Tennis League Rules And Considerations

  • Both players are responsible for making contact to choose the place, time and day of the week to play. 1) Please make sure your match is confirmed. Communication failures may not be subject to default. (That decision may be made by the Director.) 2) Players hosting at their Club’s courts may request beforehand that League partner pays 1/2 the guest fee. If you don’t agree, find another match. 3) Both players bring a new can of tennis balls to the match (Penn/Wilson). Home court opens the can. The match winner gets the unopened can; the loser gets the balls used in the match. Be prepared to give your opponent three dollars if you fail to bring balls and lose.
  • The Member’s “Message Center” on the website is designed to send messages to any or all of the players in your Division. Any outgoing message is received in the recipient’s personal email of record. However, do not reply directly from your email (it will not be received). You can reply from a link in your email which re-directs back through the Message Center. This function is intentionally designed to keep personal emails private. However, players are encouraged to exchange personal contact info (cell phone, etc.) among themselves to help minimize communication issues.
  • Default match format is best of 3 sets, traditional scoring. Sets 1 and 2, if tied at 6 games all, to be decided by tiebreaker to 7 points by 2 points. “Super-tiebreaker” to be played in lieu of 3rd set, i.e. 1st to 10 points by 2 points. Note, however, that players may mutually agree to play a full 3rd set. If the match is prematurely ended because of a time restriction, the player who has won the most games is the winner. The incomplete final score is recorded, as is, by the winner. Note: Members may mutually agree to reschedule the match – either replaying or finishing it at a later date, but should discuss this and agree beforehand.
  • Match shortening options for playing a match in one hour: 1)”Pro-set”: One extended set. First to 10 games wins. Play Super-tiebreaker (to 10 points by 2 points) at 9 games all. 2) “Fast 4” Sets: Best of 3 sets. Sets are first to 4 games, tiebreak at 3 games all. Tiebreak is first to 5 points. If tiebreak is tied at 4 points all, play sudden death/deciding point with receiver choosing side to return from. If tied after 2nd set, play a 10 point match deciding Super-tiebreaker. During set play, use no-ad scoring. Receiver chooses side to return from at deuce. Also, let serves are in play. 3) “Thirty30” Scoring: Start each game at 30 all. Play balance of game out normally. Change sides after the first two games, then every 4 games thereafter. No ad scoring (play sudden death point at deuce) for any or all sets. Returner chooses side to receive serve.
  • Only the winner posts the match scores, within 24 hours after each match. “Manage Scores” button is on the top left of the box where you submit your scores. If you make an error after submitting a score, it can be edited or deleted using this function.
  • A player has the option to take a forfeit from the opponent when that player:
      1. Doesn’t show up for the match. (Communication failures may not be subject to default.)
      2. Shows up more than 15 minutes late.
      3. Doesn’t give 4 hours notice for match cancellations.

    *** Repeated offenses may be subject to removal from the League, and no refund will be given.

    *** Player taking the forfeit/default win posts the score simply as: “Set 1: 1 – 0” (which will reflect a win by forfeit/default).

