League Rules

HDTL - New Match Rules for 2017

  1. The Rules of Lawn Tennis, as approved by the International Lawn Tennis Federation, shall be adopted as the Laws of the Game in all League matches.
  2. Matches may be played on any recognised surface, including grass, artificial grass, shale, clay, macadam, acrylic, carpet and textile. Matches may be played outdoors or indoors. Matches may be played under floodlights, with the home team captain deciding on the timing of switch-on. The court surface may be changed during the course of a match to enable the match to be completed.
  3. Where a club has more than one team in any division, matches between those teams shall be played at the start of each half of the season. For these fixtures the higher team in the club must field three pairs. If this means the lower team cannot field a team then they will be in default of the match and be docked 2 points (i.e. the two teams from the same club in the same division cannot play two pairs each).
  4. The League shall consist of teams of three mixed couples. Matches may be fulfilled with two couples on up to two occasions during the season; any further occurrences shall result in a deduction of one point. Matches may not be fulfilled with one couple. Any team with deductions totalling 5 points or more in the course of a season shall be withdrawn from the League with immediate effect unless the Committee agrees that there are extenuating circumstances.
  5. Four balls per court, of approved Lawn Tennis Association standard, shall be provided for each match by the home team.
  6. Matches shall be decided on three rounds of 12 games each, and may be played on three or two courts.

         For matches played on three courts, rounds shall be played in the following order:

Court

Round 1

Round 2

Round 3

1

Home 1 v Away 1

Home 2 v Away 1

Home 3 v Away 1

2

Home 2 v Away 2

Home 3 v Away 2

Home 1 v Away 2

3

Home 3 v Away 3

Home 1 v Away 3

Home 2 v Away 3

 

 

 

 

For matches played on two courts, rounds shall be played in the following order:

  1. Round 1: Home 1 v Away 1
    (2) Round 1: Home 2 v Away 2
    (3) Round 1: Home 3 v Away 3
    (4) Round 3: Home 1 v Away 2
    (5) Round 2: Home 2 v Away 1
    (6) Round 2: Home 1 v Away 3
    (7) Round 2: Home 3 v Away 2
    (8) Round 3: Home 2 v Away 3
    (9) Round 3: Home 3 v Away 1

 

  1. Each pair plays a TWELVE-game round against each opposing pair. Pairs must complete all twelve games in each round. Each pair plays 36 games; totalling 108 games in each match. The match result shall be decided by the number of games won (not rubbers). The team with 55 games (or more) will be awarded the 2-point Match win. A draw (e.g. 54-54) is awarded 1 point. For shorter matches the team winning the most number of games will be deemed the winning team.

 

  1. Matches may be played to a different number of games depending on the lighting and or conditions available. Before start of play or if an unforeseen delay such as rain/light has resulted in the match falling behind schedule then both captains can agree to reduce rounds 2 or 3 down to 8 games rather than the full 12 games.  

 

Note: Only total games won count in match results and the winner of each round is irrelevant (although it is advisable to try and win your own round, even the games won in a losing round can have a major bearing on the outcome of the whole match so every game counts!)

  1. Matches may be played to different formats depending on the lighting available:

New Format

Round 1

Round 2

 

Round 3

 

 

 

 

 

Old format

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12-12-12

12 games

12 games

 

12 games

 

 

 

 

 

2-2-1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12-12-8

12 games

12 games

 

8 games

 

 

 

 

 

2-1-1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12-8-8

12 games

8 games

 

8 games

 

 

 

 

 

1-1-1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Any new format may be used if agreed by both captains. Otherwise, the Official Fixture List determines the format to be used in each match. All matches at clubs where courts are at different venues shall be played to the format as indicated in the Official fixture list. Matches played without floodlights before May or after August 15 shall use the 12-8-8 format.

 

  1. For interrupted matches:

No games in a round shall count towards the match result unless the whole of that round has been completed. Games may be conceded to enable completion of a round.

 

In the event of bad weather or bad light curtailing a match in progress:

  1. Both captains must agree to a cessation of play.
  2. The match result shall stand as at the end of the last completed round.
  3. If the first round has not been completed, the match shall be re-arranged.

 

Late starting of matches:

If a team is not fully present and ready to play at the designated start time for the match then;

 

  1. The match will commence when at least two mixed pairs have arrived. Once the match has started any late arriving players will commence the match as soon as possible and their prompt opponents should be warmed up and ready to play.

A team may contest a match with only two mixed pairs, but they will automatically concede 36 games.

  1. Subsequent rounds should all start simultaneously, so once the timely rounds(s) have (all) completed, the delayed round(s) should immediately cease, with any uncompleted games awarded to the prompt team.
  2. 45 minute rule: If it’s decided to play, but the late arriving pair cannot start playing within 45 minutes of the match start time, then their opponents may claim the games from the first round.
  3. If at the conclusion of the first round, a team still cannot field at least 2 mixed pairs, then the whole match is deemed conceded by that team, who will also be liable to a two points’ penalty for not fulfilling a fixture.
  4. At two-court clubs, the two pairs not playing in the first round, should ensure they arrive well before the first round concludes. Should the 2nd round start with someone still missing, then forfeiture of uncompleted games will apply to that round. Having commenced, the match must be played to completion. If players cannot stay beyond a certain time, then they’re obviously free to leave, but must concede any outstanding games to their opponents.

 

The late arrival of a player from one side does not constitute a valid reason to reduce the length of each round. Matches shall start at the time stated in the League Fixture List.

