Sports Letters: Tennis umpires

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The Independent Online
Sir: The British Tennis Umpires Association regularly assesses the performance of its officials to ensure that each official is placed in his or her correct grade as either a line judge or chair umpire. We regard this process as a confidential matter between the assessor and the official concerned.

Your reporter Martin Johnson secretly copied some of our assessor's notes on Court 14 yesterday for his article in today's edition (29 June). He did not ask permission, which would not have been granted.

This was a gross intrusion on a private professional practice. The assessment was terminated in the first set because the match was not considered a stern enough test of the umpire's ability, something Mr Johnson could have ascertained had he the courtesy to contact my office.

In our constant efforts to improve the standard of tennis officiating, actions such as those taken by your reporter only serve to undermine a system that is producing positive results.

ROGER SMITH

Chief of Umpires

The Championships

Wimbledon

29 June

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