What's A Fair Salary for Tennis Umpires?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by adventure, Sep 15, 2011.

  1. adventure

    adventure Banned

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    They make $200 a day at the USO. No wonder players run roughshod all over them.

    For the sake of comparison, NBA and NHL referees make between $100K and $300K annually. NBA refs have enough money and power to make the lives of recalcitrant players a nightmare: calling fouls at the slightest contact, giving opposing players makeup calls, ejecting players with a history of abusive behavior ejections at the slightest provocation. Yes, the NBA refs have a union.

    What if tennis umpires were to form a union? Any obstacles to this?
     
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  2. Fedace

    Fedace Banned

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    I say annual salary of $300,000 is fair amount.
     
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  3. Devilito

    Devilito Hall of Fame

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    from 80k - 300k is fair. 80k for some guy starting out doing random ATP 250 matches. Up to 300k for like Mohamed Lahyani
     
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  4. Soianka

    Soianka Hall of Fame

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    What I am wondering is how can tennis officials afford to travel to tournaments all over the world on $200/day or less?

    But yes, they should be paid much more.
     
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  5. El Diablo

    El Diablo Hall of Fame

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    A union is useful when you have a single entity like the NBA or Major League Baseball to negotiate with. I don't think that applies in tennis where tournaments are separate financial entities. And at 300k salary (paid by whom?), you'd have the officials making more than the vast majority of players, which would probably lead to a different kind of labor struggle. But is there actually a problem here? I don't think so. It's a rare tennis match that's marred by any real disorder, and there's no reason to think paying the officials more would change anything. The real issue is how much authority they're given by whomever's running the tournament, and that' doesn't depend on reimbursement.
     
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  6. Rhino

    Rhino Legend

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    That is a scandal! I'm surprised they can even survive on that.
     
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  7. Fedace

    Fedace Banned

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    That won't get you a Hotdog at the Open.:)
     
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  8. Fee

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    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/07/s...umpires-skip-the-us-open.html?_r=1&ref=tennis

    Gold badge chair umpires, the highest-rated officials in professional tennis, the ones who work the most important tournaments and matches, make $250 each day at the Open. It is the lowest pay rate for any Grand Slam tournament.

    For gold badge umpires, officiating tournaments is their primary job and main source of income. At most tournaments, their pay is set by the ATP World Tour, the WTA or the International Tennis Federation. But at Grand Slam events, tournament organizers dictate everything from pay rates to accommodations.

    A spreadsheet obtained by The New York Times showed that Wimbledon paid gold badge umpires £189, or about $306 daily. The French Open paid 190 euros (about $270), even for the tournament’s qualifying rounds, while the United States Open pays $185 a day for its qualifying rounds.

    At the Australian Open, gold badge umpires earn about $383 for each main draw day, and they make overtime if they work more than 10 hours, a perk none of the other Grand Slam tournaments provide.

    The differences extend beyond pay scale. Gold badge umpires receive their own hotel rooms at the United States and French Opens, share two-bedroom apartments in Australia and must book their own accommodations at Wimbledon, where they get about $121.50 a day for expenses.

    All tournaments provide on-site meal vouchers, with none higher than the French Open (about $37). All also pay a portion of the umpires’ travel expenses, with the United States Open, at $500 for travel both domestic and international, again the lowest of the majors.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    We need Woodrow to come by... It was my understanding that Lars Graf, Cedric Molina, etc, are on salary with the ATP to work their tournaments, and their travel expenses, accommodations, and meals are paid for when they work. Those same umpires work on a contract basis for the Slams, as stated in the article above. Also, I believe the USTA has a staff of linespeople and chair umpires to work their events (futures & challengers), and those people are used/contracted to fill in at the ATP/WTA tournaments in the United States. So, while gold badge chair umpires did not make much at the USO, I think most of them do okay working for the ATP. It's the linespeople who are scraping by from what I understand.
     
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  9. adventure

    adventure Banned

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    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-...tennis-association-claiming-overtime-pay.html

    Apparently, pay is as low as $115 for umpires at the US Open:

    Four U.S. Open Umpires Sue U.S. Tennis Association Demanding Overtime Pay

    By Bob Van Voris -

    Four U.S. Open umpires sued the U.S. Tennis Association, claiming the group misclassified them as independent contractors to avoid giving them overtime and other pay.

    The umpires, who seek to represent hundreds of U.S. Open umpires going back to the 2005 Open, filed a complaint against the tennis governing body today in federal court in Manhattan. The suit claims the USTA violated federal and state pay laws and seeks unspecified damages on behalf of the umpires.

