1.    League Structure


(1)  Divisions   The League shall be divided into Divisions and the size of each shall ensure as far as possible that all teams will have the same number of league fixtures to play during the season.


(2)  Promotion and Relegation   Promotion and relegation of teams (normally two up and two down) will be decided by the final league tables and ratification by the Management Committee.


(3)  Make up of Team    A team shall consist of three registered players.  The Management Committee will consider taking action where a team consistently plays with less than three players.


(4)  Registration of Players    Clubs must register all their playing members (accompanied by the appropriate fees and subscriptions) with the Treasurer by 15 August each season.  Normally, a minimum of three players must be registered for each team. In exceptional circumstances the Management Committee, at its absolute discretion, may consider a written request from a club to permit a team to be registered with two players provided the Management Committee is satisfied that the third player will be registered at an acceptable later date, or that the team can be completed by a player registered with a lower ranked team.


(5)  Late Registrations    Late registrations (at a reduced rate after 31 December) can be made during the season and not earlier than one week after the season has started.  In this event, two clear days from the date of registration are necessary before that player can play in League and Cup Competitions.


(6)  Handbook and Fixture List    Each registered player will receive a Handbook and Fixture List that constitutes the player’s Certificate of Registration.


(7)  Closing Date for Entries    Entries for the League and Cup Competitions must be made by 15 August each year.


2.     Rules


All fixtures shall be played under the latest TTS rules. 


3.   Match Arrangements


(1)    Fulfilment of Fixtures     League and Cup fixtures must be played within the week listed.


(2)    Home Nights and Venues    Each Club shall nominate for each team (and for publication in the Handbook) a night on which its home fixtures are to be played. Any subsequent change must be notified in writing to all teams in that Division and the Match Secretary. Each team must also notify Cup opponents where this is applicable.


(3)       Starting Time   All fixtures should start at 7.00pm.  If the fixture has not started by 7.15pm, the points will be awarded to the team present unless there are extenuating circumstances that prevented a start by 7.l5pm.


(4)     Order of Play   Each fixture shall consist of ten matches, best of five games. The home team shall be A, B and C and the away team, X, Y and Z. The player’s positions will be decided by the respective captains, the home team’s order being declared first. The order of play shall be as follows unless mutually agreed otherwise;


(1) AvX        (2) BvY        (3) CvZ        (4) BvX        (5) AvZ      (6) CvY     (7) Doubles    (8) BvZ        (9) CvX        (10) AvY


(5)     Points Awarded    A point is awarded to each team for every match won. If the fixture has not been completed, the result as it stands should be sent to the Match Secretary along with an explanatory statement and this will be considered at the next Management Committee meeting. Where a team fails to appear for a league fixture, the opposing team players will be awarded three matches towards their averages.


(6) Notifying Result of the Fixture    It is the home team’s responsibility to supply and complete the fixture card, signed by a representative of each team. Within 24 hours of the fixture, a representative from the home team must ensure it is entered into the automated scorecard system on the web site. It is the responsibility of the home team to keep the paper scorecard safe until the end of the season in case of an e-scorecard input error or a disputed e-scorecard.


(7)  Positions in a Division     At the end of the season positions in a Division shall be decided by the number of points obtained by each team. If two or more teams are level on points, their positions shall be determined by the number of points obtained in a ‘mini-Division’ consisting of the teams involved. Should this still produce equality then the positions shall be determined by the number of games won.


4.   Fixtures Not Played As Scheduled


(1)  Postponements     A Team Secretary should ideally give the opposing Team Secretary and the Match Secretary at least three days’ notice if a team cannot be fielded on the scheduled date. If the postponed fixture is not played within three weeks of the scheduled date, or in the week following the last scheduled week of the season, whichever is earlier:


(a)   the team that requested the postponement shall concede the fixture; or


(b)   the points to be awarded, if any, to the teams involved shall be decided by the Management Committee.


(2)  Rule 4(1) above shall only be relaxed by the Management Committee in exceptional circumstances and its decision shall be final.


5.   Claims, Penalties, Disputes and Protests


(1)  Claims     There are two types of claims:

Claim A    where opponents fail to appear without giving proper notice.

Claim B    where opponents give notice of being unable to fulfil the fixture and concede the fixture.


It is the responsibility of a team making a claim to input an e-scorecard as either a Claim A or B, and notify the Match Secretary within three days of the fixture date. Failure to do so may result in the fixture being forfeited.


(2)  Penalties     Where a team is subject to three successful Claim As this will result in automatic suspension of the team and its registered players for the remainder of the season and automatic relegation of the team.


(3)  Disputes  Any dispute between Clubs shall be notified in writing to the Hon. Secretary and will be considered by the Management Committee.


(4)  Protests   Any protest arising from a fixture shall be made in writing to the Match Secretary within three days of the fixture. The Secretary of the other Club must also be sent a copy. This will be considered in the first instance by the Match Secretary who may refer it to the Management Committee for consideration.


