It’s all-white: Wimbledon relax clothing policy amid period concerns

The rule change constitutes a big step towards period equality in sport

Paige Rutter
20th December 2022
Image: Wikimedia Commons
In a bid to relieve the stress faced by female players who are required to wear all white whilst menstruating, Wimbledon have made a change to their rules. 

The Wimbledon code specifically highlights that clothing should be specifically white and allows a strict one-centimetre trim of colour. However, for female players during their period this can bring a wave of anxiety around bleeding through on to the colourless clothing. 

Following multiple protests and various female tennis players speaking out on the issue, a change has now been brought in allowing players to wear dark undershorts. It is specified that these shorts can be no longer than the skirt. 

The Wimbledon organisers stated that the change had been made following discussion with the Women’s Tennis Association, clothing manufacturers and medical teams.

Multiple players have expressed their concerns over this issue, with Australian star Daria Saville even admitting that she did skip her period around Wimbledon over fears. Adding in her comments that “they already have enough stress”, without the stress of having a period too. 

They already have enough stress

Daria Saville

‘Address The Dress Code’ was an organised protest outside of Wimbledon in which women were holding signs with slogans such as “Wanted: Ball in our court”. The protesters donned red shorts underneath their all-white outfits in order to campaign the issue. 

One of the co-organisers of the protest, Gabriella Holmes, stated, “you can uphold tradition and still move with the times”. There have also often been debates over this relating to the number of young girls who also drop sporting activities after reaching puberty.  

This is not just an issue in tennis, but also across other sports

This is not just an issue within tennis but also across multiple sports in which white clothing makes a prominent appearance. It was also recently announced that multiple football clubs including Manchester City and West Bromwich Albion would change the colour of their shorts in order to reduce concerns for female players. 

During the success of the Euro’s, England’s Lionesses also highlighted the unpracticality of wearing an all-white kit. Whilst no change was made during the tournament, the women delivered their thoughts to Nike in hope that changes can be made for the team in the next year. 

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