“Might Poke Someone’s Eye Out”: Wimbledon on Banning Selfie Sticks

Fans will no longer be able to carry selfie sticks to Wimbledon as the organisers believe they cause “nuisance”.

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A woman takes a photo using a “selfie” stick whilst standing on Westminster Bridge in London, January 10, 2015. (Photo: Reuters)  

It might be a rage to click selfies at sports events but Wimbledon is in no mood to oblige, banning selfie sticks at the prestigious event for their “nuisance value” and for causing obstruction in spectators’ enjoyment.

The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) has added the device to the list of items banned from its annual grass court championships.

Selfie sticks are metal rods that can extend up to about 40 inches, to which smartphones or compact cameras can be fixed. They allow people to take wider-angle pictures of themselves that can also include more people and incorporate more background in the shot.

The problem is that the inventors of the sticks have created a device that is not only deeply irritating to those not using them but also a handy weapon. A growing number of venues have banned them, The Sunday Times reported.

It is in common with everyone else. It is partly the nuisance value but primarily so it doesn’t interfere with spectators’ enjoyment.There is the possibility that if you are wandering around with one of these things in a fairly tight environment, you might poke someone’s eye out.
– AELTC Spokesman

Wimbledon is not the first venue to take such a call, however.

The National Gallery has banned them – as has the O2, the Royal Opera House and at least six Premier League football grounds. Most music venues will not allow them, and theme parks forbid people carrying them on rides.

In America, selfie sticks have been banned from events as diverse as the Kentucky Derby horse race and the Coachella music festival, while neither the Palace of Versailles in France nor the Colosseum in Rome will allow visitors to use them.

Last week Apple announced that selfie sticks would be banned from its annual developer conference in June – despite the fact they are often used with Apple iPhones and there are versions available for iPads.

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