Women's Tennis May Use 'Grunt-O-Meter' Device to Curb Excessive Shrieking
Women's tennis is exploring how it can rid the sport of unwarranted grunting and shrieking that have become more excessive in recent years, particularly in matches involving players like Victoria Azarenka, Maria Sharapova, and Serena Williams.
WTA chief executive Stacey Allaster told USA Today that the tour is looking into "on-court measuring devices" to curb the grunting. The so-called "grunt-o-meter" will be used to measure how loud the grunting is after an acceptable noise limit is established.
"We have begun to do the audio testing, and we have begun it in this quarter of 2013," Allaster said, acknowledging that the tour is working with an "unnamed research firm with expertise in urban noise levels to assist with the gathering of data."
The tour is seriously looking into hand-held "grunt-o-meter" devices for umpires on the court.
"There is more data to be done, there's more assessment to be done on the different audible levels," she said. "There are a variety of different environments that you need to assess the audible levels - indoor buildings, outdoor buildings, small venues, different surfaces, etc."
Tennis Australia has applied for a university grant to study grunting, and the tour will be working with SAP to see if "harder strokes are producing louder sounds."
"We are now moving into more of the data and the scientific stream to see where we net out on it," Allaster said.
Below is a clip of a match between Azarenka and Sharapova where the groaning, grunting, and shrieking become more than distracting and borderline unbearable.