MOUNTAIN TENNIS LEAGUE RULES January 2019
The purpose of the USTA Mountain Tennis Association is to promote team league play for men and women at established ratings of the National Tennis Rating Program (NTRP) in the counties of Pickens, Gilmer, Fannin, Union and Towns, GA.
The Mountain Tennis Association agrees to the rules and regulations of the USTA, Southern Tennis Association, and Georgia Tennis Association as published. In addition, the Mountain Tennis Association also sets forth the following rules to apply to local team matches.
All team members must have reached the minimum required age prior to or during the calendar year in which such player participates in his or her first league. All team members must be paid members of the USTA through the current league season. Each member must pay local league fees, as applicable.
Players must play at their current computer rating or higher. Any player without a computer rating must self-rate using the self-rating form on Tennis Link.
Combo Doubles and Mixed Doubles must self-rate following the same rules.
Captains: Pre-Season Responsibilities
The Captain should read and be familiar with the rules of the USTA, STA, GTA, and Local League.
Team Registration Captains of men’s, women’s, combo doubles and mixed doubles teams MUST create a team on Tennis Link by the designated deadline established by the Local League Coordinator.
Once a player’s name appears on a Tennis Link roster they cannot change teams without the permission of the Local League Coordinator.
Captains: Match Responsibilities
“Home” team Captains should contact the visiting team captains at least 3 days prior to a scheduled match to make final arrangements for the match, including the number, surface type, and location of courts (or alternate courts in case of inclement weather). Visiting captain must field as many courts as are presented (a minimum of two). If both captains agree, additional courts can be used as they become available. The location of the match cannot be changed without notifying the visiting captain at least 3 days prior to the match unless both captains agree. If the captain listed on the schedule will not be present at the match he/she should notify the opposing captain the name of the person acting in his/her stead.
The captains may agree on the order of play. However, if no prior agreement is made then the order of play will be #1 doubles, #2 doubles and #3 doubles. Players in the second time slot must be available one hour after the first time slot begins.
Team captains must simultaneously exchange scorecards with completed line-ups BEFORE the scheduled match time. Match time is stated on your tennis link schedule. This match time is the beginning of the 20-minute default time (see section V.C). Warm-up time, beginning at match time, should not exceed 10 minutes.
Recording of Scores - It is the responsibility of the WINNING captain of men’s, women’s, combo doubles and mixed doubles teams to report scores to Tennis Link within 24 hours of completion of the match. The LOSING captain should confirm or dispute scores on Tennis Link within 48 hours of completion of the match. If scores are not confirmed or disputed within 48 hours of completion of the match, the team will lose the right to dispute the match score. Tennis Link will automatically confirm scores after the 48-hour period has passed.
Note that an individual player playing in men’s, women’s, and/or mixed doubles must play a minimum of two matches within a league year to generate an individual Dynamic NTRP (DNTRP) computer rating. Combo leagues do not generate computer ratings. Players only playing mixed doubles will generate a rating to be used in mixed doubles, men’s, women’s, and combo the following year.
Format of Play
Each team shall identify and reserve its home courts. The “home” team must guarantee a minimum of 2 courts for league play. The “home” team pays any court fees. The “home” team provides new balls for each match.
One point for each dual match won will be awarded to the winning team. These are individual wins.
The 20-minute default clock begins at the scheduled match time, when a court is available and a player has not arrived.
When a player does not show up within the 20-minute default time, or a player becomes ill or injured during warm up and there is no substitute available, only the affected position is defaulted. Players already listed in the lineup cannot be moved to another position.
If a substitute player, not already in the lineup, is available within the 20 minute default time, then that player may substitute for an absent, sick or injured player, at the affected position ONLY. If a substitution is made during the warm-up, the substitute player is entitled to a 10-minute warm up.
Players should be ready to take the court when the previous match is finished. For example, if a match begins at 9.30 am and ends at 10.15 am, default time for the next match on that court is 10.50 am, since 10.30 am is the scheduled time of the next match. If the first match ends at 10.55 am, then players must take the court immediately since the next time slot players must have been available at 10.30 am. Captains should communicate and agree ahead of time which positions will take the court and in which order. If the captains cannot agree, refer to IV. B (Captains: Match Responsibilities).
The Mountain Tennis Association encourages playing positions by order of strength, as established by fair play practice in “The Code.” However, a player may play any position at any time. There are no restrictions on the movement of the players from position to position, week to week.
If you know you must default one or more positions at the start of the match, follow the guidelines stated in the USTA Regulations handbook. You must default from the bottom of the line-up e.g. #3 doubles. This default may not be taken back for ANY reason.
Mountain Tennis Association Regulations for defaults are covered by the USTA REGULATIONS. A team having excessive defaults may have all of its matches nullified and may be treated as a bye for the remainder of the season. Excessive defaults shall be defined as defaulting all points of any match or averaging more than one default per dual match in a season. This may result in a grievance filed against the team.
Refreshments are optional at matches.
