket holders?
- What Am I Not Allowed To Take Into The Wimbledon Tournament?
- What should I take with me to the Wimbledon Tournament?
When can I leave my seat?
When entering or leaving the courts, you must sit in your allocated seat and should only leave your seat for a toilet break or refreshment when:
- players take a short break after reaching the third game of a set, and
- then when the players change sides, and
- subsequently every two games thereafter.
Stewards will be understanding, however, if you have health issues or similar needs that require you to leave the court outside of these times.
COVID restrictions may also further restrict when you can leave your seat, and where you can go.
Fans may be denied access to the grounds or courts, or prevented from returning to their seat, if they are too intoxicated or are wearing attire that falls outside the AELTC standards.
Following Government guidance, COVID-19 restrictions were put in place at the 2021 Tournament. These provisions could remain in force for the 2022 Tournament.
To ensure safety and general wellbeing around the grounds, ticketholders must comply with restrictions (unless exempt) that are in place at The Championships.
The AELTC can refuse access or remove any person from the grounds who does not abide by COVID regulations which may include:
- Mask-wearing in certain areas
- Social distancing when queuing or taking your seats in the courts
- Regularly washing your hands where possible
What is the etiquette at Wimbledon?
Etiquette, is all about the unwritten rules. If you are a first time visitor to the Championships, you will want to avoid making any embarrassing faux pas.
The AELTC prides itself on a continuum of tradition and decorum at the Championships. These are the unwritten and unspoken rules, as well as what passes as polite and acceptable social conduct at the Tournament.
For example, if your favourite player is on Court, it’s hard not to want to cheer them on as they prepare to serve. Although this moment feels like a natural lull in the action, Wimbledon etiquette requires silence from the crowd before and during players' serves.
An unexpected shout or cheer, however well-meant, could ruin a player's concentration as they prepare to serve. Raucous crowd noise, music, phone rings etc are also distractions that may spoil the event for everyone around you. Umpires will ask spectators to settle down if they are causing too much disruption around the court.
If you make too much noise, speak while a point is in play, or become a distraction, you can be ejected from the court and from the Grounds.
You can cheer, clap and show your appreciation for players after a point has been played, but you must not sing or chant.
We cover Wimbledon etiquette in more detail here.
Secure your place at the 2023 Championships now
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To get the ball rolling:
Green & Purple client benefits: Travel pass for travel to and from Wimbledon, Assistance with dining reservations in Debenture restaurants, Specialist team on hand to discuss queries or advice.
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