Monday, July 11, 2016

How Would You Rule When The Players Are Late?

Interesting scenario came up this week at the ITA tournament in Dallas...

Play was suspended on Saturday evening due to rain and was to be continued the next morning.  When play was resumed on Sunday morning and all of the players were called to report for play it was discovered that four of the players were late in reporting.  The four players who were late were also well into the first set of their matches.  What do you do when players report late for their match on Sunday?

Here are some choices:

*  Ignore any penalties and just be glad they came back on Sunday.
*  Penalize them with the same penalties as at the start of a match.
*  Call their Mothers and have them get them to the courts as soon as possible.
*  Rebuke the evil spirit of lateness in the players and then continue play.
*  Give them a big hug and hope they are never late again.
*  Do nothing since the match was already in progress and how would you assess a game penalty when they are in the middle of a game.

HINT:  The referee made the decision that they should be penalized as if it were the beginning of the match.  However, of the 4 players that were late, none of them ever showed up and were subsequently defaulted.

How would you have ruled???

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Share Your Thoughts & Comments--We Don't Bite (Even Though We May Bark From Time To Time)

Come on folks--we need your thoughts and comments to make the blog more interesting...

We published the previous post about 3 hours ago and we have already had over 100 hits on that post--but alas, no comments.

Remember, you can always comment anonymously and that request will be honored.  To be honest, I don't of anyone who posts that signs their real name.  Comments are what makes a blog fun and more interesting so PLEASE let us hear from you...

Hope you are all having a great summer!

How Would You Rule? The Non-Existent Warm-Up Opponent

The Clubhouse--the location of the missing warmup partner.

This one came up at a USTA tournament lately...

In a men's USTA tournament doubles match, one of the players on team A refused to warm  up with team B and would not come out of the clubhouse until the 5 minute warm-up was completed.  Team B reluctantly warmed up with one player from team A and then his teammate came out when the warm up was complete.

In the Friend at Court (page 37) the rule says:  A player should provide the opponent a warm-up of five to ten minutes.  If a player declines to warm up the opponent, the player forfeits the right to a wram-up, and the opponent may warm up with another person."

Here are some questions about this scenario:

*  Why did the desk person send the players out when team A was not complete?  In this case, the desk person knew the player from team A would not warm up his opponents since this is regular procedure in a tournament.

*  Why did team B consent to warm up with just one player from the other team?  They should have warmed  up with each other and told the player from team A to find someone to warm him up--or better yet, get his partner to come out.

*  Was this an act of unsportsmanlike conduct?

We'd be interested in hearing your answers...

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Getting Fired And Working Through The Experience

Now that we have completed another collegiate officiating season, its time to reflect back on what we learned and didn't learn.  One of the greatest joys is watching a new official mature in their officiating skills and move into new depths of competency--but its also gut-wrenching to watch an official crash and burn.  Sadly, we see both scenarios fairly often in the officiating world.

Frankly, there are some officials who need to be fired--usually not because of lack of rules knowledge but because of lack of personal skills.  Whether you are in the SEC or the Big 12 or any other collegiate venue, coaches are going to fire officials every year.  Even though we may not like it and may even be offended over it, they have the right to do so since we are independent contractors and they are our employers.  Here are some of the reasons that officials were fired for this year:

*  The official told the coach he was an "ignorant prick."  Probably should have been fired sooner than later.
*  The coach didn't like the official's attitude on the court.  Again we go back to personal demeanor and skills.  Usually if their attitude was bad on the court its probably worse when they are with other officials.
*  The coach thought the official was weak in their line calls.
*  The coach felt the official didn't know the rules.
*  The coach felt the official was afraid to overrule.  Of course, he meant that for the other team only.
*  The coach thought the official looked like a slob.  And he did.  Make sure you are clean-shaven and smell good.
*  The coach didn't want the official barred from all of collegiate officiating--just from any of their matches or matches that involved their coach friends.
*  The coach said the official was rude and condescending to him/her and the players.  And he/she was right!  Rude and condescending doesn't stop when they get out of the chair--its bone deep!

Coordinators have a difficult task when a coach or conference official demands that an official be fired from doing their matches.  Ultimately, we have to honor the wishes but sometimes it helps to try to talk through the issue before formally removing an official from those assignments.  When that doesn't work, they are gone...

