What happens if it rains at Wimbledon?

2 July 2024, 17:33

Wimbledon began on 1st July 2024
Wimbledon began on 1st July 2024. Picture: Getty

By Tiasha Debray

Rain and England are synonymous, you can’t have one without the other. But what happens during huge events like Wimbledon? Here’s what you need to know.

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British summer may be hot one day, but it’s just as likely to rain the next. The unpredictability of the weather makes outdoor events like the Wimbledon incredibly difficult to plan for.

With superstar athletes from Andy Murray to Emma Raducanu hitting the courts in the bid to win an insane prize pot while watched by the public, royals and celebrities alike, the stakes are high.

Thankfully the Centre Court and No. 1 Court have now got shiny new retractable roofs overhead to protect players and the audience from any wet weather, but what happens to all the games being played on the outdoor courts?

What exactly happens if it rains at Wimbledon? Do games get cancelled? Will you get a refund? Here’s what you need to know.

Centre Court and No. 1 Court have now got new retractable roofs
Centre Court and No. 1 Court have now got new retractable roofs. Picture: Getty

What happens if it rains at Wimbledon?

What happens during Wimbledon if it rains depends entirely on which court you’re watching a game on.

If you’re lucky enough to be watching a game on Centre Court or No.1 Court then you have nothing to worry about. The courts are fitted with retractable roofs which means the problem is solved in a mere 10 minutes, which is as long as it takes to close the sheltering roofs.

However, if you’re on any of the other courts when the rain begins, umpires will first pause the game as the point finishes, the net will need to be brought in and the court will quickly be covered.

Unfortunately, the rest is just a matter of waiting. The game will resume if the rain passes, however, if it doesn’t, you may just need to entertain yourselves at the surrounding bars and eateries or check out the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum.

The outdoor courts get covered up when it rains
The outdoor courts get covered up when it rains. Picture: Getty

What should I take to Wimbledon if it rains?

Whether you have court-side tickets, ground passes or you’re simply preparing to queue, it’s not a bad idea to bring some waterproof clothing, a rain poncho or a small umbrella.

Remember, there’s going to be a lot of people crammed into the venue so an umbrella could get cumbersome, however, if you manage to snag some ground passes, it’ll come in handy if you want to watch the games from Henman Hill.

Spectators at the outdoor courts will need to wait out the rain
Spectators at the outdoor courts will need to wait out the rain. Picture: Getty

Do I get a refund if it rains at Wimbledon?

Whether you get a refund or not depends entirely on Wimbledon’s official Rain and Curtailment of Play Policy.

You can read the entire policy below;

In accordance with Clause 18 of the Conditions of Sale, the Curtailment of Play Policy applies to each day of play at The Championships, including the final Sunday. For ease of access this is detailed below, please check the Conditions of Sale Clause 18.

18.1. This clause 18 applies to each Day of Play, including the final Sunday.

18.2. If there is less than one (1) hour's play on the Court for which Tickets have been bought, the applicable Successful Applicant will be refunded the Purchase Price for such Ticket(s).

18.3. Ticket Holders of Grounds Passes (except those purchased after 5.00pm) will be eligible for a full refund for such Ground Passes if the average amount of play on those Courts accessible with a Grounds Pass and for which play was originally scheduled is less than one (1) hour.

18.4. If there is more than one (1) hour's play, but less than two (2) hours' play, refunds will be limited to half of the Purchase Price.

18.5. Refunds are calculated as defined above and using the Referee’s record of how much play has taken place on any given day. It is this official figure which determines whether or not Successful Applicants are entitled to refunds, rather than the amount of play which an individual spectator may have seen. The Referee's decision on how much play has taken place will be final.

18.6. Only the Successful Applicant is eligible for refunds under this clause 18. Refunds will be paid out automatically for Tickets bought in advance to the credit or debit card used to make the original purchase, and shall, if requested by AELTC, return the Ticket(s) without delay.

18.7. On-the-Day Tickets purchased via any the Ticket resale scheme operated by AELTC at the Grounds from time to time are not covered by this clause 18 as the monies are passed to charity and therefore no refunds shall be payable for On-the-Day Tickets.