Wimbledon is to drop the tournament’s strict all-white dress code and allow female players to wear dark undershorts in order to address the concerns of female players who are menstruating.
The move comes after protests at this year’s tournament from the Address The Dress Code campaign, which sought to highlight the anxiety women can face when competing in traditional whites, and criticism from Judy Murray and Billie Jean King.
“We are committed to supporting the players and listening to their feedback as to how they can perform at their best,” said Sally Bolton, chief executive of the All England Club. “I’m pleased to confirm that, following consultation with players and representatives of several stakeholder groups, the committee of management has taken the decision to update the white clothing rule at Wimbledon.
“This means that from next year, women and girls competing at The Championships will have the option of wearing coloured undershorts if they choose. It is our hope that this rule adjustment will help players focus purely on their performance by relieving a potential source of anxiety.”
The All England Club added that “requirements for other clothing, accessories and equipment remain unchanged”.
The move follows several similar cases across sport. In September, West Bromwich Albion Women announced they would wear navy shorts with their home kit instead of white, and the issue was also raised by the England football team before the European Championships in the summer.