Types of tennis official
Tennis officials play a crucial role at all levels of our sport. There are many different types of official, including:
Line Umpires get to call the shots – literally – at all levels of tournaments, from grassroots all the way through to the Australian Open.
It might appear simple, but the best Line Umpires need to be able to concentrate for long periods of time, be team players, and (of course) require excellent eyesight. As well as calling the lines, they act as an extra pair of eyes and ears for the Chair Umpire.
Becoming a Line Umpire is the quickest pathway to getting on court at tennis tournaments around the world.
Aside from the players, the Chair Umpire is the most important person on court during a match.
The Chair Umpire has enormous responsibility during a match, and are responsible for everything from calling the score to enforcing the rules and managing the players. A successful Chair Umpire needs great communication skills, the ability to stay calm under pressure, and 20:20 vision.
The best Chair Umpires work full-time in the role, travelling the world with the tennis tour.
Being a Court Supervisor is a great way to get involved in tennis at the grassroots level. They are responsible for monitoring a number of courts at a tournament or competition. They assist and educate players, parents and coaches; and assist in the smooth running of an event.
Other important roles of Court Supervisors are to help enforce the Rules of Tennis and Code of Behaviour, as well as resolving on court queries.
The Referee is the expert in all things rules and regulations. Referees supervise all aspects of a tournament, from taking charge of the draws and schedules, to enforcing the rules and making sure everything runs smoothly and in the spirit of fairness.
Being a Referee requires exceptional knowledge of the rules of tennis, the ability to multi-task in a pressured environment, and to listen and communicate well with everyone involved with the tournament.
Chief of Officials
This position is only available to our most experienced officials. The Chief of Officials coordinates all the officials, and works with the tournament to ensure officials are always on hand when needed.
Only the largest events on the annual calendar require a Chief of Official, including the Australian Open, AO Series and ATP Challenger events.
The National Officiating Pathway
The following pathway shows how you can progress from your introduction to becoming an official to working at the highest level of the sport: