Missouri Valley / Iowa

Farley Makes Her Mark as Chair of Officials

Andrea Gallagher | May 24, 2021


Donna Farley has spent more than 30 years as a tennis official, and 23 years as the Chair of Officials for USTA Iowa. She will soon be passing that baton to her successor, but will not say goodbye to officiating forever. 



“I plan to assist the new chair during a transitional period,” she said. “As for my own tennis officiating, I plan to continue to work at local junior events as well as collegiate events and the upcoming Special Olympic Games in Orlando in 2022, as well as the World Games in Germany, 2023.”



Farley was running junior tournaments and fundraisers in Iowa City in the 1980s when there was a need for on-court volunteers to help out. She was around tennis because her husband and two daughters all played the sport. Once her kids left for college, she became more involved with officiating and training others. The Iowa State coach also asked her to step in for home meets as well. 


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 “I love being around competitive athletes of all ages and abilities,” Farley said. “And I love watching tennis, so the best seat is often at the net or in the chair. As the years have gone by I have formed the closest friendships with other tennis officials locally and even internationally. We love exchanging stories and supporting each other.”



There are many challenges to the job, including keeping up with the certification requirements, as well as recruiting new officials. The on-court challenge, she said, is knowing the correct rule interpretation and how it should best be implemented when a situation quickly arises. However, she loves every moment.



“I love the feeling that my presence adds a fairness to the competition even though one is rarely thanked for their efforts.”



Farley loves the sport of tennis because it’s a lifetime sport, and anyone of any level can play and have fun, while being competitive. 



“I always enjoyed the social part of league tennis and tournament tennis with the many parties and get-togethers,” she added. 



Farley plans to stay busy.  She plans to travel again and take part in many hobbies including gardening, bird watching, hiking, biking, book club and lunches with her tennis friends. 


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