Ladder rules

Tennis Ladder Rules (As of 1 January 2008)

I. General
II. Position on Tennis Ladders
III. Issuance of Challenges
IV. Acceptance of Challenges
V. Matches
VI. Results

I. General

The Singles and Mixed Doubles Ladders are open to all members of the Arlington County Tennis Association for the purpose of providing opportunities for challenge matches among comparably skilled players. In order to participate, ACTA membership must be current and Ladder participation fees must be paid. The Ladder Coordinator has the discretion to limit the Ladder to a manageable number of players or for keeping an appropriate balance of county and non-county players. The Ladder season runs from April 1 to October 31. Ladder registration is open throughout the season. Mixed Doubles teams must include at least one Arlington Resident.

II. Position on Tennis Ladders

a. Players or teams registered prior to 1 April will start in the same relative order as at the end of the preceding season. Thereafter, returning players or teams will be placed at the bottom of the ladder.

b. New players or teams will not have a ranking until after their initial match.

c. If a challenger wins (by play or default on the tennis court), he/she moves just above his/her opponent’s position on the Ladder. If the challenger loses, there is no change in the positions of the two players or teams.

d. If a player or team needs to go inactive (e.g., due to injury or extended travel), they should inform the Ladder Coordinator and their name will be grayed out, and they will not count in the challenge range. When the inactive player or team is ready to play again, they should again inform the Ladder Coordinator. Up to 4 weeks of inactive status will be allowed. After the 4 weeks, the status will change to active. A player or team may only go inactive 2 times within a calendar year. Inactive players positions are not protected from ladder movement.

III. Issuance of Challenges

a. Matches are normally played weeknights or weekends. Players may challenge as follows:

1. to challenge one of the top 5 players or teams, challenger must be within 5 places.
2. to challenge players or teams 6 – 25, challenger must be within 10 places.
3. beyond 26, challenger must be within 20 places.

Challenge matches MAY be played over any separation in ranking, however, the challenged player is not obligated to accept a challenge except as defined above.

b. The first challenge from a new player or team on the Ladder may be to any ranked player or team on the Ladder, except after October 1, new players or teams cannot make their initial challenge to a player or team ranked in the top 20. If a first-time challenger loses, he/she is placed immediately below the lowest ranked player or team.

c. If, after being properly challenged, the challenged player or team advances out of range on the Ladder by playing another match, they must still play the challenger within the specified time.

d. If a player or team properly challenges a higher ranked player or team and, after the match is scheduled but before it is played, the challenger jumps over the challenged player or team via another match, the challenge becomes a “reverse challenge” and still should be played.

e. The winner of the match need not accept another challenge from the loser for 14 days.

f. Challenges between two ladies are on both the coed and the ladies ladder must state which ladder (or both) is being challenged. A challenge that is valid on the ladies ladder but out-of-range on the co-ed must be accepted on the ladies but may be declined as counting on the co-ed ladder. The winner must enter the scores on all ladders to which the challenge pertained.

IV. Acceptance of Challenges

a. A challenged player or team must respond within 72 hours and must offer a match within 14 days of the challenge except as noted below. If a player or team does not respond within 72 hours, the challenger must send an email to both the player or team and announcing that the challenged player must respond within *72* hours. Failure to respond shall result in a match default. However, the ladder coordinator reserves the right to review and determine whether there are extenuating circumstances. If a match is rained out, the match must be rescheduled per section 4d. The challenged player or team shall select a location for play (an Arlington County public court) and give the challenger two or more dates/times for the match (weeknights or weekends).

b. A player or team is not required to play more than one ACTA Ladder match per week. Players or teams are not required to schedule matches more than 3 weeks out.

c. A challenged player or team should try to schedule and play challengers in the order in which challenges are received, whenever possible.

d. In the event a match cannot be played due to weather conditions, the challenged player or team will, within 48 hours, again offer the challenger two or more alternative dates/times for the match. The challenged player or team will offer to play the postponed match at the earliest practical date, but is not required to reschedule firm matches with other challengers, even if this means playing challengers out of the order in which the challenges were received.

e. A challenger may, solely at his/her discretion, agree to accept a match date beyond the time period provided above, a time during working hours, or a location other than an Arlington County public court.

V. Matches

a. Any player or team failing to show up within 15 minutes of the scheduled time of the match will forfeit to his/her opponent, who may leave when the 15-minute grace period has expired.

b. Both players or teams will bring a new, unopened can of Penn, Dunlop or Wilson Extra Duty or Regular Felt tennis balls to the match. Failure to do so will result in automatic loss of the first game, unless the opponent agrees to the balls provided. One of the two cans will be opened and used for the match. At the end of the match, the winner will receive the unopened can and the loser the game balls.

c. Matches will be best two-out-of-three sets. Regular scoring will be used unless the players agree to use no-ad scoring before play begins. The seven-point tiebreaker (i.e., first to 7 points winning by 2) will be used at 6 games all. If both players agree, a 10-point tiebreaker (i.e., first to10 points winning by 2) may be played in lieu of a third set.

d. All of the rules of tennis outlined in the current version of the USTA Yearbook and the Code of Tennis approved by the USTA will be observed.

e. One Hour Limit: Singles players playing a Ladder match on public courts when others are waiting for the court have to yield the court after one hour no matter what the score is. Doubles teams playing a Ladder match on public courts when others are waiting for the court must yield the court after one and a half hours no matter what the score is. Unless the players or teams agree otherwise, they must schedule a convenient time to resume the match where they left off. Players may agree in advance to speed up a match by playing no ad games and/or a tie breaker in lieu of a third set.

f. Once a match is scheduled, cancellation must be communicated to the other player or team at least 24 hours prior to match time. Failure to do so may result in a default at the option of the other player.

VI. Results

a. Any protest arising from the play of the match should be made to the Ladder Coordinator immediately after the match at

b. The winner is responsible for reporting the results of the match using the on-line scoring system, within three days of play, or the match can be considered void.

c. 8 matches or more are required for a player to be eligible for end-of-year award consideration