kitchen table math, the sequel: the rules

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

the rules

from h2g2
Tennis crowds are extremely close to the action so the slightest movement can be off-putting. Of course there will be times you will have to move - too much hospitality is going to play havoc with your bladder control - but do it when it's allowed. For instance, people can move from their seats when the players are changing after every two games, one service game for each player or double partnership. The stewards will be stopping you from returning to your seat once the players are ready to resume play, but before they stop it's up to you to remain in your seat. When the time does come and the second game is over, move swiftly and directly to your nearest exit (they will link up to where you actually want to get eventually), as you only have 90 seconds before play has to resume.

While you are in your seat try not to get too comfortable, especially if you're a snorer and have been queuing or travelling a long time to get in. There's nothing worse than being asked from the umpire's chair to wake up to stop putting the players off.
Etiquette for Tennis Spectators
I'm talking to you, people of Arthur Ashe.

Oh, man.

We spent yesterday at the Open, which in our house means summer is officially over. I love the Open; we've gone every year since we moved here 13 years ago, and it's just about the only New York ritual we have. But it's getting less and less fun. The upper deck is pretty much bedlam these days. Yesterday we had seats on the aisle and next to the stairwell, and Ed and I and an exasperated lady from France appeared to be the only people present who had heard that you're not supposed to traipse in and out of the stadium during play. The lady from France was a stalwart; she took everyone to task and held people at bay.

But they just kept coming, and going.



Catherine Johnson said...

PLUS I never got around to writing a post about the management of the Open, who made an executive decision last year, during a severe thunderstorm, to force everyone out of the stadium and into the far-too-small corridors ringing the stadium, where they locked us in. It was terrifying; the only reason there wasn't a crowd panic & stamped was that WE WERE TENNIS FANS. Seriously. I was trying to find where I could stand and possibly live if a stampede started, and at the same time I was thinking - consciously thinking - "The reason we're going to get out of this alive is that we came to see tennis."

Meanwhile, the Open had both the police and the VP guests sitting safely in glass-walled VIP rooms from which they watched us being crushed in the corridor just outside.

The whole thing was appalling, horrifically dangerous, and probably illegal -- and I didn't even manage to work up the energy to call someone to complain.


Catherine Johnson said...

The funny part: no one in the crowd knew the exits had been closed, and we were all pushing and pressing towards the outside staircases that ring the stadium. That's how you exit the stadium: you walk down long, broad, external stair cases. Management had apparently closed them off because they didn't want anyone exposed to lightening; they kept running a loop on the PA system about how dangerous it was to be outdoors in the thunderstorm.

But they didn't tell us they'd actually locked us all in.

There was a huge guy behind me -- 6'4" at least, maybe taller -- who was deliberately thrusting his belly into my upper back, trying to physically intimidate me into letting him move in front of me.

At first I didn't know what the heck was going on -- was the crowd so swollen that he was being pushed into me?

And then I realized: damnit, no, this enormous man was deliberately pushing me, a much smaller, much older, woman: he was physically trying to intimidate a smaller person into getting out of his way.

So I started pushing back. Every time he pushed my back with his belly, I pushed his belly with my back. I was in no mood.

He gave up.

I guess he moved over and started belly-pushing other people because the next thing I noticed the guy was way up ahead of us.

Which meant he got to the blocked-off stairwell before the rest of us and had to turn around and head back the way he came.