Become an Umpire

Umpires and Platform Tennis

Chair Umpire Handbook

The APTA has a revolving team of umpires who officiate at top-level matches throughout the season. The organization is always looking for more people to become involved in umpiring the game.

Q: What does an umpire do?

A: An umpire begins a match by announcing who is playing, where the players are from, and what match is being played. The umpire flips a coin for teams to decide on service order. Other responsibilities include being in charge of pace of play, calling foot faults, keeping and announcing the score, and ruling on disputed calls.

Q: Does the umpire make all of the line calls?

A: No. The umpire is only responsible for calls that are in dispute.

Q: Which matches have umpires?

A: The APTA strives to have umpires for all matches from the quarterfinals through the finals in the main draw of the APTA Grand Prix Series, Open Nationals, and Mixed Nationals tournaments, and the finals of the Junior Nationals.

Q: What’s the difference between an umpired match and a non-umpired match?

A: The biggest difference is with disputed calls. In an umpired match, all disputed calls are ruled on; the umpire’s decision is final, and there is a loss of point for the team who loses the dispute. Without an umpire, it is good etiquette to play a let on calls that are not agreed upon. The same goes for calling foot faults. In an umpired match, a foot fault is a loss of point. Without an umpire, the opponent is calling the offense, and the player earns a warning for the first offense.

Q: What makes a good umpire?

A: The Committee looks for confident and respected men and women who have a good grasp of the game and the rules. An umpire must be willing to work in all weather conditions, and be comfortable sitting in a chair hung over the top rail of the court. (The chair is equipped with a heating pad and blankets.)

Q: How do I become an umpire?

A: Contact us today at