Access Keys:

 
 
Belfast & District Lawn Tennis League Ulster Branch Tennis Ireland

Rules

  1. The Belfast and District Lawn Tennis League and any Competitions under its auspices shall be administered by an Executive which shall consist of:
  2. a) An Honorary Secretary/Joint Honorary Secretaries
  3. b) An Honorary Treasurer and
  4. c) A maximum of nine others on the committee.

However,

1)    Each member referred to above shall represent a Club which shall have competed in a League competition in the calendar year of election.

2)    A Club may not have more than two representatives on the Executive

At all meetings of the Executive, the quorum shall be four.

  1. General
  2. a) An Annual General Meeting shall be called before the end of November each year. The members of the Executive referred to above in Rule 1 retire and new members shall be elected. Retiring members shall be eligible for re-election.
  3. b) Members of the Clubs which took part in the Competitions in that year shall be entitled to attend. Each Club is entitled to one vote.
  4. c) The Honorary Secretary of the Executive shall call an Extraordinary General Meeting at the request of the Executive or immediately on receiving a request in writing from five constituent Clubs stating the purpose for which such a meeting is to be called. No other business shall be transacted at such meeting other than that for which the meeting has been expressly called.
  5. d) At least seven days’ notice in writing of a General Meeting mentioning the business to be considered shall be sent to the Honorary Secretary of each Club and to each member of the Executive.
  6. No new rule shall be made, nor any rule altered, except at the Annual General Meeting or at an Extraordinary General Meeting.
  7. Any dispute arising between Clubs in the Competitions shall be referred to the sole arbitration of the Executive, whose decisions shall be final and binding. Should either of the two Clubs in connection with the dispute or protest have a member or members on the Executive, such members shall not be eligible to sit on the Executive while such a dispute or protest is being considered.
  8. Eligibility

The Competition shall be open to all Clubs:

  1. a) Affiliated to the Ulster Branch Tennis Ireland and shall not be in arrears as regards payment of the Affiliation Fee and the Capitation Levy of the Ulster Branch.
  2. b) At least two courts shall be available for Inter-Club matches.
  3. Entry and Entry Fees
  4. a) The Competitions shall be held annually. Entries shall be on forms provided and must be received together with the entry fees by the Honorary Secretary of the Executive on a date determined by the Executive
  5. b) An appropriate fee will be determined for all Competitions by the Executive No entries shall be accepted unless accompanied by the appropriate fee
  6. c) The Executive has the power to refuse entry/entries of any Club at its discretion
  7. Format of League

Various Competitions shall be scheduled throughout the year and divided into divisions as numbers of entries permit Divisions will be arranged in order of merit. Division 1 consisting of the strongest teams and the placing of the teams in the divisions shall be at the discretion of the Executive. Two teams will generally be promoted and two relegated each year. This practice may be overridden by the Executive should a new team enter, if a Club gains or loses players or if the size of divisions needs to be altered.

The teams competing in each division shall play matches against each other in accordance with a fixture list arranged by the Executive. The teams who receive the highest number of points, in their division, shall be the winners of that division In the event of a tie in any division, the teams concerned shall play off, under the knock-out system, at reverse venues, as decided by the Executive.

The Executive shall determine the days of the week on which matches must be played and the period within which each Competition must be completed, including any play-offs.

In all Competitions, singles players and/or doubles pairings must be played in order of merit.

In best of three set matches, all sets will be tie-break sets.

Winter League

  1. a) Fixtures are schedules for Saturday mornings during January to March starting at 10 00am. Clubs with floodlights may play their home fixtures on the Tuesday night, starting at 6 30 pm, prior to the fixture date if they inform their opponents 14 days prior to the fixture.
  2. b) Teams consist of either four men or four ladies respectively.
  3. c) Matches will consist of two doubles. The pairings will be drawn for on the day of the match by the two captains.
  4. d) Each tie is a best of three set match.
  5. e) Three points are awarded to the winning team or one point each if there is a draw in matches.

Singles League

  1. a) Fixtures are scheduled for Monday and Wednesday evenings (Men) and Tuesday evenings (Ladies) during March and April starting at 6:30pm.
  2. b) Teams consist of either four men or three ladies respectively.
  3. c) Each player plays one singles match against his/her corresponding opponent.
  4. d) Each tie is a best of three set match.
  5. e) All ties within a fixture must be completed and a point is awarded for each tie won plus a bonus point for the overall fixture winner.

