York Men's Tennis League


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League rules as adopted November 2019


A1 Facilities

A1.1 A copy of these Rules must be available for consultation at every match.

A1.2 The home team is responsible for providing the minimum of 3 new balls per court for matches played on 3 courts and 4 new balls per court for matches played on 2 courts.

A1.3 Courts and court equipment (e.g. net centre tapes) shall meet the LTA minimum requirements.

A1.4 Subject to availability at the start time of the match, and to the safety of the players, the HOME team decides on which courts a match should be played, where a choice exists.

A2 Format

A2.1 A team comprises three pairs of players. Visitors may decide their pairs once the home side's have been declared on the scorecard. Pairs are then fixed for the duration of the match.

A2.2 Each pair plays a TWELVE-game rubber against each opposing pair, in the order designated by the numbers on the scorecard (1 through 9). Pairs must complete all twelve games in each rubber. Each pair plays 36 games; each team 108 games in each match.

A3 NO Rearrangements – allowed, once the Season has commenced

A3.1 Fixtures must be played on the day that they are scheduled. Unless it's raining that morning, or it would otherwise be clearly dangerous to play, then the match must be completed. Should a Captain choose not to play for any other reason, the match will NOT be rearranged, but deemed to have been conceded. His team are also likely to be liable to a penalty points deduction for failing to fulfil a fixture. Be warned!

A4 Start Time

A4.1 Matches take place on Sunday mornings, starting at 10AM. Either captain may demand that the match commence promptly at the start time.

A4.2 Matches at two-court Clubs may start earlier than 10AM. The onus is on the visitors to telephone in advance, giving fair notice of the wish to start earlier. Two-court clubs are currently Sheriff Hutton and, after wet weather, Sutton Upon Derwent.

A4.3 Once an earlier start-time has been agreed, then that is binding, and becomes the reference-time for the rules about tardiness (below).

A4.4 The home captain must ensure the club is opened and available for a warm-up practice at least 15 minutes before the match start time.

A5 End Time

A5.1 A match ends and is complete, once 108 games have been played in the correct format, or have been conceded by one team or the other. Unplayed games cannot be shared between the teams.

A5.2 A specific end time cannot be enforced by either team. Once underway, matches must be played to completion. If players cease playing before the match is complete, then their outstanding games are conceded entirely to their opponents.

A6 Scoring

A6.1 There are TWELVE points awarded for each completed match, as follows:

A6.2 ONE point for each rubber score of 7 or more games. A ½ point for each rubber drawn 6-6.

A6.3 On completion of the match, the team who’ve won the most games are awarded a 3-point TEAM BONUS. If each team has won 54 games, then they get half the Team Bonus – 1½ points each.

A7 Sending Results

A7.1 It’s the responsibility of the HOME team to print a blank copy of the scorecard (available on the website) for each match and to send the match result to the League Secretary.

A7.2 It makes our League more interesting and exciting, if people send their match results promptly. The HOME team must notify the League Secretary by e-mail of the names of ALL players and the result of the match, including conceded matches, by 17:00 the same day.

A7.3 If the result is not received by the League Secretary by 17:00 the same day, the home team will be fined £3 for a Late Scorecard.

A7.4 E-mail notification requires the following:

i) A readable, lifesize image of the scorecard, preferably in .jpeg (or other ‘universal’) picture format, separately attached to the e-mail

ii) The e-mail to be sent to the League Secretary AND the away team Captain simultaneously (Captains should ‘capture’ their opponents’ e-mail addresses from pre-Season League circulars)

iii) The original, signed scorecard to be kept safely by the Home Captain, until after that Season’s AGM

iv) The original, signed scorecard to be produced on demand if a query arises about the match

A8 Players Missing

A8.1 A Captain must exhaust all possibilities to raise 6 eligible players for each match, including calling up players from a lower* team in the League, should his club have one. Remember that the priority is always to provide a full complement for higher club teams.

A8.2 The quorum for a match is TWO PAIRS per team. If either team can’t even provide four players, then the match cannot go ahead, and a deduction for an unfulfilled fixture will be applied to the team (or teams) deficient of this minimum number.

A8.3 A team may contest a match with only two pairs, but they will automatically concede 36 games, and 3 rubber points from the start of the match, subject to the Contestability condition below. Such points conceded from the outset would supersede any subsequent retirements ensuing in the course of that match.

A8.4 Should the club of the two-pair team in A8.3 above, have one or more lower* teams, playing in the League on the same day, those teams would similarly forfeit 36 games and 3 rubber points - subject to Contestability in their own particular match.

