Tennis regulations for 2021-22 | Published 27 August

Please note: Regulations are currently under review for the 2021-22 season and so those currently published are subject to change.

TEN i The BUCS Tennis Championships shall be conducted in accordance with the following BUCS sport specific regulations, the BUCS general regulations, and the Rules of the LTA (Lawn Tennis Association). Further event specific requirements, rules, and regulations will be contained within the entry and pre-event information for each Championship.

TEN ii In the event that these regulations contradict the BUCS general regulations, these BUCS sport specific regulations will supersede, unless specifically stated otherwise.

TEN iii In the event that these regulations contradict the Rules of the LTA (Lawn Tennis Association), these BUCS sport specific regulations will supersede, unless specifically stated otherwise.


TEN 1 Championships BUCS will host annually the following Championships:

TEN 1.1 Individual Championships The programme shall include the events listed in Appendix 1 (‘BUCS Competition Offer and Associated BUCS Points’), subject to entry numbers.

TEN 1.2 Team Championships The programme shall include leagues and knockout competitions as per BUCS general regulations, Appendix 1 (‘BUCS Competition Offer and Associated BUCS Points’) and Appendix 10 (‘BUCS Promotion, Relegation and Knockout Information’).

TEN 2 Where possible institutions/Playing Entities should endeavour to wear team kit, identifying the name of the University/College.


Individual Championships

TEN 3 Tournament structure and entries See Appendix 1 (‘BUCS Competition Offer and Associated BUCS Points’) and the entry information for all competitions offered as part of the BUCS Tennis Individual Championships. All competition specific event information will be available in the event entry information and pre-event information.

TEN 4 Disputes at events In line with REG 7.7, should a dispute occur at an event, the event appeal panel for Tennis shall comprise of: The Referee at any Individual Championship qualifying events individual qualifying events; The Referee and a BUCS Staff Member at the Individual Championship Finals and Team Championship Finals.


Team Championships

TEN 5 There shall be separate Team Championships for Men and Women.

TEN 6 Match format Each match shall consist of two doubles rubbers and four singles rubbers.

TEN 7 Fixture administration and arrangements

TEN 7.1 Court bookings

TEN 7.1.1 A minimum reservation of 12 court hours MUST be booked by the host team for a fixture. This shall comprise at least 2 x 15 minutes practice, 2 x 1.75 hours for doubles rubbers, and 4 x 2 hours for singles rubbers = total 12 court hours. Failure to book the minimum prescribed above will result in the home team forfeiting any rubbers not completed should the match not be finished. For knockout fixtures, an additional 1 hour on 1 court MUST be booked in case of the need for a match tie-break (note TEN 11.5). The additional hour is for the match tie-break only and as such should be booked for immediately after the court hours booked for the normal fixture, not alongside any of these hours, and the normal fixture should be completed within the standard 12 hours.

TEN 7.1.1.1 If a final set of a live singles rubber is due to start during the last 30 minutes of the court booking then a 10 point match tie-break MUST take place instead of a standard set.

TEN 7.1.2 Start times No league or knockout match may start before 11:00 on a weekday or 10:00 on a weekend, or after 20:00 without the written consent of both institutions/Playing Entities. The BUCS Executive reserves the right to determine as they see fit the times for any Finals hosted by BUCS.

TEN 7.1.2.1 The practice start time (note TEN 7.1.1) is the fixture start time and should be the time that is posted on BUCS Play.

TEN 7.1.2.2 The match start time should be 15 minutes after the fixture start time i.e. following the practice time.

TEN 7.1.3 Rubbers may only be moved onto different surfaces (or from indoors to outdoors, or vice versa) from that specified in the pre-fixture confirmation with the agreement of both captains.

TEN 7.1.4 Where possible teams should ensure use of scoreboards on each court.

TEN 7.2 Order of play Players shall compete in rank order i.e. 1, 2, 3, 4 singles; 1, 2 doubles. The doubles rubbers ordered 1v1, 2v2 should be played first, followed by the singles rubbers, which will be ordered 4v4, 3v3, 2v2, 1v1. Any proposed changes to the standard order of play must be agreed by both teams prior to play. (Please note that if matches are being played on three courts – teams may want to start by playing three singles matches in order to maximize court usage).