    “Umpires were paid based upon a schedule set and dictated by defendant,” the umpires said in their complaint. “Umpires regularly worked in excess of 40 hours per week but were not properly paid wages due them including but not limited to overtime for hours in excess of 40 hours per week.”

    The 2011 U.S. Open is currently under way at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens, New York.

    Chris Widmaier, a USTA spokesman, declined to immediately comment on the suit.

    The suit was filed by Steven Meyer and Marc Bell, both of whom live in Florida, and Larry Mulligan-Gibbs of Pennsylvania and Aimee Johnson of Louisiana. All have been employed by the USTA as umpires, according to the complaint.

    The plaintiffs claim the USTA hires umpires for the Open and assigns their work, sets their pay and hours, prescribes a dress code and maintains policies governing umpire conduct on and off the court.

    According to the umpires, pay for last year’s Open ranged from $115 a day for USTA sectional or provisional umpires in qualifying matches to $200 a day for gold-badge chair umpires in main-draw matches.
    Umpires often worked more than eight hours a day, seven days a week, depending on the length of matches and weather delays, they said.

    The case is Meyer v. United States Tennis Association, 11- CV-6268, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).
     
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  10. jokinla

    jokinla Hall of Fame

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    There must be some other bonuses or payment of some type, because even at 300-400 a day, when you travel the world, like the top ones you see at most events, that money is gone pretty quickly, and they have to have money to pay their bills, etc. at their homes and to support their families.
     
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  11. drgchen

    drgchen Rookie

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    There isn't a lot of money in tennis compared to the NBA, NFL, NHL, etc.
    Who is going to pay the umpires 300k a year, when most top players don't make that kind of money. You have to be in the top 75 in the world to make that much. They are probably paid too little currently, but not so little compared to the hard working journeymen players.
     
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  12. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    They are turning it into a class action suit.
     
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  13. Tshooter

    Tshooter Hall of Fame

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    Q. [during Federer Day 11 Press Conference]

    There has been a lot of talk about the needs of the players in the last few days, but there was an article in the Times I think two days ago that the gold badge umpires make 250 a day; I know Rafa was quite upset yesterday with the decision of the umpires to bring them out on court. What do you think of that number?

    ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, I don't know if those are real numbers. You're just telling me this right now. I mean, isn't this the same in soccer? They're not all of them 100% professionals out there. I think they're doing a good job. I think Hawk Eye has protected them to a degree, as well. I don't think we have a huge umpire issue. I really think they're very good. I know we have a lot of courts, and usually the smaller the court, the less experience the umpire has, and also the same thing with the linespeople. But, I mean, look, you've got to cover tons of courts here, and you're always gonna get the occasionally bad call. You just hope the umpires and the referees have it under control the best possible way. What I like about tennis is that actually the umpire doesn't have all the power like maybe in soccer where you feel, okay, here is a penalty; here is a red card. It doesn't have such an impact in tennis. I don't think it's an issue in tennis right now.

    ========
    Yes Roger, the number is evidently real. And I think you ignored the question. Which wasn't what do you think of the job they're doing but "What do you think of that number?" Maybe if only the winner didn't get another increase in prize money next year you could pay them say, $300 a day ? Oh, I forgot. The main beef wasn't that they sent the players out on to the [allegedly] wet courts it's the fact that Roddick knew off the top of his head they are only giving players 13% of revenue. Yes, you top guys have a good argument that you may actually be underpaid but so are the umps.
     
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  14. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    There are no bonuses. In fact, keep in mind that out of that $115-200 per day, we are also responsible for putting aside 30% for self employment tax, money for meals off site that are not provided, health insurance, and other expenses.
     
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  15. Devilito

    Devilito Hall of Fame

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    Roger Federer doesn't even know what $250 looks like. It's less than he spends on lunch. It's stupid to ask rich people about things they can't even comprehend
     
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  16. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    Carlos Bernardes, Lars Graff, Mohamed Lahyani, Roland Herfel, Gerry Armstrong are the full time ATP salary umpires. Jake Garner, Alison Lang, Louise Engzell, Pascal Maria, Carlos Ramos and ENric Molina are salary full timers for the ITF/Grand Slam Team of Officials. Lynn Welch, Kader Nouni, Eva Asderaki, Kerrilyn Cramer and Mariana Alves are the WTA full timers.

    Everyone else works on a per tournament assignment. THe chair umpires usually get all of their travel paid, the line umpires get a travel supplement at SOME tournaments.

    At the ATP tournaments, like Miami, Indian Wells, and the rest of the north american tournaments, the line umpires and supplemental chair umpires get paid between $80-125 per day.

    Again, there are a lot of expenses that come out of that 80-125 per day that aren't covered by the tournaments. And with all of the discrimination suits filed against the USTA in the past 6-8 years, assignments are going down and so are work opportunities out there, which is why I stopped. I was losing money.

