League Handbook 2020

Dunlop Cleveland Tennis League Rules
(Revised March 2020)

A copy of these rules in .pdf format can be downloaded at the bottom of this page

General Rules  

1.     The Association of Tennis Clubs shall be known as ‘The Dunlop Cleveland Tennis League’. Its programme shall consist of separate League Championship Competitions per season for Mixed, Men’s, Ladies, Veterans and Junior teams respectively. Each league shall be divided into an appropriate number of divisions, each consisting of not more than eight teams, dependent on the total number of teams entering.
A trophy will be presented to the winning team in each division, the trophy to be held for a period of one year. In the event of a tie for any championship of any division, the tying clubs shall each hold the appropriate trophy for a proportionate part of the year. Competitions shall also be held each season for the Cleveland Cups for Men, Ladies and Mixed.

2.     The management of the League should be in the hands of The League Management Committee. This shall consist of: The President, Chairman, Secretary/ Treasurer, together with four other members each from a different Club in the league.  The committee shall be elected by the clubs at the Annual General Meeting and are responsible for the smooth running of the League. The committee on behalf of the Clubs have the final decision relating to disputes of any kind.  A quorum shall consist of four for purposes of The League Management Committee Meetings

3.   An Annual General Meeting will be held in the month mid-March to mid-April, the date to be arranged by The League Secretary. The Annual General Meeting will consider the financial position of the league and deal with any other league business. Every club affiliated to The Dunlop Cleveland Tennis League or applying for affiliation must be represented at The Annual General Meeting. Any club failing to be represented will be fined £5.00. No club official is allowed to represent more than one club at The Annual General Meeting.

4.     No rule may be added to, rescinded or altered except at The Annual General Meeting and any proposals with this in mind must be submitted to The Secretary in writing as soon as possible, but not later than three weeks before The Annual General Meeting. 
Any club wishing to add or withdraw teams to and from The Dunlop Cleveland Tennis League should submit their proposals in writing as soon as possible, but not later than three weeks before The Annual General Meeting.

5.    The number of clubs comprising the league shall be decided at The Annual General Meeting and the start and finishing dates for fixtures for the current season. The two May Bank Holidays will be excluded from the league fixtures.

6.     Subscriptions: 
a)    Any club applying for league membership for the first time shall pay an affiliation fee of £5.00 when their application has been accepted.

b)    Every tennis club wishing to enter any team into the Dunlop Cleveland Tennis League must be affiliated to the LTA.  This process ensures that all Clubs meet the LTA's 6 minimum standards:  Safeguarding Policy and Procedure,  Diversity and Inclusion,   Welfare Officer,  Criminal Records Check,  Risk Assessment,  Coaching Safeguarding Standards

c)    Each new team elected into The Dunlop Cleveland Tennis League to pay a registration fee of £10.00, returnable at the end of the first season, provided that team has completed all league business to the satisfaction of The League Management Committee.

d)  All other annual subscriptions for league and cup competitions to be decided at The Annual General Meeting.

7.     If for any reason a team is withdrawn from the league without completing its fixtures in any particular section, then all matches in that section, in which the team concerned has already played, will be considered as not having taken place and the record of these matches withdrawn.

8.       If for any reason beyond their control, a club knows that they will be unable to take part in any fixture on a particular date in the season, special sanction may be applied for at the Annual General Meeting for this date to be excluded from their fixture list.
The League Management Committee shall have the power to accept or decline any such dates submitted.

9.        The Dunlop Cleveland Tennis League are owners of the:

a) William Morris Mixed Cup, Ringrose Wharton Cup for Ladies and Cleveland Cup for Men. All knockout competitions. 

b) Trophies for Men’s, Ladies’, Mixed, Veterans’ and Junior Divisions.

All clubs receiving trophies for any competition to sign a receipt for that trophy by the club’s representative. For failure to return that trophy the following
season, the club will be fined £30.00.

10.     Should the Annual General Meeting decide to split any league into more than one section and to introduce promotion and relegation between these sections, then any tie on points at the end of the season between teams concerned in promotion or relegation shall be resolved by a ‘play-off’.

11.     If a club disbands, or amalgamates with another club already in the league, the disbanding club must withdraw all its teams from the league. 

Organisation of League Matches

12.     Teams shall consist of three couples, each playing three rubbers. A match shall consist of nine rubbers. Every effort should be made to field three couples, but if only two couples are available it is preferable to field two couples rather than conceding the match.

However, teams should not turn up with only two pairs when they have lower teams to pull from. On the second and any subsequent such occurrence the team must write to the committee within one week explaining why this has happened. The committee will have the right to penalize that team through a fine or a points deduction.

