Thursday, October 29, 2009

Just signing in...

I have gotten quite a few emails wondering if I am still alive and if the blog is still functional--yes I am and yes it is; however, I am real busy with UIL events right now...

I am journeying to Wichita Falls today with the glorious and notorious Myron Krueger. He and I will imparting wisdom and knowledge to the teams and coaches at the 4A Regional Tournament. It should be exciting...

We have some good (and controversial) topics coming up for the blog next week.

Stay tuned...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Age Old Adage of an Egg Sucking Dog

There is an age old adage that once a dog sucks eggs, he will always suck eggs. There is no known method of changing his behavior once he has gotten into this habit.

There is nothing that strikes fear into the heart of a referee more than an OVERLY OFFICIOUS OFFICIAL! They can get you in more trouble than a bunch of rowdy boys and seem to be as unchangeable as an egg sucking dog...

So--what do we do about OVERLY OFFICIOUS OFFICIALS??? That seems to be a question that has come down through the ages and we all search for the solution.

Here are a few observations and suggestions about an OOO (Overly Offiicious Official):

* They are usually, but not always, a new or inexperienced official. That should tell us that one of the "cures" would be more training and teaching.

* They tend to think they already "know everything" and "have arrived" as an official. If that is true, we have our work cut out for us!

* They often have children that have played tennis tournaments all their lives so they think they are experts on officiating.

* They have selective hearing in that they hear what they want to hear.

* Often difficult to train.

* Usually very legalistic in their interpretation of tennis rules.

* Have to make sure players, parents, and other officials know they are "in charge."

* Sometimes have been abused by an official in their past and are trying to "right the wrongs" that were done to them.

* Do not fall into one personality type. They can be dominant or passive, Type A or Type B, outspoken or quiet spoken, male or female--but they all jump into situations without warning or provocation.

* Tend to embarrass themselves, the referee, the players, and the parents by their officious behavior.

* Don't seem to have a clue that they are overly officious.

* Recommended cures (if there is such a thing):

1. Spend time counseling them about their on court skills.
2. Specifically discuss any problems areas they might have in officiating.
3. Make sure they are properly trained and if so, be sure they get some remedial training.
4. Make absolutely sure that they get some on court training with an experienced official.
5. Pray that someone else hires them so you don't have to work with them again.
6. Be sure to have a referee's network so you can be aware of their tendencies.
7. If they keep sucking eggs, then quit hiring them. Maybe they will eventually get the message!

These are just a few observations and suggestions--we would like to hear your's...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Growing Old Is No Fun...

Arnold "Then"

Arnold "Now"

Clint Eastwood "Then and Now"

All of us know the ravages of time take their toll on everyone--and its sure not fun! At least we still have our friends as we travel down this long road of life...

Friday, October 09, 2009

Poll Updates

Well, it seems that 76% of you favor Martina as the greatest female player of all time and 68% favor Roger Federer as the greatest male player. Good selections...

Be sure to check out today's new poll and give us your votes.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Interesting Question...

I got an interesting email today and thought I would throw it out their for your wise opinions...

It seems that there is a man in his 70's that regularly plays tennis but has had a recent bout with glaucoma and wears protective goggles. Some of the people he plays with try to hit him in the face as hard as they can.

He is wondering if this is "malicious intent" and falls under the Code? What are your opinions???

Personally, I would tell him to quit playing with those guys. If he meets them in a tournament, then its probably fair game. I remember Myron Krueger telling me that they were taught to hit the net man in doubles when he played (probably #8) at A&M...

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Texas Section TD/Referee Workshop--SUGGESTIONS...

This past week I attended the Texas Section TD/Referee Workshop in Austin and came away with some interesting views, thoughts, and suggestions. Since it is the policy of the Texas Section that every sanctioned tournament must have either a tournament director or referee that has attended this workshop, I thought I should share my views and observations...


My observations come from 44 years of training teachers in the religious field as well as 9 years experience as a USTA intructor and coordinator of Texas officials schools.

* The instructors were all excited about the meeting and conveyed their excitement to the audience.
* The material was presented visually as well as orally but was sometimes repetitive. Chad Loup and Nancy Perkins both had informative and concise presentations.
* Two of the instructors were unfamiliar with tennis rules regarding the time taken between the completion of the second set and a third set tiebreak.
* None of the materials covered were new to a USTA certified referee. In fact, our referee's schools cover the same material but in much more detail.
* The workshop comes at a very high financial cost to all who attended. It is redundant to require a referee to repeat what he has already been taught.
* The workshop is taught only on a Sunday session and then one other make up session a few days later. This is very difficult for people to attend if they live outside the Austin area.


* In the future, USTA certified referees should not be required to attend the workshop since they are already certified in the same materials. The referee schools that are taught in Texas include a special section on Texas rules and regulations so we are duplicating effort at a very high cost.

* A positive step would be to require all Tournament Directors to be certified before they can host a sanctioned tournament. In reality this is already being done but it should be a specific requirement. This can be done by conducting workshops in coordination with the officials schools and let them be taught by certified USTA instructors. There will be officials schools in every major section of Texas so this will cut down on the cost for both the section and for the tournament directors.

* There was an announcement made that next year there will be a workshop in Austin (sponsored by the Texas Section) and an additional workshop in Dallas (paid for by the Dallas Tennis Association.) There is no need for this expense for the DTA and the reasons are given in the point above. There is also no need for the Texas Section to spend money on a workshop when they already have USTA certified instructors conducting schools throughout Texas.

* It would be beneficial to all if every Tournament Director was required to be a certified tennis official. They could attend the officials school and get their officials certification and then attend the TD workshop and get that certification. All people in charge at a tournament need to be well versed in the rules and regulations and this would meet that criteria.

These are just a few of my thoughts and observations of the workshop. I had a great time meeting fellow officials and tournament directors as well as the staff at the Texas Section and my suggestions are intended to strengthen the workshop and not to deter the fine work our Section staff is doing.

New Poll Question

Our latest survey shows that 53% of you would like to see the officials schools put online. 23% said they would require new officials (1-5 years experience) to attend a school, and 17% said they would like to leave things as they are.

Great input... I'll be sure to pass it on to Bruce Avery and Joe Buys.

Be sure to share your input about the "greatest male tennis player of all time."

Tomorrow's post will be on the required Texas Section TD/Referee Workshop that was held in Austin this past week. Don't miss it...

Data Cards

Just a little reminder that your data cards need to be submitted by October 15, 2009 at the latest. If you have failed to send them to your local coordinator, send your card to the following:

Bruce Sampley
1328 S. Lake Street
Ft. Worth, Texas 76104

Don't forget that you are required to have an eye exam this year too.