When we talk about Wimbledon, its player and the matches organized therein, how can one forget the person who plays the most important role in all this - the umpire? Without him, the game would be almost unthinkable. There are as many as 335 officials that work as umpires at Wimbledon, including the chair umpires and line umpires or off-court staff. All of them, together, are responsible for more than 650 matches played during the two weeks, over which a Wimbledon Tennis Tournament stretches. The Chief Umpire is the one who supervises all the umpires and defines their roles, with help from a custom-made computer system and a team of assistants.
Wimbledon umpires comprise of 275 British officials, all of whom are the members of ABTO (Association of British Tennis Officials). The rest 60 umpires comprise of overseas officials, picked from all over the world. This group is inclusive of the seven ITF/Grand Slam Chair Umpires, who officiate at all the four Grand Slams, and two ATP Full Time Officials. Talking about the Chair Umpires of Wimbledon, they have been making use of computers in the chair since 2001, when the traditional scorecard was replaced.
Junior Players Programme
Wimbledon umpires also include 70 officials who are selected on the basis of Junior Players Programme, which is organized by the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) and ABTO. The main idea behind organizing this programme is to encourage young people to officiate for the games. Through it, the players are introduced to an accelerated training programme, on the basis of which they qualify for Wimbledon selection. While some of the officials do line umpiring on show courts, the most qualified ones might be seen on the chair.
On an average, 45 chair umpires are assigned to the games on a daily basis. The rest of the officials, meanwhile, work as line umpires. Chair umpires normally umpire two matches a day, which might not be on the same court. Line umpires work in teams and in a single court, there are two line teams at a time, working on timed rotation (75 minutes on, 75 minutes off). Apart from that, 10 line umpires can be seen officiating on Centre, No. 1 and No. 2 Courts, while other courts have seven line umpires each.
As many as 335 officials serve as umpires in a Wimbledon Tennis Tournament. Let us explore more on Wimbledon Championship Umpires.