Juniors playing in senior matches have to put their date of birth on the match card.

13.     Afternoon matches shall commence at 2.00pm and no rubber shall commence after 7.00pm (see Rule 42/43 re Veterans League). Any rubbers not then begun shall be halved. The team winning five rubbers or more shall be the winner. The home team may provide tea for the visitors. All rubbers should be played to 10 games (see section 30 below)

14.     An evening match shall commence no later than 6.30pm. Ideally rubbers will be to 10 games, but this can be varied depending on light conditions.

15.     Two playing pairs from each club must be present at the official starting time. Any playing pair not present a quarter of an hour later than the official starting time (i.e. 6.45pm or 2.15pm) will forfeit their first rubber. Any pair not present by 7.15pm or 2.45pm will forfeit their second rubber and any pair not present by 7.45pm or 3.15pm will forfeit their third rubber.

16.     For each match a minimum of two courts shall be made available and the home team shall provide twelve NEW Dunlop balls of top grade quality. 

17.     Where more than one type of court is available, the home team captain shall decide which to use.

18.     If, during a match, any couple shall fail to complete any rubber or rubbers for any reason other than weather or ground conditions, those incomplete rubbers shall be awarded to their opponents.

19.     The venue of a match may be changed by mutual consent of the two clubs concerned. The home captain shall determine at the start of the match whether to play under floodlights when necessary.

20.     If a club has two or more teams in the Ladies, Men’s or Mixed leagues, players may only play up in a higher team twice in a season without being tied to that team. After playing a 3rd time for any higher team, a player may not return. 

21.     The Management Committee shall have the power to award rubbers won by a player who has ignored this rule to their opponents, possibly changing the result of the match. In the event of this happening, The League Secretary will inform the defaulting club’s secretary of the decision. 

22.     Team players in League matches shall be bona fide members of the club that they represent which is affiliated to The Dunlop Cleveland League. Players may transfer from one club to another during the season if both clubs are agreeable. The League Secretary must be informed in writing if this takes place. 

23.     A player who has played for one club in a particular section (a section is deemed to mean either Men’s, Ladies or Mixed League Competitions and Men’s, Ladies or Mixed Cup Competitions) may play for another club in that section, provided that he or she transfers their playing membership of that section, and provided that The League Secretary receives prior written notification from one club secretary, including both Club Secretaries’ signatures. 

24.     Any coaches who represent their club in matches must be bona fide members of that club and shall not be paid or compensated for the hours lost in playing matches.

25.     The League Secretary to inform any defaulting Club Secretaries of any fines imposed either for not complying with the league rules or decisions by The League Management Committee. 

26.     Any fines outstanding by the following Annual General Meeting will result in the defaulting club being expelled from the league.

27.     Other than in exceptional circumstances (at the sole discretion of the League Management Committee) any team failing 3 league fixtures within a season for any reason other than weather or ground conditions will be relegated at the end of the season.

28.     The failure of a club to fulfil a fixture will incur a deduction of two points from their total . The team who thereby wins by default will normally be awarded an average number of their total rubbers plus two points, at the end of the season. 

29.     The League Management Committee reserves the right to vary this rule in exceptional circumstances.

Scoring and Recording of Results in League Matches

30.     A rubber shall be won when one pair reaches ten games and has a margin of two games (e.g. 10 - 8), unless the score reaches 9-9 in which case two more games will be played, giving a score of 11-9 or 10-10. The team winning five rubbers or more will be the winner.

31.     One point will be awarded for each rubber won, or a ½ point for a shared rubber, and the winning team will be awarded two extra points. In the event of a draw, each team will be awarded one extra point.

32.     The results (including notification of cancelled matches) have to be put on the website by the home team within three days of the match

A scorecard must be filled in by the away team and countersigned by both captains and posted within one week.

Home teams not putting results on the website within 3 days will have 2 points deducted. Away teams submitting scorecards not filled in correctly with full names, score and both captains’ signatures or late etc. will also have 2 points deducted. If cards are not received within 7 days, a reminder will be sent in case cards have been lost in the post.

If a match is cancelled, there is no need for a match card to be submitted.

33.     Every effort will be made to allow for the promotion and relegation of two teams from each division. However a workable number of teams in each division must take precedence. This may result in promotion or relegation not adhering to two teams. If there are 6 of fewer teams in any division, only one team goes up and down.


Cancelling and Postponing League Matches

34.     The only reasons for which a match may be postponed are weather or ground conditions. Should a match not be played for any other reason, unless agreed by the League Management Committee, the defaulting team will be considered the losers and two points will be deducted.

35.     If a match has to be cancelled for weather or ground conditions, every effort must be made to stop opponents travelling.