Coaches/captains/administrators can use the below guide for court booking variations:

 

On four courts

On three courts

On two courts

Round 1

Doubles 1 and 2

Doubles 1 and 2

Doubles 1 and 2

Round 2

Singles 1 – 4

Singles 4 – 2

Singles 4 and 3

Round 3

 

Singles 1

Singles 2 and 1

 

TEN 7.2.1 Nominations Nominations for the first round of matches (doubles in normal circumstances) shall be made in writing no later than following the completion of the practice time, before the start of the first rubber. At this time, captains shall provide the name of any other player(s) who may be selected for the second round of matches (singles in normal circumstances). Nominations for the second round of matches (singles in normal circumstances) shall be made in writing no later than prior to the start of the first rubber of the second round of matches.

TEN 7.2.1.1 Singles nominations Teams consisting of more than four players may nominate players for singles rubbers, not including their highest ranked player(s) in the match day squad, but teams must play in rank order. E.g. 3, 4, 5 and 6 play as Singles 1, 2, 3 and 4, with players 1 and 2 only participating in the doubles.

TEN 7.2.1.2 Doubles nominations Doubles pairings must play with the strongest pair as pair 1. The best doubles pair should be decided by the sum of the players’ rankings in each pair, with the smallest sum playing as the ‘best doubles pair’. Players’ rankings are as per the published BUCS Squad Ranking List. If the sums of the singles players’ positions are equal (e.g. 1+5 and 2+4 or 21+25 and 22+24), the best doubles pair should include the highest ranked player (i.e. 1+5 or 21+25 would be the best doubles pair).

TEN 7.3 The number and surface of courts booked, and the respective hours should be posted in the fixture notes on BUCS Play and be sent as part of the fixture confirmation.

TEN 8 Balls

TEN 8.1 Premier Tier/Tier 1 and National Championship/Trophy The home team shall supply a minimum of three new ITF approved balls for each rubber.

TEN 8.2 Tier 2 and below and Conference Cup The home team shall supply a minimum of three new ITF approved balls for each rubber, unless captains agree to re-use balls.

TEN 9 Team selection This regulation supersedes REG 11.1.

TEN 9.1 All individuals in a team must be from the same Playing Entity and meet the individual eligibility requirements of REG 4.

TEN 9.2 In order to be selected in a team, all individuals must be registered on BUCS Play as a participant.

TEN 9.3 Where a Playing Entity has more than one team in a Championships (Men’s/Women’s), and more than one fixture scheduled across these teams on a given day, priority must be given to the highest ranked team and then in descending order through their teams should the Playing Entity be unable to fulfil all scheduled fixtures. For example, a Playing Entity may NOT concede a walkover at second team level, while continuing to field a lower ranked team on the same day. Matches played in contravention of this regulation will be awarded as a walkover to the opposition, or in certain circumstances, be voided.

TEN 9.3.1 For possible exceptions due to ‘Ring Fencing’ of teams, refer to TEN 9.5.

TEN 9.3.2 Involuntary walkovers may be granted in exceptional circumstances if applied for in accordance with walkover regulations in REG 13 meaning that TEN 9.3 would be suspended in some instances. Application to suspend TEN 9.3 must be made to the BUCS Executive in advance of affected fixtures.

TEN 9.4 Individuals may not be selected (listed on a team sheet) for different teams on the same day.

TEN 9.5 Ring Fenced teams Ring Fenced teams will be denoted by their specific group being named in brackets, e.g. (Medics). Information on how to apply for Ring Fencing can be found in REG 2.6.7. Ring Fencing of teams allows for a variation to the standard team selection regulations by allowing a Playing Entity to identify separate groupings of student-athletes such as ‘Medics’ and as a result have separate groupings to which the team selection regulations shall apply. The below is an illustration of how team selection/student-athlete movement operates when a Playing Entity has Ring Fenced teams.

 

TEN 9.6 Ranking lists

TEN 9.6.1 There shall be separate ranking lists for the Men's and Women's Championships. The ranking lists will be available here for ease of reference.

TEN 9.6.2 Prior to the start of the season, each Playing Entity must submit a ranked list of all the players they expect to use across their teams. These lists must be submitted no later than the deadline in the BUCS Sport Specific Affiliations Document and must feature enough individuals to field the number of teams entered. Failure to submit this information will result in sanctions being imposed as outlined in the BUCS Sport Specific Affiliations Document.

