New Zealand Tennis has adopted the following policy for self-umpiring of national events:

Matches shall not be umpired and players shall call their own lines. Every player has the right to appeal to the referee who will observe play and may appoint an umpire if necessary. Singles finals and other feature matches should have an umpire who will call the score and adjudicate on disputes with the players responsible for their line calls; unless the person is a qualified umpire in which case the qualified umpire will also call the lines.


  • All calls on your side of the net are your responsibility (i.e. you cannot ask an opponent for a let because you do not agree with their call). If you have any doubt as to whether a ball is out or good, you must give your opponent the benefit of the doubt and play the ball as good. You should not play a let.
  • Any ‘out’ call must be made instantaneously (i.e. made before either an opponent has hit the return or the return has gone out of play); otherwise, the ball continues in play. The call should be made both verbally and by using a hand signal.
  • Do not enlist the aid of spectators, including parents, in making calls.
  • If you call a ball out then realise it was good, you should correct your call and award the point to your opponent.
  • To avoid controversy over the score, the Server should announce the set score (e.g. 5-4) before starting a game and the game score (e.g. thirty-forty) prior to serving each point. Game scores must also be recorded on each end change and at the end of each set.
  • If players cannot agree on the score the referee is to be called. The referee will discuss the relevant points or games to find out the points or games that the players agree on. All points or games which the players agree on stand and only those in dispute will be replayed.
  • Foot faults are not allowed. If an opponent persists in foot faulting after being warned not to do so, the Referee should be informed. The Referee can call foot faults from the side of the court.

If a dispute cannot be settled then the player should get a supporter to go and get the referee or tournament manager. One of two things will happen:

  • The official will stay and observe, and if satisfied there is no problem, the game is to continued self-umpired
  • The official will stay and observe and if necessary, after warning an offending player an adjudicator or Chair Umpire will be appointed

The above principles and guidelines shall apply in any match conducted without on court officials.