My Reflections on the 2020 LTA Officiating Conference
December 22, 2020
The officiating conference was held virtually for the first time and was a great success. It allowed a wider number of officials to access a variety of online sessions and catch up with other officials and share experiences from local match play events to professional competitions.
The week kicked off with a Q&A with CEO Scott Lloyd. I felt it was important to hear about Scott's experience of tennis, his memories of competition and reflection on social side of competitor years later. (e.g. Staying with cousins to play a weeklong tournament). This session set up a week of how tennis could innovate and use technology to make tennis and tennis competition more relevant to the tennis population today.
The sessions throughout the week included Q+A with Sam Allison, football league referee, discussing on court and off-court scenarios, insight into engagement from officials, officiating psychology, the new LTA youth programme, Padel Tennis, Officiating at Disability events, and the joint LTA-ABTO strategy.
What are my key take away points:
· Diversity is important and a priority.
· We need to activate tennis around key event and competitions.
· We need to make competitions more exciting and relevant to players and fans, possibly through use of social media.
The biggest challenge over the next year is going to be COVID-19 and keeping a safe environment for players whilst still trying to attract new players to competition and innovate.
Over the next year I would like to find ways to use competition that I am running to get more people into tennis either through playing or officiating and coaching.