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National

OFFICIATING

FAQS

January 1, 2017
<h2>OFFICIATING</h2>
<h1>FAQS</h1>
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How do I become a USTA member?

Becoming a member has never been easier. You can sign up online, by phone or by mail. To learn more about USTA membership benefits and becoming a member, click here.

 

What is my section?

The section you belong to depends on the state and, in some cases, your zip code. If you are already a member, your membership card or online profile will state your correct USTA Section and District. To find what section you may be part of click here.

 

What is the difference between a referee, chair umpire, rover and line umpire?

Each role has its own specific set of duties during competition. In brief, a referee is the final authority for the event in matters of tennis law. In matches in which a chair umpire is assigned, the chair umpire is the final authority on all questions of fact during a match. ADVERTISEMENT A line umpire makes all calls (including foot faults) related to the line or net they are assigned to. A roving umpire or “rover” is an official who exercises jurisdiction over more than one court and performs duties similar to chair umpires. Most USTA officials at the grassroots level officiate as roving umpires.

 

Is there a fee involved in becoming an official?

There are no fees to become a USTA official. However, you must be a USTA member. Officials are also required to supply their own uniform to wear at USTA-sanctioned events. 

 

What is the difference between a provisional and a certified umpire?

A provisional umpire is the initial designation of a USTA-certified official. A provisional umpire is a certified umpire.

 

Do I need to attend a course to become a certified umpire?

Most USTA Sections provide what is known as a “Provisional Class” or ”School” that helps train officials in the basics of tennis officiating. If you are interested in becoming certified and wish to find out if there is a session in your area, please contact the Sectional Chairperson of Officials for your section.

 

How do I obtain a copy of "Friend at Court"?

Every official certified as of the beginning of the year will be mailed a copy of "Friend at Court." Those becoming officials during the year can either purchase or download a copy for free.

 

Can I officiate at tournaments in which my relatives or friends are playing?

All officials must abide by the Official’s Code of Conduct, which is listed on the last page of Friend at Court. The code states that officials: “Not accept assignments for any match that may cast doubt upon the official’s impartiality. Not only is a bona fide conflict of interest prohibited, but the appearance of a conflict makes the assignment unacceptable.” This rule prevents officials from being able to officiate at most events in which friends and family compete.

 

 

For further questions, email the USTA Officiating Department.

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