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The best seat on centre court
Around the Academy:

Umpires enjoy the best view of the action
It's the best seat in the house!

Philip Evans is the man with one of the best seats on centre court.

That¿s because he's among the country's most experienced umpires and has worked at Wimbledon for 15 years.

Here he talks to the Academy about what it's like rubbing shoulders with the sport's elite.

And he reveals how best to deal with those on-court temper tantrums.

I was a keen tennis player at club and county level but I knew I was never going to be good enough to make it as a pro.

I still wanted to be involved in the game somehow though, so when I was 16 I decided to find out about becoming an umpire instead.

I applied to the Association of British Tennis officials and it all went from there.

By now I'm in my 17th year as an umpire, and I'm one of the most experienced officials on the circuit.

Wimbledon is my favourite of all the Grand Slam events. It sums up everything that's good about the game.

I remember the first time I walked out onto centre court at Wimbledon. The adrenalin was flowing and I was really anxious to do my best.

It's the next-best thing to playing
The next-best thing to playing

If you want to get involved in the game at the highest level, umpiring has got to be the next-best thing to playing.

For most people though, officiating is a hobby. Only a select few will go on to make a career out of it.

I was lucky because I started young and was able to devote plenty of time to it.

If you're a student or still at school, the summer holidays is a good time to get involved.

Obviously you've got to be good at your job but the more you're seen and the more experienced you are, the better assignments you're given.

I've umpired at all the top tennis events and on my travels I've made friends in all four corners of the world.

It's been a wonderful experience.

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Life as an umpire
You cannot be serious!
Holding court
Fancy a go?

Did you know?
Around 330 chair umpires, line umpires and off-court staff work at Wimbledon
They cover over 650 matches during the fortnight
Around 45 chair umpires are assigned each day, with the others working as line umpires.
Chair umpires normally umpire two matches a day, although not necessarily on the same court
Line umpires work in teams and there are two line teams per court
The line teams work on a timed rotation, 75 minutes on and 75 minutes off

:: LTA Officiating Department
:: Wimbledon 2004

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