21 July 2020

Don't get caught out! Keep updated with our main rules...

For some of you, your first round post lockdown has finished and for others, it has just begun! Let's break down some rules so you know where you stand...


If you've finished a round:

  • The player with the most points at the end wins the group.
  • If two or more players tie with the most points, the player who beat the other during that round wins.
    • (If the two players did not meet in the round or players can't be removed from a multiple tie using head to heads, a winner will be decided according to the following method (in the case of multiple ties the method will be used as an eliminator prior to the reapplying of the head to head rule):
      • first, after the deduction of points for walkover wins
      • second [if still a tie] by the deduction of bonus points
      • third [if still a tie] by the deduction of points won for winning a match played in a unofficial format (eg a match completed with a match tiebreak instead of a third set)
      • fourth [if still a tie] by the player with the more wins
      • fifth [if still a tie] to advantage the player who played more matches
      • sixth [if still a tie] by the player who conceded the fewest sets on average per match played
      • Finally! [if still a tie] by the player who conceded the fewest games on average per match played.
        If still no winner can be found, the round is tied and the winner will be decided by the toss of a coin - has this ever happened?! Let us know if you have won this way before!

If you've JUST STARTED a round:

  • Matches will be the best of three tie-break sets but during this post lockdown phase we are allowing short set format. Check our coronavirus update page for details.
  • You get 1 point for every set you win (ie two points for a win). Players play their opponents once only each round.
  • An additional two points will be awarded to players who have completed three matches by the half way point and a FREE set of balls. We will email you with the details of how to claim your balls, make sure you are logged in when doing so!
  • Please note, we will normally accept a match where players have played a ten point match tiebreak in lieu of a third set, but in certain circumstances, these matches will be considered to carry less weight at the end of the round if players are tied on points at the top of the table. Match tiebreaks do not count towards bonus points. 
  • Balls: Balls must be of a good quality if not new and both parties should provide a set. Either party has the right to object to poor balls (prior to the match). If the balls are objected to, and no alternatives can be found, the match must be re-scheduled. If one player has provided new balls but their opponent hasn't brought a can of useable tennis balls, we suggest that player makes a contribution to the cost of the can.  Look out for tennis ball offers on this site! 

    Courts: Please share the cost of the courts, and allow for two hours of play where possible during this time! We expect most matches to be played on your league's home courts, but if both players agree matches can be played at any appropriate venue and on any surface. If players can't agree on an alternative set of courts, the default courts must be used.

    Setting up matches: Players have a joint responsibility to set up matches. To avoid confusion later, players should decide before the agreed time-frame for the match. See the section on Setting up Matches.



If it rains before the match starts, the whole match must be re-scheduled. (Please be careful about making assumptions about the weather, and to avoid the possibility of a no-show walkover, if cancelling because of the weather, always contact your opponent and get a reply). 

If it rains during the match... or court conditions deteriorate either player may decide to call a halt to the match, but the match must still be completed. Matches should be re-started with whatever the score was when play stopped. Players must share any additional court fee. If re-scheduling becomes impossible, the score must be reported as it stands (please note the match remains a "to be completed" match and the scores stand even if one of the players is subsequently injured/withdraws from the round).

If before the match (or after a first few points have been played) one player feels the court condition too slippery, or otherwise unsafe, they have the absolute right to ask for a postponement

If a player retires injured, unwell or for any other reason that constitutes a retirement, he or she loses the match - it cannot be re-played. The player who could have continued (the winner) will receive two points. If the retired player has won a set he or she receives 1 point. Retirements primarily refer to unavoidable circumstances that force a player to quit a match. Injury is the usual reason. Very occasionally another event forces a retirement. For instance, a doctor on call who has to leave a match. Matches abandoned because of a dispute can be referred to us for a ruling. Matches where players have explicitly set time conditions for the match, but where one player elects not to continue may also qualify as retirements but players are advised to ask for guidance. Ideally matches should be continued to a conclusion then or at another date.

If a player does not turn up at the agreed time, or is more than half an hour late, the other player can claim a walkover and receive 2 points or the match can be re-scheduled. Either way, the cost of the court should be shared in the normal way.  If the match is unfinished, even if it is because court time ran out, points will be awarded on the score reached. (Ideally the match would be completed at a later date.)
If a match is to be completed and then a walkover is awarded, the other player receives two points for the win. The original score remains unchanged. If the person who caused the walkover had originally won a point for a set won, that also remains unchanged.
NB If you are cancelling a scheduled match make sure you get an acknowledgement from your opponent. If the message does not get through, the match may be deemed a walkover.   

If a player wants to reschedule a match he or she must give his or her opponent a minimum of 24 hours notice. If a court cost is incurred the player who postponed the match is solely responsible for the cost of the unused court (subsequent court costs are split in the normal way). If less than 24 hours notice is given, the match may be recorded as a walkover in favour of the opponent and points awarded, although it is still preferable to play the match if possible. (If you are claiming a walkover, enter the result through the website with an explanation in the private commentary field confirming that it qualifies as walkover as a  match that had been firmly set up but cancelled with less than 24 hours notice, or cancelled though a no-show. The result will then be approved and your opponent copied in,. This gives your opponent the opportunity to respond in case there has been some kind of confusion.) Please claim the walkover at the time. If the players do subsequently play the match we may swap the walkover for the match played (but see the rule below). We will not necessarily retrospectively award walkovers.

A walkover, once posted, will be assumed final. If a match recorded as a walkover is subsequently played, the organisers reserve the right to decide whether to accept the result or not. (A last minute replay may be deemed  to disadvantage other players in the group.) If in any doubt, check with us.

If one or other player simply decides they don't want to play a match they can not offer a walkover to the other. That is, for points to be awarded a match has to be scheduled and played. Aside from retiring through injury, players may not concede a match either before, during or after a match.

If the agreed time simply runs out for a match - say you have played two hours, but the match is not concluded - neither player should concede the match. If the match can't be played to a conclusion at a later date, points are simply awarded for the completed sets.

Players may not normally agree to play their match after the round has ended. Though it seems harsh, to be fair to all players, the cut off point for play (and for the result to count) has to be observed. However, we will sometimes accept a result of a match played within a few days of the deadline so long as the result does not affect who wins the group (unless a head to head between two players tied at the top of the table). 

If a player wins a match through a walkover they receive two points for a win, but walkovers do not count to bonus points. For bonus points to be awarded, matches must be played and completed.

Bonus points are awarded when three matches are played and completed by the mid point of the round. (Unfinished matches do not count as completed matches). 

If a player withdraws from a round... Even though it can seem unfair that one player receives points because they have played a particular player but another doesn't because that player becomes unavailable, we don't offer compensatory points for matches not played (even though it is no fault of the challenger). 

More details can be found in our Rules and Regulations page on the website and you can also find quick links to the rules when on court via our Instagram and/or Facebook page (@localtennisleagues)! But please get in touch via info@localtennisleagues.com if you need any help!