1 February

Everything you need to know about snow, round extensions and winter tennis

After the "Beast from the East" last year, we now have a "triple polar vortex" and a "sudden stratospheric warming" which, perversely, makes the UK colder according to the Met Office. Sometimes it seems the weather gods conspire against tennis players and their matches. What can be done? Here’s what you need to know

EXTENSIONS ARE THE EXCEPTION

Eight week rounds (or 10 for doubles) are already designed to have some slack built into the schedule. This is to accommodate the UK weather, players’ holidays and commitments, minor injuries and busy schedules. Unless there is very prolonged, extremely severe weather we do not extend rounds. What seems like a great idea to one player, is a shifting of the goal-posts to another. On the very rare occasions that we do extend the round, it is likely to be by a week at the most.

WHAT ABOUT THE MIDWAY POINT?

The midway point is even less likely to be moved. This is because it can appear to be unfair on players who have earned their points by the advertised date. So, even if a round is extended, the extra time is added to the end of the round and the mid-point remains as it was. 

ANY EXCEPTIONS?

In 13 years, we have moved the midway point for rounds only once. That was in 2018 when prolonged bad weather made it virtually impossible for any player to earn bonus points. If this happens again, we will let everyone know and explain the situation - but it is highly unlikely.

Individual extensions

We will usually accept a result of a match played within a few days (up to the end of Sunday) after a round ends so long as the result does not affect who wins the group (unless the match is a head to head between two players tied at the top of the table). 

So if a round is not extended, what to do?

CHECK OUT INDOOR COURTS

We complied a round up of indoor facilities which is available here, plus a guide to playing inside. We do understand indoor courts can be expensive so if your opponent is a member of a club with a bubble or covered courts and can take a guest, why not play there. Don’t forget to ask if there is a fee (if you are the guest) or mention the fee (if you are the club member).

DON’T TAKE RISKS ON DANGEROUS COURTS

While we are always keen to get as many matches played as possible, we don’t want any broken bones! Please don’t risk injury if the courts are icy, snowy or dangerous.

RESPECT YOUR OPPONENT

Either player is entitled to say the courts are dangerous and that they don’t wish to play. Even if you disagree and would take the risk yourself, our rules state that you must abide by your opponent’s wishes and accept his or her view that the conditions are unacceptable!

Photo © Copyright John Sutton and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.