Getting fired from a certainly school isn't the end of the world--unless you let it be.  Here are some things to remember if you have been fired:

*  Its not always your fault--but it usually is.  Be honest in your personal evaluation of your attitudes, demeanor, conduct, and personal relationships.  Usually that which got  you fired spills over into other areas of your life.
*  Don't get mad and cause trouble.  That will only come back to bite you in the rear.  Take your punishment and learn from it.  Work on every aspect of your officiating skill set.
*  Don't confront the coach that fired you.  Pouring gas on the fire will only make it worse--remember they all have friends!
*  Don't get mad at your coordinator.  Sometimes they have no choice and you don't know how many times they went to bat for you before you were fired.  Remember--if the coordinator didn't like you, you wouldn't be there in the first place.
*  Give it a little time and you may be able to return.  If you aren't too deeply offended and ultimately want to work at that school again, just relax and do your best.  Cream will always rise to the top.
*  Don't quit officiating.  We've all been insulted and most of us have been fired at one time or another.  Its part of officiating but be sure to learn from it.
*  Don't get your panties in a wad.  Its not becoming and will get you fired from your other assignments.
*  Don't run around telling other officials, "I have no idea why they fired me," when you know down deep exactly why.
*  Ask someone you know and trust how you can improve.  Let them be honest and then work on what they tell you.
*  Ask the Lord to forgive you for being an insensitive, rude pig and then let Him work on making you useable again...  This is the best solution I can offer!!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Joys of Tennis Offficiating

If you only listen to officials, players, parents, and coaches then you might come to think that tennis officiating is a dreadful profession and there is nothing fun or joyous about it--but don't listen to the naysayers--tennis officiating is a great profession and one that brings much joy into the life of an official.

Here are some of the joys of tennis officiating:

*  There is a sense of accomplishment when you pass all of the tests.  Contrary to what some may think, we actually do have to pass annual exams to be an official.
*  Its a great opportunity to learn about human nature and especially during stress and trials.
*  You get to meet some of the greatest kids in the world.  They aren't all bad...
*  You experience the privilege of working with some of the finest coaches in any sport.  99% of them are fantastic people and our times together should be treasured.
*  Its a profession where you can always improve and that fact should continually inspire you.
*  You get to meet some of the best parents in the world.  The bad apples always get the headlines and the attention but there are far more wonderful parents than the bad ones.
*  Hopefully you get to impart some good into the lives of the people you come into contact with.
*  You get to hear Gary Tolbert call out the score in his "ministerial voice" and wonder why he wasn't a preacher.
*  You get to see Ginny James come out in a new outfit every day.
*  You get to drive to Stillwater and see all the sights.
*  You get to watch Myron Krueger drive down I-35 and not kill himself and others.
*  You get to see Carol Bruehler continually prop herself up with her hand on her hip and not do permanent damage.
*  You get to watch Rick Gabel and Ty McDonald try to drink every beer known to man.
*  You get an up-close glimpse of David Roditi's hat.
*  You get to hear Michael Center try to convince us that he can see the far sideline better than we can when we are up in a chair.
*  You get to eat the free tacos and pizza that they give you at TCU.
*  You get to hear some deluded people try to convince others that they have an "elite program."
*  You get to watch Cheryl Jones try to make assignments that please everyone.
*  You get to have John Roddick tell you that you have made the worst call he has ever seen in his entire life.
*  You actually get to work with some coaches that are men and women of integrity and treat each other and us like human beings worth of honor and respect.
*  You get to see pro chair officials elevate themselves to heights that only they can conjure up and the wait for them to fall from their perch.  Remember--pride always comes before a fall...
*  You get to see Mary Lynn Satur work diligently on not saying the "f-word" so often.
*  You get to be right on the court with some of the finest competitors in any sport.

These are just a few of the many reasons that we have great joy in what we do--but then there are times of weeping and gnashing of teeth.  Isn't it great to have the wonderful Biblical promise that it only lasts for the night and there will be a shout of joy in the morning!

Monday, June 20, 2016

"Entitled Coaches." What Do You Do With Them?