As a principal, play should be continuous, from the time the match starts (when the first service of the match is put in play) until the match finishes. Between points a maximum of twenty (20) seconds is allowed. The 20 second time limit does not apply if a player has to chase a ball.
When the players change ends at the end of a game, a maximum of ninety (90) seconds are allowed. However, after the first game of each set and during a tie-break game, play shall be continuous and the players shall change ends without a rest.
At the end of each set there shall be a set break of a maximum of one hundred and twenty (120) seconds. The maximum time starts from the moment that one point finishes until the first service is struck for the next point.
For matches that are best two out of three sets, play must continue as specified in USTA Regulations. When and if the score in a set is 6-6, the winner will be decided with a tiebreak (The first to 7 points with a 2 point advantage). All leagues in the Mountain Tennis Association will play a super tiebreak in lieu of a third set (the first to 10 points with a 2 point advantage). Unless all parties agree to play a third set. All tie breaks will be played using the Coman Tie-Break Procedure.
The Mountain Tennis Association does not provide linesmen, umpires, court monitors, etc. for matches.
The following weather conditions authorize the cancellation of a scheduled match: rain, lightning, or severe weather (32 degrees F or below (not wind chill) - as reported by the local weather channel at the time of the match). Indoor courts may be provided at extra cost to participants. Captains may agree to delay the start time of the match up to one hour.
If teams have reported for play and the match is delayed or interrupted by rain, teams must wait 30 minutes to determine if courts are playable. If courts are still not playable after 30 minutes, teams are free to leave and reschedule unless both teams agree to wait longer.
If inclement weather occurs after play has begun, completed matches will stand as played and incomplete matches must be resumed by the same players at the exact point, game, and set that existed when play was halted. Substitutions may be made in any individual matches that had not begun. Points awarded for defaults during the original line-up will stand. All players involved in such defaults cannot participate in the rescheduled match. Forfeits offered verbally prior to the original written lineup exchanged are nullified when the match is rescheduled due to rain or inclement weather.
Once a make-up match time has been agreed upon by both parties (different positions do not have to make up at the same place or time), that make-up match may not be canceled by either party for any reason other than inclement weather. Parties have two weeks in which to reschedule. If no agreement can be reached, the match must be played no later than 5 PM of the 14th day. Default will result if one party cannot play. However, available players not already listed on the scorecard and/or players that have not played in that match may be substituted into the agreed match time if necessary.
Team matches or individual matches may be rescheduled if both captains agree. The rescheduled matches must be played prior to the originally scheduled date.
Addition of Players During a Season
Additional players may be added to men’s, women’s, combo doubles and mixed doubles throughout the season. In order for new players to be eligible for play, they must be registered via Tennis Link prior to the scheduled match. Added players may play in a makeup match even if they were not on the roster on the scheduled match day.
The winner of the local league season will progress to the State Championship, unless a playoff is required. The winner will be determined by the most team points over the entire season: Any tie shall be broken by the first of the following procedures that does so.
Most number of individual matches won in the entire season.
Sets: Loser of the fewest number of sets in the entire season.
Games: Loser of the fewest number of games in the entire season.
Head-to-Head: Winner of the head-to-head match. If teams played more than one time during the season, the team accumulating the greatest number of points in those matches will be declared the winner.
A coin toss by the Local League Coordinator in the presence of both captains.
In order for a player to be eligible to progress to State Championships, that player must have played twice during the season (including league play-offs). All league players have to play two matches to be eligible for their State Championship. When two different leagues of the same level are competing in a playoff match, the eligibility requirements must have already been met in regular season play or divisional playoffs. Only 1 default can be counted toward matches played. Note, however, to generate a computer rating a player must play two matches.
One women’s team and one men’s team at each level from each season will progress to the State Championships. The winner of any Divisional Playoff will progress to the league playoff match. The winner of the league playoff match will advance to the State Championships.
In the event the same team should win both the fall and spring seasons, that team may choose which season’s roster they would like to take to the State Championships. If the same team wins first place both seasons, the league shall send a second place team as a State entrant. If the second place teams in each season are different, they will playoff to determine a State entrant. Playoff teams must use the roster from their qualifying season.
In the event that a first place team from a specific season declines advancement to the State Championships, the second place team from that same season will represent the league for that season.
Players who qualify for Championship level competition must choose which team/NTRP level they will represent at the Championship’s.
All complaints alleging a violation during local league competition shall be filed in writing with the chairman of the Local League Grievance Committee within 72 hours after the alleged violation or within 24 hours after the end of local league play, whichever comes first.
Any party to the complaint may appeal the decision of the Grievance Committee within the time fixed by the Grievance Committee in its findings.
If unsure of procedure, contact the Local League Coordinator.
Fair Play Grievances
A fair play grievance may be filed against a player and or a team who commits or condones entering a self – rating one level or more below the actual skill level of the player. All grievances should be filed with your local league coordinator. If a grievance is filed, the player/team needs to provide proof that this player is above two levels. All grievances are sent to the Southern Fair Play Grievance Committee. Decisions are appealable and are appealed to the Local league Appeal Committee and then to the Southern Grievance Appeal Committee.