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Wimbledon Recreated! An Umpire's Take

June 29, 2020

🔸️The packing of the bags for two weeks away. 🎒

🔸️Staying with the Nugents, my wonderful host family each year.🏡

🔸️Finding a time slot on the day before play to get to Cannizaro House for uniform replacements, often involving undressing in a room full of strangers before final approval of the fit of the blazer. 👔

🔸️The drinks reception with colleagues in the college hall like Hogwarts, catching up with friends. 🍻

 🔸️Playing tennis at Southfields club with other umpires each morning before work.🎾

🔸️The stroll down to AELTC early on day 1, the scan of the pass at the gate. Walking past Henman Hill on the way to the locker room. Collecting the locker key and hoping yours will be in the coolest part of the room. 💨

🔸️Scanning the noticeboard to see what your court assignment is, who's in your team, what matches you'll have, and who your chair umpires will be.🔍

🔸️The Monday morning speeches in the buttery from the club, the referee and the chief umpire.🎤

🔸️The team leaders' meeting in the press conference room and team photo. 📸

🔸️The last minute bathroom visit, because you don't want to be thinking about your bladder on court. 🚾

🔸️Trying to complete the team's line assignments in time, 📝whizzing to the office to submit them before dashing to court to hear the daily coaching briefing before play. 🏃♂️

🔸️Adjusting each other's lapel pins. 'Is my collar straight? How's the knot in my tie? 🧷 Are we blazers on or blazers off?'🧥 while lining up at courtside before finally stepping onto the grass for the first time that year. 🌱

🔸️Making your first 🗣 of 'OUT' and getting a nod from the chair.

🔸️Concentrating especially hard for the first and last 5 minutes of your rotation.😓

🔸️Someone you know from tennis outside of these gates trying to catch your eye as the players change ends. 👋

🔸️Then back to the buttery forthe daily game of 'how much salad can I fit into the tub' and querying 'are the biscuits out yet?' 🥗Covering your lap in napkins because you don't want to drip salad dressing on your trousers, only for your neighbour to spill their coffee. ☕

🔸️Swapping stories about funny moments on your court.

🔸️Chair umpires watching the scoreboard to see if their match is due. 🕜

🔸️Trying to find your team if it rains! 🌂

🔸️Using bonbon vouchers to use up your daily allowance before you leave the grounds.🍬

🔸️Then getting home to catch the last centre court matches, and finding out who won the others even from your court when you didn't see the end. 🤷♂️

🔸️The email pings with 'Your report time is...'📧

and you do it all again tomorrow.

By Kris Dymond

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