    In my best year working 38 weeks, I figured out that after all of my expenses, health insurance, taxes, I took home about $23,000. That's before factoring in rent, car insurance, and other stuff.
     
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  17. adventure

    adventure Banned

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    Do players even pay for their own meals at the majors?

     
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  18. Fee

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    No they get a food allowance in the player cafeteria. Varies at each tournament, as does the amount of food you can actually get with it.
     
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  19. Tshooter

    Tshooter Hall of Fame

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    "Everyone else works on a per tournament assignment. "

    But who sets the pay and how ?

    So out near ct 6 the other day during a rain delay, I was curious about the entire pay issue and so I asked one of the linespeople who represents you in negotiating pay as I assumed they are not discussing the issue individually. He replied that at the USO he thought the USTA did. Obviously that makes no sense that the person paying you could possibly be representing your interests.

    They need to organize. What is that thing they used to have in the US back about 100 years ago ? I forgot what it's called. A Union or something like that ?
     
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  20. Devilito

    Devilito Hall of Fame

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    you think guys like Federer, Djokovic or Nadal actually eat the slop at the tournaments? I know Sampras had his own personal chef fly with him everywhere so he knows exactly what he's eating. Especially with Djokovic gluten free diet he probably has his own chef travel with him as well. Heck, if I had that much money I would too. Why risk a “Raonic type” situation
     
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  21. RCizzle65

    RCizzle65 Hall of Fame

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    What happened with Raonic?
     
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  22. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    You may have talked to one of the people on the Professional Officials Advocacy Committee (POAC). They act as a liaison between the officials and the USTA for officials working professional events. The USTA sets the pay structure. Actually POAC, a couple of years ago, actually got the pay raised, however so slightly, and put on a pay scale based on certification level.

    10 years ago, everyone loved the US Open because it paid the most, and the conditions (except for the long hours) were the best of the slams. But, then the other grand slams started with significant pay increases for officials, and when you combine that with the increased value of the Pound, Euro, and Australian Dollar, and the decrease in the American Dollar, suddenly, it was by far the lowest paying grand slam for pay and travel supplements.

    I started working in 1997, and from 1997 to 2007, the pay was exactly the same. $115 for qualifying and $135 for main draw for all officials, line umpires and chair umpires. In 2008, it changed a bit.

    GOLD BADGE CHAIR UMPIRE
    Qualifying - $185 per day
    Main Draw - $200 per day

    SILVER BADGE CHAIR UMPIRE
    Qualifying $160 per day
    Main Draw - $175 per day

    BRONZE BADGE CHAIR UMPIRE
    Qualifying - $140 per day
    Main Draw - $155 per day

    WHITE BADGE CHAIR UMPIRE
    Qualifying - $135 per day
    Main Draw - $150 per day

    LINE UMPIRES
    Qualifying - $130 per day
    Main Draw - $145 per day

    PROVISIONAL/FIRST YEAR LINE UMPIRES
    Qualifying - $115
    Main Draw - $135

    If an official has a day off during the tournament, they will receive $40 for expenses on that day off.

    LODGING
    Officials outside of a 40 mile (I believe) radius from NYC are housed in a hotel in Manhattan. Gold and Silver Badge chair umpires have a single room. All other officials are in a shared room. And yes it is in a nice hotel.

    MEALS
    $20-30 meal allowance on site. All meals off site are on the official's own dime. The meal stipend is sufficient for breakfast and lunch for day crew officials and lunch and dinner for night crew officials.

    TRAVEL
    American officials get their travel fully covered, either a round trip airlane ticket or mileage, tolls and parking for local officials.

    International officials receive approximately $350-500 allowance for their travel to NY
     
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  23. Fee

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    Woodrow, if you are put up in one of the Manhattan hotels at the USO's expense, are you required to ride one of the USTA's hourly buses that they send to that area?
     
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  24. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    Either that or the subway. But in the morning, there are buses specifically for the umpires, so we don't have to deal with waiting in lines.

    I usually took the subway because it was usually quicker and more fun. If it was after the night session, I would take the bus back.
     
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  25. timeisonmyside

    timeisonmyside Semi-Pro

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    How many hours per day are they required to work? More than one match? Is the pay the same regardless of how many matches?

    I must conclude that umpires love their job very much. There just isn't much money in it.

    Maximum earnings at the US Open main draw is 14 days X $200 = $2800. If you're flying to NYC from say, Europe, the airfare is probably $1000 - $1500, of which you get max $500 reimbursed.

    So we're at $1800 net for two weeks, and you still have to buy at least one meal per day, and possibly pay taxes in both the US and your home country.
     
