The League shall consist of such one or more divisions as the Executive should determine. The EC will form each division at its first meeting.
- The team scoring the most points in each division shall be the champion team of that division and shall be entitled to the custody of the Championship Trophy of that division until the succeeding 31st August.
- The two teams at the head of the second and lower divisions shall be promoted to the next highest division. The teams at the foot of each division may be relegated to the next lower division with the two teams at the foot of the bottom division being required to re-apply. This shall always apply except when the divisions are reconstituted by the EC/LMRSC. No more than two teams from any one club can play in Division 1 at any time.
- Ties for promotion and relegation, if level on points, sets won will decide. If level on sets, games will decide. If teams are level on games, then head to head will decide. If still level, a coin will be tossed. League tables should include sets for and against.
- All new clubs shall have a minimum of 4 courts suitable for match play, undertake to remain affiliated to the Lawn Tennis Association while they remain members of the Southport and District Tennis League and meet the criteria for applications as determined by the EC.
- All matches shall be played under the laws of Lawn Tennis in the particular week appointed by EC/LMRSC and on the night submitted to the League at the beginning of each season. (This night shall be Monday for 1st and 2nd teams).
- Each match shall consist of four Mixed doubles, two Ladies doubles and two Gents doubles with a tie-break operative at 6 games all. Therefore, each of the eight matches shall be worth 2 points and the completed match 16 points. Points awarded should be as follows: 2 points for a win; 1 point for a draw. Clubs must make every effort to field complete teams. However, if this is
genuinely not possible then a match may go ahead so long as each team contains a minimum of two men and two ladies and the shortage of players has been notified to the opposing team at least two hours before the match is due to take place. Any gaps in a team must be in the lowest positions in the team and must only be in the club’s lowest team.
- No player shall play more than one like event in the same match. A player may play for more than one team in the same week as long as they comply with the ‘starring’ described in Rule 9 and are moving up to replace a missing player in a higher team.
- Each club shall register up to 20 men and 20 ladies for each League team. Individual players may be registered for any number of teams but must still be played in order of strength. Clubs agree that the names of all registered players will be shown on the League results.
- Each club with more than one team in the League shall nominate 4 men and 4 ladies for each team, excluding the lowest team, who will be known as ‘starred players’ by no later than the Friday before the fourth week of the season. The ‘starring’ shall be indicated by adding an asterisk followed by the number of the team for which they are ‘starred’ after their surname on the player registration. ‘Starred players’ may not play for a team which is lower than the one for which they have been ‘starred’ and must be regular League players.
- Player registrations must be sent to the League Planner Manager two weeks before the start of the season and in the spreadsheet, format as defined by the League Planner Manager. At the discretion of the League Manager Planner SMALL numbers of changes to the registrations MAY be accepted up to the Friday before the start of the season. All registration spreadsheets and any change request must be copied to the League Match Secretary for information.
- Up to four additional men and four additional ladies may be registered per team between the 8th and 9th week of the season. Clubs may request a change to ‘starred’ players between the 8th and 9th week of the season. Any change requests must be sent to the League Planner Manager and the League Match Secretary in writing or email to arrive no later than the Friday of the 8th week. Apart from these changes, and those described in Rule 19, no other changes to registrations or ‘starrings’ may be made except in the case of injury or as directed by the League Match Secretary.
- Any team that concedes a match will suffer a two-point penalty in addition to the loss of points from the conceded match. This rule will not apply to the lowest team in clubs with more than one team.
- Before the start of every match team captain must complete their teams on their copies of the match scoresheet and, having done so, exchange match scoresheets and complete their teams, as now arranged, on their opponent’s match scoresheet. Signed match scoresheets MUST be retained by the club until the start of the following season in case of dispute.
- Pairs must be played in order of strength. Players in the 1st Mixed event must play in 1st Ladies or 1st Gents doubles. Players in the 4th Mixed event must play in the 2nd Ladies or 2nd Gents doubles. Teams as well as individual players within a team must be played in order of strength.