  • A “Forfeit/Default” win is recorded in the standings, but is not counted for playoff qualifying purposes. As a penalty, however, it will be considered a loss for the player incurring the “Forfeit/Default”. Thus, it may impact their playoff standing.
  • “Retirement” (due to injury, or any other reason): As an example, Player A is leading 6-3, 4-6, 3-1 when Player B has to stop. Player A is the winner and enters the scores as is. Incomplete straight (2) sets are entered the same way. (Player B takes the loss.) A “retired” result is assumed by the incomplete final set score. A “retirement” win of this type – if more than one set is played – does count in the record and toward the playoffs.
  • RULE CHANGE: A maximum of 2 wins are now permitted each season vs the same player. (Playoffs are an exception to this rule, as that might involve an additional win.) We encourage you to arrange matches with as many players as possible. You may select from any of the players on your list in any order. Non Playoff matches can continue to be played after the playoffs start, and results will be count in player’s overall W/L records.
  • Line calls. Only call balls on your side of the court, but give the benefit of the doubt if not absolutely sure. Another option that can be agreed on in advance is “Play two (balls)”, i.e. replay the point if disputed calls can’t be resolved.
  • Coaching and guests: Coaching in league matches is not allowed. Any player guests must remain quietly outside the court area. Please use common sense and keep spectators from disrupting play with unnecessary noise or cheering.
  • A player can be moved up or down during the season based on how they have performed after three matches. As a basic, but flexible, rule of thumb, 75% of games won or lost indicates a change of division, up or down, may be appropriate. We track every game and every set you play, win or lose, your record does count. You may play matches in any order you choose. The play roster will change during the season as players are moved to adjust for any division changes, injury or late entries.
    *** Established players may not randomly move to another division without League approval. A preference for the way higher division players hit the ball is not a valid rationale for a move up. Your match play results and record must dictate the move.
  • Playoff Tournament is held at the end of each season in all divisions and lasts about 3 weeks. (See Playoff Calendar in the column at right side.) 1) The “Top 8” players in each division will qualify.  That is determined at the time of the match qualifying deadline, which will be communicated to members every season. Important: The order of the “Top 8” may vary slightly from the “Season Standings” on the website due to both software anomalies and league priorities. (See “Seeding Rationale” below.) 2) Players who have changed Divisions mid- season: For seeding purposes those players may receive some consideration or credit from their record in their original division. Any credit allowed would be solely at Director discretion. 3) The more you play the better your chances. 4) Higher seeded players in the playoffs receive home court selection. 5) The format is single elimination.
    • Seeding Rationale for Playoff Draws: The “Top 8” in each division is determined as follows: 1) The highest number of wins.  2) When players have the same number of wins, the player with more matches played will generally seed higher. An example would be that a 5-3 record trumps a 5-0 or 5-2 record. The league values participation, and this seeding rationale reflects that. Exceptions would occur when the number of losses is close to (5-4), equals (5-5) or exceeds (5-6) the number of wins. Seeding in this case, especially at 1 game over a .500 record, would be at Director discretion.  3) When two or more players have the same W/L record, the first tiebreaker is the highest percentage of games won. Should that be equal, the next tiebreaker would be head to head results, followed by results over common opponents.
    • Playoff Availability, “Fail-Safe” and Deadline Requirements:   1) Players competing in the playoffs should be available during the entire duration of the playoff schedule. (You must assume you will move forward.) If you are not going to be available, contact the Director prior to the qualifying deadline and decline playing in order to open a seeding slot to another player. 2) 3 Playoff Rounds: Quarters, Semis & Finals. Each round has a one week window to be completed. Players can arrange match play any time during that window that is mutually agreeable.  3) “Fail-Safe”: If players can’t agree on another time to finish play, the mandatory “fail-safe” day & time is usually Sundays @ 2PM for each round.  All playoff qualifiers must thus commit to being available for the “Fail-Safe” for all rounds. 4) Players missing “Deadline” dates to play, and have not contacted Director requesting extensions beforehand, will be defaulted. A request for a “Deadline” extension is not presumed, and is at Director discretion. Any decision on any scheduling conflicts impacting the playoffs, and potential default of the player effected will be up to the Director. His decision is final and no refund will be issued.
    • Division Winner Award Packages: 1) $50 Tennis Express E-gift card, 2) Tennis League t-shirt, and 3) a T.L.S.D. “Division Champion” bag tag. (Runners up receive “Division Finalist” tag.) 4) Each Division winner and runner-up both win a free season membership. Division winners will advance to the next level.
  • RE issues involving potential defaults, especially in the playoffs – members are encouraged to resolve disputes between themselves. Only if an honest effort to do so fails, should the Director become involved in deciding things. The Director’s decision is final in mediating disputes. Failure to follow that decision or direction may result in being removed from the League, and no refund will be given.
  • Note: Members not qualifying for Playoffs may continue to arrange matches until the end of the season. Those matches (although not impacting playoffs) will be agreed in advance to be either, A.) posted on the website and reflected in players lifetime and seasonal records, or B.) not posted and considered solely for practice purposes.
  • Poor Sportsmanship: 1) If the League Director receives more than 3 complaints in a given season about the same member from other players, that member will be subject to removal from the league, and no refund will be given. Those complaints may range from chronic bad line calls to any other poor sportsman-like behavior. 2) Egregious displays of poor sportsmanship, independently verified by 2 or more sources, may subject that member to immediate suspension or removal from the league. They may include, but are not limited to: ongoing foul or vulgar language, abusive behavior toward the opponent or equipment (racket throwing, hitting balls out of the courts), any threatening or assault oriented action. 3) Tennis Clubs: Language or behavior at a match that results in club management filing a report or complaint with TLSD may be grounds for immediate termination or suspension of league membership.
    ***No refunds will be given should a member be suspended or removed under the above circumstances.
    ***Tennis League reserves the right to refuse membership to any player who has a history of poor sportsmanship. Tennis should be fun, and league matches should be as well! Good sportsmanship is not optional.
  • If you sign up to play and for some reason don’t play please don’t request a refund or to be moved to another season as the time and expense involved in the set up and removal of your registration exceeds the league fee paid. A player who withdraws from the league due to injury or time constraints is required to make the administrator aware of the withdrawal. This player will be removed from the website as active, but all wins will remain posted.

*** The league’s primary purpose is to build community involvement in tennis and to help people improve their tennis game. Players should be at least 18 years of age. (Any exceptions to this policy are based on parental approval, and at the discretion of League Director.)

Enjoy the tennis – Tennis League San Diego

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