Important or useful to know
Here at Local Tennis Leagues our near 200 leagues throughout the UK are available for all standards of players. Whether you're an advanced pro or a complete beginner, we find close matches close by for you. Playing where and when you want means you can use local public tennis courts, tennis clubs or any tennis court that you decide upon, so it's easy to fit tennis into a busy schedule!
The Rules and Regs of our leagues help to keep them fun, friendly and competitive.
Don't miss out, find your closest tennis league!
This information is applicable to all the leagues. By playing in any of our leagues, players agree to the terms and conditions here. The organisers reserve the right to vary or amend the rules and regulations as necessary to ensure the smooth running of the leagues.
Matches are self-umpired and should be conducted in the spirit of fair play.
No one at this site or connected with the League can take responsibility for the safety or security of players whether playing on the courts or in the facilities associated with the leagues, or elsewhere. Players compete at their own risk and it is the player's responsibility to ensure any courts used safe for play. If they are not, you should not use them and, if appropriate, please report any concerns to whoever is responsible for managing the courts. Players are solely responsible for court hire, tennis ball provision etc. Players must be 18 or older on the start day of a round. By playing in the league, players confirm that they are not aware of any medical conditions that would prevent them from taking part in an active sport. The contents of this page and the linked pages form the rules and regulations of the league. Sometimes the interpretation of the rules requires fine judgements to be made and the organisers' decision is final.
Balls and Courts
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. 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. It 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.
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).
Round dates and extensions
As organisers we reserve the right to alter or amend the published round dates. Sometimes it is necessary to postpone a round, in which case we offer to refund the round fee of any player who can no longer play. In general, round extensions for individual matches will not be granted. Exceptions may sometimes be made within a few days of the end of the round, primarily to allow a head to head to be played between two players tied at the top of their group or for a match which would not affect who won the group.
Very occasionally, if the weather is terrible for example, we may decide to extend the whole round by a week or even two weeks. In these circumstances, no refund can be given even if a player can no longer participate.
Round payments are per person and are not transferable. You may cancel for a refund (minus a £2.50 admin charge) any time before the notification of the groups has been sent. Use the contact form to request a refund and one of our team will get in touch. Once notification of the groups has been sent out, fees are not refundable or transferable, for any reason. If we are unable to find you a group to play in, the fee will be refunded. If for any reason we can not run the round at all, the fee will be refunded in full, or you can transfer it to another round. Players who join after the deadline but before the round starts will be included at the discretion of the organisers (normal refund rules apply).
We do not store or have access to customers' credit card details.
Doubles: If you are entering as a doubles team both players are responsble for paying a fee. You may, subject to the approval of the organisers, change your partner before a match has been played. The new player must pay a round fee but the non-player's fee can not be transfered or refunded (this is to help offset administration costs). Where asked, we will do our best to find you a partner to play with. We aim to create teams for friendly, competitive matchplay. Teams may be made up of any combination of gender and while we strive for compatible pairings your individual playing ability and experience may vary. No refund can be made if players don't accept the pairing offered.
- Matches will be the best of three tie-break sets (except at Craiglockhart, Golden Lane, Hyde Park and Regents Park in London - see sites for details.)
- You get 1 point for every set you win (ie two points for a win). NB In a few leagues, mainly where short format matches are played, you recieve an additional point for completing a match. Players play their opponets 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.
- 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 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.
- Please note, even though it can seem unfair that a one player receives points because they have played a particular player but another doesn't because that player become unavailable, we don't offer compensatory points for matches not played (even though it is no fault of the challenger). The idea is always to put the emphasis on matches played, which always count toward points even if one or other of the players later withdraws from the round. This is because we want to reward players who play matches and if we subsequently removed points (or gave free points to other players) it would undermine that effort. Scheduling skill and a bit of luck (good or ill) will play its part in the round. Over the period of a round there can be many reasons why certain matches don't happen and this is hazard of this sort of tournament.
- 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. To be fair to other players, shortened matches do not count towards bonus points
The more proactive you are, the more likely you are to get your matches in! Email your opponents straight away, reply to their emails (even if it is to say you can't play) and don't be afraid to phone.
For more guidance on how to set up matches click here.
All things being equal, the winner of a group (and sometimes the top two) will be promoted to the group above in the next round, and the bottom one or two players will be demoted. But this is not a strict ladder. If the top or bottom one or two players do not rejoin, the next in line may be promoted or demoted and as no two rounds are the same, we reserve the right to rebalance the groups in any way that we believe will provide players with the best possible matches. Injury and other factors may be taken into consideration.
