Being a Line Judge At Wimbledon

As of 2021, there are 377 officials at Wimbledon- this includes 327 chair umpires and line judges, 14 off-court staff workers, and 36 review officials. These officials cover more than 650 matches played throughout 18 courts during The Fortnight. 285 of those are line judges.

Do Line Judges At Wimbledon Get Pay? How Much?

The short answer is yes; line judges do get paid at Wimbledon. However, how much you get paid is dependent on several factors.

One of these factors is on-court training, on lines and in the chair, and written examination on the Rules of Tennis. A top umpire can expect to earn between 50 to 60 thousand pounds per annum, but this takes a long time to yield this amount. Most make around 30 thousand pounds. On average, a line judge can expect to earn about 20 thousand pounds per annum.


Two branches of officiating exist chair and line. You can apply to become an official through the Lawn Tennis Association, sign up and attend workshops for more details on leadership responsibilities. A measure of your suitability for the course is part of the assessment day, which includes evaluating eyesight, voice and concentration. Upon completion, you’ll be eligible to enrol in a basic rules tennis class with a written proficiency exam. The key is to go through as many tournaments as you can before the Wimbledon level.

You are graded on your calling accuracy and alert position at tournaments.

After accumulating sufficient experience, you will attain the L4 (line umpire) rating, which gives you the foundation to become a chair umpire.

Becoming A Line Umpire

To become a line umpire at LTA, applicants must be 16 years of age or older. If your application is accepted, you will attend a one-day training course that includes classroom learning and on-court instruction. The instructor will assess you, and if you pass, you can work as a line judge!

Line judges who have experience can apply for a course that lasts two days, and upon completion, they will be qualified to work as chair umpire. Chair umpires need to do 30 days of service per year to keep their “accreditation.”

Becoming A Chair Umpire

To become a chair umpire, you will need to be an experience line umpire. The difference between the two is that line umpires are responsible for calling the lines on the tennis court. In contrast, chair umpires are responsible for calling the score of the match and upholding the rules of tennis by making sure the game is played fairly.

In stating this, once you have gained some experience as a line umpire, licensed umpires are eligible to be invited to apply for selection on to a chair umpire accreditation course. This is a two-day course that will build on your knowledge as a line judge while introducing you to chair umpiring. The course is commonly run twice a year. As well as the line umpire course, the course is comprised of a combination of classroom and on-court work. There is an exam that is to be done at the end of the course.

How to Become a Licensed Official

When you have successfully completed your introductory line umpire course, you can apply online for an LTA official’s license. Please take note that you will need to undergo a criminal background check in order to apply for an official’s license.

  • Simply, go to the LTA website.
  • Hover over Member’s access your Area and select Officials from the dropdown menu. This will take you into the Officials area.
  • Choose the License tab. This will take you to the application page. Officials will be able to click apply if they meet both the grade or qualification criteria as well as have a valid LTA DBS check.

The LTA Official’s License costs 25 pounds per annum. This can be applied for and paid online by logging in to your members’ area on the LTA website.

Becoming a Tennis Referee

A tennis referee is someone responsible for supervising all players at a competition to ensure they follow the correct rules of tennis. This is to allow for a fair match to be played.

To become a tennis referee, you will need to complete a two-day course along with mentored experience in between the two days.

Before you can begin this course, you will need to have already done the following:

  • Completed the competition organizer course or have the relevant experience.
  • Completed the pre-course reading.

The mentoring experience mentioned above includes practical experience as well as shadowing qualified referees at three competitions. You will need to shadow at least two different referees. However, you can shadow more if you wish to do so.

Day one of the course usually involves discussing subjects such as fair play, the rules of tennis, the code of conduct as well as refereeing duties.

On day two of the course, you can be expected to learn matters such as the role of the court supervisor, handling situations like on-court disputes, tournament organization, and tournament experience.

At the end of the course, you will receive either a pass or a fail. This will be determined by your ability to complete an assessment during the course, completion of a workbook as well as the passing of an exam.

Once this course has been completed successfully and you have become a licensed official, you can apply to organize and referee Grade 5, Grade 6, and Grade 7 completions locally. This includes Mini Tennis and match plays at a local tennis venue or a local open tournament. With this, you may be eligible to be selected to referee at Grade 4 tournaments and could be selected as a court supervisor at a higher graded tournament.

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About Mark Bailey

Hi, 👋 I'm Mark Bailey. I’ve been in the racket sports industry for 11 years and counting! You could say I’m a bit of a racket guru. I have experience with tennis, squash, badminton and table tennis at an international level. My blog is all about providing you with tips to improve your game as well as sharing my experiences from different tournaments around the world. In addition to this, when there's snow on the ground (in winter) I like to take advantage of it by going snowboarding in France! And even when there's not any snow left... My Labrador Rocky always needs walking!

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