After yesterday's Round 1 match between Roger Federer and Victor Hanescu, there were rumors going all around that Roger Federer might get a warning because of the color of his shoes. Here are a few pics of the Orange Colored shoes (needs to be added that only the sole of these Nike shoes had Orange color, rest was all white).
This rumor was sparked off by Simon Reed (sports announcer for Eurosport) as he stated on air that Roger Federer might get a warning or in the worst case, a penalty (monetary) because of the color of the shoes. I need to add here, I personally don't get EuroSport feed here, I got informed about this comment by many of you. Also, it needs to be added, later many friends tweeted that it was just a joke which got taken seriously by many.
So, this sparked off a debate on Twitter, Facebook and Google plus with every one asking details about this dress code for players at Wimbledon?
Wimbledon organizing committee has specified certain Guidelines regarding "prominently white clothing rule" for players at the Wimbledon championships. The following are those guidelines as specified on the Wimbledon official website ----
- No solid mass of colouring
- Little or no dark or bold colours
- No fluorescent colours
- Preference towards pastel colours
- Preference for the back of the shirt to be totally white
- Preference for shorts and skirts to be totally white
- All other items of clothing, including hats, socks and shoe uppers to be predominantly white.
When did these rules come in to force?
The ‘predominately in white’ rule was introduced in 1963. The ‘almost entirely in white’ rule became valid in 1995. This current rule has been in force since 1995, how ever the Tennis competition at 2012 London Olympics was exempt from this predominantly white colored outfit rule.
The players have to get their outfits approved in advance
Players have to send sample of their Clothing to The AELTC (All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, the private Club that owns Wimbledon Championships) for comments (read approval) at least 90 days in advance before the start of Championships.
ITF Rules for clothing
As you all know, ITF (International Tennis Federation) is the governing body of all Grand slams. We have already discussed the guidelines as stipulated by Wimbledon for the championships, now a closer look at the guidelines issued by ITF for clothing will make things even more simpler for all of us.
The ITF's 2013 OFFICIAL GRAND SLAM RULE BOOK (you can download the rule book from here) explains the clothing, socks, shoes rule in details. How ever, I will only discuss about the ITF rules for Grass court shoes in this post -----
ITF rules for Grass Court Shoes
At Wimbledon no grass courts shoes other than those with rubber soles, without heels, ribs, studs or coverings, shall be worn by players.
Special grass court shoes will not be used without the express approval of the GSC (Grand Slam Committee), such shoes will not be approved unless they comply with the following specifications:
The pimples or studs on the base of the sole shall have maximum top diameter of three (3) millimetres and a minimum top
diameter of two (2) millimetres.
The maximum height of the pimples or studs shall be two (2) millimetres with a maximum of 10 degree angle slope between
the base and the top of the pimple. The durometres shall be between 58 and 63 based on a shore “A” scale. The pimple top diameter compared to its respective pimple density per square inch shall be within the prescribed guidelines.
As an alternative to the above specifications, players may also use the special grass court shoes developed, tested and approved by Wimbledon. These special grass court shoes are available from the GSC (Grand Slam Committee)upon request.
Players desiring approval of special grass court shoes should submit a sample shoe to the GSC at least ninety (90) days in advance of Wimbledon.
(Extract from Page-37 & 38).
Also, the ITF Rulebook on Page-39 states that during the Wimbledon championships Including the warm-up period, players at Wimbledon must be dressed almost entirely in white.
The Tournament Referee to have the final power to determine that the clothing and shoes meet the specified criteria
The Tournament Referee has the authority to determine that a shoe or the clothing does not meet these criteria and may order the player to change. (Extract from Page-38).
Fines in case of Default
Unacceptable Attire and Doubles Team Attire
Violation of the provisions with respect to Unacceptable Attire or Doubles Team Attire shall result in a fine of up to $4,000 (USD). (extract from Page-41).
Three cases where players were asked to change their outfits
In 2012, Radek Stepanek was asked to change his shoes before his 3rd Round match vs Novak Djokovic. In 2012, John Isner was asked to remove his wrist band and Italian Fabio Fognini was asked to cut an inch off the back of his bandana because it was longer than regulations allow.
Are these Orange Colored shoes that Roger Federer had worn yesterday valid as per ITF rules and Wimbledon's guidelines?
As we discussed above, ITF rules are silent about the color of the sole of shoes and Wimbledon in its guidelines states that the shoes uppers need to be predominantly white. So, in my opinion, these Nike RF shoes are 100% valid as per Wimbledon Guidelines.
Update 26-June-2013 05 BST: But, how ever Wimbledon has banned Roger Federer from using these shoes from immediate effect. Scroll down for more updates.
PS: As a matter of courtesy, I have dropped an e-mail to "Nike Tennis" PR Team before publishing this post as the outfit being discussed here is owned by Nike.
On a lighter note, my suggestion to avoid any controversy about clothes at Wimbledon will be to use the white clothes that Tomas Berdych tweeted that he will be using at Wimbledon and here is the picture of that ----
Edited by Vibhuism, 26 June 2013 - 09:31 AM.
Update: Wimbledon bans Roger Federer's orange shoes