- In the event of a player being incapacitated after play in a match that has begun, so that he or she cannot continue playing, a captain shall be entitled to include a substitute in any subsequent events in which the incapacitated player should have taken part, provided that the injury or other incapacity was caused after play in the match had begun and was not due solely to tiredness.
- If a player is injured during a match or has been included on the team sheet but does not arrive in time for the second half of the match and no substitute has been found then for the remainder of the match the gap will be left in the position that the missing player would have occupied.
- Any team playing a player made ineligible under any of these rules shall forfeit all games and points won by that player whilst he or she was ineligible. Ineligible players must play in the lowest position in the team. Breaches of the rules by a higher team will not penalise other teams playing on different nights.
- The captain of the home team shall have submitted the results of the match, using the on-line system, within 48 hours of the match being completed. Missing this deadline will result in the points being awarded to the away team unless a problem has been reported to the League Match Secretary before the deadline. The captain of the away team shall have verified the results within 72 hours of the completion of the match. Missing this deadline will result in the match being confirmed by the League Match Secretary. Any appeals against these actions must be directed to the LMRSC/EC via the League Match Secretary.
- When entering match results, clubs may add additional players to any team so long as the player is already registered for a lower team at the same club. An email recording the addition(s) must be sent to the League Match Secretary within 48 hours of the addition being made.
- The cancellation of matches due to weather shall be made by 6.00pm to the person nominated in the handbook, or by 5.45pm in the matches due to start at 6.30pm.
- Postponed matches due to weather conditions shall be played on the alternative date and time which shall be included in the handbook. Where two or more teams in a club have the same nominated alternative night/day the higher/highest team will take precedence at all times.
- In the event of inclement weather or bad light during a match, the match shall be deemed to have been completed if eight sets have been completed. All sets not completed or begun shall be deemed void and recorded ‘not played’ on the system. In the event of eight sets not having been completed, the match shall be treated as a postponed match and replayed as a new match. The scoresheet must show the actual date played.
- Both captains must be in agreement that conditions are safe to commence or continue play.
- (Summer league) In the event of a match not being completed on the first or alternative night a further 14 days are allowed. Failing completion in that time, the match will be halved. It will be recorded on the League Planner system as a “tie” with no sets or games being awarded to either team.
- All matches should start at 7.00pm apart from the first three and last two which should start at 6.30pm. All players in a team should be available to play at the appointed time. Any player not ready to play 20 minutes after the appointed starting time shall concede the first set 6-0. Or if 30 minutes after the appointed starting time shall concede the first event 6-0, 6-0, or if after 60
minutes of the appointed starting time shall also concede the second event, 6-0, 6-0. The order of play in all matches shall be MIXED events first.
- THREE COURT CLUBS: all matches will commence at 6.30pm. The order of play MUST be 1st, 2nd and 3rd MIXED. The 4th mixed pair must arrive by 7.15pm after which the 20-, 30- or 60-minutes lateness Rule (see above) will apply whether a court is available or not.
- The home team shall provide three new LTA approved tennis balls for each of the first four events.
- All league matches have precedence over cup matches except for the cup finals. If either team playing in a cup final has a league match scheduled for that night, the league match shall be rearranged for the alternative night of the home team.
- Clubs are responsible for highlighting any irregularities in relation in the Rules and should notify them to the League Match Secretary in writing within 7 days of the match being played. The League Match Secretary will forward them to the LMRSC for consideration.
- All communication by clubs with the League Match Secretary must be made via CLUB match secretaries only.
- Any problems arising from the on-line system should be notified to the League Match Secretary and/or the League Planner Manager immediately by the Club Match Secretary.
- The League Match Secretary shall report any irregularity in relation to the Rules to the LMRSC. Failure to comply with these Rules shall be subject to an LMRSC enquiry. The LMRSC shall have the power to impose any penalty or fine.