Now that we have discussed entitled officials and parents, its time to turn our attention to entitled coaches.  Thankfully, they are very few and far between but the ones that exist deal much misery and scorn.  The great and vast majority of coaches are fine, upstanding folks that love the game and love their players (most of the time.)  But then, there are a few...

Attributes of an entitled coach:
*  Has a vastly inflated opinion of himself/herself.
*  Usually condescending to most people in their lives.
*  Probably graduated from college with a grade point around 2.7
*  If a male, given to frequent outbursts and profanity.
*  If a female, communicates their air of superiority with smugness and contempt toward others.
*  If they happen to be a winner with their team, they don't hesitate to share it with anyone who will listen.
*  Tends to think themselves an authority on every subject known to modern man.
*  Masters of manipulating players, parents, and officials.
*  Tend to think that they deserve "home cooking" whenever they play at home.
*  Can be manipulative of officials to get what they want.
*  Usually quite skilled in manipulative techniques.  As an official, learn them and beware.
*  If a male, very seldom eats salads but if they do, they have to have chicken or fish in them.
*  If a female, tends to overdo the makeup if they are feminine, and goes full out masculine if they lean that way.
*  Usually overextended in their financial obligations unless they make a ridiculously high salary but then, they tend to spend a lot.
*  Usually makes sure their outerwear is color coordinator.  Not sure about their underwear, but don't want to go there.
*  Treat officials "nicely" but with undergirdings of contempt.
*  Think they know all of the rules.
*  Cannot stand to be questioned or coded.
*  Has no intrinsic respect for their players but think of them merely as pawns in a game.
*  Knows full well that a team takes on the personality of their coach and tend to exploit it.
*  Usually doesn't stay long at one school.

How to deal with an entitled coach:
*  Be sure you know your rules because they will question you on every hand.
*  Be firm in your rulings and interpretations.  They can't stand an official that can't make up their mind.
*  Be sensitive to their moods--it will help as you strive to work with them.
*  Be loving--because they know that noone else really loves or cares about them.
*  If you want some fun, continually compliment them on everything from their team to their clothing and watch how they eat it up.  Remember their lives are based on the praise of others.
*  Watch out for sneaky tricks.  They have a bag full of them.
*  Remember that their players will usually emulate the attitudes and conduct of the coach.
*  Praise Jesus daily that there aren't many of them.

Working with coaches is one of the most rewarding but also the most taxing part of being an official.  The good ones are a joy and the "difficult" ones are a test.  Thank the Lord that the vast, vast majority of coaches are the good ones...

SPECIAL NOTE:  I had three specific coaches in mind when I wrote this post.  Care to venture a guess as to who they are???

Saturday, June 18, 2016

"Entitled Parents" And How To Deal With Them

Now that we have pointed out the existence of "entitled officials", let's move on to discuss "entitled parents".  Seems that they are appearing more and more frequently in the tennis world and its imperative that we as officials learn to deal with them for our own safety and the integrity of the game.

Here are some of the characteristics of an "entitled parent":

*  Usually  highly opinionated and agressive.
*  Has very few friends in the tennis world--or in the universe.
*  Normally is projecting what they wanted as a child on their own child.
*  Has a child that never cheats or does anything wrong.
*  Very seldom sits with their mate if the mate will even accompany them to a match.
*  Their normal speaking voice is loud but their screaming voice is even louder.
*  Convinced that they know more than any official or parent.
*  Very quick to confront an official.
*  If a female, probably looks much like the woman in the picture above.
*  Loves to coach their child even though its against the rules.
*  Tries to sneak around when disobeying the rules so no official will see them.
*  Usually berates their child after a match.  Frequently does this in front of everyone.
*  More than willing to confront other parents or opponents of their child.
*  If a male, usually quick to point out what a great athlete he was in high school and college.
*  If a male, loves to name names of famous people he knows.
*  Usually paces around the stands and fence when their child is playing.
*  Sweats profusely and swears even more profusely.
*  Probably a Democrat or a rich Republican.

