Monday, January 31, 2011

The Great New Transition: Lee Ann Haury

Lee Ann Haury
(Formerly Lee Ann Bain)

Congratulations to the "newest married" member of our tennis officiating family--Lee Ann Haury.

Lee Ann and John were married on December 18, 2010, in Indiana.

Our best wishes to the new couple!

Australia: The King And Queen Down Under

Novak Djokovic
Men's Singles Champion

Kim Clijsters
Women's Singles Champion

Other Notes

* The Bryan Brothers swept to their fifth Australian Open championship in men's doubles.

* Mitch Krueger got the quarters in singles and the semis in the junior boys doubles.

Friday, January 28, 2011

A Great Way To Save Money--And Eat Really Good And Cheap!

Here's the link to "Groupon". Its a great way to say money on all kinds of things and will be something that's easy and free to do. Check it out if you haven't already joined up.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Into The Finals

The Bryan brothers are in yet another Grand Slam final as they will face Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes in the men's doubles final.

After defeating Roger Federer 7-6, 7-5, 6-4, Novak Djokovic awaits the winner of the Andy Murray and David Ferrer semi-final.

Kim Clijsters keeps rolling along by defeating Vera Zvonereva and will now face Li Na in the women's final.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Rolling Along Down Under

The star of the week down under is our very own, MITCH KRUEGER, son of the infamous and world-renowned Myron Krueger.

Roger Federer just keeps rolling along--most likely on the way to #17.

An intense Novak Djokovic awaits Roger in the semis.

Andy Murray slips quietly through the draw and into the semis.

David Ferrer upsets an injured Rafael Nadal and now goes after Andy Murray.

Rafa is gone and so is the Rafa Slam.

Nicole Kidman and husband, Keith Urban, come out to support Lleyton Hewitt.

Unfortunately the women's events were so boring that we could find no pictures to post. Perhaps something awesome will happen in the semis...

Imagine the wonderful nap you could get if we have a Wozniaki versus Zvonereva final!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The View From Down Under

You can't think of Australia without our little friend pictured above...

The fans are lively down under.

What a grand sight at night.

Wozniacki keeps rolling along.

Plenty of beaches for everyone.

And the real reason the heterosexual women players love Australia...

Monday, January 24, 2011

Sights, Sounds, & Festivities From Playoff Weekend

Football fans in Chicago are crazy...

Steelers player howls after their victory on Sunday.

Packers fans have a lot to cheer about this weekend...

Clijsters just keeps rolling along...

And Murray keeps steamrolling the opposition.

The culmination of the weekend was a "unique" Russian wedding. To say they do it differently than we do would be an understatement.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

ITA Coordinators

Now that the ITA season is getting into full gear and our officials are coming out of hibernation, it would be a good time to publish a list of the ITA coordinators. If you are interested in and qualified to work ITA matches you might want to contact the coordinators to see if they have any openings. I am sure most of them do...


A&M Corpus Ralph Martin 361 946 1481
Baylor Chuck Scott 254 744 7097
Big 12 Cheryl Jones 210 710 8281
Lamar Univ. Ginny James 832 646 9250
Lee College Ginny James 832 646 9250
Okla. State Univ. Jim Lawson 405 623 3939
Oklahoma Univ. Jim Lawson 405 623 3939
Rice Univ. Ginny James 832 646 9250
SFA Ginny James 832 646 9250
SMU Randy McDonald 214 796 7402
Texas A&M Sara Lammerts 979 220 2024
TCU Myron Krueger 817 253 0802
Texas Tech Trevor Edgemon 806 893 4053
Tulsa Univ. Paul Jordan 405 226 1533
Univ. of Houston Ginny James 832 646 9250
UNT Randy McDonald 214 796 7402
Univ. of Texas Vickie Wright 512 922 7220
UTA Randy McDonald 214 796 7402
UTSA Rick Moench 210 849 6070
UT Tyler Millard Countryman 903 521 6048

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

How To Become An Official

One of the most frequently asked questions is "how do I become an official?" Hopefully this blog post will help make this process a little easier for everyone.


1. Secure a copy of the Friend at Court (FAC) rule book. You will need this rule book to take your tests. The 2011 FAC is required to take the 2011 Provisional Test and the 2010 FAC is required for all other tests.

2. Go to the blog ( in the upper right section and click on "Background Check Start Up" and begin the process. You must pass the background check before you can become an official.

3. Click on "Joining The USTA" to purchase a USTA card and get your member number.

4. Click on "2011 Provisional Exam" if you are a new official. Fill out all the information they request and then take the test using the 2011 Friend at Court rule book. The USTA will then notify Bruce Sampley (Sectional Chairman) and he will notify you of your next steps. The USTA will also send you an email outlining the steps you need to take to be added to Nucula (the national registry for officials.)


