Tournaments in the COLD

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by calamansi, Feb 16, 2009.

  1. calamansi

    calamansi New User

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    It just dawned on me yesterday that I rarely see tournaments played in freezing cold conditions. Obviously tennis isn't a game that can be played with precipitation, so I'm not talking about playing when it's snowing or sleeting, but are there any big-money ATP tournies played in sub-zero temperatures?

    Most outdoor tournies nowadays are played under the hot sun, with players drenched in sweat and constantly having to hydrate to avoid heat stroke. That's all fine and dandy, but I'd LOVE to see a hard-court matchup between Nadal and Federer, with both of them bundled up during change-overs, breathing icicles out of their mouths, and dealing with balls that drop faster in the denser air. If 'endurance' to deal with the extreme heat during the Australian and US Opens for instance is a talent pros train themselves for, why not the same for the extreme cold too?

    If thousands of fans can turn up in the cold to watch soccer, American football, and even baseball, I'd imagine they'd be willing to turn up to watch tennis in the cold too.

    Thoughts?
     
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  2. Liv3 For It

    Liv3 For It Guest

    hypothermia
     
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  3. calamansi

    calamansi New User

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    What about it?
     
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  4. Bottle Rocket

    Bottle Rocket Hall of Fame

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    Tennis becomes a completely different game in the cold.

    The speed and bounce of the ball is so different in cold weather, that it is like playing a different sport. This is due to a lack of ductility of the tennis abll rubber when its cold and a significant and incredibly noticable drop in pressure in the tennis ball. There is no bounce in the ball.

    The strings change (and break, especially natural gut), they lose all feel, the characteristics of the rackets change, and the risk of injury to the players would be tremendous for multiple reasons.

    Nobody would want to sit and watch this match, of course, as it will be freezing, uncomfortable, and the quality of tennis would be pathetic. Nobody will want to work at the tournament, including umpires, ballboys, and everyone behind the scenes.

    Only because you asked for thoughts, I am going to have to say this is one of the worst ideas I have heard.

    And also, your comment "dealing with balls that drop faster in the denser air" makes no sense.
     
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  5. calamansi

    calamansi New User

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    It is important to note that I'm not necessarily talking about playing in sub-zero Siberian/Arctic temperatures. I'm just saying that I don't even see games played in the 10-15 celcius/centigrade or 50-65 fahrenheit ranges.

    While you do make good points, some of which I agree with, the very same arguments could also be made for other sports which are sometimes played in the harsh cold. Golf, soccer, American football, etc., you name the sport. Chances are if it's an outdoor sport, it's playable in the cold, AND there's also a high possibility that the game has slightly different equipment depending on the weather/conditions.

    As for my comment about balls dropping faster in denser air, it's really just a basic elementary school science concept. But I'm not about to get into that here.
     
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  6. jayserinos99

    jayserinos99 Hall of Fame

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    I've played when the temperature starts to dip below 50 and it's hell. The balls turn into rocks (even new ones) and I already string my racquets low with natural gut and it still hurts to hit the ball. What's worse is if you're bundled up and then have to switch out to let others play on the court; try getting cold and warming up again in that weather. It's not pleasant.
     
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  7. jayserinos99

    jayserinos99 Hall of Fame

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    By the way, there is tennis in the extreme cold; it's called platform tennis.
     
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  8. GeoffB

    GeoffB Rookie

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    I attended the Tennis Channel Open in Vegas last year. In the evening, it was really cold! Kind of reminded me of baseball games at Candlestick park in San Francisco. It was warm during the day, but drops into the low 40s at night.

    Honestly, conditions were pretty unpleasant for the spectators and the players. I suppose the idea of a cold weather tournament is kind of interesting from a technical perspective, but hard to see a lot of people - players or fans - being all that into it.
     
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  9. amarone

    amarone Semi-Pro

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    How about Wimbledon? While the average daily high temperature at that time of year is about 70 degrees, there are many occasions when matches are played at below 65.
     
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  10. calamansi

    calamansi New User

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    So it looks like the concensus against playing in the cold is:
    1) it feels horrible for the athletes (and spectators)
    2) equipment isn't designed for it

    Seems to me that both are something that have been overcome in other sports. Again, I'm not saying I -want- to play in the cold (heck, I live in sunny Cali). Just looking for more compelling reasons why it isn't. Doesn't look like I'll be getting a satisfactory answer anytime soon, either. I'm sure technology could find a way but I guess the demand just isn't there.
     
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  11. amarone

    amarone Semi-Pro

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    IMO the people saying how horrible it is to play in the cold and how it completely changes the game are grossly exaggerating. Sure, the balls don't bounce quite as much but it is not as massively different, and it is really not unpleasant. We are just coming to the end of the winter season in Atlanta, commonly requiring play in the 30s, and there were 17,000 players across rthe men's and women's leagues. Would you really get that sort of turnout if playing in the cold is so truly horrible?
     
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  12. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Gotta play when the court is open, you have time, and it's not raining.
    Today 53 degrees, 12 mph East wind blowing across the court, plenty of leaves and stems all over the court.
    But played normal, it was just as bad for the opposition as it was for me.
     
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  13. amarone

    amarone Semi-Pro

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    Please do. How does more dense air create less air resistance?
     
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  14. jayserinos99

    jayserinos99 Hall of Fame

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    IIRC, Atlanta is one tennis hotspot with a devoted base of players so I wouldn't be surprised if that many people come out and play.

    As for overly exaggerating, maybe that's your experience, but as someone who has had to deal with numerous injuries, any change in the weather definitely gets noticed.
     
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  15. jayserinos99

    jayserinos99 Hall of Fame

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    You answered your own point. If you wouldn't want to deal with cold weather tennis, then would the majority of people want do deal with it too? (GeoffB's post illustrated this point.)