TEN 9.6.3 Following the initial ranking deadline passing, ranking lists will be locked and cannot be changed except in the following circumstances:

TEN 9.6.3.1 There shall be two re-ranking windows, during which Playing Entities can change the ranked order of existing players on their ranking list and/or remove players from their ranking list. The dates for the re-ranking windows will be displayed in the BUCS Sport Specific Affiliations Document. Changes to ranking lists made during a re-ranking window will only come into effect at the end of the window.

TEN 9.6.3.2 Playing Entities may request to add players to their ranking list at any time during the season. Requests must be submitted to, and approved by, the BUCS Executive in advance of the player(s) competing in any fixtures.

TEN 9.6.3.3 If a player is listed in the top four rankings and has not played any matches prior to the January re-ranking window, then that team is required to resubmit their rankings during this window, removing any such ‘top four’ players from the ranking list. An exception will be made at the discretion of the BUCS Executive on a case-by-case basis if sufficient proof can be provided to explain the above scenario (e.g. medical note).

TEN 9.6.4 The order on their ranking list shall be determined by each Playing Entity with their best player ranked as 1 and the second best as 2 and so on. The order is at the discretion of each Playing Entity. It does not need to be in accordance with ATP, WTA or LTA ratings, but Playing Entities ranking players out of ratings order may be requested to justify their ranking lists to the BUCS Executive. Failure to justify the rank order or Playing Entities deliberately ranking out of order will be referred to the BUCS Executive for disciplinary action.

TEN 9.6.5 Teams for a fixture day (across all leagues, knockout competitions and/or playoffs) must be selected in rank order. This applies across all teams, e.g. A player ranked number 8 cannot play in the 1st team if the player ranked number 7 is playing for a lower team's match that day.

TEN 9.6.6 No player ranked (as per the published squad ranking list at the time) at number 4 or above shall be eligible to play below the 1st team (including league, playoff and knockout competition matches). No player ranked (as per the published squad ranking list at the time) at number 8 or above shall be eligible to play below the 2nd team, and so on throughout a Playing Entity’s teams.

TEN 9.6.7 Individuals within a team must play in rank order in all matches.

TEN 9.6.8 Playing Entities suspected of exploiting these ranking list regulations and/or manipulating their ranking list could face disciplinary action under REG 5.

TEN 9.7 Team size

TEN 9.7.1 Premier Tier and National Championship Each team shall consist of a minimum of four and a maximum of six players. Four players shall play one singles rubber each and the fifth and/or sixth players may be selected for doubles only.

TEN 9.7.2 Tier 1 and below and National Trophy/Conference Cup Each team shall consist of a minimum of three and a maximum of six players. Up to four players shall play one singles rubber each and the fifth and/or sixth players may be selected for doubles only.

TEN 9.7.2.1 A team fielding enough players to fulfil the minimum number of players required (three), but not a full team, shall be permitted to play but shall concede the rubbers they are unable to fulfil. In such circumstances it is expected that the team would notify their opposition as soon as possible after it is known that they will not be fielding a full team of this, specifying how many players will be fielded. For the avoidance of doubt, if notice of being short of players is given to the opposition in advance of the fixture, the opposition team is only required to bring enough players to match the adjusted team size and the appropriate number of matches shall still be conceded. Teams found to be fielding less than a full team and conceding matches for multiple fixtures may face disciplinary action.

TEN 9.7.3 A team unable to field the minimum number of players required shall concede a walkover, however institutions/Playing Entities with multiple teams should be aware of TEN 9.3.

TEN 9.7.4 If a player retires prior to the official match time (as defined by TEN 7.1.2), the fulfilment of the highest rubbers should be prioritised with any lower rubbers the team is not able to fulfil being conceded.

TEN 9.7.5 If a player retires during a rubber, the opponent shall be deemed to have won all the remaining games and sets necessary to win the rubber.

TEN 10 Coaches Each team may have their nominated coach sitting on court for any or all rubbers in the match. If a team does not have a coach with them, then any team member not playing at the time may be nominated. Coaching advice can only be given during change of ends and the coach may only enter/leave the court during a change of ends.

