Since we became a group site, we have included articles by different officials from around the state. Here is a great article by Nancy Vivero--President of the Houston Tennis Officials Association.
Tennis officiating in Houston is very challenging with tournaments almost every weekend. Since Houston is so large with surrounding cities it is tough to find enough officials from the Houston Tennis Umpires Association (HTUA) to supply the tournaments. We have a training shadowing project where newbies shadow a seasoned official for 8 hours of a junior tournament and 8 hours of an adult tournament before we release them to work on their own. We have a roving clinic that all newbies attend that is taught by a sectional trainer.
Supplying tournaments with officials: Our HTUA Operations Manager receives requests from tournaments for officials and then our manager sends out a broadcast email to our members for them to reply that they are available for the tournament dates. She then sends the available officials back to the tournament referee who then assigns the officials to the tournament sites. Many tournaments use the 3 Houston Public Parks which have 16 to 26 courts for use. And with the guidelines that the Junior Tennis Council mandates to tournament referees on the number of officials per number of courts, it does get a little tricky with multiple tournaments going on. Of course there are tournaments that find their own officials for their tournaments and do not go through the HTUA.
High school team tennis in the fall and individual tennis in the spring have started using more officials for their district and regional tournaments. Many of the Houston official work the high school state meets in November and May in College Station.
College is another challenge. We supply Rice men and women, University of Houston women, Lamar men and women, and Prairie View A&M men with ITA officials. Our college coordinator goes bonkers when many of the collegs have men's and women's dual matches on the same day at the same time. Many of our ITA officials work Big 12 matches that are in Waco, Austin, Dallas, Ft. Worth, Corpus Christi, and Lubbock. But most of the college matches are from January to May.
Then add in all the other tournaments--National Senior Women's Clay Court Championships in April; the US Men's Clay Court Championships in April and the pro circuit Tamale Cup are Rice, and various other junior national tournaments in Deer Park and in Spring--you have a full slate of tournaments. The National Senior and SS Mother Daughter tournament is also held in Conroe.
So if you know of anyone that would like to be a tennis official here in Houston and the surrounding areas please have them get in touch with the area coordinator, Nancy Vivero, at email@example.com. WE NEED MORE HOUSTON OFFICIALS....