    Let's face it, tennis isn't American Football. That game was meant to be played in all types of weather. It's the 'image' of that sport as being gladiatorial. IIRC, Soccer, Tennis and Golf are sports that are played from spring-fall, much like Baseball (even though during the playoffs start to get cold). Again, it's that image.
     
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  16. jayserinos99

    jayserinos99 Hall of Fame

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    This is probably the only reason why I've been playing in the cold recently. The weather hasn't been too kind in the Bay Area and if you want to play you have to make some sacrifices.
     
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  17. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

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    The OP seems to think players, Pro and Rec, would flock to the courts in colder weather. I don't.

    Manufacturers would have to develop a cold weather ball, which means *lots* of R&D expenditure. The ROI wouldn't be worth it to them ... for (my guess) only about 10% of the tennis public. They wouldn't sell enough of these to the diehards.



    I organized our Town's Drop-In Doubles on Saturday mornings. We've been meeting for eight years with great success ... but I refuse to play if the temp is below 40º F, for all the reasons posted above. It simply isn't fun.


    I'm pretty sure the USO Final (Federer - Hewitt) was played in the low 50's and lots of wind. They both played but they were not enjoying the weather.


    I am a HS Tennis Coach. In Colorado our Spring (Girls) and Fall (Boys) seasons are the "fickle weather" times of the year. We've had matches / tourneys during snow flurries and cold swirling wind. As a coach I *must* be there, but it isn't any fun. The players get warmed-up, but we spectators never do.




    What's the ball like for Platform? (When I lived in New England it was a sight to see: vapor billowing off the players on the platforms in 20º temps.)



    I think you misread his post. It was sensible.

    - KK
     
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  18. calamansi

    calamansi New User

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    It's not that I don't want to deal with it, it's that I don't have to here in Cali, where finding comfortable weather to go out and play here in Cali is easy as pie (except for the last couple of weeks when it's been raining more than usual).

    If I lived out in the much colder Mid West or North East for instance, I would definitely be keen to go out and hit whenever possible (either in an attempt to keep in shape or maintain my tennis form), even if the weather were uncomfortable. And I imagine I would be disappointed if what was preventing me from playing was my ill-equipped equipment, rather than just the discomfort of playing in the cold.

    The only other true weather-related obstacles (outside of Siberia-like temperatures) to tennis that I agree will never be overcome would be precipitation (rain/snow/sleet/etc.) and strong winds.
     
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  19. rasajadad

    rasajadad Hall of Fame

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    It was freezing during the early part of the day on Sunday too!

    Also, I just played an indoor tournament in Vermont last month and they owner didn't turn on the heaters. That was definitely in the 40 degree range.
     
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  20. Rob Johnson

    Rob Johnson New User

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    I played outdoors for a little while on Monday. The temperature was around 45. It sucked, it was hard to control the ball, I would send shots flying that I normally wouldn't, and it also made me extremely sore for a couple of days.
     
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  21. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    The alternative is to sit in front of the TV, drink beer, eat chips, and get fat fast.... which would you rather do?
     
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  22. cak

    cak Professional

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    If the choice is playing in the cold (40s) weather or not playing, well, I'm playing.

    They do make tennis gloves, for those whose fingers get cold. I can bundle pretty good, lots of layers. The balls might not bounce as high, but they bounce.
     
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  23. Bottle Rocket

    Bottle Rocket Hall of Fame

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    You know, I used to feel this way. I used to be crazy... I scraped ice off a court with a friend and played outdoors with pressureless balls when it was 24 degrees outside. I used to think it was worth it. I used to routinely play in temperatures around freezing.

    Now, yeah, I would rather do many things than play in cold weather again. Its not fun, its not enjoyable, it's dangerous, and it does me no good in terms of improving. Chips are getting the nod more often now. ;-)
     
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  24. jwr1972

    jwr1972 Rookie

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    Recreationally is ok if you have a like minded partner like I do. I live in Atlanta and I have played singles this winter and I have played when it was 40 and my head was steaming from the hot sweat hitting the cool air. It actually is fun once you warm up.

    Professionals just won't do it because it is uncomfortable and imagine how many tickets would not sell and how much moving the crowd would be doing just to stay warm(huge distraction for pros).

    Jon
     
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  25. boilerfan

    boilerfan New User

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    It seems your question is about professional tennis tournaments in the cold. I think you would find quite a few cold weather USTA tournaments in states outside california.

    I think you have pretty much answered your own question. You make the comparison to soccer, football and baseball, but the big difference to me is that those sports are played by teams affiliated with a location.

    You mention: "It's not that I don't want to deal with it, it's that I don't have to here in Cali, where finding comfortable weather to go out and play here in Cali is easy as pie"

    Well, professional tennis is a sport played internationally by individuals. They can search the globe to find the ideal conditions easy as pie as well and are not affiliated with a specific area.

    To compare to sports such as football or baseball, you can look at team tennis like high school or college and you would find that many matches are played in cold weather. Most high school seasons start in cold weather and end in warm weather....or start in the summer and end in cold.

    A more likely comparison is golf, which has the ability to travel and find whatever conditions they want. Both sports do play a few tournaments in colder weather, but for the most part play in ideal conditions.
     
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  26. Rob Johnson

    Rob Johnson New User

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    Agreed. My rule now is 45 and up. Anything below that just takes the fun out of it.
     
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  27. goober

    goober Legend

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    I think most people have other alternatives than TV, beer and chips versus tennis during cold weather!
     
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  28. jayserinos99

    jayserinos99 Hall of Fame

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    I'm not too familiar with the specifics of Platform Tennis so I can't help you there. I remember reading about it in a Tennis mag a while back and thought it was interesting....
     
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