Enter Wimbledon

Wimbledon. This is a word that stands for best tennis.

Although first the name of a London suburb, for millions of tennis fans around the world it stands for sportsmanship, athletic prowess and celebrity astrology. For the half million or so people who manage to see at least a few of the annual championship matches in person, it also means a big social event.

One of the great things about the championship tennis tournament that is played every summer at Wimbledon is that it is one of the few major sporting events that the average fan (i.e., not rich or well connected) stands a worthy chance of entering.

Interestingly, the Wimbledon game ultimately owes its existence not to tennis but to another, more sedate, game that was all the rage among Victorians: croquette. You see, the private club that sponsored the world’s leading tennis championships was originally founded as the All England Croquet Club.

Founded in 1868, the club did not hold its first tennis championship until 1877. The games were watched by several hundred spectators in what was described as a “garden party atmosphere.”

Has the Wimbledon ballot taken place?

For a long time now the club’s name has been The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, and the Wimbledon Championship was attended by more than 500,000 people and was brought to millions of people around the world through the mass media and the Internet.

The tournament starts six weeks before the first Monday in August and lasts for about two weeks. Players from more than 60 countries regularly compete.

If you plan to be in London for the two weeks of June or July when a tournament is playing, getting in to see at least a match or two will be a great experience for any tennis fan. So how do you get tickets to this biggest tennis event?

If you definitely want to attend Wimbledon next year, you’ll need to enter a public ballot (or lottery) held every January for some of the Central Court and No. 1 Court. You’ll need some luck picking up tickets this way, but it’s worth a try. All it takes is getting the official application form and returning it by the deadline (exact procedures and addresses are detailed on Tops 4 Tennis’s Web site at www.tops4tennis.com/articles/wimbledon.html).

If you are successful in the ticket draw, you will be notified approximately four months before the start of the tournament and asked to send payment at that time.

Another way to get into these tournaments is to purchase a travel package from one of the many companies that specialize in tennis tours. Most of these Wimbledon packages will include transportation, lodging, and maybe some local side tours in addition to the tickets themselves. This is an easy way to go to tournaments if you like the all-in-one approach to buying rides. If you are more of an independent traveler, it may not be the right fit for you either.

You can find Wimbledon travel operators on the Web by searching “Wimbledon tournament trips” or “Wimbledon travel packages.”

There are also a number of online ticket brokers, some of which specialize in sporting events such as Wimbledon. They buy tickets from willing sellers and resell them to willing buyers, or alternatively they just bring the seller and buyer together to make their own deal. Brokers make their money through the fees or commissions they charge for this service.

Finally, you can also queue up for tickets during the tournament itself.

Several thousand tickets on the same day are sold in public places while the game is in progress. You have to be present and willing to stand on the line to get one of these. In the end you may still fall behind, but if you are in that area and have patience, you should show up early and have to go there.

If you are an avid tennis player or a fan or both Business Management Articles, Wimbledon is one of those events you should see in person at least once in your life.