(Please note: group numbers are not comparable between rounds as the number of entries varies: this means someone who won 'group 5' in one round is promoted but is still be in a group called 'group 5'. This is because the overall number of players playing has changed)
New players are added accoring to the answers they gave in the Playing Standard Questionnaire. Though we will take into account players' preferences to be put with stronger or weaker opposition, we can give no guarantee about which group they will be placed in. Players will not be moved from one group to another once a round had begun except in exceptional circumstances. We cannot accept any entry which is conditional on being in a certain group.
We may, at our discretion, allow latecomers to enter a group.
The size of a group may vary but will not consist of fewer than five players or more than nine (unless players have been previously advised). The bonus point and prize rule is unaffected by the number of players in the group.
Please note, as the number of groups can vary enormously from round to round, what may look like a numerical demotion may actually be promotion!
Follow a few simple tips and matches become less stressful and more fun:
- You call the balls on your side of the court
- If you are uncertain, your opponent gets the benefit of the doubt and the ball is in
- Don't replay a point unless play has been interrupted by a third party
- The server keeps score
- Don't invade neighbouring courts
- Don't lose your cool
- Don't be frightening
- Play fair with court time if courts are free and don't have booking arrangements
There's more on this topic here.
Winners (or losers) should report matches promptly. Please use the Match Reporting forms accessible via league pages or your account page. or We ask players to report matches via the website and onlty as a last resort to email results. (If emailing th correct format in which to report matches is: Roger Federer bt Novak Djokovic (August 23) 6-1, 7-5. If it's a tie break, you write it like this: 7-6 (9-7) with the score in the tie break in brackets
Both players should check the results published online are should contact us with corrections and omissions, particularly at the end of the round. Once the round report is issued the round is locked and results stand as is. No further corrections or additions will be accepted except in special circumstance and at the discretion of the organisers.
We rely on players entering accurate scores and match details. Falsifying a result in any way, including submitting a result for a match that was not played, or suggesting to an opponent that a match result could be entered when it had not been played may result in the disqualification of any of the players concerned. This provision also applies to falsifying the date of a match to earn bonus points or to make a match valid, and falsely claiming a match is complete in order to gain bonus points. Players are obliged report any attempts to manipulate results.
Need to know how to play a tiebreak? Click here.
Prizes and postage
Prizes are offered to group winners and bonus prizes (including the option to of a can of tennis balls) to players who play and complete three matches to the approved format by the advertised mid point of a round. Bonus prizes are a "bonus" of playing in the league and the organisers make no guarantees of players being available to play matches, or the total number of possible matches in a group. Prize packages will be posted (2nd class Royal Mail) to the recipients. If packages are uncollected by the recipient from a post office or depot after a failure to deliver and returned to us, we reserve the right to ask for a payment to cover reposting. Bonus prizes must be claimed within 28 days of the offer being made. Prize coupons must be used within 28 days. Only one prize coupon may be used per checkout transaction. Prizes and bonus balls can only be posted within the UK. No cash alternatives can be offered.
Your contact details and payments
As this is a public league, your name will appear on generally accessible tables of results and in end of round reports. Current and past rounds are publically viewable.
By playing in the League you are authorising us to share your contact details with other members of the League who placed in the same group.
We do not store credit card details, nor do we share customer details with any 3rd parties
The information submitted will not be otherwise be shared with third parties, with the exceptions
- At our discretion, of tennis centre managers where matches are played (for the purpose of extending court discounts or other privileges to players) where we may pass on a list of names.
- With organisations tasked by us to perform a specific task for the purpose of research, development or product research, in which case we will ensure that these organisations also comply with all data protection obligations.
Please see our Privacy Statement for full details.
Membership of the league is open to all players over the age of 18, however, we may turn down membership without further explanation if we do not have a suitable group for the player to join. We expect players to be sporting and courteous in dealings with opponents, tennis centres and their officials and us as organisers and our partner organisations, and we reserve the right to remove players who are not.
Local Tennis Leagues and the LTA
Local Tennis Leagues is affiliated to the LTA as a nomadic club. This allows us to offer players FREE British Tennis Membership. There is more about BTM membership here and the information on that page forms part of our rules and regulations. All players, whether taking up British Tennis Membership or not agree to abide by the Disciplinary Code and Incorporation Rules of the LTA and the terms outlined here.
Local Tennis Leagues Limited, 2 Highbury Place, London N5 1QZ. Company Number 9008328. VAT Registration Number 188077271