January 1, 2017
Give back and help grow the game of tennis through Officiating. Traditionally, officials start at district and section community events, which include USTA- sanctioned wheelchair, junior and adult tournaments. After gaining knowledge and experience, officials may show interest in officiating at professional level events, including the USTA Pro Circuit, ATP World Tour, WTA Tour, Davis and Fed Cup tie and Grand Slam tournaments.
Requirements to Become a USTA Certified Official:
- Be a USTA Member. (To become a member, click here.)
- Complete online Safe Play Training, which includes passing a criminal background check (click here). If you are under 18, please click here to request a background screening waiver.
- Complete the Introduction to Officiating, Rules and Regulations modules, and Roving 1 to complete the testing requirement for Provisional Certification. Click here to access these courses.
- Submit to the USTA a physician's or an optometrist's statement attesting that the official has 20/20 visions, either corrected or uncorrected in each eye. Click here for the vision form. Please note that the vision form must be dated after Dec. 1, 2016.
Once you have completed the requirements, please contact your section chairperson for additional information and next steps.
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.
Click here to view "Friend at Court" online.
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.