Give back and help grow the game of tennis through Officiating. Officials play an integral role at tournaments at all levels from local community events to professional events by ensuring fair play and sportsmanship. Below are the steps to get certified as a USTA Official:
Requirements to Become a USTA Certified Official:
- Create an account on OfficialsFirst, the USTA Officiating Database.
- Complete the Introduction to Officiating, Rules and Regulations, and Level 1 Roving Umpire courses. Click here to access these courses.
- Be in compliance with USTA Safe Play. To get started:
a. Click here to access the training and enter the Access Code: SSFD-CST3-95CL-QBN5 (please note that the letters are in CAPS). You will be prompted to create an account (USE THE EMAIL ADDRESS THE USTA HAS ON FILE FOR YOU) and will then have access to your learning dashboard. ADVERTISEMENT From your learning dashboard, there are three 30-minute training modules to complete:
- Sexual Misconduct Awareness
- Education Mandatory Reporting
- Emotional and Physical Misconduct
b. Review the USTA Safe Play Conduct, Policies, and Guidelines found here.
c. Complete the USTA Safe Play background screen application available here. We recommend using a desktop or laptop because the verification screens at the end of the application don't fully load on tablets or mobile devices. Once the background screening application has been submitted, you will receive a confirmation email from email@example.com with your NCSI Application ID number. Results will be generated in approximately 10 business days. When your background screening is completed, you will receive either a green or red light based on the results of your application and the USTA's criteria.
4. Be a USTA member. To become a member, click here.
5. Submit to the USTA a physician's or an optometrist's Vision Form attesting that the official has 20/20 vision, either corrected or uncorrected in each eye. The Vision Form can be downloaded on OfficialsFirst and then uploaded to your account once completed. Please note that the Vision Form must be dated within the past 12 months.
6. Contact your Section Chairperson (click here) to set up two days of on-court training/shadowing. After the two days, you will show your knowledge of basic themes described in the training checklist (click here) with the Section Chairperson. Following the approval from your Section Chairperson, Foundation 2 Certification will be added to your OfficialsFirst account and you will gain access to events on OfficialsFirst.
USTA Officiating Uniform
Click here for the USTA Officiating uniform guide and the link to order the uniform items.
Friend at Court
"Friend at Court" is the book of rules and regulations under which tennis is played in the United States. It is recommended reading for players, parents, coaches, teachers, tournament directors, league officials and anyone who wants a finer understanding of the game.
All officials begin at the community pathway by gaining experience and knowledge. Community events include USTA-sanctioned junior and adult tournaments, district and sectional events, collegiate events and national championships.
After gaining experience as an official in community events, some officials may choose to look toward the professional pathway. Similar to tennis players, officials begin working at lower-level Pro Circuit events before moving to ATP/WTA events, Davis Cup and Fed Cup and Grand Slam tournaments.
A roving umpire is an official other than the referee or deputy referee who exercises jurisdiction over one or more courts. Roving umpires are responsible for setting up the courts, maintaining proper warm-up and rest-period times, resolving scoring disputes, controlling spectators and enforcing the rules of tennis.
A chair umpire is the official responsible for conducting one match in accordance with the ITF Rules of Tennis and USTA Regulations.
A line umpire is an official responsible for calling all shots directed to the lines assigned to the official.
A chief umpire is an official responsible for hiring the officials. In many tournaments, the referee will delegate to the chief umpire the responsibility for assigning, replacing and reassigning officials.
The referee is generally responsible for supervising all aspects of play and assuring that the competition is fair and played under the ITF Rules of Tennis and USTA Regulations.
For information or questions about becoming an official, contact us here.