Becoming an Official

If you enjoy the game of tennis and want to give something back, be involved in matches between professional tennis players, or perhaps, help junior players perform to their best ability, then becoming a Tennis Official is a rewarding way to achieve this goal. The Bay Area Tennis Officials Association (BATOA) promotes and fosters tennis officiating by USTA officials in the Tampa Bay Area.

A tennis official is a person who helps ensure that any given tennis match is conducted under the fairest possible conditions. So, ideally, the official is “a friend at court,” helpful to the players and the spectators.

The video below gives more information.

General advice from the USTA on becoming an Official is available here and two 'flyers' are available in the attached files below.

You will need to be physically fit, of sound character and submit yourself for a criminal back ground check and eyesight check, to ensure 20/20 vision (corrected if necessary), every two years.

To become a certified umpire, individuals must be USTA Members, attend an annual training course and pass an annual written test appropriate to the type of officiating you plan to pursue. Cost of the Annual Test is currently $25.

The BATOA Provisionals Training Co-ordinator can tell you when training courses will be held. An entry-level official is termed a Provisional Umpire. You will want to be certified as a Provisional Umpire as soon as possible. Further details on the steps to becoming an official can be obtained here.

The current rates of remuneration are shown  on the Fee Schedule page. While training as a Provisional Umpire, there is no payment. Meals for Officials are usually provided by the Tournament Director. Tennis Officials are Independent Contractors under tax regulations. Some Tournament Directors make payment directly, but some payments are made through BATOA. Where appropriate, BATOA will issue a 1099-MISC form which needs to be declared as self-employment income and you may need to pay state and federal income taxes as well as social security self-employment tax.

Work Commitment
You may work as often or as little as your available time allows, but to advance in your officiating capabilities, you should make yourself available for work as often as possible.

College Matches
To work at College matches it is necessary to pass both USTA and ITA annual tests and be re-certified each year.

Professional Tournaments
Once qualified as an official, you can apply for work at any USTA event by contacting the Head Official who is usually the Referee. This will primarily be as a Roving Official. To become a Line Umpire, you must attend a Line Umpire Clinic, attending at your own expense, similarly for Chair Umpires etc. If successful you may apply for work at events listed on Nucula.

At various events throughout the year, Officials are evaluated by a Trainer / Evaluator. If the performance is good enough, reflected in the scores achieved, advancement through the ranks of Officials is rapid and acceptance of your application to work at the highest level events, including the US Open, is a possibility.

Development Program

The USTA is in the middle of developing the overall base of our program. Here are a few of the guiding principles:

  • All Officials must begin their career within the Community Pathway.
  • All Community Officials will have minimum standards they must reach before moving into the Professional Pathway.
  • All Officials will be required to maintain a working knowledge of tennis rules and that knowledge will be regularly tested.
  • All Officials will be subjected to in-person and online evaluations that will measure their competency and overall ability to best represent the officiating community.
  • All Officials in the Professional Pathway will be evaluated and ranked against a national standard. Officials not maintaining a specific annual score will be given a set period of time to increase that score or they will be removed from the pathway.<
  • All Officials at all levels must embrace a strong decree of professionalism, and demonstrate an ability to maintain high performance standards for their specific discipline.
These are but a few of our fundamental theories that will guide the building of a new USTA Officiating Program.

Application Form
If you are new to officiating, complete the Inquiry form. If you are already a USTA Official and wish to join BATOA, please complete the Membership Application Form and submit it to the Treasurer! More information on Joining BATOA is available on the BATOA Membership page.

Allan Thompson,
Dec 12, 2016, 7:18 AM
Allan Thompson,
Oct 27, 2013, 11:59 AM
Allan Thompson,
Oct 27, 2013, 11:59 AM