Mixed League

  1. a) Fixtures are scheduled for weekday evenings during late April to end of June starting at 6 30pm.
  2. b) Teams consist of four men and four ladies.
  3. c) Each player plays one doubles match and a mixed doubles match.
  4. d) Each tie is a best of three set match, with the third set being a professional tie-break set of first to 10 points with a 2 point margin.
  5. e) Three points are awarded to the winning team or one point each if there is a draw in matches.

Evergreen League

  1. a) Fixtures are scheduled for Friday evenings during late April to end of June starting at 6 30pm.
  2. b) Teams consist of four men or four ladies of 40 years and over. Players are eligible to enter if they attain the age limit during the year of their respective event.
  3. c) Teams will consist of two doubles pairs. Each pair will play both the pairs of the opposing team.
  4. d) Each tie is a best of three set match, with the third set being a professional tie-break set of first to 10 points with a 2 point margin.
  5. e) Three points are awarded to the winning team or one point each if there is a draw in matches.

Juvenile League

  1. a) Fixtures are scheduled for April/May.
  2. b) The League is split into Boys and Girls sections and has Under-18 and Under-14 age groups. The players must be under the age limit on the 31 December in the year preceding the competition.
  3. c) Teams consist of four boys or four girls.
  4. d) Each player plays one singles match and one doubles match.
  5. e) Each tie will consist of 11 games with the eleventh game being a tie-break. All ties must be completed.
  6. f) One point will be awarded for each tie won within a fixture.

Challenge Trophies

  1. a) Competitions are played on a knock-out basis during a scheduled week.
  2. b) Rules are applied as in the qualifying league.
  3. c) Where a match finishes all square in matches, sets and games, a deciding tie-break set shall be played by nominated pairings. (Seniors - Mixed Pairings, Juveniles – Doubles).

Summer League

  1. a) Fixtures are scheduled for weekday evenings during July to mid September starting at 6 30pm.
  2. b) Teams consist of two men and two ladies.
  3. c) Each player plays a doubles and a mixed doubles.
  4. d) Each tie is a best of three set match, with the third set being a professional tie-break set of first to 10 points with a 2 point margin.
  5. e) All ties within a fixture must be played and one point is awarded for each tie won.
  6. f) If, in a Division play-off, the match is tied in matches, set and games, a further tie-break set between nominated mixed pairs will be played.

Knock-Out Cup Competition

  1. a) Matches are scheduled for weekday evenings starting at 6 30pm over a two-week period, normally ending on the second weekend in August. Finals are held at a central venue, times to be arranged.
  2. b) The Competition is split into six sections, Senior Men, Senior Ladies, Intermediate Men, Intermediate Ladies, Junior Men and Junior Ladies Each section is run on a knock-out system.

        The Junior sections are restricted to players from Division 8 or lower in the Mixed League Competition, who are still eligible to play for their teams at the completion of its programme.

        The Intermediate sections are restricted to players from Division 4 or lower in the Mixed League Competition, who are still eligible to play for their teams at the completion of its programme.

        The Senior sections are open to all players.

        Additionally, eligible clubs or players who have not taken part in the Mixed League Competition may enter and such teams or players shall be graded at the discretion of the Executive.

        The Executive reserves the right to place teams in a higher/lower section than by right of their division in the Mixed League.

  1. c) Teams consist of four men or four ladies playing as two doubles pairings.
  2. d) Each pair will play both the pairs of the opposing team.
  3. e) Each tie is a best of three set match.
  4. f) The team to go forward to the next round is the team with the most matches won. Should the matches finish level, then sets will decide and should sets be equal also, games will decide If the match is still level, a further tie-break set is to be played between a pair nominated from each team.
  5. g) If a match is unavoidably postponed, for reasons such as weather, the match shall be played on the following day.
  6. h) Any team not being in a position to start a match by 6 45pm shall forfeit the tie/ties which they cannot put onto court. If a match has not started by 7 00pm the match goes by default to the opposing team. In this event, the Knock-Out Cup Secretary must be contacted by telephone not later than 7 15pm on the evening of the match by the winning team.

Autumn League

  1. a) Fixtures are scheduled for Saturday mornings during late September to early November starting at 9 30am. Clubs with floodlights may play their home fixtures on the Tuesday night, starting at 6 30pm, prior to the fixture date if they inform their opponents 14 days prior to the fixture.
  2. b) Teams consist of either four men or four ladies respectively, playing as two doubles pairings.
  3. c) Each pair will play both the pairs of the opposing team.
  4. d) Each tie is a best of three set match, with the third set being a professional tie-break set of first to 10 points with a 2 point margin.
  5. e) Three points are awarded to the winning team or one point each if there is a draw in matches.