How to deal with an "entitled parent":

*  Watch them carefully.  You will probably be able to hear them before you see them.
*  Approach carefully because they respond aggressively to anyone questioning them.
*  Be firm and speak in a normal voice.
*  Do not get into a yelling match with them.
*  Do not let them bully you.  That's usually how they win arguments and get their way.
*  Remind them that you are giving them a warning and the next violation will result in a point penalty for their child and their removal from the tennis center.
*  Do not stand around and argue with them.
*  If they violate the rules again, do what you told them you would do.  Giving continuous warnings only enables their bad behavior.
*  Remember that you can call the local police if the situation escalates.
*  Always write them up if there is a confrontation.
*  Ask them if they would like to pray together and sing a hymn together after a confrontation.  This will either endear them to you or get you run over by a truck.
*  Always proceed carefully and wisely with an entitled parent as they can respond very negatively and very quickly when confronted.
*  If you are a male official, wear a cup to work and be glad you have it.

Good luck as you work in our wonderful world of officiating!

Friday, June 17, 2016

The Perfect Shoe For The Entitled Official

Just couldn't pass this one up when I saw the "absolute perfect shoe for the entitled official."  Wonder how many will be wearing them at Wimbledon this year?

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

"Entitled" Officials and Their Devastating Effects

The dreaded "ENTITLED OFFICIAL" who didn't get his way...

As tennis officials we have all encountered the dreaded "entitled kid" along with all their faults and failures--and we have encountered the "entitled parent" that usually raised that disgusting kid.  We usually look to the Junior Tennis Council for help but alas, none is coming...

Worse than the adults and demon-children, are the "entitled officials" that seem to be springing up everywhere.  Its like the legal definition of porn--you don't know to define it but you know it when you see it.  Same holds true for entitled officials.  Here are some of their characteristics:

*  Always complaining about everything and anything.
*  The food is never good enough for them or delivered on time to suit them.
*  Never satisfied.  There isn't a hotel that would make them happy.
*  Can't understand why they might actually have a roommate.
*  Feels that everyone owes them something in the officiating world.
*  Gets mad when they don't get to chair the #1 singles or doubles match.
*  Thinks they know it all and frequently share that view with others.
*  Their favorite line is:  "I never have trouble in my matches."
*  Their first question is always, "How much am I getting paid?"  And then it is never enough...
*  Calls the referee within two days of the match/tournament completion and wanting to know why they haven't been paid yet.
*  Always want to know when they can go home.
*  Usually very confrontational with coaches, players, and fans.
*  Doesn't take instruction or correction well.
*  If female, usually wears her shorts much shorter than everyone else.
*  If male, usually drives the newest car and/or biggest truck.
*  If male, frequently shares how much money they make.
*  If female, frequently complains about how men get the best assignments and make the most money.
*  The more they drink, the more they brag on themselves.
*  Always wants to know who got which line in singles.
*  Frequently criticizes other officials and freely offers them advice on how to improve.
*  If married and female, has a husband at home that's glad she's gone.
*  If married and male, has a wife at home that is praising Jesus he's not around for a week.

Those are just a few of their characteristics--now the real question is "What do you do with them?"  Here are some solutions:

*  First and foremost, never hire them again.
*  If you hire them, then you can't complain because you asked for it.
*  Give them the #6 singles match to help them learn humility.
*  Make them do the far sideline in doubles to help them get in shape.
*  Always be sure they have a roommate so maybe they won't come back.
*  Be sure that lunch is always delivered to their site LAST.
*  Never invite them to go out to eat with everyone else.
*  Make sure your car is full when they ask for a ride.
*  Be sure to recommend them to your friends who are referees so maybe they will hire them and get them away from you.
*  Pray that they quit.
*  Tell them that they need more training--and then they will quit!
*  Be sure to assign them to McAllen or El Paso for all their matches.
*  Get Subway to deliver day-old sandwiches to their site.
*  Get an empty water bottle and fill it with ordinary tap water just for them.

We all know them--send in your thoughts and suggestions about how to deal with them...

Monday, June 13, 2016

"The Gathering 2016" A Great Time Had By All

This past weekend we celebrated our fourth annual "Gathering" at the Tolbert lake house--and what a great weekend it was!  There were jet skiis, volleyball, pool, foosball, and tons of food!  What more could you ask for.  If you didn't get to come this year, hopefully you will be able to make it next year.  Its open to all ITA officials in Texas--and maybe a few from Oklahoma.

GARY AND PAM TOLBERT graciously shared their beautiful new lake home with us!