A8.5 Contestability: Points and games can only be claimed on rubbers for which a team has a contesting pair present at the outset of the match, and listed on the scorecard. In a match between just 2 pairs in each team, the games in the uncontested rubber will be split 6-all for the purposes of deciding who wins the Team Bonus, but will not be credited to either team’s reported games total.

A9 Tardiness

Notes: Teams are urged to get to the fixture venue 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.

A9.1 30 minute rule: If fewer than two players from one team have arrived by the match start time, their opponents should sportingly wait up to a further 30 minutes to start the match. If after that time, a team still doesn’t have 2 or more players willing to start, then the match may be claimed, and a penalty levied against the non-starters, for an unfulfilled fixture.

A9.2 Should the tardy team phone in to report that they’re unable to start playing earlier than 30 minutes after the scheduled start time, the attendant team may elect to claim the match, informing their opponents to spare them further travel time. However, it’s preferable to be patient and play the match.

A9.3 45 minute rule: If it’s decided to play, but the tardy team cannot start playing within 45 minutes of the match start time, then their opponents may claim the games and rubbers of the first round, subject to Contestability in A8.5 (above). If there’s doubt about the timing, play the entire match of 3 rounds.

A9.4 Start the match if at all possible If at least 2 players from each team, are available at the start time, (or within 30 minutes after the start time), then the team with the most players present, may insist that the match commence on schedule, or immediately if the start time has passed. Pairs should be made up from those available, irrespective of prior selection.

A9.5 If such a request to commence (9.4) is made but refused, then the requesting team may then claim the entire match. The refusing team would be deemed to have failed to fulfil a fixture, and may incur a penalty.

A9.6 With a match under way, tardy players should start playing as soon as they’ve arrived and are prepared to start. Their opponents should ensure that they themselves are warmed-up, and ready to play competitively, the moment they’re called upon.

A9.7 Subsequent rounds should all start simultaneously, so once the timely rubber(s) have (all) completed, the delayed rubber(s) should immediately cease, with any uncompleted games awarded to the prompt team.

A9.8 If at the conclusion of the first round, a team still cannot field at least 4 players, then the whole match is deemed conceded by that team, who may also be liable to a points penalty for not fulfilling a fixture.

A9.9 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 (as outlined in A9.7) will apply to that round.

A9.10 Having commenced, the match must be played to completion (see A5.2). If players cannot stay beyond a certain time, then they’re obviously free to leave, but must concede any outstanding games to their opponents.

Players willing to stay to completion cannot be expected to concede games to those who aren’t.

A10 Injuries

A10.1 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 (subject to rule A8.3 - above). 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.

A10.2 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 Tardiness above.

A11 Incomplete Matches

A11.1 IF the match is abandoned for any valid reason, and one team has a winning advantage – i.e. 55 games or more - the match need not be replayed.

A11.2 The team with 55 games (or more) will be awarded the 3-point Team Bonus.

A11.3 A point will be awarded for each rubber in which 7 or more games have been won, whether the rubber has been completed, or not.

A11.4 Points will be shared for completed rubbers drawn and all rubbers for which 7 games have not been won by either side, including rubbers not commenced.

A11.5 Any outstanding games in the match shall be null and void, and not shared.

A11.6 If the threshold of 55 games has not been met by either team, then the interrupted match will have to be rearranged – provided that the circumstances for abandonment are valid:

Note: Common invalid reasons for abandoning matches, include:

One or more players aren’t available, haven’t turned up, or are late

One or more players become injured during play, or the warm-up

The two captains mutually agree to postpone the match

Someone has to finish at midday

Note: Be wary of any suggestion to abandon, when it ISN’T raining. Bad weather making further play dangerous, is really the only valid reason for abandoning a match.

A11.7 Should a match be abandoned when it clearly could have continued, then the team initiating the abandonment will forfeit all games and all points for any incomplete rubbers.

A12 Rained-off Matches – you’ve 2 weeks to rearrange!

A12.1 If your match is rained-off or postponed for any other reason, the HOME Captain must inform the League Secretary, by phone or e-mail (a completed scorecard is NOT necessary) of the postponement by 17:00 the same day.

A12.2 Within TWO WEEKS of the original fixture date, the Home AND Away team Captains must confirm to the League Secretary, the date of the rearranged fixture.

A12.3 If within that time, no confirmed new date is notified, the League Secretary will determine a date for the rearranged fixture. Any new fixture date (either mutually-confirmed, or Secretary-imposed) is binding, and the new fixture subject to the League rules for fulfilment of fixtures.

