The Umpire Chair-Man; How the chairs get from here to there

March 16, 2022

The Umpire Chair-Man
How the chairs get from here to there

By Linda Ball

Ever wonder how those heavy umpire chairs move from tournament to tournament? Probably not, but it is one of those good behind-the-scenes stories.

When umpires became a staple at the larger APTA events, moving the chairs became a knotty problem, until Rob Coster volunteered to help out. The APTA is grateful for his work transporting the umpire chairs around the Northeast. He does this task completely free and calls it a labor of love. “I love tournaments and I'll do whatever I can to help make them successful,” says Coster, who is also the President of Court Pro, a platform tennis court builder.

Coster was a past president of the APTA and he’s been moving chairs for many years at the request of Executive Director Ann Sheedy. “Who can say no to Ann?” he said. “Recently, I was visiting clubs in the Philly area and picked up the chairs that were used at the Philly Open. I will get them to the Nationals site at some point as I visit clubs out on Long Island.”

Coster also does maintenance on the chairs, which can take a beating during moving and use at the tournaments. Rob mentions, “We have replaced seat belts, footrests and armrests, and other parts as they break. We also try to keep them looking nice with a fresh layer of lipstick.”

Coster added, “When I deliver the chairs, it often puts me in contact with many great volunteers who organize and run the tournaments. It gives me a chance to thank them for their contribution to the sport.”

Linda Ball is the Live Scoring Coordinator for the APTA and a frequent contributor to the website and PTM.

2022-Rob Coster-500

Rob Coster

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