My Chair Academy Experience at Hilton Head by Julie Dorr

Julie Dorr is the Assignor for NW Washington and loves every aspect of officiating. She certified with the USTA in 2007 and ITA in 2010.

When I was asked to talk about my experience three words came to mind, exciting, intimidating and heart-throbbing!

The exciting part was meeting officials like me, into officiating and loving what we do. We chatted a lot about our experiences working the chair and roving on the court. They had many of the same experiences but heard some new ones, as always learned from them all.

The intimidating portion was when I arrived the first two officials I met worked the lines at Wimbledon and were heading to the US Open to work this summer. I felt maybe I was in over my head, but I did enjoy listening to their experiences, also they did share with me how I can get to New York calling lines myself. That was exciting, another goal put into action. Most all officials at the academy had a lot of college chair experience. My recommendation to whoever is interested in attending the academy is to have a lot experience and feel comfortable in the chair, for you do so much more than just calling the score and marking your score card. We called all lines, needed to call score in by walkie talkies, while having an official escort your player to the restroom and of course checking the net!

The heart-throbbing portion I got over quickly, as I did more matches I felt more comfortable. Never really got over all the observers that we had watching us at each match. Everyone was very helpful though. One of my comments was to “fill the chair” (he said sit like a man). I was told by another official if that’s all they can come up with, I must have had a hell of a match. So I took that as a compliment.

All in all the chair academy was a wonderful experience. I encourage everyone to apply, but go fully prepared for some intense training, a lot of learning and enjoy the great company!

See you on the courts!

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