1. Click on "Nucula" and add your personal information and when you start working, add your work record on this site.

2. Contact your local coordinator and/or President to let them know you have passed the Provisional test and are ready to begin training and/or working. Click on "Area Coordinators" to find the coordinator in your area. You are certified to work at all levels once you have passed the Provisional Test but some areas require more training and shadowing experienced officials before you can begin work in that area.

3. Click on "USTA Apparel" to order your officials' shirt and other equipment. Such things as khaki pants/shorts, bags, and stopwatch can be obtained much cheaper at the local stores.

4. Contact the local ITA coordinator if you are interested in working at the ITA level. Each coordinator will have a training program that you can enter and you will also need to click on "ITA Apparel" to order your ITA officials shirt and other equipment.

5. If there is still an Officials School offered in your area, you need to attend if at all possible. If not, you are certified to work until you can attend a school in 2012. A list of those schools can be obtained by clicking on "Certification Schools."

6. Leap in and enjoy your new life as a tennis official! The only way you get experience is to get out there and officiate...

REMEMBER: If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us at: or call at 214 796 7402.

Monday, January 17, 2011

2011 ITA Season Begins

The 2011 ITA tennis season began this past weekend in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This year looks like one of the greatest ever!

The University of Texas men's tennis team crushed Tulsa 6-1, and California 5-2, this past weekend in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Jim Lawson and Paul Jordan led the way in officiating and were able to provide some great on-court training for one of our new officials, Ron Ferguson. What a great way to start the collegiate season...

Friday, January 14, 2011

More Great New Rule Changes For 2011


Table 11 allows a tournament to limit toilet/attire breaks if announced in advance of the event.

FAC Comment III. D-2 allows a player to combine a 3 minute rest period with a toilet/attire break if he/she asks for both up front. Coaching is allowed during the rest period and toilet break.

FAC Comment III. D-3 allows the longer of 3 minutes or reasonable time for the toilet/attire break when taking a break before a Match Tiebreak.

FAC Comment III. D-4 states that lateness beyond the three minute break before a Match Tiebreak results in a loss of match. The logic is Table 14, C loss of one game up to 5 minutes late. Since a tiebreak is one game, the match is over.


USTA Regulation IV.D.6.a states an official may assess a Code Violation based on what he, or a Court Monitor, saw or heard, or on an admission of a player.


Thursday, January 13, 2011

New ITA Rule--Just Wait Until We Start Enforcing This One!

The howler in action.

New rule:

ITA Rule I.B.21 (page 247) Hindrance- loud outburst following a
perceived winning shot. A solo chair or roving umpire (only if standing at the net
post) should immediately call a “hindrance – loss of point” when a player(s)
makes a loud outburst following a perceived winning shot that the opponent(s)
has a play on. (current ITA Rules I.E.10-13 become I.E.11-14.)
ITA Rule I.P.(page 255).

Interpretation from the USTA:

Player A hits an overhead and yells “C’mon” or “Vamos” thinking he hit a great point ending shot. Meanwhile, his opponent, Player B, actually had a play on the ball. Player B immediately stops and claims a hindrance. Is this allowed?Yes. Player A's shout was deliberate and Player B stopped play immediately.

If Player B did not have a play on the ball, can he claim a hindrance? No

Who determines whether Player B had a play on the ball? If no official saw it, Player B.

If a Rover/Chair umpire believes Player B had a play on the ball, does the official stop play immediately awarding the point to player B Yes or call a let and warns Player A that if it happens again, he will lose the point. No

(Should the USTA adopt the language of the ITA in the new 2011 FAC 1B.21 pg. 245. Yes

This year's ITA season should be spirited to say the least when we begin enforcing this new rule!!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Big 12 Men's Tennis Champions--New Poll

Appear to be as good as ever and always a contender.


New infusion of talent should make them extra strong.

Made it to the NCAA's last year and look even better this year.

Steve Denton has his best team in years.

Always a contender and especially good at home.

Promise to be stronger and a definite contender.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

New Rule & Interpretation Dealing With Cell Phones

Since we have already had an officials school in Texas it might be time to bring up a discussion of a new rule in the 2011 FAC regarding cell phone usage.

Here is the new rule:

Page 19 of the new FAC (Comment 26.3) --The new comment states that if a cell phone rings between points, it should result in a Time Violation. Should a time violation be given any time a phone rings except during play?

Explanation from the powers on high: Yes. That is the intent of the comment, to get players to turn their cell phones off. "Between points" is anytime the ball is not in play once the match has started, except for an authorized rest period or suspension in which players leave the court. i.e. a medical timeout, change of end, end of game, etc.