Floodlit League

  1. a) Fixtures are scheduled for weekday evenings during November to February starting at 6 30pm.
  2. b) Teams consist of two men and two ladies.
  3. c) Each player plays a doubles and a mixed doubles.
  4. d) Each tie is a professional set of first to 10 games At 9-9 the deciding game will be a 7 point tie-break.
  5. e) All ties within a fixture must be played and one point is awarded for each tie won.
  6. f) In the event of a tie in a division play-off, both teams will nominate a mixed pair to play a further tie-break set.
  7. Nomination of Players
  8. a) Each Club shall nominate the members of each team entered by the Club for the competitions. The Singles players shall be nominated in order of merit, which order shall be adhered to throughout the season. The notification containing the names of the nominated members of each team shall be sent to the Honorary Secretary of the Executive by a date set by the Executive.

        Points shall not be awarded in respect of any match played after that date if this rule has not been complied with.

  1. b) A nominated member of a team may not play for a lower team. A player may play twice for a higher team without affecting his/her eligibility for a lower team. A player may play for a higher team in a play-off without affecting his eligibility for the lower team.
  2. c) Prior to the commencement of each match, the Captains of the opposing teams shall exchange a list of the names of the members of their respective team in the order of merit in which the players will play in both Singles and Doubles events. Where a match is abandoned, the order of merit as declared must be adhered to on the resumption of the match.
  3. d) No person may play in a competition or any resultant competition for more than the one Club during any one season.
  4. The penalty for the breach of Rule 8 shall be the loss of the game including the illegal player(s) and those below in order of merit.
  5. Any player who has been made ineligible to play for a lower team for any of the above reasons may apply to the Executive for reinstatement At least three days’ notice of such application must be given.
  6. Custody of Cups

Where a cup or trophy shall be awarded to the winning Club, such Club shall be responsible for its safe custody. The cup or trophy shall remain the property of the Belfast and District Lawn Tennis Leagues and shall be returned not later than 1 September in the year following that in which it was awarded. The winners of each division of the League shall be awarded a plaque that shall remain the property of the Club.

  1. Matches brought forward, postponed or abandoned

A match may be brought forward by agreement between the opposing Clubs. A match may only be postponed or abandoned by agreement between the opposing Clubs by reason of adverse weather conditions or unplayable courts.

Matches thus postponed or abandoned shall be finished before the date fixed for completion in the relevant competition. The score in all events at the time of abandonment shall stand on the resumption of the match.

Notification of the postponement or abandonment of a match must be sent to the Division Secretary of the Executive by the team secretary of the home Club concerned not later than 24 hours following the date on which the match was to have been played or the match abandoned. Such notification shall state the date on which the match will be played or resumed.

  1. Reporting the Results

Results must be received by the Divisional Secretary within 24 hours of the conclusion of the match. A copy of the Result card should either be scanned or photographed and then e-mailed by the winning team (or by the home team in the case of a draw). Clubs may be penalised if the result arrives late.

  1. Balls

The home team has the choice of any tennis ball approved by Tennis Ireland.

15   Starting Time of Matches

All players from both teams must be ready to play at the stated starting times as set by the Executive.

The Executive will take action as it sees fit on receipt and investigation of reports of the failure of a player or players to be in attendance at the stated times.

Without prejudice to such action, the Executive hereby provides that should the absence of player(s) of either team prevent the commencement of play later than 30 minutes from the stated start time, in ties for which court(s) are available but on which no other tie within the fixture can be played at that time, the offending team shall forfeit the tie so delayed to a maximum of two ties as set out on the official match card.

Where ties have been forfeited under the provision of this rule, each of the Clubs concerned should report the matter to the Executive within three days for its information.

  1. Home Teams

The first named Club in a fixture is known as the Home Team. Matches shall be played on the courts available at the home Club unless otherwise agreed by the Captain of the opposing team.

  1. Rules of Lawn Tennis

Matches in the Competitions shall be played in accordance with the Rules of Lawn Tennis as sanctioned by Tennis Ireland. The tie-break system will operate at 6 games all in each set in every three set match. The Executive has the right to refuse the entry from a Club which has either withdrawn from or failed to fulfil fixtures in a previous season unless a Club has paid a financial penalty determined by the Executive.

  1. In exceptional circumstances the Executive has powers of discretion.