The English weather is more characterized by scattered showers than long periods of rain. I wonder what the policy is regarding when to put the roof on. If there are just a few short showers during the day, will officials decide to let the roof on all day long ? Or will they just cover it like before the next sunny spell ? I'm afraid of the systematic over-use of that roof just because it takes time to put it on/off.
there's somedays here where it rains all day, sometimes just spitting all day.
CENTRE COURT ROOF INFORMATION SHEET Facts
a) The roof over Centre Court will be operational for The Championships 2009.
b) The moving roof weighs 1,000 tonnes and covers 5,200sqm. It has been
constructed in two sections and is of a folding fabric, concertina design. The
fabric is strong, flexible and translucent to help provide light and an airy feel. The
height of the roof from the ground is 16m.
c) The roof has been designed to maintain pre-existing levels of light and air to the
court when the roof is open, and when closed, an air flow system removes
condensation from within the bowl to provide good court surface conditions
conducive to the playing of tennis.
d) The roof will take between 8-10 minutes to close and in addition, a further 20-30
minutes for the air management system to create the correct conditions. In total,
therefore, it will be 30-40 minutes between starting the cover process and the
court being available for play. Because of the time taken to close the roof, the
existing Centre Court covers will initially be deployed should rain start to fall.
e) Although the roof is translucent, lighting is installed within the roof and this will
come on automatically when it is closed. These lights require approximately 10
minutes to cool down prior to commencing the opening operation. It will then
take the 8-10 minutes for the roof to open, i.e. in total a period of up to 20 minutes
until the court is ready for play. The lighting in the roof is designed to high
definition television standards.
f) The roof can safely be deployed in wind conditions of up to 43 mph (69 kph).
Protocol for use of Roof
These basic principles will govern the use of the roof:
a) The Championships is an outdoor daytime event.
b) The ultimate control of the use of the roof will be rest with the Referee and his
decisions will be final.
c) Timings of scheduled play on the Centre Court in 2009 are intended to be on the
same basis as 2008. This includes the number of matches and the likely timing of
those matches to be put on the court.
There can be many different circumstances which will govern the opening and the
closing of the roof, hence the ultimate control of the Referee. That said, the following
may be useful guidelines:
• Best efforts will be made to start play each day with the roof open. However, 45
minutes before the start of each day’s play a decision will be taken whether the
first match will start with the roof open or closed.
• If a match is suspended due to rain or bad light, the normal covers will first be
deployed, the roof closed and the match will then complete under the roof. Due
to the change in playing conditions, players will get a 5 minute warm-up on
returning to court. If the projected interruption is sufficiently brief, as determined
by the Referee, only the covers will be used and play then continued with the roof
• A decision to open or close the roof will be taken prior to the start of each
• Any match started will normally be completed and, if necessary, the roof closed
for reasons of light as well as rain.
• Changes to the order of play, including the completion of an unfinished match on
a different court to the one on which it started, may be authorised in exceptional
circumstances in the best interests of completing The Championships on schedule.
Scattered showers are a big feature of English weather and do tend to stop/start frequently during the day. What you have mentioned is certainly going to be an issue. I'm not sure if they have worked it all out yet, I guess we will have to wait until Wimbledon to decide how they are going to play it. No matter what their policy is I'm sure there will be people who will dissagree with how they decide to close the roof just like there has been at the AO.