As all of my blogging tennis officials, HOW WOULD YOU INTERPRET THIS RULE???

The Letter Or The Spirit Of The Law?

Our previous generated a lot of diverse opinion so I thought it would be a good time to enter into the discussion of the letter of the law versus the spirit of the law...

We have all heard stories of kids in Texas being expelled for one cigarette when there is a zero tolerance for smoking or a boy expelled because he left a hunting gun under the seat in his truck when there is a zero tolerance for guns. Those are rather extreme circumstances and ones that make us want to throw out the letter of the law in favor of the spirit of the law.

In officiating, there are times when we must and should follow the letter of the law--when it is plainly written out in the FAC. However, there are times that there are no specific written rules and we have to interpret the spirit of the law. Each of us have had times where we penalized or didn't penalize a player because we interpreted the spirit of the law.

Here are a few guidelines for you to consider when faced with this decision:

1. Is it specifically addressed in the Friend at Court? If it is, then follow the written law.

2. If it isn't, then be wise in your decision.

3. Be sure you aren't being biased by personalities. Players, coaches, and parents all have distinctive personalities and can be quite persuasive both in a negative and positive way so be on your guard.

4. Remember that one of our ultimate goals is to encourage play--not to become a Nazi official looking for ways to code everyone that walks.

5. Be firm in your decision. A waffling referee is always going to encounter difficulty. If a parent, player, or coach feels that you are in control of the situation and know your rules, they will usually accept your judgment.

6. Be kind and polite in your presentation of your decision. There is no reason to scream at someone or berate them. If they get a code violation, give it and move on. You're not there to determine why they are the demon they have become...

7. Always remember that it is better to err on the side of caution. The Bible teaches us that grace triumphs over judgment and I think this holds true in all areas of life.

8. When making a judgment decision, be open to listening to arguments from everyone. Players should have a right to express themselves (in a decent manner) and we have a responsibility to hear them.

9. Remember that if there is a dispute between two parties, one of them isn't going to like the decision that you make.

10. At the end of the day, remember its just a game and the universe doesn't revolve around any decision you make in a tennis match. I've seen officials go into deep depression over a decision they made. If you get depressed over what you did, then you probably did the wrong thing.

11. Learn the rules, be nice, and then do the best job you can do!

Monday, January 10, 2011

No Penalty For Lateness Due To Traffic Tieup

This weekend I had the privilege (and it truly was) of working a site for a 14 boys champs tournament. I had a great time, the kids and parents were all wonderful, and a great time was had by all--except for one boy and his dad...

Seems that the boy was playing a kid who was late for his 9:00 a.m. match. The late boy called to say they were tied up in traffic and would be there as soon as they could. There was a marathon race being run near UTA, where the match was being held, and they had many of the roads blocked off, so I ruled that it was a legitimate reason for lateness. The late player arrived 25 minutes late and no penalty was issued.

Since traffic is a valid excuse, I have never penalized a player for that reason. Some have told me that I should penalize them games and loss of toss but since it is a legitimate excuse, I have never penalized the late player in this scenario. In the Metroplex, traffic is frequently an issue for a player trying to get to a tournament site.

I'm sure there are all kinds of opinions on this issue so thought I would open myself on this one...

Friday, January 07, 2011

2011 ITA Rules Updates & Changes

2011 Rules Updates & Changes
(New verbiage is indicated in BOLD)

(If you would like a copy of these changes sent to you personally, email me at: and I will be glad to send you a copy.)

ITA Rule I.E.9. (page 245) Player outbursts may be penalized.
An official following an appeal, who hears a verbal outburst or grunting that is loud
enough to disrupt play on a neighboring court, shall caution the player that subsequent
outbursts shall be penalized under the ITA Point Penalty System.
If a loud outburst is in a language that the official does not understand, the
official shall caution the player that further foreign language outbursts that are
not understood by the official will be penalized as unsportsmanlike conduct
under the ITA Point Penalty System.

New Rule: ITA Rule I.B.21 (page 247) Hindrance- loud outburst following a
perceived winning shot. A solo chair or roving umpire (only if standing at the net
post) should immediately call a “hindrance – loss of point” when a player(s)
makes a loud outburst following a perceived winning shot that the opponent(s)
has a play on. (current ITA Rules I.E.10-13 become I.E.11-14.)

ITA Rule I.P.(page 255). Eligibility for Collegiate Competition. Only players who are
considered eligible for intercollegiate competition at the time of entry: by their school;
their conference (if any); AND by their national governing body (e.g. NCAA or
NAIA) shall be eligible to participate in ITA sanctioned events and regional and
national collegiate championships.