The kitchen was the central gathering place for the entire weekend.  Here is Ty McDonald and Brighton McMinn trying to figure out what to eat next and Gary Tolbert wondering what they are going to choose.

No "Gathering" would be complete without the "beer snob from Austin" (RICK GABEL) treating us to his brews.

The highlight of the week was the jet skiis.  Here is GARY TOLBERT towing a couple of the guys.

RICK GABEL AND TY MCDONALD enjoying a moment on the raft.

The Corn Hole Toss tournament was awesome!  Here are the 2016 CORN HOLE WINNERS! (Brighton McMinn and Ty McDonald)

The most intense competition was in the pool tournament won by TOM WRIGHT & NANCY EDWARDS.  Congratulations to our winners!

Headed out on the lake from left to right is RANDALL EDWARDS, NANCY EDWARDS, RANDY MCDONALD, AND MARY LYNN SATUR.

Everyone had a great time--even our little friend!  He was there to greet us and there when we all left...

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

"The Gathering 2016" on June 11, 2016

Enjoy your weekend at the Tolbert's new lake house featuring jet skiis and a beautiful outdoor setting.

Enjoy dominoes on the deck and lots of sun on the lakeside deck!

"The Gathering"

Its time to gear up for "The Gathering 2016"!  Its going to be a fantastic weekend of food, fun, and lots of fellowship at the Tolbert lake house on Cedar Creek lake.  This is a great weekend open to all ITA officials in Texas and Oklahoma and everyone is encouraged to come and bring a friend. 

Here are all the details:

*  "The Gathering" begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 11, 2016.  The activities conclude whenever you are ready to go home that night. 
*  There will hot dogs, hamburgers, drinks, and all the trimmings.  Cost is $10 per person.
*  Everyone is encouraged to bring their favorite food dish with them. 
*  Hopefully someone will even make some homemade ice cream!
*  There will be jet skiis, volleyball, games, and activities for everyone. 

**  For those who wish to spend the night, there are numerous affordable hotels in surrounding towns.

This is our FOURTH "Gathering" and its always a great time for everyone so be sure to come if you can.  

The Tolbert's lake house is located on beautiful Cedar Creek Lake and is just over an hour east of Dallas.  Their address is:  5338 Magnolia Drive, Eustace, Texas  75124.  

RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED and can be made by emailing Gary Tolbert at or Randy McDonald at

Come and join us for a great time together!!!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Chair Academy 2016 Is Now In The History Books


Academy Instructor Ginny James modeling her stylish outfit.

We had a great time in Plano this week with the 2016 Chair Academy.  The Academy was held in conjunction with the Men's National Junior College Tennis Tournament and featured special instruction and lots of on court work for the participants.

The Chair Academy is a vital step toward doing ITA work in Texas and Oklahoma.  Coordinators from most of the major universities were there and its a great stepping stone for the participants.  The participants came from cities throughout Texas and Oklahoma.

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

How Would You Rule? Default, Code Violation, or Nothing?


In an ITA dual match, Player A lost the match and promptly hit the ball in anger--and it struck the head of coach of Team B.  Player A apologized and said, "I didn't mean to hit you."  The coach responded, "Its alright, I know you didn't mean to hit me."

The Chair Official witnessed the incident but was a new official and unsure about what to do--so did nothing.

What should the Chair Official have done?

A.  Issue a code violation and immediately call the referee to the court to default the highest match still playing.

B.  Issue a code violation and immediately call the referee to the court and let him give a point penalty to the highest match still playing.

C.  Do nothing and hope the referee didn't notice it since the player apologized and the coach accepted the apology. 

D.  Call the player's mother and tell her what had transpired.

Monday, May 02, 2016

An Interesting And Costly Overrule

Thought you might enjoy this video of an overrule in the Missouri Valley Conference finals.

Big 12 Tournament A Good One!

Big 12 Tournament Officials

The Big 12 Conference Tournament concluded yesterday with TCU beating Texas Tech 4-2 in the finals of the men's division and OSU defeating Texas Tech in the finals of the women's division 4-0.  The tournament was a rousing success and there were some really great matches playing during the weekend.  One of the most hotly contested matches was the Texas-Texas Tech women's match which was won by Tech 4-3.