TEN 11 Scoring system

TEN 11.1 The doubles rubbers shall be the best of three sets. The first two sets shall be tie-break sets with no-advantage scoring (the tie-break shall be introduced at six games all) and when the score is one set all the deciding set shall be a 10-point match tie-break. In no-advantage scoring at deuce there is one point to decide the game. The receivers choose whether to receive the service from the right half or the left half of the court but cannot change positions to receive this deciding point.

TEN 11.2 The singles rubbers shall be the best of three tie-break sets (the tie-break shall be introduced at six games all), however, as per TEN 7.1.1.1, if the final set is due to start during the last 30 minutes of the court booking then a 10 point match tie-break MUST take place instead of a standard set. If the match result is already decided any remaining singles rubbers may, by mutual consent, play a deciding 10-point match tie-break as the third set.

TEN 11.3 To determine the match score the winner of each doubles rubber shall receive two points and the winner of each singles rubber shall receive two points.

TEN 11.4 In the event of a tie on match score in a league fixture, the match shall be considered a draw.

TEN 11.5 If a knockout match finishes 6-6, then a tie-break shootout (to 10 points) shall take place as follows. The tie-break shootout consists of three tie-breaks – two singles and one doubles – with players nominated as follows: Tie-break 1 (singles) – one of the original players from the first or second ranked singles rubbers; Tie-break 2 (singles) – one of the original players from the third or fourth ranked singles rubbers; Tie-break 3 (doubles) – a pairing comprising two of the other nominated players for the match. No player may play in more than one tie-break shootout. Players for each stage of the shootout should be nominated at the start of the shootout.

TEN 11.5.1 The order of play for the tie-break shootout should replicate that of the preferred order of play as in TEN 7.2 unless agreed by both team captains before the start of the shootout.

TEN 12 Scorecards Institutions/Playing Entities are required to maintain accurate records* of the matches played by their teams in case of a tie on points within a league which requires additional score information to that on BUCS Play. In such circumstances, the BUCS Executive will contact the relevant institutions/Playing Entities for details of all their league matches in order to separate the teams.

* ‘Accurate records’ are taken to mean precise details of all aspects of the fixture including rubbers, sets and games/points; won and lost.

TEN 12.1 LTA membership (BTM) will be free to all student-athletes playing in BUCS Tennis competitions. All players must have a BTM number to ensure that their individual match results can contribute to their LTA rating.

TEN 13 Incomplete fixtures

TEN 13.1 In the event of a fixture being incomplete with no fault on either side, a result can be taken if four rubbers have been completed. The results shall be taken on all those rubbers that have been completed. If four rubbers have not been completed, or in the case of a knockout competition fixture the number of rubbers completed would result in a draw, then the fixture shall be replayed. The home team for the replay will be determined by coin toss, undertaken by the BUCS Executive.

TEN 13.2 In the event of a fixture being incomplete due to a late start, with a team at fault, their opposition may claim any rubbers not completed or unplayed.

TEN 13.3 In the event of a fixture being incomplete due to an institution booking insufficient court time (as per TEN 7.1.1), their opposition may claim any rubbers not completed or unplayed.

TEN 14 Representative commitments When one or more player(s) from the same institution/Playing Entity are selected for the Master’U BNP Paribas international representative competition, the institution/Playing Entity concerned shall be able to postpone any affected league fixtures.

TEN 14.1 The institution/Playing Entity concerned shall be responsible for informing the opposition institution/Playing Entity of the requirement to postpone the fixture no later than 48 hours (outside of weekends and bank holidays) after the announcement of the squad for the representative team, and no later than five working days prior to the original fixture date. Upon notification of the postponement, institutions must follow REG 14.3 to rearrange the fixture.

TEN 14.2 Knockout competition fixtures are not covered under TEN 14.

TEN 15 Premier Tier/National Championship specific regulations

TEN 15.1 The National League teams shall compete on two centrally hosted National fixture weekends, as well as Wednesdays.

TEN 15.2 Venue requirements All Premier Tier league fixtures, National Championship knockout competition fixtures and playoff fixtures are to be played on indoor courts.

TEN 16 Additional National League playoffs specific requirements The home team for each of the National League playoff matches will be determined by coin toss, undertaken by the BUCS Executive. If the teams have played each other in the playoffs in one or more of the previous three BUCS seasons, the team that did not win the coin toss in their most recent meeting will be allocated as the home team. Institutions/Playing Entities are encouraged to use neutral venues, but this is not mandatory.

 

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