ITA Rule II.B. 7. (page 257) Home coach is responsible for spectator conduct.
The home coach shall make sure that the behavior of the spectators remains fair and
non-abusive. Failure of the coach to insure proper behavior
shall result in the application of the ITA Point Penalty System against the home team
and in extreme cases, forfeiture of the match.

ITA Rule II. B.13.a.iii (pg 258) Determining playable outdoor weather conditions.
iii. When no indoor back-up is available, the match must be played outdoors. If play is suspended due to weather conditions, it
is suggested that play resume within two hours of the delay.

ITA Rule II.C.1. (pg. 259) Varsity quality tennis facility. A varsity quality tennis
facility is one used exclusively for tennis. The playing surface shall be of hard court
construction, designed specifically for tennis, and coated with a recognized tennis
surface. The only lines on the playing surface shall be standard tennis court lines,
including USTA approved 36’ and 60’ (QuickStart) lines within the same color
family as the interior court. A multi-purpose recreational facility is not acceptable…

ITA Rule II.D.1. (page 260) Practice Courts.
Practice the day before or the morning before the match. Upon request, the host
school, at its expense, shall make a minimum of 2 practice courts available to the
visiting team. The practice courts shall be the same courts that will be used in
the match or if not possible due to extenuating circumstances, courts of similar
quality and surface shall be secured. Practice courts must be made available:
- for a minimum of two hours the day before the scheduled
match; and
- for a minimum of one hour on the morning of the match.

The visiting coach must request these arrangements in writing at least one week
before his team’s arrival. The only exception is if circumstances governing varsity
court usage renders compliance impossible. This must be confirmed in writing by the
Director of Athletics of the host school. If the visiting school requests to practice 2
days prior to the match date, the expense will be the responsibility of the visiting

ITA Rule II.E.1. (page 260) Home coach is responsible for providing officials. The
home coach shall have available qualified persons to serve as officials. USTA
certified officials are considered qualified. In order for an official to be considered
“qualified,” the official must attend both an ITA and a USTA Sectional recertification
class, pass both the USTA Sectional and ITA tests every year, and do the
required work. To avoid a possible conflict of interest, an employee of the
college/university should not officiate school matches.

ITA Rule II.K.9. (page 264) Appeals concerning unfair line-ups. … A coach has the
right to appeal a protest ruling made by an ITA Ranking Committee to the National
Ranking Committee (for rulings made by Regional Ranking Committees). There are no appeals permitted to rulings made by the National
Rankings Committee.

New Rule: ITA Rule II.L.2 (page 266). Grievance of an official. Any grievance
related to inappropriate conduct by an official involving out of conference
schools at a dual match or ITA sanctioned tournament (excluding the NCAA,
NAIA and NJCAA Championships) should be sent directly to the ITA. Any
grievance of an official in a match between two conference teams, should be sent
to the conference office.

ITA Rule IV.A. (page 267)Withdrawal from ITA National Intercollegiate Event.
A. Withdrawal from ITA National Intercollegiate Event
1. Once a player accepts an invitation, he/she cannot withdraw within 7 days
prior to the start of the event except in extreme academic circumstances
attested to by the Dean’s office (in this case the ITA office shall be notified in
writing by the Dean’s office immediately).
2. Any withdrawal due to physical injury or sickness shall be made with
written documentation from physician and athletic department, which shall be
provided to the ITA office within 24 hours of injury.
3. A player shall not accept entry if injured and not sure if he can play except
with the written approval of the ITA office. In this case, if approval is granted,
the coach must notify the ITA office by phone and fax no later than eight days
before the start of the main draw event, if the player is still injured and not
fully recovered at that point.
4. Failure to follow these rules will result in:
- a letter of reprimand to the Head Coach with a copy sent to the
school’s Athletic Director; and
- a fine to the head coach in the amount of $500.

ITA Rule IV.C. (page 268) ITA National Small College Championships (Men and
Women). When making the draw for each Division, 4 singles players and 4
doubles teams shall be seeded. (See ITA Regulation III.A.4. “The Draw” for
additional draw making criteria.)

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Tidbits To Begin The New Year

As everyone is finding time to relax and get ready for the new year in tennis, I thought I would post some random pictures of people from around the state and nation.

This is the #1 "most downloaded tennis picture" on the internet. Have any ideas why?

Andre will be unveiling his new look for 2011 in the near future.

The background checks are now in full swing--and we're still wondering why some people haven't been approved...

Now that I have my head on straight, what do I do next?

Rest and relaxation were the key words during the holidays.

Just a picture of a guy we found on the street in College Station.

And a sign we saw on 6th street in Austin.

And then a Baylor Bear who came out of the closet in 2010.

And Walter says, "bah humbug" to you all and may you all have a wonderful 2011!