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.
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.
TEN 5 There shall be separate Team Championships for Men and Women. Wheelchair tennis players shall be included in these Championships through the use of the ITF Rules of Wheelchair Tennis for any wheelchair tennis players - note point g for when a wheelchair tennis player is competing with and/or against a player not in a wheelchair.
TEN 5.1 In both the Men’s and Women’s Team Championships, in the Fast4 tiers, BUCS reserves the right to operate a maximum of four leagues per tier in a Conference (as opposed to the standard two), should entry levels permit, to enable more localised leagues.
TEN 5.2 In both the Men’s and Women’s Team Championships, in the lowest tier above the Fast4 tiers, REG 220.127.116.11 shall apply instead of REG 18.104.22.168.
TEN 5.3 In both the Men’s and Women’s Team Championships, on an annual basis – at the point of team entry – existing teams competing in the lowers tier above the Fast4 tiers (with the exception of those teams promoted to the tier above), existing teams competing in the Fast4 tiers, and any new teams, shall have the opportunity to request entry either at the lowest tier above the Fast4 tiers, or within the Fast4 tiers, for the following season. The final decision on league allocations shall sit with the BUCS Executive.
TEN 6 Match format Each match shall consist of two doubles rubbers and four singles rubbers.
TEN 6.1 For the 2023-24 season, Full Set format tennis shall be played in all leagues and knockout competitions except for the following in which Fast4 format tennis shall be played:
- Men’s Scottish Tier 6 leagues (6A) and Scottish Conference Trophy
- Men’s Northern Tier 5 leagues (5A) and Northern Conference Trophy
- Men’s Midlands Tier 5 leagues (5A) and Midlands Conference Trophy
- Men’s Western Tier 3 leagues (3A) and Western Conference Trophy
- Men’ South Eastern Tier 5 leagues (5A) and South Eastern Conference Trophy
- Women’s Scottish Tier 3 leagues (3A) and Scottish Conference Trophy
- Women’s Northern Tier 3 leagues (3A) and Northern Conference Trophy
- Women’s Midlands Tier 4 leagues (4A) and Midlands Conference Trophy
- Women’s Western Tier 3 leagues (3A) and Western Conference Trophy
- Women’s South Eastern Tier 3 leagues (3A) and South Eastern Conference Trophy
TEN 7 Fixture administration and arrangements
TEN 7.1 Court bookings
TEN 7.1.1 Full Set format A minimum reservation of 12 court hours MUST be booked by the host team for a fixture. This shall comprise at least 2 x 2 hours for doubles rubbers (including a 5 minute warm-up per match), and 4 x 2 hours for singles rubbers (including a 5 minute warm-up per match) = total 12 court hours. These court hours must be booked in accordance with TEN 7.2/TEN 7.2.1. 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 7.1.2 Fast4 format A minimum reservation of 6 court hours MUST be booked by the host team for a fixture. This shall comprise at least 2 x 1 hour for doubles rubbers, and 4 x 1 hour for singles rubbers = total 6 court hours. These court hours must be booked in accordance with TEN 7.2/TEN 7.2.1. 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 6 hours.
TEN 7.1.3 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 7.1.4 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 7.1.5 Where possible teams should ensure use of scoreboards on each court.
TEN 7.1.6 Court surfaces All courts should have an ITF recognised court surface. Any courts with a non-recognised court surface, or a surface that falls under the type 'Other', require approval by the BUCS Executive in advance of fixtures being scheduled to take place on them. In all cases the court surface should be flat, with courts and surrounding area free from hazards such as holes, raised areas and obstacles.
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 (note TEN 7.2.1 for an exception to this).
Coaches/captains/administrators can use the below guide for court booking variations:
On four courts
On three courts
On two courts
Doubles 1 and 2
Doubles 1 and 2
Doubles 1 and 2
Singles 1 – 4
Singles 4 – 2
Singles 4 and 3
Singles 2 and 1
TEN 7.2.1 An exception to TEN7.2.1 is that institutions/Playing Entities are permitted, but not encouraged, to book three courts for two rounds (three courts x 4 hours consecutive for Full Set format, three courts x 2 hours consecutive for Fast4 format). In this case, in order for the fixture to be completed there must be 1 doubles rubber and 2 singles rubbers played in round 1, followed by the 1 doubles rubber and 2 singles rubbers in round 2. The away team shall select the order of the rubbers within these rounds prior to play.
TEN 7.2.2 Nominations Prior to the start of the fixture, captains shall provide the names of any players that may be selected. Nominations for the doubles rubbers shall be made in writing no later than prior to the start of the first doubles rubber. Nominations for the singles rubbers shall be made in writing no later than the prior to the start of the first singles rubber.
TEN 22.214.171.124 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. For example, if a team takes six players to a match, they will rank their players as they are playing on the day as 1-6 across the whole team based on where they sit on the ranking list, but they can choose that 3-6 will play as their singles 1-4, their two highest ranked players in attendance only participating in the doubles.
TEN 126.96.36.199 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 188.8.131.52 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 184.108.40.206 Playing Entities may request to add players in at any position on their ranking list at any time during the season by emailing [email protected]. Requests must be submitted to, and approved by, the BUCS Executive in advance of the players competing in any fixtures so they should be made as far in advance of affected fixtures as possible.
TEN 220.127.116.11 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 18.104.22.168 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 7.1.3), 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 Full Set format
TEN 11.1.1 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 11.1.2 The singles rubbers shall be the best of three sets. The first two sets shall be tie-break sets (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.
TEN 22.214.171.124 In all National League and National Championship fixtures, if a singles rubber goes to a third set and there is more than 30 minutes remaining of the court booking, then the third set shall also be a tie-break set. Note: If singles rubbers are being played first, the last 30-minutes of court booking is defined as the doubles start time. For example, a 10:00 singles start means that a match tiebreak third set is played only if the first two sets finish after 11:30. 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 11.2 Fast4 format
TEN 11.2.1 All singles and doubles rubbers shall be the best of three sets and will be played using no-advantage scoring. In no-advantage scoring at deuce there is one point to decide the game, the receiver(s) choosing whether to receive the service from the right half or the left half of the court, but in doubles the players cannot change positions to receive this deciding point.
TEN 11.2.2 The first two sets shall be tie-break sets with no-advantage scoring, first to four games with a tie-break (first to seven points, two points clear at six points all) played at three games all.
TEN 11.2.3 If after the first two sets the score is one set all a deciding set shall be played which shall be a 10-point match tie-break (first to 10 points, two points clear at nine points all).
TEN 11.3 To determine the match score the winner of each doubles rubber shall receive one point and the winner of each singles rubber shall receive one point.
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 3-3, 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 otherwise 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 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.
TEN 17 Additional variations for Fast4 format tiers
TEN 17.1 Between points, a maximum of twenty-five seconds is allowed. The maximum time starts from the moment that one-point finishes until the first service is struck for the next point.
TEN 17.2 When the players change ends at the end of a game, a maximum of sixty seconds are allowed.
TEN 17.3 At the end of each set there shall be a set break of a maximum of ninety seconds. Players are permitted to sit down at the end of a set.