Crowd control is always an issue in the Big 12 but the weekend featured some fantastic crowds with fans who behaved line true tennis fans.  Congratulations to all the teams, coaches, and their players for sharing a fantastic weekend with all of us!

Monday, April 25, 2016

A Day In The Life Of A Coach, Player, or Spectator

In the past few weeks I have gone from Norman, Oklahoma to Austin, Texas and then out to Lubbock, Texas and then back down to College Station, Texas--and I've heard all kinds of fun and interesting tennis stories--and some that cause me a little fear and trembling.

All of the matches that I have witnessed personally have been either collegiate or UIL and they have all been good ones!  I've seen some of the best players in the nation, some of the finest parents in the land, and some of the most fantastic coaches that tennis has to offer.  I always try to listen to coaches, spectators, and players to get an idea of how we are doing with our officiating and sometimes the results are great and sometimes they aren't...

Here are some of the things I've heard from coaches:

*  Why aren't you officials more consistent in what you do?
*  Why do all officials hate Russians?
*  Why can't you see the far sideline as well as I can?
*  Who in the world hired you?
*  Can I get another official?
*  Why are you making my players hug and sing Kumbaya after the match is over?

Then the players lend their hand with these comments:

*  Are you the very worst official in America?
*  I could officiate better than you if I was blind.
*  Why do you hate me?
*  Its right under your nose.  Why can't you get it right?

And then the spectators say this:

*  These new collegiate rules are ruining tennis.
*  Everyone my son plays cheats.
*  An official cheated us out of our last dual match.
*  How much money do you guys get paid?

I love hearing from the masses and then I realize that there are a lot of things we do that make them think we might be crazy at worst and not know our rules at best.  Here are some of the events from the past month:

*  An official in west Texas told the collegiate player that he could only change rackets during the set break.
*  A collegiate official heard one player call the other player a "faggot" and did nothing.  The official said he didn't know if he should code it or not and that he didn't want to offend anyone.
*  An official told a collegiate male player that he could take a bathroom break but it would only be 30 seconds long.  Even a collegiate guy can't go that fast.
*  One official told a collegiate coach that noone could cheer during a point and the other said any spectator could cheer anytime they wanted to.   Guess someone needs to go back and read the conference rules or at least work a match where all of you are on the same page.
*  A chair official on court #1 gave a code violation to a player on court #2 because the official on court #2 didn't see it happen after the match was completed.  Not sure how that code would have been announced.
*  In a UIL mixed doubles finals match, the official told the players that the server could serve to whomever he wanted to serve to.  Astounding...
*  When four of us officials were eating at a restaurant last night, two fans came up and said, "What have you done to our collegiate matches?  Noone seems to know who can cheer, when they can cheer, and where they can stand to do whatever they want to do."
*  A guy came up to us at the same restaurant and asked, "How much money do you guys make?"  I told him $1,500 per match plus expenses.  Then I gave him Bruce Sampley's number to call...

Here are some suggestions to help our situation:

*  Study the rules and know them well.
*  Understand that the ITA rules give very explicit and complete instructions on how to deal with unruly players, coaches, and fans.  Learn to use them wisely.
*  Realize that some conferences have their own specific rules and it is your responsibility to know them and know them well.  A confused official makes for an angry coach and player.
*  Use some common sense out there.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Personality Types of Coaches

We had a great response to our blog post about personalities of officials so we thought it might prove interesting to do a study of coaches personalities and compare them to different breeds of dogs.  Remember this is all in jest--but many a truth is said in jest!


*  Always an "alpha" personality.
*  Strong leadership qualities.
*  Needs to be in control of every situation.
*  Very protective of their team in all aspects. 
*  Can be the "life of the party" when not on the court.
*  Outgoing personality.
*  Dominant in all aspects of their life.
*  Likeable up to a point.
*  Very expressive and doesn't hide their feelings well at all.


*  Devastating to players, friends, officials, and casual acquaintances.
*  Usually under 6 feet tall.
*  Very aggressive in their behavior--especially during a dual match.
*  Not concerned about anyone else's feelings or whether or not they might be wrong.
*  Plunges headlong into every situation with a demanding spirit.
*  Personality is overbearing and usually affects the entire team.
*  Governs by fear and not by respect. 
*  Given to vulgarities and swearing.
*  Probably has been divorced at least once and has difficulty in personal relationships.
*  Given to verbal outbursts and verbal attacks on those who disagree with them.
*  Doesn't care if they are out of control--they only want to get their way.