Notes: Teams are urged to get to the fixture venue and be ready to play by the allocated start time at the very latest.
Away teams: please start your journey well in advance of the match start time. If you arrive early, then enjoy a good long warm-up!
Home teams: this is a recreational league. The goal is to play tennis – not score points, so please be patient if your visitors are tardy.
Captains – please take your contacts list and your mobile phone with you, so that you can phone your opponents if you’re held up, or if you’re kept waiting.

Injuries

 

  1. If a player becomes injured in the warm-up, and is unable to start the match, then that team can provide a substitute. All pairings (for both teams) may be altered, provided play has not yet commenced. The match should not however, be delayed. The substituting team are subject to the rules for late starting of matches above. If a player (or players) become injured during a match, and can’t continue, then all of the unplayed games of that pair (or pairs) will default to their opponents. A substitute for the injured player cannot be provided. Nor may the team pairings be altered.
    Please mark the scorecard, to indicate which player was injured and at what point.
  2. Match results shall be recorded on the score cards provided. Score cards shall give first name and surname of each player, round scores, match score, and be signed by both captains. Score cards shall be returned by the home team captain to the League Secretary within three days of the match.
  3. League points shall be awarded to each team on the following basis:
    1. Win - 2 points
    2. Draw - 1 point
    3. Loss - 0 points

 

Re-arrangement of matches

  1.  After publication of the official Fixture List, dates or starting times of matches can only be re-arranged:
  1. The two team captains shall re-arrange for the match to be played on a new date within the scheduled season. The home Club shall advise the League Secretary of the re-arranged date within 14 days of the original date of the fixture. If a new date within the scheduled season cannot be agreed by the team captains then the Secretary will impose one, either within or after the scheduled season.

 

Unplayed Matches

  1. If a match has to be cancelled for any reason other than those allowed in Rule 20, then at least 24 hours notice shall be given by the defaulting team to their opposing team, who shall be credited with a victory game score to be decided by the Management Committee.
  2. Any team not fulfilling a fixture shall have two League points deducted from their total. In extenuating circumstances, the defaulting team may apply to the Management Committee. The team defaulting will receive zero games and their opposition awarded the number of games won equal to those of the return fixture, or equal to their average at the end of the Season, whichever is the greater.


Any match still outstanding at the official end of the season shall be subject to consideration by the Management Committee, who may require the match to be played, or may award League points, at its discretion.

 

  1. If a team withdraws from the League before completing 50% of its fixture programme, then all records of matches played by that team shall be expunged.

 

Eligibility of players

  1. No player shall be eligible to play any League match for more than one League Club in any one season, except by discretion of the Management Committee. See also Constitution, C5.
  2.  
    1.  Eligibility for the first four weeks of the season:

For players playing for the same Club as in the previous season:

  1. Any player who played 50% or more matches for a team (or higher team) in the previous season shall be classified as "restricted to that team" for the first four weeks (Sunday - Saturday) of the current season.
  2. Any such player shall be restricted to playing a maximum of one match per week for that team or any lower team. There shall be no restriction on playing in addition for higher teams in the same week.

For players playing for a different Club to that in the previous season:

  1. Any player who played 50% or more matches in a Division (or higher Division) in the previous season shall be classified as "restricted to that Division" for the first four weeks (Sunday - Saturday) of the current season.
  2. Any such player shall be restricted to playing a maximum of one match per week for a team in that Division or any lower team. There shall be no restriction on playing in addition for higher teams in the same week.
  3. Eligibility from the fifth week of the season onwards:

Any player who has played four or more matches for higher teams shall be ineligible to play for a lower team in any further matches in that season, except by discretion of the Management Committee.

If a player's application to play for a lower team is accepted, then:

  1. that player shall be ineligible to play again for a higher team in that season;
  2. that player's place in the higher team shall be taken by a nominated player, who shall then be ineligible to play for a lower team in that season.
  3. Eligibility from the start of the penultimate week of the season:

Any player who has played 6 or more matches for a team and is still eligible to play for that team may thereafter play up to two matches for higher teams without losing his eligibility to play for that team.

  1. All games played by ineligible players shall be awarded to the opposition team.

 

Divisional Grouping

  1. At the end of the season, League positions shall be decided by:
    1. Firstly, total points won.
    2. Secondly, games average ( games won divided by games lost)
    3. In the unlikely event of a tie the result between the 2 clubs will be used (total games won versus lost)

 

  1. The League shall be split into Divisions, as decided by the Annual General Meeting, along the following principles:
    1. The maximum number of teams in any Division, except the lowest Division, shall be eight.
    2. If the number of Divisions is to be the same as in the previous season, then teams placed in the top two positions in each Division at the end of the previous season shall be promoted to the Division above, and the appropriate number of teams necessary to maintain similar divisional sizes shall be relegated from the bottom positions in each Division to the Division below.
    3. If the number of Divisions is to be different to that in the previous season, then the allocation of teams to each Division shall be decided by the Annual General Meeting.

 

Alterations to League Rules

  1. Alterations to these League Rules shall only be made at the Annual General Meeting. Notice of any proposed alteration shall be submitted in writing to the League Secretary by 31 December each year.

 

Etiquette

  1. The Committee shall have the power to prohibit any act or practice by Clubs or players which in the opinion of the Committee is detrimental to the game or the best interests of the League, and to deal with any offending Club or player as it may think proper.