Wimbledon Stands Firm on Traditional Titles for Ball Boys and Girls

Wimbledon Stands Firm on Traditional Titles for Ball Boys and Girls

Wimbledon will continue to name their courtside assistants ‘ball boys and ball girls’ despite pressure to adopt gender-neutral terms.

The French and Australian Open label their helpers ‘ball kids’ while at the US open the all-age sidekicks are called ‘ball crew’. 

The All England club said on Saturday that there are no plans to change the titles, as per The Guardian, and they have continued to use them in any relevant digital build-up to the tournament which stars on Monday. 

Around 250 children with an average age of 15 are chosen each year from a pool of 1,000 applicants to assist at the All England Club. 

Wimbledon prides itself on having what it sees as the best in the business, with ball boys first introduced in 1920.

Wimbledon will stand by the tradition of naming its assistants ‘ball boys’ and ‘ball girls’ 

Other Grand Slams have adopted the terms 'ball kids' and 'ball crew' but Wimbledon reportedly has no plans to change the traditional tag

Other Grand Slams have adopted the terms ‘ball kids’ and ‘ball crew’ but Wimbledon reportedly has no plans to change the traditional tag 

They go the extra mile to ensure things run smoothly and do not have an easy job.

In the past they have been berated by players, hit in the head by loose strikes from the likes of Roger Federer, and fainted in the heat.  

The SW19-based competition has been criticised in the past for being too slow to move with the times but also lauded for its respect for tradition.

That said, it was the last of the Grand Slams alongside the French Open to offer equal prize money for men and women in 2007.

Venus Williams had penned a letter in The Times the previous year: ‘The message I like to convey to women and girls across the globe is that there is no glass ceiling. My fear is that Wimbledon is loudly and clearly sending the opposite message.’

Criticising the decision to stick with the original monikers on X, one user wrote: ‘It doesn’t take away from the history or prestige of the event, just makes it a bit more modern and welcoming for everyone.

But others hit back. 

‘Your type of modern sucks,’ one said.

Social media users have bickered over whether gender-neutral terms are 'welcoming' or not

Social media users have bickered over whether gender-neutral terms are ‘welcoming’ or not

Andy Murray will get his Wimbledon campaign underway against Tomas Machac on Tuesday

Andy Murray will get his Wimbledon campaign underway against Tomas Machac on Tuesday

Emma Raducanu has a tough first-round draw against 22nd seed Ekaterina Alexandrova

Emma Raducanu has a tough first-round draw against 22nd seed Ekaterina Alexandrova 

‘Welcoming to whom? All children are either boys or girls. This was set at conception and continues till they reach majority (age),’ one replied.

Another said: ‘Fair enough, doesn’t sound like something that needs changing.’ 

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