*  Smaller in stature but lovable and likable. 
*  Greatly concerned in seeing that things run smoothly and in order.
*  Has many friends.
*  Respected by many.


*  Wreaks havoc on everyone and everything around them.
*  Suffers from "Napoleon complex" if a male. 
*  Yips and yaps instead of getting attention with leadership attributes.
*  Usually in need of counseling and attending anger management classes.
*  Bites even those who are close friends.
*  Has no personal loyalties.
*  Would bite even his/her mother.
*  Noone invites them out for a beer.


*  Strong personal values and leadership qualities.
*  Nearly always the head coach. 
*  Commands respect without words. 
*  Extremely loyal to friends and players. 
*  Treats officials with respect and dignity. 
*  Concerned about personal image and how others are treated. 
*  Usually has a long tenure as coach. 
*  Keeps assistant coaches for long periods.
*  Good at teaching values to their players. 
*  Greatly admired by all who know them.


*  Strong personality type with vast leadership qualities.
*  Nearly always in control of the situation. 
*  Personality can be overbearing if out of control.
*  Nearly always an alpha personality. 
*  Strong loyalties in personal relationships.
*  Usually the life of the party. 
*  Admired by their peers.
*  Gets the most out of their players.
*  Can govern with fear if out of control.
*  Usually is married or about to be married. 
*  Outgoing and gregarious when they are under control.


*  Extremely energetic.
*  Moves from task to task without completing any. 
*  The "great entertainer" at parties.
*  Tons of fun to be around.
*  Drinks a lot of coffee and is a regular at Starbucks.
*  Has an attention span of about 2 seconds.
*  Lovable when under control.  Hateful and overbearing when out of control.
*  Usually single because he/she can't slow down for personal relationships.
*  Frustrates his/her players because of their energy and lack of a viable attention span.
*  Nearly always is the head coach.
*  Not good in secondary roles.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Personality Types of Officials

Psychiatrists and psychologists tell us that we can learn a lot about human personality types by studying the different personality types in animals--and that is surely true in the tennis world!  Not only can we learn about personality types in players, we can learn a lot about officials and coaches.

Check out the different personality types of officials by comparing them to different breeds of dogs.


*  They think they are called to rescue the whole world with their officiating.
*  They want to hug every player they code.
*  They want to be the "new best friend" to all coaches and parents.
*  They get their slobber all over their score cards.
*  Their sensitive spirits gets them into trouble more often than not.


*  They code anything and everything.
*  They butt into every match they officiate.
*  They offend most of the universe with their attitudes and demeanor.
*  They bite.
*  They snarl.
*  They are not easily taught or controlled.


*  They always win the award for "most loveable."
*  All parents love them--until they rule against their kid.
*  Coaches want them on all their matches.
*  They give more warnings than codes on a regular basis.
*  They try to figure out the "reason" for infractions instead of coding them.
*  They rush to pick up the balls for the players.
*  A great asset but tend to be way too emotional.
*  A great peace maker in volatile situations.


*  They run around like the energizer bunny.
*  They measure every net in sight.
*  They love to number the ball cans.
*  They can't understand why everyone can't keep up with them.
*  They drive their referees crazy.
*  They're good with parents because they drive them nuts.
*  Players can't stand them.
*  They know all the rules and want to remind you about each and every one of them.
*  They're cute but will make you really tired just being around them.
*  They grab the best lunches.


*  They make cute but useless officials.
*  They are sweet until they get mad.
*  They yip and yap about everything in sight.
*  No player wants them on their court.
*  When they kiss you, they are just licking off a place to bite.

Friday, April 08, 2016

Is It Time To Enforce The Rules? Abolutely!

In an age and era where we see increasing harassment of officials and players at ITA events, Timothy Russell (CEO of the ITA) issued a stern and much-needed edict this week.  Because of some restrictions I cannot offer my personal views on this subject but let me just simply say, "Timothy Russell--thanks for your edict!"