6.            Other Matters


(1)  Clubs with Two or More Teams     Prior to the first fixture of the season, a Club entering two or more teams (whether or not they are in the same Division) must state which is the first team, the second team and so on, and nominate players for each team.


(2)  Playing Up     In the League, a player may play for any team or teams higher than that for which the player is registered. A player may only play for a team or teams registered higher for a maximum cumulative total of four fixtures, regardless of which higher team or teams the player has played for. If a player in the league plays on a fifth occasion for any team or teams higher than that for which the player is registered, the player will become registered with the higher team which the player played with on the fifth occasion. This does not apply to Cup Competitions and a player may play for more than one team without becoming “cup tied.”


(3)   Transfers    A player may not play for a team lower than that for which they are registered without first being officially transferred, except in the Handicap Competition.  Once registered to play for a Club in the Competitions sponsored by the Association, a player may not transfer to, and be registered to play for another Club during the season without first being officially transferred.  All applications for transfer must be made in writing by 31 December to the Management Committee whose decision is final.


(4)  Leaving a Club   A playing member leaving one Club and joining another must apply in writing to the Club Secretary of the first Club for a Clearance Certificate. This must be presented to the new Club who should then forward it with a late application for registration to the Treasurer. A player seeking a Clearance Certificate is entitled to receive it within seven days, or alternatively, the reasons for a refusal. A player cannot play for a new Club until in receipt of a Clearance Certificate.


(5)  Ineligible Players     A team fielding an ineligible player will forfeit the fixture.


(6)  Trophies    All Clubs or players holding any of the Association’s trophies are responsible for them while in their possession and liable for any loss or damage. Clubs and players will be advised in writing about this responsibility on receiving a trophy.


(7)  Cups etc. The Excelsior Cup is a knockout team competition open to all affiliated teams. The entry fee is fixed at the A.G.M. (There is currently no entry fee)


The Secondary Shield is a knockout team competition open to all affiliated teams other than those in Division 1. There is no entry fee.


The Stanley Doubles is a knockout team competition open to all affiliated teams. There is no entry fee.


In all Cup Competitions where a specified week has been set aside, the fixtures will be played on the home night of the home team.


If any team has more than one cup fixture to be played on the same night of a specified cup week, or any Club has more home fixtures in a specified cup week than its facilities can accommodate, the onus is on the team or Club to contact the opponents and try to arrange other date(s) for playing the extra fixture(s).


Should it be impossible to arrange alternative date(s), the home team or Club must write to the Secretary at least seven days before the start of the cup-tie week so that the Management Committee can rule on the matter.


(8)     Team Suspended or Withdrawn      When a team is suspended for the season, or withdrawn from the League during the season, all the league fixtures in which the team played will be declared null and void.


(9)     Neutral Venues and Referees     At the discretion of the Management Committee, semi-finals and finals and deciding league fixtures may be played at neutral venues and with neutral referees.


(10)   Mobile phones  and other electronic devices must not be used inside the court while matches are in progress.


7.         Non-Compliance with the Rules


Failure to comply with any of these rules may result in the forfeiting of a fixture and a fine.  The Management Committee may also, after issuing an appropriate warning, deduct league points from a team that fails to comply with any of these Rules.


8.         Misconduct


Misconduct by a Club, team or player or any other matter not provided for in the Constitution or Rules, will be considered and dealt with by the Management Committee. The Management Committee has power to reject applications from any Club or team which has consistently broken any of the rules, and they will be given a written statement explaining the rejection.


No disciplinary action will be taken against any Club, team or player, except as provided for in Rules 6(5) and 7, without such Club, team or player having been given the opportunity of appearing before the Management Committee. In any Club or team matter, the disciplinary action will apply automatically to the Club or team members involved in the incident.


Any member, team or club, as appropriate, has a right to appeal against the disciplinary action decided by the Management Committee. Any such appeal shall be submitted within 14 days of the decision having been notified, state the grounds of the appeal, and shall be considered (so far as practicable) by not less than three Management Committee members who were not involved in the original decision (‘the appeal group’). The appeal group’s decision on the appeal shall be notified to all relevant parties and shall be final.


9.         Closed Championships


A player registered in a League in addition to the Association’s, must play a minimum of four fixtures in the current season for an Association team to be eligible to play in the Association’s Closed Championships.


10.       Sponsorship

If a sponsor is attracted, the Management Committee will consider how best to use this sponsorship.


11.       Contingency

If these Rules do not adequately provide for a particular matter that may arise, the Management Committee shall decide how that issue is to be resolved.


12.       Change of Rules

Any change to these Rules requires a simple majority of the teams entitled to vote at an A.G.M. or S.G.M. Any League Playing Member or Non-League Playing Member who wishes to propose an alteration to these Rules must advise the Hon. Secretary in writing by 31 March.  Any such proposal must be accompanied by written confirmation from the League Playing Member’s or Non-League Playing Member’s club secretary that the proposed change has the support of the majority of the members of their club.  Club and Team Secretaries shall be advised of suggested changes in the notice calling the A.G.M. or S.G.M.