36.     The responsibility for deciding if courts are fit for play rests with the home captain. A match should not be cancelled before 5.00pm (or 12.30pm in the case of afternoon matches).
In the event of deterioration in the weather after the arrival of the away team, both captains must agree that court conditions are safe and fit for play in order for the match to go ahead or to continue once started.

37.     Any match in which play has been prevented from starting for one hour after the official time, because of weather or ground conditions, shall be re arranged. 

38.     Any match which has commenced, but is abandoned due to weather or ground conditions, should stand if five rubbers have been won by one team, or if the second round has been completed (i.e. six rubbers played). Rubbers not completed to be halved. This also applies when floodlights go off during a rubber.

39.     The League Secretary to be informed, by the home team, of any match cancelled due to weather or ground conditions. The League Secretary will then provide a new date for that match to be played, and this date will then be deemed to form part of that team’s official fixtures.

40.     If a match is cancelled and both captains agree, they can rearrange the match and fix a date for it to be played within one month of the original date. The rearranged date must be put on the web within 3 days of the original fixture.  If after 3 days no such date has been submitted onto the web the League will supply a rearranged date for the match.

41.    If the Secretary does not hear from the home team (by web form or telephone) of any match that has been cancelled due to weather or ground conditions within 3 days of the date of the cancelled match, then that team shall automatically have 2 points deducted.

Website form submission now requires the inputters email address (NOT … @aol.com) to be provided.
An email will be sent to the inputter (with a copy to League Administrator) detailing the form contents and date of submission.
Inputters should retain this record in case of dispute.

Veterans’ League

42.     A Veterans League shall be run at the end of each season, two ladies and two men playing one Ladies’ and one Men’s and four Mixed rubbers. Both Ladies and men must be 45 by 1st September of that year.  

43.     Matches will be played from September up till end of November, then restart last week in January. Matches will start at 2pm until BST ends, and thereafter start at 1pm.

44.    In the Veterans Leagues, players may only play up once before being tied to the higher team

Rules for Cup Competitions

Cleveland Cups

1.        Mens teams to consist of four players numbered 1,2,3 and 4. Six rubbers are played 1v1, 2,2, 3v3, 4v4,1&2v1&2, 3&4v3&4, i.e. four singles and two doubles. The winning team is the team that wins most rubbers, if rubbers are 3 – 3, then by the team winning most sets, if still even then by the team winning most games.

2.        Ladies teams to consist of two pairs numbered 1&2, who will play 1v1, 2v2, 1v2, 2v1 i.e. four doubles. The winning team is the team that wins most rubbers, if rubbers are 2 – 2, then by the team winning most sets, if still even then by the team winning most games.

3.        Ladies and Men’s cup matches shall commence at 10.30 am and mixed at 2.00 pm. The cup matches have to be played by the date given by the league.

4.        The Morris Cup (mixed) teams will consist of three mixed pairs numbers 1,2,3, who will play 1v1, 2v2, 3v3, 1v2, 2v3, 3v1, 2v1, 3v2, 1v3, i.e. nine doubles. The winning team is the team that wins most rubbers, if rubbers are equal, then by the team winning most sets, if still even then by the team winning most games.

a)     In Ladies & Men’s cup matches, a rubber shall consist of the best of three sets. Tie breakers to 7 points (2 clear) shall be played at 6 – 6 in the first two sets if necessary. If a third set is needed, that shall be a professional tie-breaker to 10 points (2 clear).
b)     In Mixed cup matches, a rubber shall consist of a single set to 10 games. If a rubber is tied at 10-all, a professional tie break to 10 points (2 clear) will decide the rubber.

6.        The draw for the cups shall be made by The League Management Committee and if thought necessary shall be seeded.

7.        Each competition shall be drawn to the final.

8.        The final is to be played on courts as decided by The League Management Committee.

9.        Where the dates of a round coincide with acknowledged non-Cleveland League fixtures the venue of the match to be automatically reversed.

10.     Any postponed match due to weather or ground conditions to be played on the following Saturday.

11.     Any team not fulfilling a cup fixture will be fined £10.00, but will be allowed to enter the competition the following year, if they fail to fulfil that fixture, a £10.00 fine and banned from cup matches the following year and could be brought up at the AGM for a ban for future years.

12.     The results (including notification of cancelled matches) have to be put on the website by the home team with three days of the match and a scorecard must be filled in by the away team and countersigned by both captains and posted within a week.

Home teams not putting results on the website with 3 days will forfeit the match.   Away teams submitting scorecards not filled in correctly or late will be fined £5.

If a match is cancelled no match card is required.

Martin Williams,
31 Mar 2020, 11:43