Here is the letter from Timothy Russell:

April 7, 2016
Dear ITA Officials:
I hope that this note finds you well.  Yesterday, I sent the letter below to all ITA coaches regarding my personal assessment of the current state of parts of the college tennis competitive landscape and my beliefs regarding the requisite sportsmanship needed in our game. You are a critical link to the reality of a world of college tennis that is embedded in principles of fair play, honor, and integrity.
As I told the coaches that I would be, I am now writing to you to remind you toenforce our ITA rules - all of our rules - especially the following: 
(1)   "All college match play will follow the principles set out in 'The Code' . . ."
(2)   Principle No. 1 of "The Code" states: "Courtesy is expected. Tennis is a game that requires cooperation and courtesy."
(3)   Section I. K. of the ITA Regulations (the Coaches Code of Conduct) states: "The conduct of coaches before, during, and after any competition must be exemplary. Any deviation from this standard shall [i.e., legally that means
must] result in the following penalties with the understanding that all coaching penalties are cumulative for the entire coaching staff (Head Coach, Assistant Coach, Volunteer Coach or a player acting as a Coach) and apply to the whole match - singles and doubles."
(4)   Section II. B. of the ITA Regulations (General Rules), No. 7
Home coach is responsible for spectator conduct states: "The home coach shall [i.e., again, this means
MUST] make sure that the behavior of spectators remains fair and non-abusive.  Failure of the coach to ensure proper behavior shall [i.e.,
MUST] result in the application of the ITA Point Penalty System against the home team and in extreme cases, forfeiture of the match."
Section I. F. 3. Restrictions on Players and Spectators: Harassment of players prohibited states: "Team members and their spectators shall not [i.e., MUST not] harass opposing team players."
Section I.B.2 of the ITA Regulations (Calls in Matches) clearly states:Opponent gets benefit of the doubt. Whenever a player is in doubt he shall [i.e., MUST] make the call in favor of his opponent.  Balls should only be called 'out' when there is a space visible between the ball and the line."
In reference to #5 above, it is clear in discussing the interpretation of our rules with top ITA officials throughout the fall and spring that players and spectators can cheer for their team and their team's players, but cannotharass the opposing team and the opposing team's players.  Very specifically, for example, opposing fans cannot harass a server while that player is serving, or between points of that server's serving game.
In reference to #6, from early in our tennis careers, we have been taught not to take a point that we don't deserve. I see no reason to deviate from that timeless principle.
Please re-read the ITA Rule 2016 Rulebook that we sent you, and please enforce our rules to the absolute best of your ability.
Thank you for all that you do for our sport.  We are thrilled to have all of you as part of the ITA Family.  Please continue to contact our ITA Officials Department,, for any officials-related questions. Continued best wishes.
Yours sincerely,
Timothy Russell, Ph. D.
Chief Executive Officer

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Question of the Day: Should Women Get Equal Prize Money At The Grand Slam Tournaments?

Today is a beautiful spring day and a great day to start a great discussion...

The US women's soccer team made a huge announcement today saying they are suing to get equal pay with the men's soccer team.  This discussion is nothing new to tennis but with the recent issues at Indian Wells and comments by some of the top male stars, it might be a good day to hear the differing opinions on this issue.

Should women get equal prize money at the Grand Slam tournaments?

BE SURE  to vote in the survey located at the top right side of this page.

Monday, March 28, 2016

How Would You Rule? Same Court Or A New Choice

This one is hot off the press--and happened tonight in a major men's collegiate match here in Texas...


In a men's singles match, deuce, deciding point, receiver's choice the receiver chooses to receive in the ad court.  The point begins but in the middle of the point, a let is called (and rightfully so.)

After the let is called, the receiver wants to move over to the deuce court to receive the serve.

How would you rule????

Sunday, March 27, 2016

What Shoe Is The Right Shoe and What Sock Is The Right Sock?

Now that the players are wearing every color imaginable, there is much discussion about the color and style of shoes that officials should wear and whether or not they should wear socks and what kind.  Seems that "all white" is totally out of style and the "no sock look" are options so here are some items for your consideration:

The "younger generation" seems to prefer the no-socks look.

The "old man" look.

Traditional with a hint of blue.

As close to "all white" as you are going to get.

Slightly preppie with black overtones.

A bunch of women officials decided to go totally without shoes.  Check out the great tans--and then try to guess who they belong to.  Their husbands only got one right...