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Line Umpires at Wimbledon Qualifying by Getty Images
There are two types of tennis Umpires within the sport, both Line Umpires and Chair Umpires. A Line Umpire is responsible for calling the lines on the tennis court and the Chair Umpire is responsible for calling the score and settling any issues.
You need to work your way up to becoming a Chair Umpire by starting as a Line Umpire and progressing from there. Once you are trained you can become a tennis Umpire at local county and regional competition and certain selected tennis Umpires get to officiate at Wimbledon and International events.
You will need to attend and pass the one day Basic Line Umpire course, which provides an introduction to line umpiring. The minimum age take the course is 16.
The day will be a combination of classroom and on court work and the course is a pass/fail dependent on your performance on the day.
Once you have successfully completed the Basic Line Umpire course you can apply online for an LTA Officials Licence. Officials require an LTA DBS check in order to apply for an Officials Licence. Find out more about the Officials Licence Scheme here
Licensed Umpires will then be able to line umpire at tournaments.
Details of the Winter 2013 training programme are now available here and the courses can be booked on through the online course search. (From September 2013 there will be a £15 fee for this course.) Please note that all 2013 courses are now full. 2014 dates will be available in June 2014.
Once you have gained some experience as a line umpire, Licensed Umpires are eligible to be invited onto a Chair Umpire Accreditation Course.
This day course is run 2-4 times a year, and will build on your knowledge as a line umpire with an introduction to and training in chair umpiring.
The course is a combination of classroom and on-court work and includes an exam at the end of the course. From September 2013 there will be a fee for the Chair Umpire Accreditation course.
You will be able to begin umpiring at local club finals days and junior tournaments.
With experience, good assessments and further courses you can progress to Line and Chair at more high profile tournaments.
The role of officiating in tennis is unique to other sports as it often involves regular contact and a supervisory role of children, young people and adults at risk during tournaments. For these reasons, Accredited Umpires will require an LTA DBS disclosure.