Note: It is therefore very much in the interests of the two teams for their Captains to mutually agree and confirm their own rearrangement date!


B1 Eligibility

B1.1 Players must be members of the League Club for which they play

B1.2 No females are eligible to play in the league.

B1.3 All players should wear acceptable tennis clothing.

B1.4 Any complaint must be made in writing to the League Secretary within seven days of the relevant match. Such complaints will be discussed by the Committee, which has the power to levy a fine and/or make a deduction of League points.

B2 Club-ties

B2.1 No player may play for more than one Club in any Season, unless 28 days written notice of his intention to transfer is given to the League Secretary and approved. The 28 days will begin from the date that the notice is received. An e-mail notification must be from an e-mail address directly associated with that player.

B2.2 If approved, the League Secretary must forward the transfer request to the player’s current Club Secretary or Team Captain.

B2.3 Having notified the League Secretary of his intention to cease playing for his current Club, the player may continue to play for them, until the notice period is up. He may then play for any League Club, becoming tied to the first he plays** for, after the notice period – which includes his original club.

B3 Team-ties

B3.1 Where a Club has more than one team in the League, a player becomes ineligible to play in a lower* team, once he has played** three times for a higher* team or teams.

B4 Fielding Ineligible Players

B4.1 No player may score points or games for a team, if he is ineligible to play for that team or the Club it represents. All his and his partner’s games and points, will be awarded to their opponents.

Note Captains are urged to always check with the League Secretary, rather than risk fielding a new player who may have played for another Club that Season, or be tied above his team. Players have been known to be less than candid about their status.

B4.2 Should a team complete a match, fielding no eligible pairs*** at all, then the match will be deemed to have been conceded, and a penalty for failing to fulfill a fixture will be levied.

* ‘higher’ and ‘lower’ refer to a team’s ordinal status within a multi-team club – NOT the position of that team in the League (see D2.3 below).

** ‘Play’ is defined as, ‘Named on a submitted, signed scorecard, in a match in which he completed at least one game, partnering a player eligible to play for that team and Club’.

*** An eligible pair is one where both players are eligible to play for that team.


C1 Fixtures

C1.1 The League Season begins on the Sunday falling between 23 and 29 April, with all matches having to be completed by 30 September. In order to participate, Member clubs are expected to have courts and facilities available for League matches on each Sunday morning in that period, from 10AM for however long it takes for a Men’s League doubles match to conclude. No fixtures will be arranged on Sundays immediately preceding bank holidays or on the first three Sundays of the York school summer holidays, except at clubs that have more than two teams but can only accommodate one home match at once.

C1.2 Fixtures are so called because they are fixed, and must be played on the date allocated to them. However, they may be legitimately altered prior to the Season starting.

C1.3 The fixtures for the new Season will be made available at least six weeks prior to the Season starting. Club Match Secretaries may then negotiate amongst themselves, the rearrangement of fixtures, which for any reason, aren’t convenient. For such a pre-Season accommodation to be valid:

i) BOTH clubs must be in agreement of the new date for the fixture.

ii) The League Secretary must be notified in writing of the change (an e-mail will do), PRIOR to the Season starting.

iii) The new date for the fixture must appear on the League website.

C1.4 A Club is entitled to refuse a request for a rearrangement, but Match Secretaries and Captains are encouraged to be amenable. Remember, that you may need a favour from the requesting club in the future.

C1.5 If a fixture has been rearranged, then it must be played on the new date. The fixture cannot be further rearranged, once the Season has begun (except if it’s rained off on the morning of play).

C1.6 ONCE THE FIRST SUNDAY OF THE SEASON HAS PASSED, NO FURTHER ACCOMMODATIONS MAY BE MADE, and fixtures must be played on the date allocated.

C1.7 If a team fails to fulfil a fixture, their opponents will be awarded:

i) 3 Team Bonus points

ii) Rubber points equal to those of the return fixture, or equal to their average at the end of the Season, whichever is the greater, with a minimum of 4½.

iii) Games won, equal to those of the return fixture, or their average at the end of the Season, whichever is the greater, with a minimum of 55.

C1.8 A team failing to fulfil a fixture will not be credited with winning any games or winning or drawing any rubbers in that fixture. They will however concede the number of games awarded to their opponents by C1.7(iii) above. In addition, six League points will be deducted from the conceding team.

C1.9 Should any team concede, or fail to play FOUR fixtures in the course of the Season, its whole schedule shall be VOIDED, with all points and games nullified. In addition, the team shall be expelled from the League, subject to appeal.

