It’s April, and USTA Texas is gearing up for the Summer Tournament Schedule. The Officials Committee of USTA Texas and the Junior Department wanted to inform all certified officials of recent updates and upcoming events.
- 1. USTA Official Certification and Re-certification – Online Modules
USTA is happy to launch the USTA Officiating Online Learning Center and the first four courses that will be included in all the Learning Plans for each Officiating Discipline. As more courses are developed, the material covered in each one will be more complex and prepare officials for the level of certification they desire.
The first four courses that have been launched are: Introduction to Officiating, Rules and Regulations 1, Rules and Regulations 2, Rules and Regulations 3. All officials must complete these four courses by October 1, 2016 for 2017 Certification.
Level One Roving, Roving Umpire, and Referee courses are slated for a June release and will need to be completed by Oct. 1 for anyone wanting to retain or become certified in one of those disciplines.
- 2. Check your NUCULA Account:
Every certified official or referee should be listed in NUCULA. If you check your account and are not listed in NUCULA, or you cannot login to NUCULA, please contact Bruce Sampley or Sylvia Krywacz. Please remember to input any ITA work you do (type is ITA) in both Nucula and the new ZebraWeb database for ITA. I will need this to determine your chair count at the end of the year. The two databases are not linked in any way.
- 3. Online Suspension Rules Update:
So far in 2016, our Texas Referees have been doing a great job of recording junior tournament code violations and defaults into the new Online Suspension Point System. The Online Suspension Point System is accepting adult violations, so please enter any Adult, Senior, or Super Senior division code violations into the Online System as well instead of having the Section track those manually.
- 4. Grand Slam Evaluations and Opportunities:
We plan on using the Grand Slam event in June as our on-court training for chairs, lines and roving. If you are interested in participating as a trainee, please contact Bruce Sampley (firstname.lastname@example.org) or follow the link for this Evite to apply:
We are limited to about 8 - 10 officials for chair and line training. The first chair training session (8 beginning officials with little chair experience or no experience with desire to learn) will begin Friday evening, June 10, and continue through the weekend with on-court work and feedback. The second chair training is for 8 Intermediate level chairs that have a comfort level in the chair, but need some honing. The dates for Intermediate Training will be Tuesday evening, June 14, followed by on-court work the next two days. Line training will be conducted June 17 and 18. Our trainers will be going to the sites to evaluate roving officials during the week.
The section will be providing lodging, $50 travel expense, and one group dinner, but this is a training event and other expenses should be tracked for your tax/income records.
- 5. Additional Information
Listed below is the Spectator Policy that is being sent out to all Challenger, CMZ, and SCMZ tournament directors. This is being enforced by USTA Texas to help minimize spectators interaction with on court players and also to help make the sport of tennis more enjoyable for all involved (spectators, players, officials, and tournament directors).
Please be looking soon for a packet containing a very important booklet. This is a book from the National Association of Sports Officials and contains 101 Tips for better officiating. It is a great resource to improving your application of the rules and handling various situations.
USTA Texas Section Chair of Officials
ATTENTION ALL SPECTATORS
(INCLUDES PARENTS, COACHES, RELATIVES, FRIENDS, ETC.)
In an effort to promote a more enjoyable and fair experience for all, the following policy is in immediate force and effect, and shall be diligently and stringently enforced. USTA Texas has implemented a “ZERO TOLERANCE” policy for improper behavior.
- 1. Any attempt by a spectator to speak to the official in an abusive or disrespectful manner regarding a line call or other ruling during match play shall be cause for immediate removal from the playing area and, if warranted, from the premises.
- 2. Any spectator behavior deemed unacceptable towards a player, other spectator or staff member shall be cause for immediate removal from the playing area or the entire premises. If said behavior is directed towards a player, either before, during or after a tournament, it shall result in an automatic and immediate suspension of that spectator’s right to attend USTA Texas tournaments, for a period of time to be determined by the USTA Texas Discipline and Grievance Committee.
- 3. Refusal to adhere to a removal request shall trigger immediate enforcement of the point penalty system against the player with whom the spectator is involved (per point penalty system regulations), including possible immediate default from the tournament.
- 4. The On-Site Official is the SOLE judge regarding unacceptable behavior.
Inappropriate umpire/spectator communication, whether it be about a ruling or any other facet of a tennis event is prohibited while a match is in progress. Being a parent, coach, etc. does not endow special privileges. With the only exception of the right to remove their own child from competition at any time, a parent or coach is merely a spectator.
USTA Texas Referees and Officials:
Important Announcement to Referees and All Officials
It will be very important for all officials to be in the Nucula database, especially if and when we transition out of Nucula into another database. It has become apparent that there are many new officials who are not in the Nucula system.
Referees – Please check each of your officials that you are using and make sure they are in Nucula (this means that they have done SafePlay and the Background Screening). You can check by going to Nucula and clicking on “Umpires” from the left-hand menu. Just enter their name(s) in the Search blocks and click on “Search!” If you do not see them, please send their name, email, and contact phone number to email@example.com.
Officials – If you know of someone that may not be in the system, please have them contact me or send their info to me at the email address above.
Thanks for your help.
Over the next two years, we will be replacing traditional USTA in-person certification schools with online education modules. USTA Officiating has partnered with the USTA Learning and Development Department and E-Path to develop these online modules, which will be rolled out as they are completed. Training Modules will be available online February 29th, 2016.
In the past, the USTA National and Sectional TEs held 1-2 day in person training schools. The online modules are more convenient, allowing Officials to complete them at any time and at their own pace. They are cost effective for every Official. In addition, the teachings are consistent regardless of where the Officials are located.
Our Texas Section officials will be putting together some group training sessions to be held in person. Roving, chair, and lines will be covered as needed using both classroom and on-court instruction.
A reminder that uniforms are now available and all officials are expected to wear their new uniforms by mid-March 2016. To purchase your new uniform please click on the website link provided below.
Looking for tournaments to officiate at? Listed below are tournaments that are still in need of officials for the months of February and March. Don’t hesitate to reach out!
USTA National Selection Tournament – February 13- 15, 2016 - Austin
Waco Regional Tennis Center Super Champ Level 4 – March 12-14, 2016 - Waco
First Serve Tennis Spring Challenger - March 5-6, 2016 - San Antonio
The Mabry Adult Open and SR/SS Major Zone - March 17-20, 2016 - San Antonio
If you ever have any questions about certification, recruitment, finding work, or other issues in the Texas tennis official’s world, feel free to contact us at the USTA Texas office and we can provide assistance. This newsletter, along with all past newsletters, can be found on the USTA Texas website at http://www.texas.usta.com/Officials/newsletter/?intloc=headernavsub
Thank you again for your hard work!
See you on the court!
USTA Texas Section Chair of Officials
Junior Competitive / Player Development Coordinator
T. 512.443.1334 x209
Past Newsletter links:
For those of you who are ITA certified and interested in working college matches, send an email requesting an availability form from one or more of the following college assigners: