USTA Tennis Officials enforce the rules of tennis to ensure fair play. There are different types of Officials with different responsibilities (listed below) – but the common goal for all Officials is to make sure that individual and/or Tournament matches are conducted under the fairest possible conditions. Make it Fair…Make it Fun…Make it about the Players.
HOW TO BECOME A TENNIS OFFICIAL – Texas (Updated for 2016)
Things are changing for certifying as a USTA Official. Please read careful.
In order to become a USTA Tennis Official you must put in a little work. The following steps will get you started toward becoming an Official. Where the prompt indicates “Click Here” – put your curser over the words “Click Here” then hold down your “CTRL” button and left click with mouse.
1) You must first be a member of USTA. If you are not a member, you can join USTA online at United States Tennis Association Click here.
2) Contact your "Area Coordinator" or Sectional Chair in Texas: Click Here. Let them know of your interest. Because Texas is so large – we have "Area Coordinators," who assist with local recruitment, local training, learning materials and other needs of Officials. Stay in touch with your Coordinator – they are an important part of Texas Officiating.
3) In an effort to protect all competitors, ALL OFFICIALS must watch
a the “SafePlay/SafeSport” video. This procedure is now mandatory in most sports for all officials and for all of those who assist the athletes in competition. Click here. You will need to register on the site, add the SafeSport item to your bag and check out. There is no charge.
4) Submit information for a Background Check Click Here – (This is paid for by the USTA and only takes a couple minutes to submit) all new Officials must take and pass the background check and ALL Officials must take and pass the background check every ‘even’ year (I.E. to be certified in 2017 must submit the background check in 2016).
5) Once the SafePlay training is completed and the Background Check is passed, you will be ready to take the new Training modules listed below. You will be required to take the first five modules to get started. There will be no certification schools now, but local training for roving, chair, and line training. Please go to the USTA Officials webpage to access the modules. Click Here
6) Get a Uniform… Uniforms are changing for 2016. We are about to launch the USTA Umpire Clothing Program next week (Dec. 16, 2015). This has been a long process, and we appreciate your patience as we worked out all the details. We are confident that the Officials will be happy with the items we have selected, the website created, and the high customer service level S&H provides. In preparation for the launch, we have also created a clothing guide that includes pricing, size chart, and any additional information about each item. Click here to view the clothing guide.
As we mentioned before, the roll-out will be tiered. We have prioritized the Pro Circuit Officials working in January as the first group to receive the link for the Clothing Program Website. Those Officials will have one week to place their order before the rest of the USTA Certified Officials receive the link. This will ensure that they will receive their uniform before their first assignment in January. The clothing information and link will then be sent to all Certified Officials on December 16th, 2015. All officials are expected to wear the new uniforms by mid-March, 2016.
7) NOW COMES THE FUN PART – STUDY! TRAIN! STUDY! TRAIN! You want to be hired – MAKE SURE YOU KNOW YOUR STUFF! Good Officials are always learning the rules and shadowing experienced Officials on court. Read and re-read your FAC and get with your Coordinator about shadowing opportunities in your area!
One of Texas’ Best Officials made this very important quote about two important characteristics of ALL Officials: "Above all -- an ‘even’ temperament and a great listening ability are required to ‘solve’ problems and to convey the ‘right stuff’ (rules interpretation and implementation) to players, parents and spectators. … Millard Countryman
There will be training session on roving, chair, and lines coming this summer. See In-Person Training on USTA email (Email link)
8) YOU’RE READY! Get your availability out to your Coordinator (Texas Coordinator Link), Referees, and Tournament Directors. You will want to WORK, WORK, WORK, to gain experience needed to expand your opportunities in Officiating. Work tournaments your Referees feel you are ready for… you will gain experience by working different events including juniors, adults, and seniors. They are all different and bring varied challenges.
Do not hesitate to call if you have questions, suggestions or issues. We appreciate your time and commitment to making TEXAS TENNIS GREAT!
For All Returning Officials
Please see information in email below under the In-Person Training, Certification, Clothing, and Friend at Court. (Email Link)