C2 Results

C2.1 At the end of the Season, if clubs in the same Division are equal on points, then the overall games won will be used to order their League position.

C2.2 If tied teams have also won the same number of overall games, then their order will depend on the aggregate result of the rubbers won in the fixtures between the clubs, and only then on the aggregate games won in those fixtures, should there be a tie in rubbers.


D1 Membership

D1.1 Applications from new Clubs, members wishing to increase the number of their teams, or notices to withdraw from the League, should be given in writing to the Secretary, by October 1st at the latest, for discussion at the AGM.

D1.2 Only those Clubs who play their matches within a 20-mile radius of York Minster, may be considered for League membership.

D1.3 To be included in a League Season, member Clubs must pay £6 per team annual subscription, plus any outstanding fines they’ve accrued, to the Treasurer by March 31st. Club who don’t, won’t be participating in the Men’s League that Season, and will have to reapply at the end-of-year AGM if they wish to be included for the following Season.

D2 Multiple-Team Clubs

D2.1 A member club may enter more than one team in the League, with the agreement of the AGM.

D2.2 Multiple teams from one club will be allowed to enter the League on the understanding that they will operate within their Club structure and not as separate entities.

D2.3 Each League team from the same club is ranked by ordinal number. 1st, 2nd, 3rd etc. This number indicates the status of that team within the club. Priority over playing and other resources, must always be given to club teams in this order.

Note: Every first team is expected to play the very best Men’s doubles Tennis, of which its club is capable. Any additional teams from that club, are there to give an opportunity for further club members to enjoy competitive Tennis.

D2.4 Should a team, at the end of the Season, attain a higher position in the League, than a higher status team from the same club, then the ordinal team designators will be altered in the following Season to reflect this change.

eg. If a club’s 2nd team is promoted above its own 1st team, then next Season, the 2nd team will be renamed as that club’s 1sts, and vice-versa.

D2.5 No team shall be entitled to concede, or fail to fulfil a match, on a day when a lower team from the same club is playing. If so, then the lower team or teams, will likewise be deemed to have conceded their matches. Clubs must allocate resources to higher teams as a priority.

D2.6 Should a higher team field less than three pairs, in actuality or in effect (e.g. by fielding an ineligible player), then the lower team(s) playing for that club, on the same day, will forfeit the scores of their third and, if applicable, second pairing.

E The League

E1 Constituents

E1.1 Participating Clubs are the members of the League.

E1.2 Member clubs of the York Men's Doubles League will be called ‘Tyke Petroleum Men’s Tennis League’.

E1.3 The League Committee comprises the League Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and ONE representative from each Division.

E1.4 The Chairman and Secretary shall have full power over any matters arising concerning the League not provided for in these Rules, and to impose upon any Club or player breaking the Rules any penalty they deem necessary – subject to appeal by the League Committee.

E1.5 The Officers of the League (Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer) shall retire at the Annual General Meeting (AGM), but be eligible for re-election.

E2 League Committee

E2.1 The Committee shall meet when there is business to transact. At least fourteen days notice in writing shall be given to members concerned of any meeting, except in cases of urgency.

E2.2 If at all possible Committee business will be resolved without the need for a physical meeting and the costs that that may entail. Committee members must have easy and regular access to e-mail.

E3 Annual General Meeting

E3.1 The AGM shall be held by November of each year, when a report of the season’s activities and a financial statement will be given.

E3.2 Each member Club in the League is entitled to send two representatives to the AGM, and only these will have voting power.

E3.3 Should only one representative of a member Club attend, then that club will have only a single vote. If no representatives from a Club attend the AGM, then that Club will not have a vote on matters decided at that AGM. Postal or e-mail votes are not permitted.

E3.4 Rules may only be amended at the AGM. Any proposals of changes should be given to the Secretary by October 1st for discussion at that year’s AGM.

E3.5 The formation of the League shall be decided at the AGM.

E3.6 The AGM may not alter the format, nor detrimentally change the schedule of promotions and relegations, of the following year's league. Each team should enjoy their anticipated reward for their performance during the season. The AGM is not permitted to nullify the season's outcome for any team, by voting to change the format of the league, nor the schedule of promotions and relegations. The AGM may only be able to change the format and schedule of promotions and relegations for the season following the next. i.e. in TWO years’ time.

The AGM, Committee or League Secretary may offer an additional promotion to, or cancel the relegation of, a team or teams, in order to fill any unscheduled vacancy or vacancies caused by mid-season drop-outs or expulsions. So long as no team has their pre-season expectations thwarted by so doing.

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Last updated: 9 February 2024 10:01