Join the APTA Umpire Team
The APTA wants to increase its pool of umpires around the country. Chair of the Umpire Committee and uber-volunteer Mike Yachimski, a player at the Indian Trail Club in New Jersey, organizes the umpires at APTA Tour and Nationals events.
1) Have Confidence. The players call the lines, just like you’d do in our league or social match. On 49 out of 50 points, all you have to do is loudly announce the score. Umpires are only asked to rule on out calls that are disputed by the other team. You need to make that call immediately and firmly.
2) Pay Attention. Points will go on for 3-4 minutes (or longer), so you need to watch every ball and be prepared to make a ruling on every ball.
3) Project Their Voices. Announce the score loudly. You want to bring the crowd into the match and be heard on Live Streaming.
4) Can Sit Still. Once you get up in the chair, it could be a few hours. Enjoy the view.
5) Know the Rules. Know the most common issues which arise in matches and be prepared to handle them effectively.
6) Act Professionally. You’ll be seen and heard on camera, in front of a crowd, and are an integral part of matches that matter significantly. Come prepared and be consistent.
7) Become Part of the Community. Players, tournament directors, and the APTA staff appreciate and admire good umpires. When you do the job well, you become part of the fabric of the close-knit paddle community.
8) Hate Foot Faults. While calling foot faults on the best players in the country can be mildly uncomfortable, good umpires enforce this obvious infraction without hesitation.
The APTA actively recruits every season. Last year, 18 new umpires were certified across 10 cities. Potential umpires are sent certification study materials (including the Rules of the Game and best practices). You can find the Umpire Handbook online. The process is designed to ensure success come tournament time. After passing a written test, you’ll be more than ready to climb the ladder at the next APTA Tour tournament.
More umpires are needed in every region of the country. We encourage everyone to give something back to the great game of paddle by joining the dedicated ranks of APTA certified chair umpires. Contact Mike Yachimski for more information and please check out the Umpire Committee Report.
Umpiring is truly an inside-the-ropes experience at tournaments. Meeting all these great like-minded people is awesome. –Mike Yachimski