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  26. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    Chair umpires work usually 1 or 2 matches per day.

    Line umpires are one hour on, one hour off until released by the chief umpire's office.
     
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  27. dennis10is

    dennis10is Banned

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    Our USO umpires makes $50 per day before we deduct their meals expenses, security surcharges, uniform rentals and cleaning.

    At the end of the day, umpires owes us on average $500 per day for each day they work.

    They owe us a $100 per day holding fee for keeping them on our roster.

    Naturally, the umpire who made Serena distraught was secretly fined $100K.

    We at the USTA continues to look for further revenue opportunities from our staff. As a charitable organization, we look forward to taking money from everyone we can for as much as we can.

    Thank you for your continued patronage.
     
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  28. Achilles82

    Achilles82 Semi-Pro

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    This is ridiculous. Where did you find this information? This maybe for some ITF tournament. For top umpires I would assume a 1000$ is the amount.


    200 bucks please...
     
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  29. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    This is the dark underbelly of capitalism
     
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  30. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Federer is Mr. Corporate. Don't expect him to say anything.
     
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  31. 200 USD /day sounds ridiculous, is this really true??

    Thats what i make from 3 hours of private teaching...

    :shock:
     
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  32. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Solution is to make umpires glamorous and have them sponsored by companies.
     
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  33. West Coast Ace

    West Coast Ace G.O.A.T.

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    I watch a lot of tennis - never heard of any of these 4.

    The $300k some of you are proposing seems a little high. I'd say $75k for the less experienced and $150k for the top. On the ATP tour and men's majors. Less for the WTA since they just don't make nearly as much on the tournaments.
     
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  34. JorgeLobo

    JorgeLobo New User

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    Are these guys employees or independent contractors?
     
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  35. West Coast Ace

    West Coast Ace G.O.A.T.

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    Since they work for multiple groups - the ATP and the ITF, probably independent contractors.

    Hate the lawsuit idea. Don't like the amount being offered, don't go. I was a contractor for a time - turned down many assignments over pay, per diem, location.
     
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  36. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    The four are line umpires, not chair umpires. That's why you haven't hear of them. 1 is an attorney, 1 is a judge.
     
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  37. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    We are independent contractors. But the lawsuit is alleging that we are misclassified as independent contractors instead of employees.
     
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  38. sportsfan1

    sportsfan1 Hall of Fame

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    I don't know what a fair amount would be, that would depend on the amount of money in the game. But a quick glance at various tournaments notes couple of million dollars prize money, so they should really be able to do better.
    The tour should really pay the umpires better, $250 a day is nothing, not sure why anyone would want to do it at that pay.
     
    #38
  39. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    This is a sport in which underage kids are made to run in the sun for no pay. Why is that not a labor law violation?
     
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  40. Fee

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    Did you read the thread and the sources that were posted here? Yes, $250 per day for the Gold badge chair umpires, less for everyone else. No $1000 is not the amount, not anywhere.

    Yes, its really true.
     
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  41. firefox

    firefox Semi-Pro

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    Some of them make millions from Russian mafia on the side. :twisted: j/k
     
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  42. diggler

    diggler Professional

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    If you do slams and Masters series, do you have a regular job in the other weeks or are you a full time umpire?

    If you didn't have another job, $100,000 with all travel, on site food and accommodation paid would be reasonable.

    $300,000 is a bit over the top. In the age of hawkeye, and electronic scoring pads, you don't have that much to do, do you?
     
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  43. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    LOL good point
     
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  44. TaraHarrison

    TaraHarrison New User

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    What I like about tennis is that actually the umpire doesn't have all the power like maybe in soccer where you feel, okay, here is a penalty; here is a red card.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  45. sportsfan1

    sportsfan1 Hall of Fame

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    I see it more as the umpires being part of the whole entertainment package of the match, and they certainly get a fair bit of TV exposure. The product (in this case tennis) sells well, so the umpires should get a better share of the revenue.
     
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  46. diggler

    diggler Professional

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    Tennis is a business. If you can get away with paying peanuts, you will. Hence unpaid ballboys amd volunteers driving courtesy cars and delivering player towels.
     
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  47. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I was shocked when I read that Cincy has like 7 staff and a 1000 volunteers or something. The truth is that many tourneys barely break even. So, though overall it is a business, it is not necessarily the case for the individual tourneys.

    Which brings up the question of how other tourneys could afford to pay more to umpires if the Slams decide to do so?
     
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  48. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    But we all know Cincy is the Real Slam, so they must be making more money than all of the other tournaments.
     
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  49. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    How much do they pay the umpires?
     
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  50. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    $110 per day in Cincy.
     
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